Talk:George Burns

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Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to George Burns. --Antiquary 18:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

  • A good sermon should have a good beginning and a good ending, and they should be as close together as possible.
    • Variant: The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible.
  • (Regarding his sitcom) I'll tell you something about plot, but don't tell this to Ed Sullivan or Eddie Cantor: it's cheaper than guest stars.
  • Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
    • Variant: The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
      You've got to be honest; if you can fake that, you've got it made.
    • A similar statement to these is attributed to Jean Giraudoux
  • Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or fourteenth.
    • Variant: It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
  • Age to me means nothing. I can't get old; I'm working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you're working, you stay young. When I'm in front of an audience, all that love and vitality sweeps over me and I forget my age.
  • At my age, flowers scare me.
  • At my age, the only thing hot waiting for me in my dressing room is a bowl of soup.
  • Be quick to learn and wise to know.
  • Bridge is a game that separates the men from the boys. It also separates husbands and wives.
  • By the time you're eighty years old you've learned everything. You only have to remember it.
  • Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house.
  • Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.
  • Everything that goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that's down can come up.
  • First of all you've got to have talent. And then you've got to marry her like I did.
  • First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.
  • For thirty years my act consisted of one joke. And then she died.
  • Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
  • Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman— or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.
    • Variant: Happiness is a good martini, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman... or a bad woman, depending on how much happiness you can stand.
  • I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.
    • Variant: It's hard for me to get used to these changing times. I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.
  • I can't understand why I flunked American history. When I was a kid there was so little of it.
  • I don't believe in dying. It's been done. I'm working on a new exit. Besides, I can't die now— I'm booked.
    • Variants on this theme: How can I die? I'm booked.
      I can't afford to die— I'd lose too much money.
  • I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.
    • Variant: I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.
  • I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch.
  • I smoke 10 to 15 cigars a day, at my age I have to hold on to something.
  • I spent a year in that town, one Sunday.
  • I would go out with women my age, but there are no women my age.
  • I'm at the age now where just putting my cigar in its holder is a thrill.
  • I'm going to stay in show business until I'm the last one left.
  • If it's a good script I'll do it. And if it's a bad script, and they pay me enough, I'll do it.
  • If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.
  • If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age.
    • Variant: If you live to the age of a hundred you have it made because very few people die past the age of a hundred.
  • Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life.
  • Nice to be here? At my age it's nice to be anywhere.
    • Variants: It's good to be here. At 98, it's good to be anywhere.
      I'm very pleased to be here. Let's face it, at my age I'm very pleased to be anywhere.
  • No... he's dead.
    • When asked in his late 90s if his doctor knew he still smoked.
  • Old age is when you resent the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read.
  • People ask me what I'd most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit.
  • Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.
  • Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.
  • Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant.
  • Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.
  • This is the sixth book I've written, which isn't bad for a guy who's only read two.
  • We often think the way Gracie talks, but we pride ourselves that we never talk the way Gracie thinks.
  • When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.
  • When Jack Benny has a party, you not only bring your own scotch, you bring your own rocks.
  • You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.
  • You know you're getting old when you stop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there.
  • Good - when I consider the alternatives.
    • When asked what it was like to be alive at 90