Alexander Woollcott

From Quotes
In Texas, years ago, almost all of the oil came from surface operations. Then someone got the idea that there were greater sources of supply deeper down. A well was drilled five thousand feet deep. The result? A gusher. Too many of us operate on the surface. We never go deep enough to find supernatural resources. The result is, we never operate at our best. More time and investment is involved to go deep but a gusher will pay off.
Alfred A. Montapert
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Alexander Woollcott (1887-01-191943-01-23) was an American critic and journalist known for his involvement in the Algonquin Round Table and his writings in The New Yorker magazine.

Woollcott was distinguished by his tireless wit and flamboyant personality, providing the inspiration for the character of Sheridan Whiteside in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Aleck Woollcott garnered recognition for his contributions to The New Yorker, particularly his work as drama critic, and his column "Shouts and Murmurs". Woollcott additionally hosted a weekly radio show, "The Town Crier", 1929-42.


  • Once in pre-war days, when curiously-bonneted women drivers were familiar sights at the taxi-wheels, I cried out to one in my dismay: "Is there no speed limit in this mad city?"

    "Oh, yes, monsieur," she answered sweetly over her shoulder, "but no one has ever succeeded in reaching it."
  • "The Paris Taxi-Driver Considered as an Artist," in Enchanted Aisles, 1924.
  • The two oldest professions in the worlds - ruined by amateurs.
    • from his column "Shouts and Murmurs"
    • On actors and prostitutes
  • I have no need of your God-damned sympathy. I only wish to be entertained by some of your grosser reminiscences.
    • Letter to Rex O'Malley, 1942
  • At 83 Shaw's mind was perhaps not quite as good as it used to be, but it was still better than anyone else's.
    • While Rome Burns, published 1934.
    • Referring to George Bernard Shaw
  • All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening.
    • Alexander Woollcott, in: "The Knock at the Stage Door", apud "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day"; Por Eric Partridge, Paul Beale; Publicado por Routledge, 1986; ISBN 041505916X, 9780415059169; 416 páginas [1]


  • Germany was the cause of Hitler as much as Chicago is responsible for the Chicago Tribune.
  • I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.
  • Many of us spend half of our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing.
  • Nothing risque, nothing gained.
  • There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day.
  • His huff arrived and he departed in it.
  • The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm.
  • The scenery in the play was beautiful, but the actors got in front of it.
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with Oscar Levant that a miracle can't fix.
  • He looks like a dishonest Abe Lincoln.
    • Describing Harold Ross, fellow Round Table member and founder of The New Yorker.

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