I’d Rather Have a Free Bottle in Front of Me Than a Prefrontal Lobotomy

Tom Waits? Steve Allen? John Prine? Dorothy Parker? Fred Allen? Carlton W. Berenda? Herb Caen? Lew London? Joshua Baer? Dr. Rock? Randy Hanzlick? Graffito? Question for Quote Investigator: The following wordplay is popular with drinking enthusiasts. Here are two versions: (1) I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. (2) …

A Celebrity Works Hard For Years To Become Famous Then Wears Dark Glasses To Avoid Being Recognized

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 …

Television: It’s Called a Medium Because It’s Never Well Done

Groucho Marx? Fred Waring? Ed Gardner? Goodman Ace? Jane Ace? Fred Allen? Ernie Kovacs? Deane Binder? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The number of scripted television shows has grown dramatically in recent years and so have the plaudits. Yet, from its earliest days the medium has always attracted scorn. Here are three examples of lacerating word …

I Would Rather Have Two Girls at 21 Each Than One At 42

W. C. Fields? Great Lester? Fred Allen? Anonymous Vaudevillian? Dear Quote Investigator: I have been trying to trace the following gag: I’d rather have two girls at 21 each than one girl at 42. This line is usually attributed to the famous comedian W. C. Fields who played cantankerous and henpecked characters in movies. Would …

Television Is Chewing Gum for the Eyes

Frank Lloyd Wright? John Mason Brown? Henri Peyre? Fred Allen? Dick Cavett? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The most acerbic criticism I have heard directed at TV was attributed to the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright: Television is just chewing gum for the eyes. However, I recently saw the remark credited to a drama critic named …

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