Robert Benchley Quotes

  1. If Mr. Einstein doesn’t like the natural laws of the universe, let him go back to where he came from.
  2. There seems to be no lengths to which humorless people will not go to analyze humor. It seems to worry them.
  3. In America there are two classes of travel – first class, and with children.
  4. A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.
  5. I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well.
  6. A real hangover is nothing to try out family remedies on. The only cure for a real hangover is death.
  7. Other men wear white suits in summer and it doesn’t seem to bother them. But my white suit seems to be a little whiter than theirs. I think also that it may have something written on the back of it, although I can’t find it when I take the suit off.
  8. At fifteen one is first beginning to realize that everything isn’t money and power in this world, and is casting about for joys that do not turn to dross in one’s hands.
  9. I know I’m drinking myself to a slow death, but then I’m in no hurry.
  10. There is a note in the front of the volume saying that no public reading may be given without first getting the author’s permission. It ought to be made much more difficult to do than that.
  11. For a nation which has an almost evil reputation for bustle, bustle, bustle, and rush, rush, rush, we spend an enormous amount of time standing around in line in front of windows, just waiting.
  12. Tell us your phobias and we will tell you what you are afraid of.
  13. We call ourselves a free nation, and yet we let ourselves be told what cabs we can and can’t take by a man at a hotel door, simply because he has a drum major’s uniform on.
  14. Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other.
  15. You might think that after thousands of years of coming up too soon and getting frozen, the crocus family would have had a little sense knocked into it.
  16. Why don’t you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?
  17. Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with that it’s compounding a felony.
  18. We are constantly being surprised that people did things well before we were born.
  19. I do most of my work sitting down; that’s where I shine.
  20. It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
  21. Great literature must spring from an upheaval in the author’s soul. If that upheaval is not present then it must come from the works of any other author which happens to be handy and easily adapted.
  22. I have been told by hospital authorities that more copies of my works are left behind by departing patients than those of any other author.
  23. Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, owing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about.
  24. An ardent supporter of the hometown team should go to a game prepared to take offense, no matter what happens.
  25. The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.
  26. A great many people have come up to me and asked how I manage to get so much work done and still keep looking so dissipated.
  27. Even nowadays a man can’t step up and kill a woman without feeling just a bit unchivalrous.
  28. The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.
  29. The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon.
  30. In a house where there are small children the bathroom soon takes on the appearance of the Old Curiosity Shop.
  31. Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.
  32. After an author has been dead for some time, it becomes increasingly difficult for his publishers to get a new book out of him each year.
  33. A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.
  34. Nothing makes a man feel older than to hear a band coming up the street and not to have the impulse to rush downstairs and out on to the sidewalk.
  35. Anyone who tries to keep track of what is happening in China is going to end up by wearing all the skin of his left ear from twirling around on it.
  36. Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.
  37. Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed be doing at that moment.

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