The Ultimate Comedy Club
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, this year's recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, joins an elite club whose members include renowned comedians ranging from Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin to Bill Murray and Whoopi Goldberg. Click through for 40 prime examples of the 19 past honorees' best lines.
Steve Martin (2005 recipient)
"Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes."
Ellen DeGeneres (2012 recipient)
"Can't we just love everybody and judge them by the car they drive?"
Richard Pryor (1998 recipient)
"I had to stop drinking, 'cause I got tired of waking up in my car driving 90."
Bill Murray (2016 recipient)
"I don't have to take this abuse from you. I've got hundreds of people dying to abuse me."
Lily Tomlin (2003 recipient)
"Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic?"
David Letterman (2017 recipient)
"Do you know what I love most about baseball? The pine tar, the resin, the grass, the dirt. And that's just in the hot dogs."
Whoopi Goldberg (2001 recipient)
"I don't have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation."
Jonathan Winters (1999 recipient)
"I'm from the Delbert Home for the Unusual."
George Carlin (2008 recipient)
"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"
Eddie Murphy (2015 recipient)
"I tell ya, I'm 'bout as crazy as a dog in a hubcap factory."
Tina Fey (2010 recipient)
"To say I'm an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair."
Bob Newhart (2002 recipient)
"I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, 'denigrate' means 'put down.'"
Carl Reiner (2000 recipient)
"A lot of people like snow. I find it an unnecessary freezing of water."
Jay Leno (2014 recipient)
"According to a recent survey, men say the first thing they notice about women is their eyes. And women say the first thing they notice about men is they're a bunch of liars."
Billy Crystal (2007 recipient)
"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."
Neil Simon (2006 recipient)
"Gee, what a terrific party… Later on we'll get some fluid and embalm each other."
Carol Burnett (2013 recipient)
"I don't have false teeth. Do you think I'd buy teeth like these?"
Lorne Michaels (2004 recipient)
"I don't tweet for a very simple reason, which is that I drink."
Will Ferrell (2011 recipient)
"I'm actually pretty athletic. I have to work out just to look fat."
"Robbers broke into The Gap this weekend. The suspects are being described as armed and casual."
"I like my coffee like I like my men.... I don't drink coffee."
"Some people have a way with words, and other people … uh, not have a way."
"Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it."
"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
"I have a photographic memory; I just haven't developed it yet."
"Amy Poehler and I have been friends for so long, we're like Oprah and Gale. Only we're not denying anything."
"I'm not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells."
"Britney Spears told an interviewer if she weren't famous, she would be a teacher. So, thank God she's famous."
"I don't look like Halle Berry. But chances are she's going to end up looking like me."
"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up."
"I sleep like a baby—I'm up every two hours."
"I liked myself better when I wasn't me."
"People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think."
"An interim government was set up in Afghanistan. It included two women, one of whom was Minister of Women's Affairs. Man, who'd she have to show her ankles to to get that job?"
"Anything you have to acquire a taste for was not meant to be eaten."
"USA Today has come out with a new survey. Apparently three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population."
As host of the 2014 Oscars:
"Come on, if you don't win tonight it doesn't mean you're not a good person. It just means you're not a good actor."
"First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me."
Ad-libbed as he prepared to blow up a gopher tunnel in "Caddyshack":
"In the immortal words of Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher.'"
"If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?"
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