Wilson Mizner

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Wilson Mizner (May 19, 1876 – April 3, 1933) was an American playwright, raconteur, and entrepreneur. His best-known plays are The Deep Purple, produced in 1910, and The Greyhound, produced in 1912. He was manager and co-owner of The Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, California, and was affiliated with his brother, Addison Mizner, in a series of scams and picaresque misadventures that inspired Stephen Sondheim's Bounce!.

Quotes[edit]

Epigrams[edit]

  • Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • If you copy from one author, it's plagiarism. If you copy from two, it's research.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • Treat a whore like a lady and a lady like a whore.
    • Quoted by Anita Loos, Kiss Hollywood Goodbye, Viking Press, New York, 1974, ISBN 0-670-41374-7. Loos goes on to claim that "the aphorism had no validity for Wilson."
  • Faith is a wonderful thing, but doubt gets you an education.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • Be nice to people on the way up because you'll meet them on the way down.
    • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.

Wisecracks[edit]

  • Harry Thaw shot the wrong architect.
    • Disparaging the work of Joseph Urban, his brother Addison's architectural rival. Harry Thaw was a wealthy man of the times who had shot and killed architect Stanford White over his earlier involvement with Thaw's wife Evelyn Nesbit.
      • Quoted by Alva Johnston, The Legendary Mizners, 1953, Farrar Straus and Young, New York. Johnston allows that the quote has been attributed to many others, but makes a good case that Mizner said it first.
  • To my embarrassment I was born in bed with a lady.
    • Quoted by John Burke, Rogue's Progress, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1975, ISBN 0-399-11423-8.
  • ...a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottom boat.
    • On Hollywood.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • It's getting so people no longer count the silverware when I come to dinner.
    • On his later respectability.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.

On Death and Dying[edit]

  • Stop dying. Am trying to write a comedy.
    • Telegram to his brother, upon the news that Addison was fatally ill.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • Tell 'em to count to ten over him and he'll get up.
    • On hearing that his prizefighter, Stanley Ketchel, was dying of gunshot wounds.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • I want a priest, a rabbi and a Protestant minister. I want to hedge my bets.
    • On his deathbed.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • You can't be a rascal for 40 years and then cop a plea the last minute. God keeps better books than that.
    • On his deathbed.
      • Quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.

About[edit]

  • Florida was invented for Addison Mizner's little brother.
    • Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • America's most fascinating outlaw.
    • Anita Loos, as quoted by Stuart B. McIver, Dreamers, Schemers and Scalawags, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 1994. ISBN 1-56164-034-4.
  • That man was so much larger than life that there's no scale by which to measure him. Most of Wilson's dialogue, if put down on paper, seems either vulgar or obscene.
Legends of a Sport  Profiles  The New Yorker   Alva johnston      

Oct 10 1942

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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