by Laurent Kelly

He was the wisecracking, womansier who took absolutely nothing seriously least of all himself. The films he made with the Marx Brothers stand up today as some of the funniest American comedies of all time and his humour is still refreshing and relevant in today’s world. Below are ten hillarious quotes from one of the wittiest men of the past century.

  • “She got her looks from her father, he’s a plastic surgeon.”

  • “Outside of a dog a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

  • (From his autobiography Groucho and Me) Although it is generally known, I think it is about time to announce that I was born at a very young age.

  • “Women should be obscene and not heard.”

(A letter written to major film company Warner Bros who had threatened to take legal action after they learnt that the Marx Brothers were planning on making a film entitled A Night in Casablanca. They felt this sounded too similar to Casablanca, the Humphrey Bogart led classic which had been a major hit for them five years earlier.)

  • “Dear Warner Brothers,

Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca.

It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, had stumbled on the shores of Africa and, raising his alpenstock (which he later turned in for a hundred shares of common), named it Casablanca.”

To read the full letter click here.


  • (From Duck Soup) “Married. I can see you right now in the kitchen, bending over a hot stove. But I can’t see the stove.”

  •  (From Animal Crackers) “Africa is God’s country and he can have it.”

  • “Behind every succesful man is a woman. Behind her is his wife.”



  • “I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

  • “I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.”


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