It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.
Notebooks (1956) ‘Minority Report’
Conscience: the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking.
A Little Book in C major (1916) p. 4
Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later. For another thing, they die earlier.
Chrestomathy (1949) ch. 3
Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Chrestomathy (1949) ch. 3
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
Prejudices (1922) 3rd ser., ch. 14
When women kiss it always reminds one of prize-fighters shaking hands.
Chrestomathy (1949) ch. 30
All quotations above H L Mencken
A friend told him that the particular drink he was drinking was slow poison, and he replied, ‘So who’s in a hurry?’
Nathaniel Benchley Robert Benchley (1955) ch. 1
Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
I can’t understand why I flunked American history. When I was a kid there was so little of it.
Coffee isn’t my cup of tea.
I do benefits for all religions. I’d hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.
My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn’t pay the bill he gave me six months more
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined
She got her looks from her father; he’s a plastic surgeon
First the doctor told me the good news, I was going to have a disease named after me
Only lawyers and mental defectives are automatically exempted from jury duty
George Bernard Shaw
A layer will do anything to win a case, sometimes he will even tell the truth
A competent lawyer can delay a case months or even years. A competent yawyer can delay a case even longer.
Few great men could have got past personnel.
When I asked my accountant if anything could get me out of this mess, he thought for a long time and said, “Yeas, death would help”
I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.
Drawing on my fine command of the language, I said nothing.
The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.
More than ever before, Americans are suffering from back problems, back taxes, back rent, back auto payments.
Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
G. K. Chesterton
I don’t care what is written about me as long as it isn’t true.
That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you.
A. Whitney Brown
Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
Humor is everywhere, in that there’s irony in just about anything a human does.
Bill Nye, Interview with Wired.com, April 2005
All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.
Charlie Chaplin (1889 – 1977), in My Autobiography (1964)
Total absence of humor renders life impossible.
Colette (1873 – 1954), Chance Acquaintances, 1952
Humor is always based on a modicum of truth. Have you ever heard a joke about a father-in-law?
A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)
Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.
E. B. White (1899 – 1985), Some Remarks on Humor, introduction
Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.
Edward De Bono
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 – 1797)
If there’s one thing I know it’s God does love a good joke.
Hugh Elliott, Standing Room Only weblog, 05-01-04
The only rules comedy can tolerate are those of taste, and the only limitations those of libel.
James Thurber (1894 – 1961)
The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.
James Thurber (1894 – 1961), in Edward R. Murrow television interview
Where humor is concerned there are no standards – no one can say what is good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone will.
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – )
One doesn’t have a sense of humor. It has you.
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.
Humor is just another defense against the universe.
Mel Brooks (1926 – )
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.
Mel Brooks (1926 – )
Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.
Peter Ustinov (1921 – 2004)
Comedy is nothing more than tragedy deferred.
Pico Iyer, Time
Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), Letters and Social Aims: The Comic, 1876
Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people.
Robert Benchley (1889 – 1945)
Humor is also a way of saying something serious.
T. S. Eliot (1888 – 1965)
There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)