Bob Birch: You want the convention to be a circus. Francis Underwood: Oh, Bob, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but politics is no longer just theatre, it’s show business. So let’s put on the best show in town.
Larry Pine and Kevin Spacey in the political TV drama House of Cards (2013 – ). Set in the White House, it centres around the ruthlessly ambitious power couple of Francis and Claire Underwood. I’m currently on series 4 so no spoilers please if you’re ahead of me.
Actually Homer, that’s just one. See, each push-up includes both an up part and a down part.
Lenny (Harry Shearer) in the hugely influential and long-running cartoon The Simpsons (1989 – ). You can find more wit relating to the hilarious Homer, here, here and here.(Photo credit: The War of the Simpsons)
Boycie: (Through gritted teeth) “Well done, Del. Nicely played. Where did you get those bloody Aces from?” Del: “Same place you got them Kings. I knew you was cheating, Boycie.” Boycie: “Oh yeah? How?” Del: “‘Cos that wasn’t the hand that I dealt you.”
John Challis and David Jason in the much-loved British sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1981 – 2003, 2014). Set in East End Peckham, it tells of a poorly educated but hugely entrepreneurial market trader who dreams of getting rich. You can see other examples of the show’s humour here and here, with some memorable quotes on poker here.
Frasier: I was drawn to the theatre because of its discipline and collaborative spirit! Niles: Oh please, in your sixth grade production of “Oklahoma!” you took so many curtain calls, Mrs. Van Raphorst had to lasso you and pull you from the stage! Frasier: That woman never understood me or the role of Farmer Number Three!
Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce in the supreme Seattle-based sitcom Frasier (1993 – 2004). I have quoted the multi-award winning show numerous times on my blog, and yet there is always so much more to quote. Make sure to check out my Gr8at post on Frasier and Niles for more examples of their sublime humour.
Bran Stark: Can a man still be brave when he’s afraid? Eddard Stark: That is the only time a man can be brave.
Isaac Hempstead Wright and Sean Bean in the epic Game of Thrones (2011 -). Based on the fantasy drama novels by George R. R. Martin, it tells of the violent power struggle between various families and different fractions for control of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. You can find my other quote from the show here.
Lady Edith: So he slipped the hook. Lady Mary: At least I’m not fishing with no bait.
Laura Carmichael and Michele Dockery in the period drama Downtown Abbey (2010 – 2015) The scathing insult reflects the competitive disharmony between the two sisters that flowed throughout the whole show.
Fox Mulder: After all you’ve seen. After all you’ve told me you’ve seen. The account filled with medical files, the beings moving past you, the implant in your neck. Why do you refuse to believe? Dana Scully: Believing is the easy part. I need more than you. I need proof. Fox Mulder: You think that believing is easy?
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in the seminal paranormal drama The X-Files (1993 – 2002) (2016 -). The quote highlights how the trusting yet complex relationship between the two, with Mulder aware of how his views on the supernatural are mocked by outsiders and Scully desperate to find a logic to explain them.
The scheming Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish (Aiden Gillen) in the phenomenally successful Game of Thrones (2011 -). Based on the novels by George R R Martin, the series tells of the many violent campaigns taking place to secure the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
When Melhman went out into the “real world” beyond Seinfeld’s office walls, he found that everyone wanted in television wanted the “next Seinfeld”, but they didn’t want to take the risks necessary to make such a thing. They wanted Seinfeld money, but they seemed to resent Seinfeld itself for breaking the rules of television. He would go in to pitch ideas to executives and hear, over and over, “That character’s not very likeable.” He’d thought Seinfeld had done away with likeability.
An anecdote by Peter Melhman as written by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong in her book Seinfeldia (2015). The book tells of the fascinating history of how a sitcom frequently voted the best ever came to be made, its impact on popular culture and how it shook up the rules of comedy. I’ve written quite a few posts on the show including an outline of the show and some of its most memorable quotes by its eponymous protagonist, Jerry Seinfeld.