My Favourite Groucho Quotes – #WTFOW#5 – Day 4

(For Day Five of the Festival of Words hosted by Write Tribe from July 10 to July 16, 2016, I’m writing a list of my favourite quotes by Groucho Marx.)

My “discovery”  of Groucho dates back to a time when I was in high school. Every summer holiday, I used to spend many an afternoon in our store-room cum attic, unearthing old books and magazines that were stored away in neatly stacked bundles. The idea was to make space for the humble collection of books and toys that belonged to my little brother and me because our bedrooms did not have enough space to keep adding the rising piles of books. Every day I made new discoveries…books and authors and stories that suddenly began to create a special place in my teenage mind. What a blissful world it was then! I cannot describe the joys of rummaging through those piles and losing myself to those old issues of wonderful magazines – the likes of Span, Imprint, Reader’s Digest, Sputnik and many other vernacular ones too. It was in one of the old issues of Imprint that I read an article on the Marx Brothers.

Groucho Marx was an American comedian and film and television star, the famous third-born of the Marx brothers, known famously as a bushy-browed, cigar-smoking, wise-cracker with the painted-on moustache and stooped walk. He was most famous for his one-liners that were usually double entendres (double meanings). His son Arthur had a pet peeve about his father being always “on”. Apparently, if he ever asked Groucho about something serious or personal, Groucho would reply with his characteristic one-liners.


Today, I thought of sharing some of his funny quips with you. I hope you enjoy them. Here goes my list of the best Groucho Marx quotes for your reading pleasure:

  • “From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.”
  • “I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception.”
  • “Humor is reason gone mad.”
  • “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
  • “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
  • “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.”
  • “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well I have others.”
  • “One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got in my pyjamas I’ll never know.”
  • “Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.”
  • “If a black cat crosses your path, it signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”
  • “She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.”
  • “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”
  • “Why, look at me. I’ve worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.”
  • “I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.”
  • “Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.”
  • “Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.”
  • “Marriage is a wonderful institution…but who wants to live in an institution?”
  • “Policeman: “A hermit eh? Then why’s your table set for four?” Groucho: “That’s nothing. My alarm clock is set for eight.”
  • “We’ll meet at the theatre, tonight. I’ll hold your seat ’til you get there. Once you get there; you’re on your own.”
  • “A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.”
  • “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest – ask him. If he says “yes” you know he is a crook.”
  • “I read in the newspapers they are going to have 30 minutes of intellectual stuff on television every Monday from 7:30 to 8:30 to educate America. They couldn’t educate America if they started at 6:30.”
  • “Hollywood brides keep the bouquets and throw away the grooms.”
  • “No one is completely unhappy at the failure of his best friend.”
  • “If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you.”
  • “Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.”
  • “You can leave in a huff. Or you can leave in a minute and a huff.”
  • “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you’re probably watching the wrong channel.”
  • “I have had a wonderful time but this wasn’t it.”
  • “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”
  • “I could dance with you till the cows come home. Better still, I’ll dance with the cows and you come home.”
  • “Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.”
  • “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

(I hope you too had a good laugh reading these. Do you have some of your favourite witty quotes to share? )

Here are my other posts for the Festival of Words:

Day 1: A HaikuThe Day is Ending

Day 2: A 100-word storyAcceptance

Day 3: A photo post – Worth a Thousand Words

Day 4: A 100-word storyThe Awakening


14 thoughts

  1. Such fantastic quotes that it’s hard to pick one. I have heard of many of them but I will be honest – when I stopped by your post. I did not know who Groucho was 🙂 But now i know. Thank you for giving me my nugget of learning today. Wonderful collection and fun post!

  2. This was an outstanding collection Esha! I am bookmarking this one for sure! I have read a few of them earlier, but this compendium is a treasure for me! Your post reminded me of humble loft at home which we raided as kids, it had lots of old albums, toys, old coins and what-nots! Veritable treasure-troves weren’t they!

    1. Absolutely loved the treasure-troves, Kala! Childhood was so much fun during those days…Glad you loved the collection…I am a huge fan of Groucho, so was looking forward to putting this post up 😀

Would you like to leave your comments below? :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.