Art Buchwald

journalist, humorist, United States Marine (1925–2007)

Arthur "Art" Buchwald (20 October 192517 January 2007) was an American humorist best known for his long-running column in The Washington Post newspaper, which focused on political satire and commentary. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Outstanding Commentary in 1982 and in 1986 was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Buchwald editing his work, 1994
If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.


  • I always wanted to get into politics, but I was never light enough to make the team.
    • Quoted in Thompson, Hunter S., "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail," 1972.
  • I like champagne—because it always tastes like my foot's asleep.
  • A bad liver is to a Frenchman what a nervous breakdown is to an American. Everyone has had one and everyone wants to talk about it.
    • New York Herald Tribune (16 January 1958).
  • The powder is mixed with water and tastes exactly like powder mixed with water.
    • On liquid diets, in New York Herald Tribune (29 December 1960).
  • Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new...program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was.
    • Have I Ever Lied to You? (1968).
  • People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.
    • Have I Ever Lied to You? (1968).
  • You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it.
    • Interview in The New York Times Book Review (1985), as quoted in Pundits, Poets, and Wits: An Omnibus of American Newspaper Columns‎ (1990) by Karl Ernest Meyer, p. 308.
  • Just when you think there's nothing to write about, Nixon says, "I am not a crook." Jimmy Carter says, "I have lusted after women in my heart." President Reagan says, "I have just taken a urinalysis test, and I am not on dope."
    • Time magazine (29 September 1986).
  • If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.
    • International Herald Tribune (24 May 1989).
  • People ask what I am really trying to do with humor. The answer is, "I'm getting even." … For me, being funny is the best revenge.
  • Don't commit suicide, because you might change your mind two weeks later.
    • A humorous personal mantra he used to combat his states of depression, published in Too Soon to Say Goodbye (2006)
    • Leaving Home (1995).

Quotes about Buchwald

  • The American arrives in Paris with a few French phrases he has culled from a conversational guide or picked up from a friend who owns a beret.
    • Fred Allen, "Introduction to Art Buchwald", Paris after Dark (1954).
  • The bad boy tweaking the nose of the Establishment [with] the countenance of a Jewish leprechaun.
  • What Art had was the gift of laughter — that's a rarity today. He could take simple ordinary things and make you laugh. God knows all of us need that. I've been with him in all kinds of situations, good and bad, triumph and tragedy but Art always was able to see a little wisp of humor in everything.
  • Art was the Mark Twain of our time. For decades there was no better way to start the day than to open the morning paper to Art's column, laugh out loud and learn all over again to take the issues seriously in the world of politics, but not take yourself too seriously. The special art of Art Buchwald was to make even the worst of times better.
  • Three of us — Bill Styron, he and I — suffered depression simultaneously, so we walked around in the rain together on Martha's Vineyard and consoled each other... He did the best to make life palatable, to help you be optimistic, to let you know he believed you would beat it. We both did, and so did Bill. We named ourselves the 'Blues Brothers.'
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