Jimmy Durante

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James Francis Durante (10 February 1893 - 29 January 1980) American pianist, actor, comedian, composer, and singer; usually known as Jimmy Durante, also nicknamed "The Schnozzola", and "The Schnoz", in reference to his large nose.


  • Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are. I hope so
    • Famous sign-off line to all his radio and TV shows, the meaning of which he never publicly revealed, leading to much speculation and many theories. Only after his death did it become public knowledge that it was reference to his first wife, Jeanne Olson, who died in 1943, and that Calabash was a private name between them for Calabasas, California, where she spent much of the final years of her life.
  • Inka dinka doo, a dinka dee,
    A dinka doo.
    Oh, what a tune for crooning.
    Inka dinka doo, a dinka dee
    A dinka doo.
    It's got the whole world spooning.
    • Inka Dinka Doo" (1933) written with Fred Ryan and Harry Donnelly.


  • Be nice to people on your way up, because you're going to meet them all on your way down.
    • Variants: Be awful nice to 'em goin' up, because you're gonna meet 'em all comin' down.
      Be nice to people goin' up, because you're going to meet them all comin' down.
      Be nice to 'em goin' up, because you're going to meet them all comin' down.
  • Don't put no constrictions on da people. Leave 'em ta hell alone.
    • Variant: Why can't everybody leave everybody else the hell alone?
  • Everybody wants ta get inta da act!
  • Hotch-cha-cha-cha-cha!
  • I don't know where it's going, but I'm sticking with it!
    • Said after joining chorus girls in a conga line onstage.
  • I'd go home and cry. I made up my mind never to hurt anybody else, no matter what. I never made jokes about anybody's big ears, crossed eyes, or their stuttering.
    • In reference to being teased at school as a child for his looks.
  • I hate music, especially when it's played.
  • I'm mortified!
  • It's-a-castastrophe!
  • My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
  • Politics is developing more comedians than radio ever did.
  • Surrounded by assassins!
  • The bathroom is out of this world...which makes it a little inconvenient.
  • When I got through with him, he was all covered wit' blood— my blood.
  • When it comes to noses, you're a retailer. I'm a wholesaler!
  • UMBRIAGO! (Mentioned as one of Jimmy's Aquaintences, usually introduced in a boisterous manner)

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