#405, April 17, 2006
COLUMBUS: With all the pestilence you’re putting up with this week, I ain’t gonna contribute any more to worry about. When it’s 100 degrees on Tax Day in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and old Generals are putting the heat on Mr. Rumsfeld, I’ve got the good sense to turn the whole situation over to Comedy.
Gill Gross filled in for Paul Harvey on ABC Radio this morning, and he ended his story on income taxes by quoting “me”: “The Income Tax has made more liars out of the American people than Golf has.” WA #17, April 8, 1923
April is National Humor Month. Now that’s a laugh: the man who named it must’ve paid his taxes in March.
Here are a few light-hearted comments, at random, from the archives to cheer up your morning.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
Of late all I am asked is: “Who writes your stuff and where do you get it?” And the surprising answer is: The newspapers write it! All I do is to get all the papers I can carry and then read all that is going on and try to figure out the main things that the audience has just read, and talk on that. I have found out two things. One is that the more up-to-date a subject is the more credit you are given for talking on it, even if you really haven’t anything very funny. But if it is an old subject, your gags must be funny to get over.
The first thing is the remark you make must be founded on facts. You can exaggerate and make it ridiculous, but it must have the plain facts in it. Then you will hear the audience say: “Well, that’s pretty near right.”
America’s sense of humor has taught ’em there is three things they must never take serious: a columnist on any paper, a political speech by any candidate, and a Harvard graduate if he hasn’t been out four years.
War is just like Golf. Once a fellow takes it up he won’t let nothing interfere with it.
Frank Phillips, of oil fame [Phillips 66] was out the other day, said he was going to Washington. The oil men were going to draw up a code of ethics. Everybody present had to laugh. If he had said the gangsters of America were drawing up a code of ethics, it wouldn’t have sounded near as impossible
I don’t think I ever hurt any man’s feelings by my little gags. I know I never willfully did it. When I have to do that to make a living I will quit. I may not have always said just what they would have liked me to say but they knew it was meant in good nature.
When there is no malice in your heart, there can be none shown in your homes. But between you and I there is a lot of people in this country who should never be so absent-minded as to refer to their sense of humor.
Their greatest trait â the greatest thing to recommend the Democrats is optimism and humor. You’ve got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you’ve got to be a humorist to stay one.
You can always joke about a big Man that is really big, but don’t ever kid about the little fellow that thinks he is something, cause he will get sore. That’s why he’s little.
(Comparing Hollywood to Congress…) the place we make the Movies is called the Studio. We are a great deal alike in lots of respects. We make what we think will be two kinds of Pictures: Comedy and Drama. Now you take the Capitol at Washington. That’s the biggest Studio in the World. We call ours Pictures. They call theirs laws. It’s all the same thing. We often make what we think is Drama, but when it is shown it is received by the audience as Comedy. So the uncertainty is about equal both places. The way to judge a good Comedy is by how long it will last and have people talk about it. Now Congress has turned out some that have lived for years and people are still laughing about them.
Well all I know is just what I read in the Congressional Record. They have had some awful funny articles in there lately. As our government deteriorates, our humor increases. They been arguing over the taxes, and that give ’em a chance to get some original views on where they was going to get this two billion bucks that they were overdrawn. They have just appropriated and appropriated till they was so far in the red, that it don’t look they will hardly get out by Christmas.
Politicians amuse more people than they interest.
Everything is changing in America. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke, when it used to be visa versa.
A comedian is not supposed to be serious nor to know much. As long as he is silly enough to get laughs, why, people let it go at that. But I claim you have to have a serious streak in you or you can’t see the funny side in the other fellow.
I certainly know that a comedian can only last till he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious, and I don’t want either one of those to happen to me till I am dead, if then.
Get a few laughs and do the best you can.