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The Joke Book
I misspoke myself
"I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply
with the law."
- David Dinkins, New York City Mayor,
answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.
"They gave me a book of checks. They didn't ask for any
- Congressman Joe Early (D-Mass) at a press conference to answer
questions about the House Bank scandal.
"He didn't say that. He was reading what was given to him in a
- Richard Darman, director of OMB, explaining why President Bush
wasn't following up on his campaign pledge that there would be
no loss of wetlands.
"It depends on your definition of asleep. They were not stretched
out. They had their eyes closed. They were seated at their desks
with their heads in a nodding position."
- John Hogan, Commonwealth Edison Supervisor of News Information,
responding to a charge by a Nuclear Regulatory Commission
inspector that two Dresden Nuclear Plant operators were
sleeping on the job.
"I didn't accept it. I received it."
- Richard Allen, National Security Advisor to President Reagan,
explaining the $1000 in cash and two watches he was given by
two Japanese journalists after he helped arrange a private
interview for them with First Lady Nancy Reagan.
"I was a pilot flying an airplane and it just so happened that
where I was flying made what I was doing spying."
- Francis Gary Power, U-2 reconnaissance pilot held by the
Soviets for spying, in an interview after he was returned to
"I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the
- President Richard Nixon
"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important
part of your life."
- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for
a federal anti-smoking campaign
"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my
- Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward
"I support efforts to limit the terms of members of Congress,
especially members of the House and members of the Senate."
- Vice-President Dan Quayle
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime
rates in the country."
- Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, D.C.
"Sure, it's going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying
of something else anyway."
- Othal Brand, member of a Texas pesticide review board, on
"Are you any relation to your brother Marv?"
- Leon Wood, New Jersey Nets guard, to Steve Albert, Nets TV
"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history...
this century's history.... We all lived in this century. I didn't
live in this century."
- Dan Quayle, then Indiana senator and Republican
vice-presidential candidate during a news conference in which
he was asked his opinion of the Holocaust.
"The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who
make them unsafe."
- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia
"I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are
- Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, explaining
why we should export toxic wastes to Third World countries.
"The crime bill passed by the Senate would reinstate the Federal
death penalty for certain violent crimes: assassinating the
President; hijackiing an airliner; and murdering a government
- Knight Ridder News Service dispatch
"After finding no qualified candidates for the position of
principal, the school board is extremely pleased to announce the
appointment of David Steele to the post."
- Philip Streifer, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington Rhode
"The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing."
- Dizzy Dean explaining how he felt after being hit on the head
by a ball in the 1934 World Series.