Wow, has it been four years since Gene Wilder left us? I first presented this post in 2016. Gene left behind a great legacy of humor in his many films. Here is a small sampling of his best lines.

THE PRODUCERS (As Leo Bloom, neurotic accountant, foil, and partner to Max Bialystock, played by Zero Mostel.)

“I’m in pain and I’m wet and I’m still hysterical!”

“My blanket! My blue blanket! Give me my blue blanket!”

“I’m sorry I called you ‘Fat, fat, fat!’”

Dr. Frankenstein, with Inga and Igor.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (As Frederick Frankenstein—“That’s Fronkensteen!”—grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein.)

“Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven-and-a-half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?”

(To the monster) “Hello handsome. You’re a good looking fellow, do you know that? People laugh at you, people hate you, but why do they hate you? Because…they are jealous. Look at that boyish face. Look at that sweet smile. Do you wanna talk about physical strength? Do you want to talk about sheer muscle? Do you want to talk about the Olympian ideal? You are a God. And listen to me, you are not evil. You…are…good.”

(To a class of med students) “My grandfather’s work was doodoo! I am not interested in death! The only thing that concerns me is the preservation of life!”

“Alive! It’s alive! It’s alive!”

BLAZING SADDLES (As Jim, the Waco Kid.)

“Well, it got so that every piss-ant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco Kid. I must have killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille.”

(To Sheriff Bart, a black man, after being caught in KKK robes) “Why, Rhett! How many times have I told you to wash up after weekly cross burning?”

“Well, Mongo ain’t exactly a ‘who.’ He’s more of a ‘what.’”

WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (As the title character, arguably his most beloved role.)

“So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.”

“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

“If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates.”

(After Mike Teevee shrinks to a few inches) “Well, fortunately, small boys are extremely springy and elastic. So I think we’ll put him in my special taffy-pulling machine. That should do the trick.”

“Rainbow drops. Suck them and you can spit in seven different colors!”

“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.”

“I don’t understand it. The children are disappearing like rabbits. Well, we still have each other. Shall we press on?”

SILVER STREAK (As George, a book editor who sees a dead guy thrown from a train; co-starring with Richard Pryor.)

“You stupid, ignorant son of a bitch, dumb bastard. Jesus Christ. I’ve met some dumb bastards in my time, but you outdo them all.”

“I can’t pass for black.”

“If there’s ever anything that you need…don’t call me.”

STIR CRAZY (As Skip, who is framed for a bank robbery, along with Richard Pryor.)

“This filthy, roach-ridden reality is inspiring…what did that second policeman say to you when he grabbed you by the throat?”

“We tried to teach him Charades! He didn’t get it! He just didn’t get it!”

“I want a bigger cell! With better ventilation!”

HAUNTED HONEYMOON (As Larry, a speaker on horror radio shows, who takes his fiancé Vickie—Gilda Radner—home to meet his weird family in the castle where he grew up.)

“Something terrible has happened! I just found cousin Francis in my bed!”

“Now you think this would frighten me. Well it doesn’t. Because I know this is just a filthy figment of my diseased imagination. All I have to do is simply reach out my hand and touch it!”

SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL (As Dave, a deaf man, to Richard Pryor’s blind man.)

“Today I threatened to shoot a naked woman with my erection.”

“And then one day, my wife turned into this remarkable creature that could sit on the end of a broomstick and take off. She could actually achieve flight.”

“Fucking-A. Something bothers you, fuck it. Your wife leaves you, fuck her. Your boss fires you, fuck him. Fucking-A. Fuckin ’em. Right?”

THE FRISCO KID (As Rabbi Avram, traveling to his new congregation in California in 1850 with outlaw Tommy—Harrison Ford. I crack up just thinking about this film.)

Rabbi Avram and the Frisco Kid make some new friends.

(Chasing a chicken) “Come here, wait! I don’t want to hurt you! I just want to make you kosher!”

(Teaching Native Americans how Jews dance) “Watch that lady. I think that lady’s a Jewish Indian.”

“I’ve crossed rivers, and I’ve climbed high mountains, and I’ve…I was captured by wonderful Indians. I did so many things. God has truly blessed me. And what’s more, how many rabbis can say that they had a bank robber for a best man?”

 

I’m sure we can find a hundred more great Gene Wilder lines. Rest well, Willy Wonka.

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