These Are the 75 Funniest Quotes of All Time (Memorize Them!)

Your complete guide to witticisms, quips, retorts, rejoinders, and pithy replies for every occasion.


Oct_2016_quotes_Stephen_Colbert_John_Cuneo_US161001A_Illustration by John Cuneo

At Reader’s Digest, we’re always on the lookout for the best quotes ever uttered. We fill our buckets with stirring quotes that explain the meaning of life, wise quotes that stop arguments in their tracks, classic movie quotes that give us chills, epic quotes that changed history in two words or less and, simply, happy quotes that never fail to make us smile. Today, we are tickled to bring you this: the 75 funniest quotes of all time. Enjoy.


Part 1: Laughs from Gaffes
Bypass the remark you’d always regret in favor of the 
version you’ll shamelessly repeat…


Instead of saying this … 
“I thought Europe was a country.” —Kellie Pickler, country music singer
… Say this: “If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn’t have declared their independence from it.”     —Stephen Colbert


Instead of saying this… 
“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” —Donald Trump (retweeting a Benito Mussolini quote)
… Say this: “The lion shall lie down with the calf, but the calf won’t get much sleep.” —Woody Allen


Instead of saying this … 
“I make Jessica Simpson look like a rock scientist.”  —Tara Reid, actress
… Say this: “My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.” —Billy Connolly, actor


Instead of saying this … 
“I won’t go into a big spiel about reincarnation, but the first time 
I was in the Gucci store in Chicago was the closest I’ve ever felt 
to home.” —Kanye West, rap artist
… Say this: “I don’t believe in reincarnation, and I didn’t believe in it when I was a hamster.” —Shane Richie, British actor


Instead of saying this … 
“It’s really hard to maintain a 
one-on-one relationship if the other person is not going to allow me to be with other people.” —Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N’ Roses
… Say this: “Bigamy is 
having one husband too many. 
Monogamy is the same.” —Anonymous

We bet you’ll also love these famous movie quotes.

Oct_2016_quotes_Winston_Churchill_Illustration_by_John_Cuneo_US161001A_Illustration by John Cuneo

Part 2: Fight Ire with Fire
Fend off a cruel or foolish declaration with a zinger that 
will have the Hamptons buzzing…


Following an argument, an 
angry Lady Astor told Winston Churchill, “Winston, if you were 
my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Churchill snapped, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”


When Mick Jagger insisted that his wrinkles were actually laugh lines, jazz singer George Melly replied, “Surely nothing could be that funny.”
A sports columnist recalled the story of a flight attendant who asked Muhammad Ali to fasten his seat belt. Ali replied, “Superman don’t need no seat belt.” The flight attendant’s retort: “Superman don’t need no airplane either.”


Seeing a male dog sniffing a 
female dog, the young daughter of Laurence Olivier asked Noël Coward what they were doing. Coward: “The one in front has suddenly gone blind and the other one has very kindly offered to push him.”

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When a fan asked Wolfgang 
Amadeus Mozart for tips on writing symphonies, the composer 
is said to have suggested, “Begin with some simple lieder and work your way up to a symphony.” “But Herr Mozart,” replied the fan, “you were writing symphonies when you were eight.” “Yes,” said Mozart. “But I never asked anybody.”


In the 1960s, Joe Pyne, one of 
the original shock jocks, apparently began an interview with Frank 
Zappa by saying, “So I guess your long hair makes you a woman.” Zappa responded, “So I guess your wooden leg makes you a table.”


Katharine Hepburn so hated filming a movie with John Barrymore, she declared, “Mr. Barrymore, I am never going to act with you again.” Barrymore replied, “My dear, you still haven’t.”


Director/writer Kevin Smith 
told Tim Burton that Burton’s Planet of the Apes reminded him of 
a comic book he’d written. Burton responded, “Everyone knows I never read comics.” Smith shot back, “That explains Batman.”


An acquaintance walked past 
 Algonquin Round Table member Marc Connelly and ran a hand over Connelly’s bald pate. “That feels 
just as smooth and as nice as my wife’s behind,” he said. Connelly,
 running his own hand over his 
head, remarked, “So it does!”


Leonard Nimoy was asked by a woman, “Are you aware that you [as Spock] are the source of erotic dream material for ladies around the world?” Nimoy’s reply: “May all your dreams come true.”


“Live every week like it’s Shark Week!” —Tina Fey

Oct_2016_quotes_Tina_Fey_John_Cuneo_US161001A_Illustration by John Cuneo

Part 3: Nine Things a Great Line Is Good For

1. Advocating: “You know there’s a problem when you realize that out of the three Rs, only one begins with an R.” —Dennis Miller, comedian


2. Chiding: “To lose 
one parent may be 
regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” —Oscar Wilde


3. Critiquing: “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” —Billy Wilder, director


4. Praising (and insulting): “She loves nature in spite of what it did to her.” —Bette Midler


5. Creating hope: “Can 
you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women.” —Nicole Hollander, cartoonist


6. Waxing philosophical: “Start every day with a smile and get over it.” —W. C. Fields (attributed)


7. Looking inward: “I wish I had the confidence of the woman who boldly admits she’s the 
Miranda of her crew.” —Jessica Biel, actress


8. Piety: “Want to know what God thinks of money? Look at the people he gave it to.” —Dorothy Parker, writer


9. Summing up the world: “Karaoke is the great equalizer.” —Aisha Tyler, talk show host


“They say marriages are made 
in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.” —Clint Eastwood


Oct_2016_quotes_Clint_Eastwood_John_Cuneo_US161001A_Illustration by John Cuneo

Part 4: Timed Lines
The right line at the right time is a thing of beauty. 
Memorize these tried-and-true replies for any situation…

It’s Thanksgiving dinner, and your Luddite uncle Ralph is at it again about how science is bunk:

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“I have noticed that even 
people who claim everything is pre­determined and that we can do nothing to change it look 
before they cross the road.” —Stephen Hawking, physicist


“The only people who still 
call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist


“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.” —Richard Dawkins, scientist


“He was so narrow-minded, 
he could see through a 
keyhole with both eyes.” —Molly Ivins, author


“I’ve come to learn that the best 
time to debate family members 
is when they have food in 
their mouths.” —Kenneth Cole, fashion designer


A friend is considering getting married, and you have certain “insights” about the institution you’d like to communicate:

“They say marriages are made 
in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.” —Clint Eastwood


“My advice to you is get married: If you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.”  —Socrates


“Before you marry a person, 
you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet 
service to see who they really are.” —Will Ferrell


“Life in Lubbock, Texas, 
taught me that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth, 
and you should save it for someone you love.” —Butch Hancock, country musician


“Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.” —Rod Stewart, rock star


Someone is pressuring you to do better. Time to lower the bar:

“All the things I like to do are 
either immoral, illegal, or fattening.” —Alexander Woollcott, actor


“When you have bacon in your mouth, it doesn’t matter who’s president.” —Louis CK


“Part of [the $10 million] went 
for gambling, horses, and women. The rest I spent foolishly.” —George Raft, film star


“I was going to sue for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.” —Charles Barkley, TV basketball analyst
“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.” —Johnny Carson


A coworker asks your opinion 
of an insufferable boss. You’re happy to unload:

“He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.” —Samuel Johnson, 18th-century author


“Her only flair is in her nostrils.” —Pauline Kael, film critic


“She never lets ideas interrupt the easy flow of her conversation.” —Jean Webster, author


“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”  —Abraham Lincoln
“He is a self-made man and 
worships his creator.” —Henry Clapp, newspaper editor
“People who think they know 
everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” —Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer

“The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing, and then they marry him.” —Cher

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Oct_2016_quotes_Cher_Illustration_by_John_Cuneo_US161001A_Illustration by John Cuneo

Part 5: Point/Counterpoint
How to win the argument, switch sides, then win again…


Point: “A dog teaches a boy 
fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.” —Robert Benchley, humorist

Counterpoint: “Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.” —Jeff Valdez, producer


Point: “Wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” —Benjamin Franklin

Counterpoint: “Why beer is better than wine: human feet are 
conspicuously absent from beer making.” —Steve Mirsky, author


Point: “The Democrats are the party that says government 
will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove crabgrass 
on your lawn.” —P. J. O’Rourke, writer

Counterpoint: “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.” —P. J. O’Rourke, still a writer


Point: “I’ve been married to 
one Marxist and one Fascist, and 
neither one would take the 
garbage out.” —Lee Grant, actress

Counterpoint: “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing, and then they marry him.” —Cher


Point: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” —Tom Clancy, author

Counterpoint: “Be careful about reading health books. 
You may die of a misprint.” —Mark Twain


Point: “An optimist is someone who falls off the Empire State Building, and after 50 floors says, ‘So far so good!’” —Anonymous

Counterpoint: “The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly 
surprised.” —George Will, columnist


Point: “I’m not offended by blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb … and I also know that I’m not blonde.” —Dolly Parton

Counterpoint: “It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.” —Raymond Chandler, author


Point: “He suffers from delusions of adequacy.” —Walter Kerr, critic

Counterpoint: “Critics are 
like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re 
unable to do it themselves.” —Brendan Behan, Irish author


Part 6: Who Said It?
How well do you know your famous quotes? Take the quiz.

1)     “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

2)     “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not 
sure about the universe.”

3)     “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

4)     “If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?”

5)     “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”

6)     “They say you shouldn’t say anything about the dead unless it’s good. 
He’s dead. Good.”

7)     “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.”

8)     “The trouble with this country is that there are too many people going 
about saying, ‘The trouble with this country is …’”



1) Mark Twain; 2) Albert Einstein; 3) Helen Gurley Brown, former editor of Cosmopolitan;  
4) Will Rogers; 5) Oscar Wilde;  6) Moms Mabley; 
7) President John F. Kennedy; 8) Sinclair Lewis

Become more interesting every week!

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