Humorous Quotes from
Most of The Most
of S.J. Perelman
- One of the native janissaries dropped his knife. My great grandfather leaped with cringing servility and returned it to him, in the small of his back.
- About nine o’clock, after a brisk sessions with the newscasters, I shuddered for approximately half an hour to relax my nerves, plugged a pair of Flents into my ears, and tied on a sleep mask. I probably should have waited until I got into bed before doing so, as I took a rather nasty fall over a wastebasket.
- I was about to make him a firm offer when I found myself being escorted out across the sidewalk, the manager’s foot serving as fulcrum.
- The whistle shrilled and in a moment I was chugging out of Grand Central’s dreaming spires followed only by the anguished cries of relatives who would now have to got to work. I had chugged only a few feet when I realized that I had left without the train, so I had to run back and wait for it to start.
- With bowed head Holt made a simple invocation couched in one-syllable words so that even the executives might understand.
- It (her home) had recently been remodeled by a family of wrens who had introduced chewing gum into the left wing, and only three or four obscure Saxon words could do it justice.
- In the central parade ground, on a snowy white charger, sat Max Plushnick, resplendent in a producer’s uniform, his chest glittering with first mortgage liens, amortizations, and estoppels.
- What between amnesia (inability to find my rubbers) and O’Hara’s disease (inability to remember all the cunning things I did last night), you might think I’d have sense enough to sit still and mind my own business.
- I reread this several times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming and then turned to the statement of ownership in the back of the magazine. Just because the Marquis de Sade wasn’t mentioned didn’t fool me; you know as well as I do who must have controlled fifty-one percent of the stock.
- A hum of well-bred conversation rose from the throng, punctuated now and again by the click of expensive dentures.
- Alaunia Alaunovna dropped a small curtsy. The young man, a pitying expression on his face, picked it up and quickly returned it to her.
- I guess I’m just an old mad scientist at bottom. Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a beautiful girl in diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation’s laws.
- Yesterday morning I awoke from a deep dream of peace compounded of equal parts of allonal and Vat 69 to find that autumn was indeed here.
- The furniture consists of a few costly, unusual pieces, such as a kidney-shaped writing desk, a pancreas-shaped chair, and a spleen-shaped spittoon. As the curtain rises, Miss Mayo, is at the telephone-shaped telephone.
- FREEDLEY: Will I feel better after I take it?
DR. FITCH (coldly): I, am a physician, Freedley, not an astrologer. If you want a horoscope, there’s a gypsy tearoom over on Lexington Avenue.
- Can't stand beating about the bush. Think in telegrams, that’s my motto.
- He bit his lip in a manner which immediately awakened my maternal sympathy, and I helped him bite it.
- John F. Antennae, spiritual father to million, broods remotely before his microphone, pondering the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Trine and waiting for the announcer to complete his commercial. Fox-nosed, sallow, closely related to God on his mother’s side, Antennae has been by turns an insurance technician, reception clerk in a cut-rate mortuary, and used-car salesman.
- In 'Killers on Safari', Armand Brigaud has written finis to the subject of Africa. After him, the deluge. Me, I’ll have a double deluge with very little soda, please.
- I cannot recall a more engaging passage in fiction, and I’ve been trying for almost eighteen seconds.
- Ever since Nature presented me at birth with a set of thirty-two flawless little pearls of assorted sizes, I never once relaxed my vigilant stewardship of same. From the age of six onward, I constantly polished the enamel with peanut brittle, massaged the incisors twice daily with lollipops, and chewed taffy and chocolate-covered caramels faithfully to exercise the gums.
- As for consulting a dentist regularly, my punctuality practically amounted to a fetish. Every twelve years I would drop whatever I was doing and allow wild Caucasian ponies to drag me to a reputable orthodontist.
- Outside the three r’s – the razor, the rope, and the revolver – I know only one sure-fire method of coping with the simmering heat we may cheerfully expect in this meridian from now to Labor Day.
- I stared at her ears, liking the way they were joined to her head. There was something complete about them; you knew they were there for keeps.
- Five months after I joined the enterprise, it was stricken with bankruptcy, the medical name for mercantile atrophy.
- Do you know anything at all that nobody else knows or, for that matter, gives a damn about? If you do, then sit tight, because one of these days you're going to Hollywood as a technical supervisor on a million dollar movie.
- (She exits as Rapier enters – a rather awkward bit of stagecraft, as they trip over each other, but if the play runs, the property man can always saw another door in the set.)
- The public don’t want to think – they want to laugh. Look at Chekhov. We looked at Chekhov, who had just come in and was having a rolled-beef sandwich and a bottle of Dr. Brown’s Celery Tonic in the corner.
