Funny and Witty Quotes and Sayings of Wilson Mizner

A collection of funny and witty quotes, quotations, and sayings from Wilson Mizner one of the great wits in history.

The Wit of Wilson Mizner

Little known to the public at large, Wilson Mizner (1876-1933) was one of the great wits of modern times. Mizner was a jack-of-all-trades: Klondike gold seeker, Florida realtor, Broadway playwright, Hollywood screenwriter, Atlantic gambler, as well as prizefight manager. Here is a capsule collection of Miznerisms.


If you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research.

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.

Treat a whore like a lady and a lady like a whore.

Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet 'em on your way down.

Life's a tough proposition, and the 1st hundred years are the hardest.

A good listener is not only popular every-where, but after a while he gets to know something.

A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.

I am a stylist, and the most beautiful sentence I have ever heard is, "Have one on the house."

I've had several years in Hollywood and I still think the movie heroes are in the audience.

A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions.

Many a live wire would be a dead one except for his connections.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.

Some of the greatest love affairs I've known involved one actor, unassisted.

Insanity is considered a ground for divorce, though by the very same token it's the shortest mental detour to marriage.


He'd steal a hot stove and come back for the smoke.

You're a mouse studying to be a rat.

You sparkle with larceny.

TO A CONCEITED MOVIE PRODUCER: "A demitasse cup would fit over your head like a sunbonnet."


"Failure has gone to his head."

ON A VERY THIN MAN: "He's a trellis for varicose veins."

ON HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHTER TOM SHARKEY WHO OWNED A SALOON WITH SWINGING DOORS: "He was so dumb that he crawled under them for 2 years before he found out they swung both ways."

TO AN ACTRESS WHO ROSE TO WEALTH AND TITLE THROUGH 5 MARRIAGES: "You're nothing but a parlayed chambermaid. You've compromised so many gentlemen that you think you're a lady."

TO A GROUP OF FRIENDS, AS A BORE TRIED TO JOIN THEM: "Gentlemen, gangrene has set in."

ON THE OWNER OF A MAJOR MOVIE STUDIO: "He's the only man I ever knew who had rubber pockets so he could steal soup."


Two signs he posted for guests when manager of the Hotel Rand, New York, 1907:

"No opium-smoking in the elevators."

"Carry out your own dead."

ON HOLLYWOOD: "It's a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat."

During a game of draw poker, his opponent took out his wallet and threw it on the table, announcing, "I call you." Mizner glanced at the wallet, pulled off his right shoe, placed it on the table, and said, "If we're playing for leather--I raise."

For a while, he was married to Myra Moor Yerkes, the 2nd richest woman in America, who owned a $2 million art collection. One day, in need of money, he took a version of The Last Supper off her wall and sold it. When his wife saw the empty frame, she cried out, "Bill, what happened to the masterpiece I had in the living room--The Last Supper?" Replied Mizner, "Some masterpiece. I got only $50 a plate."

TO A RADIO ANNOUNCER: "If you don't get off the air, I'll stop breathing it."

TO A WAITER: "Another pot of coffee, waiter, and bring it under your arm to keep it warm."

TO ANOTHER WAITER: "I've had better steaks than this for bad behavior."

Mizner once managed Stanley Ketchel, the middleweight boxing champion. In London in October, 1910, Mizner received a telephone call notifying him that a jealous rancher husband had shot and killed Ketchel. Said Mizner: "Tell them to start counting 10 over him, and he'll get up."

On his deathbed, as Mizner came out of a coma, a priest tried to comfort him. Mizner waved the priest away: "Why should I talk to you? I've just been talking to your boss.

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