Humorous Quotes attributed to Robert Benchley
1889-1945, American Humorist, Writer, Actor, Critic
- A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance,
and to turn around three times before lying down -- very important traits in
times like these. (Chips Off The Old Benchley)
- A lot of people say: "I'm no good in
the morning until I've had my coffee." I'm no good in the morning even
after I've had my coffee. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- A man's whole life could be changed by such
a fortuitous slip of the rubber...
- An electron was a particle of negative
electricity (one which knows when to say "No") (Pluck and Luck)
- Anyone can do any amount of work, provided
it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment. (Chips off
the Old Benchley)
- Anyone will be glad to admit that he knows
nothing about beagling, or the Chinese stock market, or ballistics, but
there is not a man or woman alive who does not claim to know how to cure
hiccoughs. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- Anything can happen, but it usually
doesn’t. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- Charlemagne either died or was born or did
something with the Holy Roman Empire in 800. [Making a list of things he
learnt during his first year at Harvard]
- Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small
children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the
child cannot do much harm one way or the other.
- Drawing on my fine command of the English
language,...I said nothing. [In response to the person at Averell Harriman's
house who said, "Say something funny, Mr. Benchley."]
- Drinking makes such fools of people, and
people are such fools to begin with that it's compounding a felony.
- Even nowadays a man can't step up and kill
a woman without feeling just a bit unchivalrous...
- I am more the inspirational type of
speller. I work on hunches rather than mere facts, and the result is
sometimes open to criticism by purists. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and
How They Grew)
- I can't seem to bring myself to say,
"Well, I guess I'll be toddling along." It isn't that I can't
toddle. It's that I can't guess I'll toddle.
- I do most of my work sitting down; that's
where I shine.
- I had just dozed off into a stupor when I
heard what I thought was myself talking to myself. I didn't pay much
attention to it, as I knew practically everything I would have to say to
myself, and wasn't particularly interested. (Chips off the Old Benchley)
- I have tried to know absolutely nothing
about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well.
- I know I'm drinking myself to a slow
death, but then I'm in no hurry.
- I take it for granted that I am growing
older, although, except for a slight arteriosclerosis and an inability to
hear, I would never know it. (No Poems, or Around the World Backwards and
- If there is one thing that I resent (and
there is), it is to be told that I resent being told anything. It drives me
crazy. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- If you think that you have caught a cold,
call in a good doctor. Call in three good doctors and play bridge. (From
Bed to Worse)
- It took me fifteen years to discover I had
no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was
- Let's get out of these wet clothes and into
some dry martinis.
- One evening I had been working late in my
laboratory fooling round with some gin and other chemicals. (Do Insects
Think? Some Data on the Reasoning Power of the Wasp.)
- [Reviewing the New York City Telephone
Directory] But it is the opinion of the present reviewer that the weakness
of plot is due to the great number of characters which clutter up the pages.
The Russian school is responsible for this. (Of All Things)
- Sand is also a good place on which to
write, "I love you," as it would be difficult to get into court
after several years have passed. (No Poems, or Around the World Backwards
- Tell us your phobias and we will tell you
what you are afraid of. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- The only cure for a real hangover is death.
(My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- The surest way to make a monkey of a man is
to quote him (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew)
- "The work can wait," I said,
quoting our business motto. (My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They
- There may be said to be two classes of
people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world
into two classes, and those who do not. (Of All Things)
- Thus in our whole body, there are perhaps
(six times seven is forty-two, five times eight is forty, put down naught
and carry your four, eight times nine is seventy-two and four is
seventy-six, put down six and carry your seven and then, adding, six, four,
three, one, six, naught, naught, naught, naught), oh, about a billion or so
of these red corpuscles alone, not counting overhead and breakage. (Pluck
When I was a child I was of an affectionate disposition, but not enough to
get arrested. (From Bed to Worse)
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