I Think Everybody Should Get Rich and Famous So They Can See That That’s Not the Answer

Jim Carrey? Jay Stone? Apocryphal?

Question for Quote Investigator: A famous movie star once said that everyone should experience becoming rich and famous because it would be clear that wealth and fame are not the answer to life’s conundrums. Would you please explore this topic?

Reply from Quote Investigator: In December 2005 Canadian actor and comedian Jim Carrey spoke with journalist Jay Stone, and “The Ottawa Citizen” of Canada printed the following remarks from Carrey. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]2005 December 16, The Ottawa Citizen, Carrey’s been busted, Continuation title: Carrey—Being rich not the answer by Jay Stone, Start Page F1, Quote Page F2, Column 2, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. … Continue reading

He says that earlier in his career, he believed that making just one more film, getting one more hit, would be enough, but he got tired of being emotionally disappointed.

“You just go like, ‘Yeah, it was a fantastic hit, but what now?’” Carrey’s advice: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that that’s not the answer.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

In May 1937 the popular syndicated gossip column of Leonard Lyons credited the writer Beatrice Kaufman with a different comment about wealth. Kaufman suggested that money might not be the answer, but it certainly helped:[2] 1937 May 12, The Washington Post, The Post’s New Yorker by Leonard Lyons, Quote Page 13,Washington, D.C. (ProQuest)

At the Tavern Mrs. George S. Kaufman urges a noted theatrical figure to accept the movie offers being tendered him. “Listen, and take my advice,” she urges. “Don’t overlook the money part of it. I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. Rich is better!”

A separate QI article about this humorous remark is available here.

In December 2005 the CanWest News Service distributed the article containing the remarks from Jim Carrey. The story appeared in “The Kingston Whig-Standard” of Kingston, Canada[3] 2005 December 16, The Kingston Whig-Standard, Fun with Dick & Jane by Jay Stone (CanWest News Service), Quote Page 29, Column 2, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. (Newspapers_com) and “The Gazette” of Montreal, Canada. Interestingly, the version of the quotation in “The Gazette” was slightly different. The word “have” was inserted to improve the grammar:[4] 2005 December 17, The Gazette, Of fun and fame by Jay Stone (CanWest News Service), Quote Page D13, Column 2, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Newspapers_com)

“You just go like, ‘Yeah, it was a fantastic hit, but what now?’” Carrey’s advice: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that that’s not the answer.”

In 2007 “The Knoxville News-Sentinel” of Tennessee printed another slightly different phrasing of the quotation while crediting Carrey:[5] 2007 June 22, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, A Thought, Quote Page B4, Column 3, Knoxville, Tennessee. (Newspapers_com)

A THOUGHT
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer
Jim Carrey

In conclusion, Jim Carrey deserves credit for the comment he made in December 2005. During subsequent years the phrasing of the quotation has been altered.

Image Notes: An illustration of concentric waves of gold from geralt at Pixabay. Image has been resized.

(Great thanks to the anonymous person whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.)

References

References
1 2005 December 16, The Ottawa Citizen, Carrey’s been busted, Continuation title: Carrey—Being rich not the answer by Jay Stone, Start Page F1, Quote Page F2, Column 2, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Newspapers_com)
2 1937 May 12, The Washington Post, The Post’s New Yorker by Leonard Lyons, Quote Page 13,Washington, D.C. (ProQuest)
3 2005 December 16, The Kingston Whig-Standard, Fun with Dick & Jane by Jay Stone (CanWest News Service), Quote Page 29, Column 2, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. (Newspapers_com)
4 2005 December 17, The Gazette, Of fun and fame by Jay Stone (CanWest News Service), Quote Page D13, Column 2, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Newspapers_com)
5 2007 June 22, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, A Thought, Quote Page B4, Column 3, Knoxville, Tennessee. (Newspapers_com)
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