- That my family was fantastically wealthy I was early aware, although good taste naturally forbade any excessive display. My father occasionally appeared at table in sack suits checkered with dollar signs, and the gardeners used rubies instead of gravel on the paths, but the guest who so far forgot himself as to exclaim “Hot puppies!” and fill his pockets with the baubles was rarely invited again.
- Caught up in the mood of the moment, I donned a jaunty foulard bow, stuck a feather in my hatband and one in my throat, and set out to look over spring fashions in love. That I ultimately wound up with a slight puff under one eye and a warning from a policewoman is not intrinsic to the discussion.
- The theory of the kit was simplicity itself, easily intelligible to Kettering of General Motors, Professor Millikan, or any first-rate physicist.
- I gave the wee fellow an indulgent pat on the head that flattened it slightly, to teach him civility.
- “You play your cards pretty close to your chest, don’t you, Mr. Dexterides?” I said.
“It’s the only way I can see them,” he apologized. “I'm a very nearsighted man.”
- “Scram, boys,” said Dexterides briefly. Two of his friends rose and went out. The other went out without rising.
- The Chinese candy merchant started making obeisances a full block away as I approached his bazaar.
- Nature, it appears, has been rather more bountiful to Paul’s body and purse than to his intellect; above the ears, speaking bluntly, the boy is strictly tapioca.
- It cost Monroe a series of expensive dinners, numerous theater tickets, and over sixty dollars’ worth of flowers and baubles to test the validity of Norma’s story, but he eventually satisfied himself. Not one word of it was true.
- She ate with the slow, ponderous concentration of a heifer, incapable of speech while her energies were devoted to masticating.
- A glance told her that while Ezra looked seedier than usual, nothing requiring a pulmotor had arisen.
- Hugo Haislip’s head was slightly smaller than lifesize, crowned by wheat coloured stubble, and joined to his body by a sturdy, columnar neck that flowed unbrokenly from shoulder to occiput.
- “Who was the confound idiot?” She spurted, her magnificent bosom heaving in accordance with the laws governing the upheaval of magnificent bosoms.
- When our trunks, satchels, hatboxes, duffel bags, baskets, portman-taux, and parcels were finally piled on the deck of the 'Cinnabar' by nine panting coolies, they formed a cone visible ten miles at sea.
- The alacrity with which doctors of that epoch deserted their practice has never ceased to impress me. Holmes had only to crook his finger and Watson went bowling away in a four-wheeler leaving his patients to fend for themselves.
- Perhaps I ought to explain that my people [poor bourgeois dears] left me a goodish bit of money. Praise be to Allah – and the automobile wax my father invented – I don’t have to fret excessively about the sordid aspects of life, and hence I applied myself to living graciously.
- I’ve always taken my liquor mixed and my peril neat, and I see no reason to switch now.
- Every Wednesday of late, skimming through Variety’s picture grosses and film chatter, I have run into palpitations and anguish not normally aired outside the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
- “I love people from the East,” she went on. “There’s so much more to them.” Uncertain whether I was supposed to hail from Jubbulpore or Newark, I decided to play it safe and adopted an inscrutable global expression.
- The moment Audrey’s tongue touched bourbon, it began wagging in a key just resonant enough to drown out the music.
- We old roosters must be cautious. Don’t try to outwit your arteries.
- Harper’s Bazaar not only prognosticates the mode but frequently publishes news of consuming interest – you will pardon the play on words – to gourmets.
- “In France,” Marcel said with wintry dignity, “accidents occur in the bedroom, not the kitchen."
- The showing (of the movie Foolish Wives) roused me to neither vandalism nor affection; in fact, it begot such lassitude that I had to be given artificial respiration and sent home in a wheelbarrow.
- Word arrived from Miss Garbo that Western civilization would collapse unless Thalberg hastened on the double to Stage. 9
- Bugbee was fiend incarnate, a hulking evil-faced youth related on both sides of his family to Torquemada and dedicated to making my life insupportable.
- Nowadays you don’t know how much you know until your children grow up and tell you how much you don’t know. ~ Groucho Marx
- The apartment was usually in disorder, except on the day the maid came in, when it became a shambles.
- The latter, caught between his wife, his analyst, and Jasmine, must have led a dog’s life.
- With barely potable spirits fetching a king’s ransom these days, and the price of barbiturates indistinguishable from that of gold dust, it ought to interest anyone looking for a little fast surcease that the best fifteen cent nepenthe in town is still Louella Parsons’ monthly column in Modern Screen.
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