Quotations About / On:
In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
(J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), U.S. physicist. Lecture, November 25, 1947, delivered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Physics in the Contemporary World," no. 50, Technology Review (1948).
The remark became notorious when it was quoted in Time (February 23, 1948 and November 8, 1948).)
Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Autobiography of Mark Twain, ch. 55, ed. Charles Neider, Harper & Row (1959).)
It is well known that Beauty does not look with a good grace on the timid advances of Humour.
(W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author. Cakes and Ale, ch. 11 (1930).)
A wise parent humours the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.
(Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865), British novelist. Mr. Hale, in North and South, ch. 15 (1855).)
Men's happiness and misery depends altogether as much upon their own humor as it does upon fortune.
(François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer, moralist. repr. F.A. Stokes Co., New York (c. 1930). Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 62 (1665-1678), trans. London (1706).)
Charlie Chaplin's genius was in comedy. He has no sense of humor, particularly about himself.
(Lita Grey Chaplin (b. 1908), U.S. actor, second wife of Charlie Chaplin. Radio interview, 1974. Quoted in Richard Lamparski, Whatever Became Of ...?, Eighth Series (1982).)
The overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualitiesa sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. The Wit and Wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt, On America, p. 5, eds. Peter and Helen Beilenson, Peter Pauper Press (1982).)
From sixteen to twenty, all women, kept in humor by their hopes and by their attractions, appear to be good-natured.
(Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), British novelist. First edition, London (1753-1754). John Greville, in Sir Charles Grandison, vol. 1, letter 2, Oxford University Press (1972, repr. 1986).)
The nation that complacently and fearfully allows its artists and writers to become suspected rather than respected is no longer regarded as a nation possessed with humor in depth.
(James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. New York Times Magazine (Dec. 7, 1958).
In response to the question of whether humor was in decline in the United States.)
Humour is the making others act or talk absurdly and unconsciously; wit is the pointing out and ridiculing that absurdity consciously, and with more or less ill-nature.
(William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "On Dryden and Pope," Lectures on the English Poets (1818).)