Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Wilson Mizner

American Playwright, Raconteur and Entrepreneur

"The worst-tempered people I've ever met were people who knew they were wrong."

"I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education."

"The only sure thing about luck is that it will change."

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something."

"The best way to keep your friends is not to give them away."

"A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant."

"A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions."

"A slave has but one master. An ambition man, has as many as there are people who helped him get his fortune."

"Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished."

"Don't talk about yourself; it will be done when you leave."

"All anger is not sinful, because some degree of it, and on some occasions, is inevitable. But it becomes sinful and contradicts the rule of Scripture when it is conceived upon slight and inadequate provocation, and when it continues long."

"A trip through a sewer in a glass-bottom boat. [On Hollywood]"

"Faith is a wonderful thing, but doubt gets you an education."

"Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something."

"God help those who do not help themselves."

"Harry Thaw shot the wrong architect."

"Hollywood is a sewer with service from the Ritz Carlton."

"I can usually judge a fellow by what he laughs at."

"I hate careless flattery, the kind that exhausts you in your efforts to believe it."

"Be nice to people on the way up because you'll meet them on the way down."

"Failure has gone to his head."

"I know of no sentence that can induce such immediate and brazen lying as the one that begins, 'Have you read - .'"

"I want a priest, a rabbi and a Protestant minister. I want to hedge my bets. [On his deathbed]"

"I'd rather know a square guy than own a square mile."

"If you copy from one author, it's plagiarism. If you copy from two, it's research."

"If you count all your assets you always show a profit."

"If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research."

"In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork."

"It is not in life, but in art that self-fulfillment is to be found."

"It's getting so people no longer count the silverware when I come to dinner."

"I've had ample contact with lawyers, and I'm convinced that the only fortune they ever leave is their own."

"I've spent several years in Hollywood, and I still think the movie heroes are in the audience."

"Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest."

"Most hard-boiled people are half-baked."

"Popularity is exhausting. The life of the party almost always winds up in a corner with an overcoat over him."

"Stop dying. Am trying to write a comedy. ]Telegram to his brother, upon the news that Addison was fatally ill]"

"Tell 'em to count to ten over him and he'll get up."

"The cuckoo who is on to himself is halfway out of the clock."

"The difference between chirping out of turn and a faux pas depends on what kind of a bar you're in."

"The first hundred years are the hardest."

"The most efficient water power in the world - women's tears."

"There is something about a closet that makes a skeleton terribly restless."

"Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up."

"To my embarrassment I was born in bed with a lady."

"To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it."

"Treat a whore like a lady and a lady like a whore."

"You can't be a rascal for 40 years and then cop a plea the last minute. God keeps better books than that. [On his deathbed]"

"You sparkle with larceny."