There are some killer one-liners in here.
Reddit user cutecutejames posted a great question on the AskReddit subforum: “What is a quote from a comedian you'll never forget?” The post quickly went viral, receiving over 10,700 responses on the first day. Of the countless comedians mentioned in the thread, Norm Macdonald appears to be the most quotable.
Sadly, Macdonald died of cancer in 2021, but he was famous for his outlandish musings, delivered in a dry, deliberate tone. Macdonald is best known as a stand-up comedian, but he was also memorable on television as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 1993 to 1997 and on his sitcom, “The Norm Show.”
Two other deceased funnymen were often quoted in the discussion, Mitch Hedberg and George Carlin.
Hedberg’s comedy was based on short, memorable one-liners filled with absurdity. He passed away in 2005 from a drug overdose. George Carlin is often listed among the greatest stand-up comedians of all time and was a voice of the counterculture in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Later in life, his comedy evolved into a nihilistic criticism of American life that, for many, is still relevant today.
“It's called 'the American Dream' 'cause you have to be asleep to believe it,” Carlin said.
Here are 21 of the funniest and most poignant quotes from a comedian shared on the AskReddit forum.
"Every time you clog a toilet, you exceeded someone’s expectations." — Unknown
"Everybody thinks they're a comedian. Especially in my line of work." — Norm Macdonald
This came from Macdonald's memoir, "Based on a True Story," a must-read for Norm fans. My favorite thing about this line is that it was a sort of random throwaway, almost an afterthought, as he was expressing disdain for a doctor who told a joke and got a big laugh from everyone else in the room.
And that doctor's joke? It was Macdonald's own moth story.
“I’m not an adventurous person. I’ve only ever used one side of a cheese grater.” — James Acaster
“I’ve started cooking with wine. That sounds so fancy, cooking with wine. What I do is I get drunk and I make rice. I tell my friends ‘come over, I’m cooking with wine.’ They come over, I’m drunk, and there’s rice everywhere.” — Kevin Nealon
"What is it like to have four kids? Imagine you are drowning, and then someone hands you a baby." — Jim Gaffigan
"I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread." — Mitch Hedberg
“Cocaine is God's way of saying you make too much money." — Robin Williams
"I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'." — Bob Newhart
“People say someone lost their battle with cancer. But if someone dies from cancer, the cancer dies too. I’d call that a draw.” — Norm MacDonald
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, which is just long enough to be president of the United States." — Spike Milligan
Active Oppressor wrote:
"When you are on fire, and running down the street, people will get out of your way." — Richard Pryor
"I was walking down the street the other day and these construction workers were working on the roof hammering away. One of them told me I was a paranoid lunatic...in morse code." — Emo Phillips
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx
"I didn't want to be Drunk in Public. I wanted to be drunk in a bar. They THREW me into public." — Ron White
"I know I'm getting older, my last birthday cake looked like a prairie fire!" — Rodney Dangerfield
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." — George Carlin
"When you got a career there ain't enough time in the world...when you got a job there's too much time." — Chris Rock
"She had enough plastic surgery so that when she crossed her legs, her mouth snapped open." — Joan Rivers
"Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in." — Doug Stanhope
"The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while.
Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, 'Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?' And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, 'Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.'
And we … kill those people.
'Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.'
It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride.
And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.
Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace." — Bill Hicks