OSCAR LEVANT QUOTES

American pianist, actor, & comedian (1906-1972)

It's not a pretty face, I grant you. But underneath its flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character.

OSCAR LEVANT, An American in Paris

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Tags: character


You know the only reason I'm appearing here is there's no more beds in the mental institution.

OSCAR LEVANT, The Jack Paar Tonight Show

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An epigram is only a wisecrack that's played at Carnegie Hall.

OSCAR LEVANT, Coronet Magazine, September 1968

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What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, The Educator's Book of Quotes

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Tags: humility


The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, Values of the Wise: Humanity's Highest Aspirations

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Tags: Democrats


In some situations I was difficult, in odd moments impossible, in rare moments loathsome, but at my best unapproachably great.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, Great Hollywood Wit

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I'm a study of a man in chaos in search of frenzy.

OSCAR LEVANT, TIME Magazine, May 5, 1958

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Tags: chaos


It's not what you are, it's what you don't become that hurts.

OSCAR LEVANT, ad-lib line, Humoresque

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Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, TIME Magazine, August 28, 1972

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Tags: happiness


My last picture for Warners was Romance on the High Seas. It was Doris Day's first picture; that was before she became a virgin.

OSCAR LEVANT, The Memoirs of an Amnesiac

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I don't like to play the piano. It makes me too attractive.

OSCAR LEVANT, Humoresque

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Now that Marilyn Monroe is kosher, Arthur Miller can eat her.

OSCAR LEVANT, comment upon Marilyn Monroe's conversion to Judaism, The Oscar Levant Show

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Tags: Marilyn Monroe


The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, The New Speaker's Treasury of Wit and Wisdom

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I played an unsympathetic part -- myself.

OSCAR LEVANT, on his role in the movie Humoresque, The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes

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She was born with a silver flask in her mouth.

OSCAR LEVANT, Humoresque

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I was once thrown out of a mental hospital for depressing the other patients.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, Memorable Quotations: Jewish Writers of the Past

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How long have you been working for that virtuoso of the magic violin? I don't mean that as a compliment. I only say a magic violin because when he plays it, everyone disappears.

OSCAR LEVANT, "Jack Goes to Doctor", The Jack Benny Program, November 30, 1958

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There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, Celebrity Register: An Irreverent Compendium of American Quotable Notables

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Tags: insanity


He uses his music as an accompaniment to his conducting.

OSCAR LEVANT, comment about Leonard Bernstein, The Memoirs of an Amnesiac

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I envy people who drink -- at least they know what to blame everything on.

OSCAR LEVANT, attributed, The Portable Curmudgeon

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Tags: alcoholism