Groucho Marx's Quotes

1 [After being advised he should wear a frock coat and a painted mustache for every broadcast of "You bet your life"] The hell I will, that character is dead.
2 Sex at my age is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.
3 [After a fan tells him how excited he is to meet the famous Groucho Marx] I have known him for years and I can tell you, it's no pleasure.
4 The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
5 [about Charles Chaplin ] He was a strange little man--this Charlie Chaplin. The first time I met him he was wearing what had formerly been a white collar and a black bow tie. I can't quite explain his appearance, but he looked a little like a pale priest who had been excommunicated but was reluctant to relinquish his vestments.
6 [Feuding with Warner Bros. Pictures, which had objected to the use of "Casablanca" in an upcoming Marx Brothers movie] I just don't understand your attitude. Even if you plan on re-releasing your picture, I am sure the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and [ Harpo Marx ]. I don't know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try. You claim that you own "Casablanca" and that no one else can use that name without your permission. What about "Warner Brothers"? Do you own that, too? You probably have the right to use the name "Warner", but what about "Brothers"? Even before us there had been other brothers--the Smith Brothers, the Brothers Karamazov . . .
7 I've always been terrified of dying broke or of being a failure. I've never taken a bit of success for granted. When it came, I was always sure it wasn't going to last.
8 [on the passing of his brother Harpo Marx ] Having worked with Harpo for 40 years, which is longer than most marriages last, his death left quite a void in my life. He was worth all the wonderful adjectives that were used to describe him. He was a nice man in the fullest sense of the word. He loved life and lived it joyously and deeply, and that's about as good an epitaph as anyone can have.
9 [Telegram to Judy Garland after losing the Best Actress Award to Grace Kelly ] Dear Judy, This is the biggest robbery since Brink's.
10 I've been around so long, I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.
11 Those are my principles, and if you don't like them . . . well, I have others.
12 [after a visit to W.C. Fields ' home] He had a ladder leading up to his attic. Without exaggeration, there was $50,000 worth of liquor up there. Crated up like a wharf. I'm standing there and Fields is standing there, and nobody says anything. The silence is oppressive. Finally, he speaks: "This will carry me for twenty-five years".
13 Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.
14 [on Harry S. Truman 's upset defeat of Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 Presidential elections] The only way a Republican will get into the White House now is to marry Margaret Truman .
15 There has never been a good comedian that didn't have a good straight man. Audiences don't *think* the straight man means anything, but it's very important.
16 [on Charles Chaplin ] The greatest compliment I ever got was from Chaplin. He came up to me and said, "I wish I could talk like you on the screen". I said, "I think you're doing alright". He had made $50 million by that point. He was the best comedian we ever had.
17 Jerry Lewis hasn't made me laugh since he left Dean Martin .
18 [on Margaret Dumont ] She was a wonderful woman. She was the same off the stage as she was on it -- always the stuffy, dignified matron. And the funny thing about her was she never understood the jokes. At the end of Duck Soup (1933) Margaret says to me, "What are you doing. Rufus?". And I say, "I am fighting for your honor, which is more than you ever did." Later she asked me what I meant by that.
19 [on Bob Hope ] Hope? Hope is not a comedian. He just translates what others write for him.
20 I'd have liked to have gone to bed with Jean Harlow . She was a beautiful broad. The fellow who married her was impotent and he killed himself. I would have done the same thing.
21 He [Groucho's father] had absolutely no training, and if you had ever seen one of his suits, you'd realize what an accurate statement that is. You see, Pop never used a tape measure. He didn't believe in it. He said he could just look at a man and tell his size, with the result that frequently he'd make a pair of pants with one trouser leg seven or eight inches longer than the other.
22 A woman is an occasional pleasure, but a cigar is always a smoke.
23 Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse.
24 [on Samson and Delilah (1949) starring Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature ] Well, there's just one problem. No picture can hold my interest where the leading man's tits are bigger than the leading lady's.
25 The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his checkbook open.
26 Wives are people who feel that they don't dance enough.
27 She got her good looks from her father--he's a plastic surgeon.
28 I was so long writing my review that I never got around to reading the book.
29 One of the best hearing aids a man can have is an attentive wife.
30 [asked in 1975 if he'd seen any recent movies] I saw Jaws (1975). But I think it would have been funnier if a guppy had swallowed the boat instead of a shark.
31 Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?
32 Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
33 Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.
34 People are most likely to listen to reason when in bed.
35 When I heard about [the Broadway play] "Hair", I was kind of curious about the six naked primates on stage. So I called up the box office and they said tickets were $11 apiece. That's an awful price to pay. I went into the bathroom at home and took off all my clothes and looked in the mirror for five minutes. And I said, 'This isn't worth $11'.
36 [in the late 1960s, on how it felt to be an elder statesman of comedy] Like an old jerk.
37 A moose is an animal with horns on the front of his head and a hunting lodge wall on the back of it.
38 The only game I like to play is Old Maid...provided she's not TOO old.
39 In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people.
40 Politics doesn't make strange bedfellows--marriage does.
41 From the moment I picked your book up until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
42 My mother loved children--she would have given anything if I had been one.
43 I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
44 Behind every successful man stands a woman. And behind her stands his wife.
45 There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him. If he says "Yes", you know he is crooked.
46 I drink to make other people interesting.
47 It looks as if Hollywood brides keep the bouquets and throw away the grooms.
48 Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
49 If you want to see a comic strip, you should see me in the shower.
50 You're only as young as the woman you feel.
51 Because we were a kid act, we traveled at half-fare, despite the fact that we were all around 20. Minnie insisted we were 13. "That kid of yours is in the dining car smoking a cigar," the conductor told her, "and another one is in the washroom shaving." Minnie shook her head sadly. "They grow so fast . . . "
52 I started smoking as soon as I went on the stage. I'd make cigars out of the Morning World when I was a kid. Eventually I smoked Havanas. A cigar makers' organization once said that I was the most famous cigar smoker in the world. I don't know if that's true, but once while visiting Havana, I went to a cigar factory. There were four hundred people there rolling cigars, and when they saw me, they all stood up and applauded.
53 While shooting elephants in Africa, I found the tusks very difficult to remove. But in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa...
54 I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
55 Marriage is a wonderful institution. But who wants to live in an institution?
56 Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
57 [when told that a swimming pool was off-limits to Jews] My son is half-Jewish; can he wade in up to his knees?
58 [on resigning from the Friars Club] I do not care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.
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