Humorous Quotes from
Sunday Nights at Seven
By Jack Benny
Note - All the quotes above without attribution are by Jack Benny. Below find some some excerpts from The Jack Benny Show quoted in the book.
- That whole miser thing was a made-up gimmick to get laughs. The Jack Benny I knew threw his money around. Not far - but he threw it. ~ George Burns
- Jack didn't just laugh at things I said, he'd fall down on the floor. . . on
the street . . . in the men's room . . . wherever we were. I still have a
bad back from all the times I had to pick him up. ~ George Burns
- That's where Jack and I were different. He would let his hair down, I just took mine off. ~ George Burns
- In the early years of this century Waukegan citizens with sensitive ears
avoided the vicinity of 224 South Genesee Street between four and six
o'clock in the afternoon. These were the hours when I, Benjamin Kubelsky, practiced the violin.
- I talked in class. I made jokes. I broke people up. I was sent to the
principal's office so many times I became part of the furniture there.
- Next Papa sent me to a local business school. I took to book keeping and accounting like a fish takes to land.
- If it wouldn't have looked so ridiculous, I'd have taken my fiddle along
when I went courting, so I could clutch it for security just as I did when I told jokes in a theater.
- For about a year our romance was of great value to the stock holders of A.T.&T. I telephoned Sadie three or four times a day.
- I knew about stage fright. I wrote the book on stage fright.
- I had no talent in art. None. Zip. I may be the only child who ever got an F in art - in the first grade! ~ Joan Benny
- Jack Benny is like a Swiss watchmaker with a joke. Each word must be in its proper place. He takes a joke apart word for word, before putting it together. He may make one small alteration. When he does, you can be sure it will improve the joke. ~ Goodman Ace
- (When Jack's daughter got married) The reason Jack Benny is looking so sad these days is that he's not only losing a daughter - but losing a deduction too. ~ Bob Hope
- (On Benny being nominated as honorary chairman of a March of Dimes campaign) The dime hasn't been minted that could march past Jack Benny. ~ Fred Allen
- I also made The Horn Blows at Midnight. This was neither an A picture nor a B picture. There is no known alphabetical letter under which you can classify The Horn Blows at Midnight.
- Once I complained of my ignorance of how radio works to George S. Kaufman. He said, "You think you got problems? Listen - I don't even understand the hammer!"
- Mel Blanc's finest hour as a vocal impersonator was not as a parrot or a violin teacher or a Mexican, but - I almost hate to write this as I do not
think you will believe it - it was as my Maxwell automobile!
- He should take the hosehairs out of his bow and return them to the tail of the horse. Benny is the only violinist who makes you feel the strings would sound better back on the cat's intestine. ~ Fred Allen
- I now play 'The Bee' in concert. I didn't get the hang of it until 1966. The piece lasts only one minute- but it took me thirty years to master it.
- Timing is not so much knowing when to speak, but when to pause.
- The closest to the kind of timing a comedian has to learn to master is the timing of hitting a golf ball, where your swing has to be perfect, otherwise you will hook or slice the ball or - if you're a real duffer like George Burns - even miss that ball altogether.
- Gosh, how nice W.C. Fields swimming pool looks. What a clever idea, having those marbles in the bottom - no, they're not marbles, they're olives . . .
- The thought came to me that perhaps I could take up the violin and take a few lessons - purely as a personal hobby, you know. After all, man does not live by golf alone.
- Jack, when you walk out on that stage in your white tie and tails, holding the fiddle like an emperor, you look like the greatest violinist in the
world. It's a shame you have to play. ~ Isaac Stern
- Generally, he had a good ear. He didn't know the notes that well, but he
played in their general vicinity. ~ Joan Benny
- As you may or may not know, in keeping with the high-class tone of Beverly Hills, our police force is probably the most snobbish group of gendarmes in the world. It is said that the Beverly Hills Police Department is so fancy that it has an unlisted number.
- In our business you live and die by ratings. We are in what Goodman Ace has called a "rate race."
- My very first radio spiel began: "This is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say, 'Who cares? . . ."
- "I don't know what to give Rochester for Christmas," I wonder.
"What do you give a man who's got nothing?"
- The following Christmas, Rochester decided to give me cuff links. "What type of man is your boss?" the salesman asked.
"Well, he's medium tall, medium weight and rather conservative."
"Ber conservative, do you mean he's penurious?"
"Well. . ."
"Well . . ."
"Well . . ."
"You're headed in the right direction, but there's a long, long trail a-winding."
- "Boss," Rochester once said apropos one of my more extreme avaricious acts, "you can't take it with you."
"If I can't take it with me, I won't go."
- There simply was no other character like Phil Harris in all of radio. He was wild. He lived for pleasure. He did not believe in sin. His philosophy was summed up beautifully once when I was in bed with chills and a fever. Harris had the ideal medicine for me - a rum flip.
"They're really great, Jackson. You see, the egg in it gives you strength . . . and the sugar gives you energy." "What does the rum do, Phil?"
"It gives you ideas about what to do with the strength and energy."
- "Good morning, Mr. Billingsley, I see you're wearing a turban."
"This is not a turban, Mr. Benny. It is a bedsheet. I slept like a top last
night . . goodbye[hic] Mr. [hic] Benny."
- Mel (Blanc) plays my Frech violin teacher, Professor LeBlanc. I play my violin exercises for him - dah da dah da dah da da. So terrible. Mel says, "Now Monsieur Bennee, turn zee violin upside down and play zee same ting."
- "Boss," he (Rochester) once asked me, "why don't you trade in the old car for a newer model?"
"What for?" I said. "This car takes us where we want to go."
"I know - but look how much older we are when we get there!"
- I joined them for cocktails. We clinked glasses. I clinked a little hard and there was the sound of broken glass. Benita remarked the glass was 150 years old.
"I'm glad I didn't break any of your new stuff," I said.
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