Alan Bennett’s 10 funniest quotes

21 October 2015

The legendary playwright and author behind The History Boys, Talking Heads and major new film The Lady in the Van is known for his brilliant wit. Here are some of his funniest lines.

1.) ‘We were put to Dickens as children but it never quite took. That unremitting humanity soon had me cheesed off.’ 

The Old Country, 1977

2.) ‘If you think squash is a competitive activity, try flower arranging.’

Talking Heads, 1987

3.) On being asked whether he was gay or straight: ‘That’s a bit like asking a man crawling across the Sahara whether he would prefer  Perrier or Malvern water.’

4.) ‘At eighty, things do not occur; they recur.’ 

The Uncommon Reader, 2007

5.) ‘There’s no better way of forgetting something, than commemorating it.’

The History Boys, 2004

‘6.) Definition of a classic: a book everyone is assumed to have read and often thinks they have.’

7.) On journalist Arianna Stassinopoulos: ‘So boring, you fall asleep halfway through her name.’

8) ‘Mark my words. When a society has to resort to the lavatory for its humour, the writing is on the wall.’

Forty Years On, 1968

9.) ‘It was the kind of library he had only read about in books.’

 The Uncommon Reader, 2007

10.) ‘If you find yourself born in Barnsley and then set your sights on being Virginia Woolf, it’s not going to be roses all the way.’

Alan Bennett writes exclusively about his new movie The Lady in the Van in the November issue of Saga Magazine.

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