Humorous Quotes attributed to S. J. Perelman
1904-1979, American Humorist
- "And you were cruel," I said.
"I'm sorry," added Quigley.
"Why did you add Quigley?" I begged him. He apologized and subtracted Quigley, then divided Hogan. We hastily dipped the slices of Hogan into Karo, poured sugar over them, and ate them with relish. (The Love Decoy)
- Before they made S. J. Perelman, they broke the mold.
- Five months after I joined the enterprise, it was stricken with bankruptcy, the medical name for mercantile atrophy. (Most Of the Most of S. J. Perelman)
- 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. (Most Of the Most of S. J. Perelman)
- He bit his lip in a manner which immediately awakened my maternal sympathy, and I helped him bite it. (Most Of the Most of S. J. Perelman)
- How many drafts of a story do you do?
Thirty-seven. I once tried doing thirty-three, but something was lacking, a certain - how shall I say? - je ne sais quoi. On another occasion, I tried forty-two versions but the final effect was too lapidary. (Interview in Paris Review)
- 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. (Most Of the Most of S. J. Perelman)
- In my more pompous moments I like to think of myself as a writer rather than a humorist, but I suppose that's merely the vanity of advancing age. (Interview in Paris Review)
- I've got Bright's Disease and he's got mine.
- Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin .. it's the triumphant twang of a bedspring.
- [The children's] uncle, Mr. West, has been flat on his pratt the last few weeks with a battery of doctors peering up his pecker hunting for a stone of the Triassic period that got lodged in the tubes. They have finally dynamited it, somewhat in the fashion of a logjam, with a musical chorus of wails furnished by Laura's mother. (Letter to
Augustus Goetz, January 1940)
- The former (Ayet Itam templein Penang) is possibly the largest, and unquestionably the dullest, Buddhist temple in Malaya, and no wastebasket is complete without a snapshot of this historic shrine. (Westward Ha!)
- The main obligation is to amuse yourself.
- The worst disgrace that can befall a producer is an unkind notice from a New York reviewer. When this happens, the producer becomes a pariah in Hollywood. He is shunned by his friends, thrown into bankruptcy, and like a Japanese electing hara-kiri, he commits suttee. A great bonfire is made of the film, and the luckless producer, followed by directors, actors, technicians, and the producer’s wives, immolate themselves. Only the scenario writers are exempt. These are tied between the tails of two spirited Caucasian ponies, which are then driven off in opposite directions. This custom is called "a conference". (The Most of S. J. Perelman)
- There are nineteen words in Yiddish that convey gradations of disparagement, from a mild, fluttery helplessness to a state of downright, irreconcilable brutishness. All of them can be usefully employed to pinpoint the kind of individuals I write about. (Interview in Paris Review)
- “Who was the confound idiot?” She spurted, her magnificent bosom heaving in accordance with the laws governing the upheaval of magnificent bosoms. (Most Of the Most of S. J. Perelman)
- Word arrived from Miss Garbo that Western civilization would collapse unless Thalberg hastened on the double to Stage. 9 (Most Of the Most of S. J. Perelman)
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