Wilson Mizner

From Quotes
Every new idea is an impossibility until it is born.
Ron Brown
Jump to: navigation, search

Wilson Mizner (May 19, 1876 - April 3, 1933) was an American playwright, raconteur, and entrepreneur. His best-known plays are The Deep Purple, produced in 1910, and The Greyhound, produced in 1912. He was manager and co-owner of The Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, California, and was affiliated with his brother, Addison Mizner, in a series of scams and picaresque misadventures that inspired Stephen Sondheim's Bounce!.

Sourced

Epigrams

  • Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • If you copy from one author, it's plagiarism. If you copy from two, it's research.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • Treat a whore like a lady and a lady like a whore.
    • Quoted by Anita Loos, Kiss Hollywood Goodbye, Viking Press, New York, 1974, ISBN 0-670-41374-7. Loos goes on to claim that "the aphorism had no validity for Wilson."
  • Faith is a wonderful thing, but doubt gets you an education.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • Be nice to people on the way up because you'll meet them on the way down.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.

Wisecracks

  • Harry Thaw shot the wrong architect.
    • Disparaging the work of Joseph Urban, his brother Addison's architectural rival. Harry Thaw was a wealthy man of the times who had shot and killed architect Stanford White over his earlier involvement with Thaw's wife Evelyn Nesbit.
      • Quoted by Alva Johnston, The Legendary Mizners, 1953, Farrar Straus and Young, New York. Johnston allows that the quote has been attributed to many others, but makes a good case that Mizner said it first.
  • To my embarrassment I was born in bed with a lady.
    • Quoted by John Burke, Rogue's Progress, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1975, ISBN 0-399-11423-8.
  • ...a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottom boat.
    • On Hollywood.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • It's getting so people no longer count the silverware when I come to dinner.
    • On his later respectability.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.

On Death and Dying

  • Stop dying. Am trying to write a comedy.
    • Telegram to his brother, upon the news that Addison was fatally ill.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • Tell 'em to count to ten over him and he'll get up.
    • On hearing that his prizefighter, Stanley Ketchel, was dying of gunshot wounds.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • I want a priest, a rabbi and a Protestant minister. I want to hedge my bets.
    • On his deathbed.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • 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.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.

Unsourced

  • A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
  • I've been seeing Hollywood films for years and I think the real heroes are in the audience
  • A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions.
  • Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something.
  • God help those who do not help themselves.
  • He'd steal a hot stove and come back for the smoke.
  • I can usually judge a fellow by what he laughs at.
  • I hate careless flattery- the kind that exhausts you in your effort to believe it.
  • I never saw a mob rush across town to do a good deed.
  • I've known countless people who were reservoirs of learning, yet never had a thought.
  • Most open minds should be closed for repair.
  • Over in Hollywood they almost made a great picture, but they caught it in time.
  • The best way to keep your friends is not to give them away.
  • The days just prior to marriage are like a snappy introduction to a tedious book.
  • The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.
  • The life of the party almost always winds up in a corner with an overcoat thrown over him.
  • The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.
  • The worst tempered people I have ever met were those who knew that they were wrong.
  • Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up.
  • When a woman tells you her age, it's all right to look surprised, but don't scowl.
  • Why should I talk to you? I've just been talking with your boss.
    • On his deathbed, to a priest
  • Working for Warner Brothers is like fucking a porcupine: it's a hundred pricks against one.
  • You sparkle with larceny.
  • You're a mouse studying to be a rat.

About

  • Florida was invented for Addison Mizner's little brother.
    • Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • America's most facinating outlaw.
    • Anita Loos, as quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • That man was so much larger than life that there's no scale by which to measure him. Most of Wilson's dialogue, if put down on paper, seems either vulgar or obscene.

See Also

External Links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: