W C Fields was born William Claude Dukenfield on the 29th January 1880 and passed away on the 25th December 1946. He was a comedian, actor and writer from the United States of America, who started his show business career in Vaudeville as a juggler. Over time, he moved away from simple circus skills, incorporating comedy and this led to further roles including the Ziegfeld Follies.
Fields moved to Broadway and his popularity soared as a result of his appearance in the musical comedy Poppy, released in 1923. His portrayal of a small-time con man, as well as subsequent roles as scoundrels and everyday men, led to this specific kind of persona sticking to him for the majority of his career. He was so widely associated with his character’s characteristics, that the film studios employing him would portray the man himself, as having those same characteristics.
Later in the 20th century, countless letters, photos and pieces of writing were published by his family, giving everyone an insight into the true nature of this great actor of the early 20th century.
1. I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
2. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
3. It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.
4. I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
5. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
6. I never hold a grudge. As soon as I get even with the son-of-a bitch, I forget it.
7. Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.
8. I don’t drink water. Fish fuck in it.
9. Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.
10. Fell in love with a beautiful blonde once. Drove me to drink. And I never had the decency to thank her.
11. A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money
12. Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
13. I like children. If they’re properly cooked.
14. A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.
15. Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
16. Never try to impress a woman, because if you do she’ll expect you to keep up the standard for the rest of your life.
17. Marry an outdoors woman. That way, if you have to throw her out into the yard for the night, she can still survive.
18. Ah, the patter of little feet around the house. There’s nothing like having a midget for a butler.
19. No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.
20. I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol and wild women. The other half I wasted.
21. Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.
22. Take me down to the bar! We’ll drink breakfast together!
23. The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.
24. You can’t trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it.
25. I always keep some whiskey handy in case I see a snake…which I also keep handy.
26. You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.
27. It is funnier to bend things than to break them.
28. Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.
29. Was I in here last night and did I spend a $20 billI once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.
30. Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.
31. What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?
32. If I had to live my life over, I’d live over a saloon.
33. There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.
34. Children should neither be seen nor heard from – ever again.
35. Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
36. Goddamn the whole fucking world and everyone in it except you, Carlotta!
37. I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
38. When we have lost everything, including hope, life becomes a disgrace, and death a duty.
39. I’ve never hit a woman in my life. Not even my own mother.
40. All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia
41. Just like my Uncle Charlie used to say, just before he sprung the trap: He said, “You can’t cheat and honest man! Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump!
42. Philadelphia, wonderful town, spent a week there one night
43. Never give a sucker an even break.
44. Ain’t fit for man nor beast
45. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink.
46. The news of my death is greatly exaggerated.
47. Don’t be a luddy-duddy! Don’t be a mooncalf! Don’t be a jabbernowl! You’re not those, are you?
48. I’m free of all prejudices. I hate all people equally.
49. Here lies W.C.Fields. I’d rather be living in Philadelphia.
50. Drowned in a vat of whiskey… Oh Death, where is thy sting?
51. Always smile first thing in the morning.
Might as well get it over with.
52. I was in love with a beautiful blond once. She drove me to drink. That’s the one thing I’m indebted to her for.
53. It ain’t what they call you; it’s what you answer to.
54. Beds are dangerous. More people die in bed than anywhere else.
55. Women are crazy about pets.
They’re just crazy. Pets have nothing to do with it.
56. Women are like elephants to me. I like to look at ’em, but I wouldn’t want to own one.
57. Why that’s a colossal fib. I’m a very kind person. I’ve never hurt man, beast or child. Except when I had to. I belong to the Bare-Hand-Wolf-Choker Association.
58. I was the first comic in world history, so they told me, to pick fights with children.
59. Once the city gets into a ba-hoys sa-hystem, he loses the ha-hankerin’ for the ca-hountry.
60. If Falstaff had stuck to martinis, he’d be with us today.