[Ads-l] Quotation: Any fool can play tragedy, but comedy is serious business

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 17 19:39:32 UTC 2020

Possibly related - it's from "My Favorite Year" with Peter O'Toole, who
quotes somebody as saying "Dying is easy, comedy is hard."

Ah, too late

On Sun, May 17, 2020 at 8:37 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> The saying in the subject line has been attributed to
> eighteenth-century English actor David Garrick. The second part is
> sometimes called a show business adage. Here are three versions:
> Comedy is a serious business.
> Comedy is a serious matter.
> Comedy is a serious thing.
> The Quote Investigator website now has an article on this topic titled:
> You May Humbug the Town for Some Time Longer as a Tragedian; But
> Comedy Is a Serious Thing
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/05/17/comedy-serious/
> In 1834 the expression immediately above was attributed to  David Garrick.
> In 1775 the dramatist and essayist George Colman said, "To write a
> Comedy is a serious matter".
> In 1938 Garrick received credit for "Any fool can play tragedy, but
> comedy is serious business".
> Barry Popik has a pertinent webpage with citations beginning in 1894.
> https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/comedy_is_a_serious_business_theatre_adage
> Nigel Rees has a pertinent entry in "Cassell's Humorous Quotations"
> (2001) with citations beginning in 1906.
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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