Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
ISSUE #933
Will Rogers Humor for the next White House Correspondents Dinner

I’ve read and listened to a lot of comments about the comedian’s performance Saturday night at the annual scholarship dinner put on by the news folks who cover the White House. Several thought she was funny and her commentary was appropriate for what they call a “New United States audience.”

Meanwhile, many in the “old” United States audience were disgusted and embarrassed by the crude language and many of her jokes, especially jabs aimed at other women.

So in the interest in salvaging the dignity (and fund-raising capacity) of this distinguished group of journalists, I offer “Will Rogers” as the after-dinner humorist for the 2019 banquet. Here are a whole bunch of quotes that should draw a few laughs and only a couple of groans:

“All I know is what I read in the newspaper.” [I would expand that to say, Plus radio and television. But I don’t claim to know anything seen on Facebook or Twitter. Most of what you see there ain’t worth knowing.”]

But really,  “We  learn by two things: one is reading, the other is associatin’ with smarter people.”   [So, take a minute to look at the two people sittin on either side of you.  If they look pretty smart… Congratulations.]

Actually ,“we’re all ignorant, we’re just ignorant on different subjects.”


“There’s nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the subject he was educated in.”


You probably know  “I don’t write political jokes… No, I just watch the government and report the facts. I don’t even have to exaggerate.”

“There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”

[Now I want to clear up one thing right off…] “I don’t belong to any organized political party…   I’m a Democrat.”

“But really, I don’t take sides with anybody politically. I kid those folks. But I know that they all get in there and do the best they can. None of ‘em from any party are going to ruin the country, at least not on purpose.”

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they’d be Republicans.”

Both gangs have been bad sports, so see if at least one can’t redeem themselves by offering no alibis, but cooperate with the winner in the next election. No matter which one it is the poor fellow is going to need it.

One of the evils of democracy is you have to put up with the man you elect whether you want him or not.”

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics”

“The greatest traits of Democrats is optimism and humor.  You’ve got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and you’ve got to be a humorist to stay one.”

“The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned —  it’s only in the amount where the Republicans excel.”


“Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with nowadays.”

“Democrats are attacking and the Republicans are defending. All the Democrats have to do is promise “what they would do if they got in.” But the Republicans have to promise “what they would do” and then explain why they haven’t already “done it.”

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats.  If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”


“I read where they are going to limit debate in the Senate.  It used to be that a man could talk all day, but now, as soon as he tells all he knows, he has to sit down.  Most of these birds will just get up and nod.  Why, some of them won’t be able to answer roll call.”

“We all joke about Congress but we can’t improve on them.  Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces? But they’re all good folks at heart—and if they wasn’t in Congress, why, they would be doing something else against us that might be even worse.”


Compared to Congress…”The thing about my jokes is they don’t hurt anybody. You can say they’re funny, or they’re horrible, or they’re good, whatever, but they don’t do any harm.

But with Congress every time they make a joke it’s a law… and every time they make a law, it’s a joke.”


“There is one thing you can bet on this year. No voter is going to do anything that a politician thinks he will do. The way most people feel, they would like to vote against all of ‘em, if it was possible.”



“I do honestly believe the Republicans have reformed and want to do better. But whether they have done it in time to win the election is another thing. The old voter is getting so he wants to be saved before October every election year.”

“This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.”

“I would love to see Mr. (Henry) Ford in there, really. I don’t know who started the idea that a President must be a Politician instead of a Business man. A Politician can’t run any other kind of business. So there is no reason why he can run the U.S. That’s the biggest single business in the World.”

“I make a living off (politicians), so I can’t knock ’em. Every time we elect some fellow we think he’s terrible and then when we get another one in he’s worse.”

“When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it.”

“America has the best politicians money can buy.”

“Calvin Coolidge made less speeches and got more votes than any man that ever run. (William Jennings) Bryan was listened to and cheered by more people than any single human in politics, and he lost. So there is a doubt just whether talking does you good or harm.”

“Congress is so strange; a man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees.”

“Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray: Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they’re doing. Amen.”

“Now these fellows in Washington wouldn’t be so serious and particular if they only had to vote on what they thought was good for the majority of the people in the U.S. That would be a cinch. But what makes it hard for them is every time a bill comes up they have things to decide that have nothing to do with the merit of the bill. The principal thing is of course: What will this do for me personally back home?”

“The “Ways & Means Committee” is a committee that’s supposed to find the Ways to divide up the Means.”

“Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don’t hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous.”

“The Senate just sits and waits till they find out what the president wants, so they know how to vote against him.”

“In Washington, one man could do what ten of them do. There could be only a quarter or a third as many congressmen or senators, and we would pick better ones then. But it’s the system that we have always used, and there is no use getting all overcome with perspiration over it. Things kinder run themselves, anyhow.”

“Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement.”

“Funny thing about being a U.S. senator, the only thing the law says you have to be is 30 years old. Not another single requirement. They just figure that a man that old got nobody to blame but himself if he gets caught in there.”

“Our president delivered his State of the Union message to Congress. That is one of the things his contract calls for — to tell congress the condition of the country. This message, as I say, is to Congress. The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the president has to tell ’em.”

“A president just can’t make much showing against congress. They lay awake nights, thinking up things to be against the president on.”

“You know Lincoln’s famous remark about “God must have loved the common people, because he made so many of them?” Well, you are not going to get people’s votes nowadays by calling ’em common. Lincoln might have said it, but I bet it was not until after he was elected.”

“There wasn’t any Republicans in Washington’s day. No Republicans, no Boll Weevil, no income tax, no cover charge, no disarmament conference, no luncheon clubs, no stop lights, no (radio), no head winds. My Lord, living in those days, who wouldn’t be great?”

“It’s getting so if a man wants to stand well socially, he can’t afford to be seen with either the Democrats or the Republicans.”

“There is something about a Republican that you can only stand him just so long; and on the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can’t stand him quite that long.”

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously, and the politicians as a joke, when it used to be vice versa.”

“Many a politician wishes there was a law to burn old records.”

“Politics is the best show in America. I love animals and I love politicians, and I like to watch both of ’em at play, either back home in their native state, or after they’ve been captured and sent to a zoo, or to Washington.”

“A Republican moves slowly. They are what we call conservatives. A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any, but doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have some.”

“Funny to watch these Senators switching back and forth on Prohibition (and other major issues). Politics is a great character builder. You have to take a poll to see what your convictions are for that day.”


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