S. J. Perelman quotes

  • The worst disgrace that can befall a producer is an unkind notice from a New York reviewer. When this happens, the producer becomes a pariah in Hollywood. He is shunned by his friends, thrown into bankruptcy, and like a Japanese electing hara-kiri, he commits suttee.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #New York #Hollywood #Pariahs

  • Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin - it's the triumphant twang of a bedspring.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Love #Anniversary #Valentines Day

  • I tried to resist his overtures, but he plied me with symphonies, quartets, chamber music, and cantatas.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Music #Symphony #Chamber Music

  • The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he’s given the freedom to starve anywhere.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Privilege #Dubious #Given

  • The main obligation is to amuse yourself.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Obligation

  • I have no truck with lettuce, cabbage, and similar chlorophyll. Any dietitian will tell you that a running foot of apple strudel contains four times the vitamins of a bushel of beans.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Running #Apples #Feet

  • "In France," Marcel said with wintry dignity, "accidents occur in the bedroom, not the kitchen."
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Funny #Kitchen #France

  • Tomatoes and squash never fail to reach maturity. You can spray them with acid, beat them with sticks and burn them; they love it.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Maturity #Squash #Tomatoes

  • I'll dispose of my teeth as I see fit, and after they've gone, I'll get along. I started off living on gruel, and by God, I can always go back to it again.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Gone #Teeth #Fit

  • Fate was dealing from the bottom of the deck.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Fate #Bottom #Deck

  • One stifling summer afternoon last August, in the attic of a tiny stone house in Pennsylvania, I made a most interesting discovery: the shortest, cheapest method of inducing a nervous breakdown ever perfected. In this technique..., the subject is placed in a sharply sloping attic heated to 340 F and given a mothproof closet known as the Jiffy-Cloz to assemble.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Summer #Discovery #August

  • We old roosters must be cautious. Don't try to outwit your arteries.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Trying #Age #Roosters

  • Where would the Rockefellers be today if old John D. had gone on selling short-weight kerosene ... to widows and orphans instead of wisely deciding to mulct the whole country.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Country #Entrepreneur #Widows

  • I don't know where we're going or how we'll get there, but when we get there we'll be there - and that's something, even if it's nothing.
    -- S. J. Perelman

  • You'll have to leave my meals on a tray outside the door because I'll be working pretty late on the secret of making myself invisible, which may take me almost until eleven o'clock.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Doors #Secret #May

  • To err is human, to forgive supine.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Forgiveness #Forgiving #Humans

  • I loathe writing. On the other hand I'm a great believer in money.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Writing #Hands #Believer

  • The fact is that all of us have only one personality, and we wring it out like a dishtowel. You are what you are.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Personality #Facts

  • I cannot recall a more engaging passage in fiction, and I've been trying for almost eighteen seconds.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Trying #Criticism #Fiction

  • A farm is an irregular patch of nettles bounded by short-term notes, containing a fool and his wife who didn’t know enough to stay in the city.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Cities #Wife #Fool

  • He bit his lip in a manner which immediately awakened my maternal sympathy, and I helped him bite it.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Sympathy #Lips

  • Only the scenario writers are exempt. These are tied between the tails of two spirited Caucasian ponies, which are then driven off in opposite directions. This custom is called a conference.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Opposites #Two #Ponies

  • I guess I'm just an old mad scientist at bottom. Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a beautiful girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation's laws.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Beautiful #Girl #Writing

  • In pulp fiction it is a rigid convention that the hero's shoulders and the heroine's balcon constantly threaten to burst their bonds, a possibility which keeps the audience in a state of tense expectancy. Unfortunately for the fans, however, recent tests reveal that the wisp of chiffon which stands between the publisher and the postal laws has the tensile strength of drop-forged steel.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Hero #Law #Steel

  • Do you know anything at all that nobody else knows or, for that matter, gives a damn about? If you do, then sit tight, because one of these days you're going to Hollywood as a technical supervisor on a million dollar movie.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Funny #California #Giving

  • There is such a thing as too much couth.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Civilization #Too Much

  • English life, while very pleasant, is rather bland. I expected kindness and gentility and I found it, but there is such a thing as too much couth.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Kindness #Too Much #Found

  • There is something about a home aquarium which sets my teeth on edge the moment I see it. Why anyone would want to live with a small container of stagnant water populated by a half-dead guppy is beyond me.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Home #Aquariums #Water

  • Nature, it appears, has been rather more bountiful to Paul's body and purse than to his intellect; above the ears, speaking bluntly, the boy is strictly tapioca.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Boys #Ears #Body

  • All right, so call me Miss Cliche of 1960, but the thing about the married ones that always spooks me is how sweet and attentive they are at first, when they're on the prowl.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Sweet #Women #Missing

  • I used to pride myself on being impervious to the sentimentalities of soap opera, but when that loveliest of actresses, Rachel Gurney, of Upstairs, Downstairs, perished on the Titanic, I wept so convulsively and developed such anorexia that I had to be force-fed.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Pride #Anorexia #Television

  • If travel has taught me nothing more, and it certainly has, it's this: you never know when some trifling incident, utterly without significance, may pitchfork you into adventure or, by the same token, may not.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Travel #Adventure #May

  • A basic ingredient in the manufacture of perfume, the attar-a heavy, pale-yellow oil stored in small metal drums-had been put up as collateral by Bulgaria, in lieu of gold, at the Moscow Narodny Bank, a Communist finance house for East-West trade.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Oil #Yellow #House

  • Santa Barbara people are conservative-not like in L.A., where everybody wears rhinestones on their glasses to show that they own an airplane factory.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Airplane #Glasses #Cities

  • I'm half Scotch-Irish on both sides, and when I lose my temper-brother, I go.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Brother #Scotch #Sides

  • I found the pearl of the Orient slightly less exciting than a rainy Sunday evening in Rochester.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Inspirational #Sunday #Pearls

  • If, at the close of business each evening, I myself can understand what I've written, I feel the day hasn't been totally wasted.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Evening #Feels

  • This medal (the National Book Award) together with my American Express card, will identify me worldwide ... except at Bloomingdale's.
    -- S. J. Perelman

    #Book #Awards #Together