Frasi William Claude Fields

„Some contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch …“

—  W.C. Fields

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1940)

„Here lies W. C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.“

—  W.C. Fields

This was an epitaph Fields proposed for himself in a 1925 article in Vanity Fair. It refers to his long standing jokes about Philadelphia (his actual birthplace), and the grave being one place he might actually not prefer to be. This is often repeated as "On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.", or "All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia." which he might have stated at other times. It has also sometimes been distorted into a final dig at Philadelphia: "Better here than in Philadelphia." Fields' actual tomb at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California simply reads "W. C. Fields 1880–1946".

„Never give a sucker an even break.“

—  W.C. Fields

According to Collier's (28 November 1925), Fields is said to have used this line as early as 1923 in the musical comedy play Poppy. It became the title of one of his films in 1941 (and Fields' character also spoke this line in the sound film version of Poppy [1938] and in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man [1940]).

„I'd rather have two girls at twenty-one each, than one girl at forty-two.“

—  W.C. Fields

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1940)

„She's all dressed up like a well-kept grave.“

—  W.C. Fields

In reference to Jan Duggan's character in The Old Fashioned Way (1934)

„And it ain't a fit night out for man nor beast.“

—  W.C. Fields

The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933). Fields adapts an English proverb that was popular in the 17th century. (James Howell, English Proverbs (1659): "When the wind is in the east it is good for neither man nor beast"; John Ray, English Proverbs (1670): "When the wind's in the East, It's neither good for man nor beast." In rhyming "east" with "beast" the proverb refers to weather patterns in the British isles.)
“Mr. Fields, could you tell me the reason for your well-known aversion to water?” “Delighted, my dear,” he replied with suddenly increased bonhomie. “Never touch the stuff—very unhealthy. Fish fuck in it.”
Origine: Halliwell’s Hundred: A filmgoer’s nostalgic choice of films from the golden age By Leslie Halliwell, New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons 1982, Pg. 231: "The story goes that a polite young lady journalist invited him to lunch at Chasen’s in hope of a story. Lunch in his case was a liquid affair, and left him uncommunicative. Noticing the passion with which he shooed away the hovering waiter with the ice water jug, she seized an opening. “Mr. Fields, could you tell me the reason for your well-known aversion to water?” “Delighted, my dear,” he replied with suddenly increased bonhomie. “Never touch the stuff—very unhealthy. Fish fuck in it.”

„Who knows what's funny?“

—  W.C. Fields

As quoted in "One Word More: Liberalism Can Be a Bit Confusing" by Ralph McGill, in The Atlanta Constitution (14 August 1938)

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