When you’re talking about a great orator like Sir Winston Churchill, choosing the funniest quotes and most clever things he said and wrote can be very difficult—there are so many to choose from.
Some of Churchill’s great funny quotes come from his conversations with Lady Nancy Astor, a high-society woman whom Churchill could not stand and, because of his political position, could not avoid.
There is one story that Lady Astor, frustrated with Churchill’s heavy drinking, snapped at him, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”
Churchill thought for a moment and replied, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
Another famous confrontation occurred at a large party where, as usual, Churchill had over-imbibed. Embarrassed by his behavior, Lady Astor said sternly, “Mr. Prime Minister, you are drunk. You are very, very drunk.”
Churchill’s response was immediate. “Lady Astor, you are ugly. You are very, very ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober.”
Churchill often got the last laugh in these barbed exchanges, but not always. One evening, Lady Astor, very much against her will, invited him to a masquerade party she was having where all of the guests were to come in elaborate disguises so nobody could guess who they really were.
“And what kind of disguise would you like me to wear?” Churchill asked, and got the response: “Why don’t you try coming sober?”
While some of Churchill’s funniest quotes involve Lady Astor, he by no means needed another performer to make others laugh. His dry observations about everything from politics to the American G.I.s in World War II are quite amusing, and thought-provoking, on their own.
Just a few of his great funny quotes are included here:
“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.”
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.”
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
(Upon being told by an aide that he ended to many sentences with a preposition) “That is the kind of utter nonsense up with which I shall not put.”
“A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability to explain afterwards why it didn’t happen.”
“A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, then asks you not to kill him.”
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
“He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
It was Churchill’s tough-minded encouragement that led Englandthrough World War II. And he did it all with good grace and some of the funniest quotes imaginable.