Funny Quotes From Famous People

Fame and wit make for a hilarious combination

Oscar Wilde relaxing on the divan during his lecture trip through America.
Oscar Wilde is famous for his witty works.

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It is amazing how some people know when and how to be funny. Perhaps it is their sparkling wit, casual demeanor, or caustic remarks that made them famously funny. Or perhaps, it's the subjects they chose to comment upon.

If you can find something meaningful to say about basic human emotions and foibles—vanity, self-importance, love, attraction, commercialism, and even lust—in a biting but funny way, your words are likely to stir emotions in your listeners or readers and be remembered.

So it is with the quotes from the famous people on this list. The quotes represented below are an eclectic mix of comedians, authors, playwrights, and even a well-known existential philosopher.

Life and Success

Charles Schulz

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?"

J. P. Getty

“My formula for success is rise early, work late, and strike oil.”

Reba McEntire

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone."

James A. Garfield

"Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter."

Lies and Self-Deprecation

Thomas Sowell

"It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance."

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."

Mel Brooks

"I have always been a huge admirer of my own work. I'm one of the funniest and most entertaining writers I know."

S.E. Hinton

"I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me."

Abraham Lincoln

"No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar."

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."

Insults

"I never forget a face, but in your case, I'll be glad to make an exception."

W. C. Fields

"I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday."

George Bernard Shaw

"He who can does—he who cannot, teaches."

Love and Attraction

Jay Leno

[Putting his arms around British personality and food journalist Nigella Lawson] "My wife is going to kill me. But you look like my wife, so that's OK!"

Jerry Seinfeld

"Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end."

George Bernard Shaw

"Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire."

Ambrose Bierce

"Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

"She's a wonderful, wonderful person, and we're looking to a happy and wonderful night—ah, life."

Insanity

"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."

Oscar Levant

"Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I."

Aging, Happiness, and Health

Luis Bunuel

"Age is something that doesn't matter unless you are a cheese."

George Burns

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."

Mark Twain

"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not."

Money

Pablo Picasso

"I'd like to live like a poor man—only with lots of money."

Politics

Mark Twain

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

Sen. Bob Dole

"Our intent will not be to create gridlock. Oh, except maybe from time to time."

Television

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."

Miscellaneous

Jim Carrey

"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes."

Henny Youngman

"If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late."

Steve Martin

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."

Josh Billings

"Every man has his follies—and often they are the most interesting thing he has got."

Anthony Burgess

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone."

W. H. Auden

"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."