Humorous Quotes from
By George Burns
- "Gracie, why should I give your mother a bushel
of nuts? What'd she ever give me?"
"Why, George, she gave you me. And I'm as good as nuts."
- For forty years my act consisted of one joke. And
then she died.
- We had a good marriage. We knew it was a good
marriage because we never read anything bad about it in the papers.
- The other thing it's important you know about me is
that I lie a lot. That's the truth. But usually, when I tell a lie, I admit
it. I'm a very honest liar.
- Pidgie used to say that the first time Gracie
opened her mouth, and she heard that voice, she went out and bought her a
pair of dancing shoes.
- Much later in life, though, Gracie made a major
contribution to the opera world. She stayed out of it.
- Gracie took after her mother. On our radio show she
used to joke that the bill collectors took after her father.
- So she got behind me and kicked me as hard as she
could. "What'd you do that for?" I asked, rubbing my shoulder. I
couldn't rub the place she'd kicked me.
- That was Gracie too - if you didn't treat her like a
lady, she'd pull up her skirt and kick you.
- In those days the best painkiller was ice; it wasn't
addictive and it was particularly effective if you poured some whiskey over
- I was certainly one of the greatest dancers on radio.
- I really didn't care about school - nobody came to
the theater to watch you spell.
- You didn't really need much talent to get started in
vaudeville, and if there was one thing I had, it wasn't much talent.
- When I wasn't working, I put the blame directly where
it belonged - I blamed my agent. When I didn't have an agent, I spent time
looking for a new agent so I would have somebody to blame.
- There is an old show-business superstition that says
if you don't work you aren't going to eat.
- Honesty is the most important thing a performer can
have. And if a performer can fake that, he can do anything.
- I liked (Jack) Benny right away, he had something I
enjoyed very much - a worse singing voice than mine.
- I never had a problem getting booked with a new act.
It was only after people saw the act that I had a problem.
- She didn't need to go to acting school to learn that
the essence of acting is to act like you're not acting.
- She was an awful cute little number, and she was
making $350 a week. That was another cute number.
- The whole marriage we never slept together - I wasn't
the type of man who slept with married women.
- Love is a lot like a backache, it doesn't show up on
X-rays, but you know it's there.
- Until I had become a success, I didn't know that I'd
been a failure.
- Gracie was a practicing Irish Catholic. She tried to
go to Mass every Sunday. I was Jewish, but I was out of practice.
- The only contact sport Gracie actually participated
in was shopping on Saturday.
- Jack (Benny) was tremendously talented, and I can
honestly say I've never heard anyone play the violin the way he did. And
I'll always be grateful for that, too.
- Actually, calling what we did "sleeping" is
like expecting a lawyer's brief to be short. We made love.
- Probably the most important thing about sex is that
it helps sell a lot of books.
- I was a lousy lover. Fortunately Gracie married me
for laughs, not for sex. Of course she got both of them - when we had sex,
- We were both very nervous; getting married was one
thing but breaking in a new act was serious business. A divorce was a lot
easier to get than a good act.
- We had asked Jack Benny to give the bride away, but
Jack said he never gave anything away.
- Gracie once said, when she was asked how to speak
French, "you speak it the same way you speak English, you just use
- This trip was Gracie's first trip abroad. Not mine.
Wherever I've gone I've had a broad.
- The only problem was that just as we were becoming
stars, vaudeville was dying. No one could pin the rap on us, though.
- A lot of husbands appreciate their wife's cooking. I
appreciated my wife's not cooking.
- I'd announced that I was going to sing and all our
guests would make a ring around the piano. But somehow I'd manage to fight
my way through that ring and sing anyway.
- Gracie might have been the star on the stage, in the
movies, and on radio, but in the living room, where it really counted, I was
- Although Gracie never sang opera, as her mother had
hoped, she did have a lovely voice. You couldn't call it haunting - my voice
- The best cure for tears is laughter.
- Has the man who invented disposable diapers won the
Noble Prize yet?
- The first night we had Sandy at home Gracie asked me
it I wanted to change the baby. "Nah," I said, "let's try
this out first."
- I would have put my foot down, but if had I would
have stepped on one of their toys.
- I was pushover if the kids said the magic word. The
magic word was "Dad."
- Basically, Gracie's rules consisted of "Watch
Dad and don't do what he does."
- Sometimes before we went onstage she'd make the sign
of the cross. As long as our material was good, that seemed to help.
- Gracie liked the outdoors best when she could see it
through a window.
- How many people have a job that requires them to say
silly things everyday? Besides politicians?
- Occasionally we would do a joke about a politician,
but that was tough to do because in real life they were funnier than we
- Gracie's lines were particularly difficulty to
remember because they were so confusing; they even confused her before she
made nonsense out of them.
- I never asked our guests to sing at our parties. I
thought that was rude - if they wanted to sing let them throw their own
- She wanted it (a party) to be absolutely perfect, and
it was pretty close, but I was paying for it so I was going to sing anyway.
- Jack (Benny) rarely sang in public, and with good
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