Humorous Quotes from
All My Best Friends By George Burns
Note : Don't you find it surprising that in the quotes from a book Titled
"All My Best Friends" there is hardly any mention of his friends. The
fault lies not with the book or it's author but yours truly who has compiled
them 'Friend-Wise' and put them on this page -
Most of what I say is true. The rest is show
At my age it's hard to find anything I haven't done
before. And even harder to do it.
That's seven books I've written. Not bad for
somebody who's only read three.
I was making a career out of lying even before the
politicians made it fashionable. All right, maybe that's not true, even I'm
not that old.
We had a hunger for something more important than
We had nothing in common. That's all we all had,
We were so poor that I couldn't even afford to have
my own dreams.
...spending most of your time on trains or in hotel
rooms so small that your shadow had to wait for you outside.
Audiences were great, they let you know when they
liked you and they told you when they didn't - and that was called heckling.
We didn't spend all our offstage time playing cards
and going out with the girls, we wasted some time too.
I'd like to tell you about a friend of mine who
made a fortune renting rowboats. Business wasn't too good until he put up a
big sign that read 'Rides on the lake, ten cents for married men, wives
thrown in for free.'
Before radio, sound effects were known as noise.
Radio is the only business I've ever heard of that could turn slamming a
door into an art form.
To me the main difference between oxygen and an
audience was that I could see the audience. Of course, that was before I
moved to Los Angelos and could see them both.
If the director said, "Go in," and I went
in I was a good actor. If he said, "Go in" and I stayed out in the
hall, I was a bad actor.
When I made The Sunshine Boys, with Walter Matthau,
the director, Herb Ross told me not to smile at Matthau. I didn't smile at
Matthau so well that they gave me an academy award.
So I won the Academy Award and in my next movie I
was God. That was some quick promotion.
The first real movie theaters, the nickelodeons,
opened in 1904. I remember them as clearly as if it was just eighty years
Bert Lahr, who played the cowardly lion in the
Wizard of Oz, once explained typecasting to me. "It means," he
said, "that they call me every time a role comes up for a cowardly
lion. Otherwise, they don't call me."
To me, that was real movie making - they never let
the truth get in the way of a great story.
We were all very excited when the Judge arrived in
town to search for sin, because we'd been looking for it for a long time and
knew we could use professional help.
There's an old story I've just made up specially
for this page.
How many comedians does it take to tell a joke?
Ten. One to set up the straight line and nine to deliver nine different
I knew golf was the right game for me the first
time I played when somebody asked me if I had a good lie.
At that time (1929) money was so new to me that I
hadn't even taken the price tag off it yet.
We were comedians, not businessmen. And most of the
time, when we got involved in business, we proved it.
I just didn't understand real estate; I figured,
even if I bought land, where was I going to keep it?
In 1948 Jack sold his company to CBS for
$2,400,000. As soon as I heard about the sale I wanted to change the name of
my company. I wanted to call it something like "Jack Benny's Other
We learned that money really couldn't buy happiness
- but we found that it could make a substantial down payment.
I also played the horses a little, but I would have
enjoyed the horses a lot more if, instead of just running around in a
circle, they would have sat down and played some cards.
Hey, I like New Jersey; if it wasn't for New Jersey
being there, think of all the people who would fall off the end of George
The two most popular types of shows on early
television were professional wrestling and variety shows. I'll tell you
something, the wrestling matches usually were better written than the
We were vaudevillians; we weren't worried so much
about artistic integrity as we were that the check would bounce.
Whether you're talking about show business, sex or
Japanese acrobats, one thing is true-nobody stays on top the whole time.
I've always felt that comedians are supposed to
make people feel better after the politicians have done their job.
How bad could death really be? I mean , you never
hear anybody complaining about it.
Have you checked out
this super book?
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