Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Henny Youngman

At a time when the news consists of nothing but war, disaster, religious intolerance, and government incompetence, it's always good to have something other than dumbass Tea Party wingnuts to laugh at. Happily, today provides us an opportunity to do just that: it's the birthday of Henny Youngman.

Henny Youngman was the comedian known as "The King of the One-Liners," the master of the rapid-fire assault on your funny bone with fusillades of one-line zingers. He often said that if you had to think too hard about a joke, it lost its effect ... and so over the years of his career he cranked out tens of thousands of wonderful short jokes, inspiring dozens of other stand-up comedians from Don Rickles to my personal favorite, Steven Wright. Many of his jokes were recycled by (and are frequently misattributed to) another great comedian, Rodney Dangerfield.

In the interest of helping you cope with the endless bad news pouring out of your radio, TV, newspaper, and computer, here is a sampling of classic Henny Youngman one-liners, as funny (or groanable) now as they were when he told them the first time ... or the second, third, or hundredth:

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."

"A man says to another man, 'Can you tell me how to get to Central Park?' The guy says no. 'All right,' says the first, 'I'll mug you here.'"

"The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret."

"Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house, that's what it means."

"My grandmother is over 80 and still doesn't need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle."

"A Jewish woman had two chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well."

"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up — they have no holidays."

"I've got all the money I'll ever need, as long as I die by four o'clock."

"I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places."

"Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? They're worth it."

"You have a ready wit. Tell me when it's ready."

"My dad was the town drunk. Most of the time that's not so bad; but New York City?"

"I've been in love with the same woman for forty-one years. If my wife finds out, she'll kill me."

And finally,

"If at first you don't succeed ... so much for skydiving."

Henny Youngman died in 1998. The loss is ours, but in heaven, they're laughing their fannies off.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - Just a heads-up for you so you don't get confused: because Agnes and I will be travelling to Richmond this weekend to cheer for our friends who are participating in the River City Ballroom Dance Competition, Cartoon Saturday will appear on Friday this week. I thought you'd want to know.



Bandit said...

He was one funny guy.

I agree about Stephen Wright.

Mike said...

He was one funny guy.

I agree about Stephen Wright.

Bilbo said...

Okay, so is there an echo here, or are Mike and Bandit twins separated at birth?

Bandit said...

I think Mike is practicing things he learned at the Henny Youngman school of comedy. He flunked out, you know.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Greast one-liners!

Mike said...

I was practicing cut and paste for ..... my new job! Yeah that's it. I've got a new job.

KathyA said...

Don't know about everyone else, but I'm sitting here laughing my fanny off!! Laughter helps with jet lag... :)

Anonymous said...

He is a funny one!

I cant still laughing at the first quote of his I came across.