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Quotations about Humor

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Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs. ~Christopher Morley

But humor is too delicate and evanescent a thing to be extracted from a book like plums from a pudding. ~Beatrix, "What to Read," The Household, supplement to Michigan Farmer and State Journal of Agriculture, 1884 September 30th

Humor is a reminder that no matter how high the throne one sits on, one sits on one's bottom. ~Taki

Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn. ~Irvin S. Cobb

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.  ~Francis Bacon

Humor results when society says you can't scratch certain things in public, but they itch in public.  ~Tom Walsh

Humor has a way of bringing people together.  It unites people.  In fact, I'm rather serious when I suggest that someone should plant a few whoopee cushions in the United Nations.  ~Ron Dentinger

Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.  ~Author Unknown

Comedy is there to basically show us we fart, we laugh — to make us realize we still are part animal. As intellectual as we think we are, we still trip. We still have human foibles, sexuality, all the different things that still make you aware of your humanity... It's just to keep us awake... all that stuff so you don't take yourself seriously and destroy the species. ~Robin Williams, on the role of the artist in society, interview with Lawrence Grobel, 1991

The average humorist never knows when he is at his wit's end. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. ~Mark Twain

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquillity.  ~James Thurber

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds.  A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.  ~William James

After God created the world, He made man and woman.  Then, to keep the whole thing from collapsing, He invented humor.  ~Bill Kelly, "Mordillo"

The satirist shoots to kill while the humorist brings his prey back alive and eventually releases him again for another chance.  ~Peter De Vries

Humor is just another defense against the universe.  ~Mel Brooks

Humor is reason gone mad.  ~Groucho Marx

Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.  ~Peter Ustinov

Comedy has to be based on truth.  You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end.  ~Sid Caesar

Warning:  Humor may be hazardous to your illness.  ~Ellie Katz

Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.  ~Dorothy Parker

In this foolish world there is nothing more numerous
Than different people's senses of humorous...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Very Funny, Very Funny"

Nothing is more curious than the almost savage hostility that humor excites in those who lack it.  ~George Saintsbury

Of the five senses, common-sense and a sense of humor are the rarest. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

When in doubt, tell a funny 'til you see what the other fellow is going to do. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)

Humor is... despair refusing to take itself seriously.  ~Arland Ussher

Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.  ~Mary Hirsch

Wit.—Wit is the epitaph of an emotion. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, "Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions" (#202, 1879), Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, translated from German by Paul V. Cohn, 1913

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes.  ~William Davis

Many a true word is spoken in jest. ~English proverb

Humor is the good natured side of a truth. ~Mark Twain

I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it. ~Frank A. Clark

If money makes the world go round, it's humor that keeps it from spinning out of control. ~Craig Kimberley

Above all else: go out with a sense of humor. It is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life. ~Hugh Sidey

There is no defense against adverse fortune which is so effectual as an habitual sense of humor.  ~Thomas W. Higginson

Let your humour always be good-humour, in the double sense of the phrase:  if it comes from a bad humour, it is almost sure to be bad humour.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Humor prevents one from becoming a tragic figure even though he/she is involved in tragic events.  ~E.T. "Cy" Eberhart

Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully. ~Max Eastman

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Sometimes the best cure for life’s woes is a sense of humor. ~Frank Sonnenberg

Humor is mankind's greatest blessing. ~Mark Twain

There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth. ~Victor Borge, London Times, 1984 January 3rd

I'm not a joke machine. You can't just feed crap in and get funny out. ~S.A. Sachs

Someone once defined humor as a way to keep from killing yourself.  I keep my sense of humor and I stay alive.  ~Abe Burrows

Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him.  ~Roman Gary

Humor is, I think, the subtlest and chanciest of literary forms. It is surely not accidental that there are a thousand novelists, essayists, poets or journalists for each humorist. It is a long, long time between James Thurbers. ~Leo Rosten

Question:  What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Walter Cronkite:  I'm strongly urged by advisers not to say "moral laxity," so let's say "sense of humor."
~Proust questionnaire, in Vanity Fair, 1997

The funniest things are the forbidden. ~Mark Twain, 1879

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