NEW YORK -- What better way to set up a selection of rib-ticklers and groaners from Henny Youngman, who died at 91, than to simply steal some of the one-liner king's own introductory zingers, which he honed over a lifetime of Friars Club roasting and Borscht Belt skewering?
Here goes: Henny Youngman was a real musician, born with a fiddle in his hands and a bow in his legs. He had more talent in his little finger than he had in his big finger. He had such a big mouth he could eat a banana sideways.
He and his wife were a fastidious couple; she was fast and he was hideous.
He thought of himself as a wit, and he was probably half right. He was an entertainer who needed no introduction; he needed an act. His last audience was with him all the way; no matter how fast he ran, he couldn't shake them.
More Youngman one-liners follow, culled from a variety of sources (probably Milton Berle, too). Remember: It's all in the delivery.
-- By TOM KUNTZ
You have a ready wit. Let me know when it's ready.
The more I think of you, the less I think of you.
It's good to see you. It means you're not behind my back.
You're one of the main reasons for twin beds.
He's a real pain in the neck; of course, some people have a lower opinion of him.
He's a real gentleman. He reminds me of Saint Paul, one of the dullest towns in America.
When my wife asked me to start a garden, the first thing I dug up was an excuse.
My wife will buy anything marked down. She brought home two dresses and an escalator.
I haven't talked to my wife in three weeks. I didn't want to interrupt her.
I took my wife to a wife-swapping party. I had to throw in some cash.
I miss my wife's cooking -- as often as I can.
A woman wrapped herself in Saran Wrap to take weight off. Her husband comes home, sees her, and says, "Leftovers again!"
Would you mind looking at me? I've got the hiccups.
When you were born, did the doctor know which end to slap?
Be it ever so homely, there's no face like yours.
Two dumb guys go bear hunting. They see a sign saying, "Bear Left," so they went home.
What's the latest dope -- besides you?
I don't know what makes you so stupid, but it really works.
Can you really afford to give anybody a piece of your mind?
Was that suit made to order? The guy didn't pick it up, huh?
That's a nice suit you're wearing. When did the clown die?
I like the suit you're wearing. Who shines it for you?
A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says, "You're crazy." The man says, "I want a second opinion!" "OK, you're ugly, too!"
My doctor put his hand on my wallet and said, "Cough."
A guy says to a doctor, "I'm having trouble with my love life at home." The doctor says, "Take off twenty pounds and run ten miles a day for two weeks." Two weeks later, the guy calls the doctor, "Doctor, I took off twenty pounds and I've been running ten miles a day." "How's your love life now?" "I don't know, I'm 140 miles away!"
A man can't find a lawyer. He picks up the Red Book, picks out a law
firm -- Schwartz, Schwartz, Schwartz & Schwartz. Calls up, he says,
"Is Schwartz there?"
A guy says, "No, he's out playing golf."
He says, "All right, then let me talk to Schwartz."
"He's not with the firm anymore. He's retired."
"Then let me talk to Schwartz."
"He's away in Detroit, won't be back for a month."
"OK, then let me talk to Schwartz."
He says, "Speaking!"
I still love the oldie about the convict who was going to the electric chair and called his lawyer for some advice. The barrister replied, "Don't sit down!"
The food on the plane was fit for a king. "Here, King!"
A panhandler says to me, "Mister, I haven't tasted food in a week." I said, "Don't worry, it still tastes the same."
A panhandler says, "I haven't eaten in two days." I said, "Force yourself!"
My father was never home; he was always away drinking booze. He saw a sign saying, "Drink Canada Dry!" So he went up there.
My mother was 88 years old. She never used glasses. Drank right out of the bottle!
Your presence makes me long for your absence.
Some people bring happiness wherever they go. You bring happiness WHENEVER you go.
I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
He willed his body to science. Science is contesting the will.