Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

American Cowboy, Actor, Humorist, Social Commentator and Vaudeville Performer

"Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else."

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save."

"If they really want to honor the soldiers, why don't they let them sit in the stands and have the people march by?"

"Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in Speech."

"I never met a man I didn’t like."

"People who fly into rage always make a bad landing."

"No voter in the world ever voted for nothing; in some way he has been convinced that he is to get something for that vote. His vote is all that our Constitution gives him, and it goes to the highest bidder."

"A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn’t see any reason why he should always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any money but doesn’t see why he shouldn’t."

"A country can get more real joy out of just hollering for their freedom than they can if they get it."

"A debt is just as hard for a Government to pay as it is for an individual. No debt ever comes due at a good time. Borrowing is the only thing that seems handy all the time."

"A Democrat is just like a baby. If it's hollering and making a lot of noise, there is nothing serious the matter with it. When it's quiet and doesn't pay much attention to anything, that's when it's really dangerous."

"A bunch of American tourists were hissed and stoned yesterday in France but not until they had finished buying."

"A cannibal is a good deal like a Democrat, they are forced to live off each other."

"A comedian can only last till he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious."

"A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

"A fanatic is always the fellow that is on the opposite side."

"A flock of Democrats will replace a mess of Republicans. It won’t mean a thing. They will go in like all the rest of ’em. Go in on promises and come out on alibis."

"A fool and his money are soon elected."

"A gentleman quoted me on the floor the other day. Another member took exception and said he objected to the remarks of Professional Joke Maker going into the Congressional Record. They are the Professional Joke Makers. Read some of the bills that they have passed. If you don’t think they ain’t Joke Makers. I could study all my life and not think up half the amount of funny things they can think of in one Session of Congress. Besides, my jokes don’t do anybody any harm. You don’t have to pay attention to them. But every one of the Jokes those Birds make is a law and hurt somebody (generally everybody). I object to being called a Professional. I’m an amateur beside them."

"A government treaty gave Cherokees their land as long as the grass grows and the water flows, but when they discovered oil, they took it back because there was nuthin' in the treaty about oil."

"A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you."

"A holding company is the people you give your money to while you're being searched."

"A Democrat never adjourns--he is born, becomes of voting age and starts right in arguing over something, and his political adjournment is his date with the undertaker."

"A king can stand people fighting but he can't last long if people start thinking."

"A lobbyist is a person that is supposed to help a politician make up his mind—not only help him but pay him."

"A man can fool you with his mind, and his Soul and his Heart, but if you follow his feet you will pretty near find out where he is going."

"A man in the country does his own thinking. Get him into town and he will be thinking second-handed."

"A man naturally pulls for the business that brings him in his living. That's just human nature. So look what a new gang we got assisting devilment, all trained to get a guilty man out on a technicality and an innocent one in on their opposing lawyer's mistake. This is the heyday of the shyster lawyer, and they defend each other for half rates."

"A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people."

"A man that don't love a Horse, there is something the matter with him. If he has no sympathy for the man that does love Horses, then there is something worse the matter with him."

"A politician is just like a pickpocket. It’s almost impossible to get one to reform."

"A politician is not as narrow-minded as he forces himself to be."

"A president just can't make much showing against congress. They lay awake nights, thinking up things to be against the president on."

"A president should hold office six years with no re-election. Stop this thing of a President having to lower his dignity and go trooping around asking for votes to keep him another term. Six years give him time to do something. Then pay the man when he goes out one-half of his salary for life."

"A President-elect’s popularity is the shortest lived of any public man. It only lasts till he picks his Cabinet."

"A Realtor is an old fashioned Real Estate man with a neck tie. A Real Estate man sold you what you wanted; a Realtor sells you what you don't need. A Real Estate man showed you what you could raise on the land, a Realtor tells you what you can build on it."

"A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth."

"A Republican moves slowly. They are what we call conservatives. A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn't see any reason why he shouldn't always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any, but doesn't see any reason why he shouldn't have some."

"A smart state nowadays will appoint all their highway men from one place. Then one road will do all of ’em."

"A statesman is a man that can do what the politician would like to do but can’t because he is afraid of not being elected."

"A successful outcome shows what hard work, perseverance and taking advantage of your opportunities will do for you."

"A tax paid on the day you buy is not as tough as asking you for it the next year when you are broke."

"A thing that is free is of no earthly importance."

"A wife is the cheapest thing you can get in the long run in the female line."

"Ability is all right but if it is not backed up by honesty and public confidence you will never be a (successful person). The best a man can do is to arrive at the top in his chosen profession. I have always maintained that one profession is deserving of as much honor as another provided it is honorable."

"About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation."

"About being a U.S. Senator, the only thing the law says you have to be is 30 years old. Not another single requirement. They just figure that a man that old got nobody to blame but himself if he gets caught there."

"Actual knowledge of the future was never lower, but hope was never higher. Confidence will beat predictions any time."

"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need."

"After a football game in Lima, Peru, five were killed. Up here we don’t kill our football players. We make coaches out of the smart ones and send the others to the Legislature."