30 hilarious quotes by the world’s funniest people


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Life is tougher than usual for many of us these days, so why not lighten things up a bit with the cunning words of some of the world’s funniest people?

Unlike comedy, wit often requires an adept use of wordplay and truly astute powers of observation – and, of course, the ability to deliver the wit in a timely, crisp fashion. It’s what truly makes some of the most memorable quotes.

“In order for a comment to be witty, it should meet certain prerequisites,” wrote Daniel Bukszpan, editor of the book The Essential Wit of the World’s Funniest People,from which the following quotes were excerpted. “The saying that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ is absolutely true. Anybody hoping to be considered witty had better get to the point.”

To honor that sentiment, we will do the same. Here are 30 genius quotes from some of the world’s funniest people..


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George Burns on politics …

“Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.”

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Tina Fey on child rearing …

“A Harvard Medical School study has determined that rectal thermometers are still the best way to tell a baby’s temperature. Plus, it really teaches the baby who’s boss.”

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Orson Welles on dinner …

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.”


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Erma Bombeck on health care …

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”

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Woody Allen on death …

“It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

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Truman Capote on life …

“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.”

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Andy Rooney on aging…

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”

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Joan Crawford on romance …

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”

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Will Ferrell on relationships …

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet service to see who they really are.”

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Tallulah Bankhead on purity …

“I’m as pure as the driven slush.”

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Garrison Keillor on cats …

“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.”

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Oscar Wilde on personal finance …

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

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Bill Murray on taxes …

“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30 percent of their ice cream.”

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Amy Sedaris on loss …

“Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human because in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it.”

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Mae West on men …

“A man in the house is worth two in the street.”

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W.C. Fields on a balanced diet …

“Some contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch.”


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Margaret Thatcher on politicians …

“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

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Robin Williams on men …

“God gave men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.”

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Dave Barry on women …

“To judge from the covers of countless women’s magazines, the two topics most interesting to women are: 1. Why men are all disgusting pigs; and 2. How to attract men.”

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Ernest Hemingway on drinking …

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”


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Muhammad Ali on fighting …

“My toughest fight was with my first wife.”


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Voltaire on killing …

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

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George F. Will on football …

“Football combines the two worst features of American life. It’s violence punctuated by committee meetings.”


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Ellen DeGeneres on trophy hunting …

“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”

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Frank Sinatra on drinking …

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.”


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Gloria Steinem on truth …

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

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George Bernard Shaw on patriotism …

“Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is best in the world because you were born in it.”

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Jon Stewart on religion …

“Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake.”

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Lyndon B. Johnson on newspapers …

“If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim.'”

Image Credit: Arnold Newman, White House Press Office/Wikimedia Commons.

Mark Twain on success …

“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”

This article was excerpted from the book “The Essential Wit of the World’s Funniest People” and was syndicated by

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Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.