Joseph Curtin? Earl Wilson? Adolphe Menjou? Paul H. Gilbert? Danny Kaye? Fred Allen? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: Achieving great fame is a common goal, but the drawbacks of mass popularity emerge clearly whenever someone succeeds. There is a joke based on this insight that chides celebrities who wear dark glasses. Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: The earliest strong match located by QI appeared in the gossip column of Earl Wilson in July 1947. The radio actor Joseph Curtin received credit for the jibe. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
WISH I’D SAID THAT: A celebrity, said Joseph Curtin, is a guy who works all his life to become famous enough to be recognized—then goes around in dark glasses so no one’ll know who he is.
This quip can be expressed in many ways; hence, it is difficult to trace. Earlier citations may be discovered by future researchers.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1947 July 12, The Times Recorder, Big Town Heat by Earl Wilson, Quote Page 4, Column 5, Zanesville, Ohio. (Newspapers_com) ↩