Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.

— Buster Keaton

The most reckoning Buster Keaton quotes that are proven to give you inner joy

Silence is of the gods; only monkeys chatter.


Charlie Chaplin and I would have a friendly contest: Who could do the feature film with the least subtitles?


They say pantomime's a lost art. It's never been a lost art and never will be, because it's too natural to do.


If one more person tells me this is just like old times, I swear I'll jump out the window.


Not long ago a friend asked me what was the greatest pleasure I got from spending my whole life as an actor. There have been so many that I had to think about that for a moment. Then I said, 'Like everyone else, I like to be with a happy crowd'.


Is Hollywood the cruelest city in the world? Well, it can be.

New York can be that, too. You can be a Broadway star here one night, and something happens, and out--nobody knows you on the street. They forget you ever lived. It happens in Hollywood, too.


What really got my goat at MGM were comedians like The Marx Brothers who never wrote their own jokes.


And if there is sweeter music this side of heaven I haven't heard it.


The funny thing about our act is that dad gets the worst of it, although I'm the one who apparently receives the bruises [...] the secret is in landing limp and breaking the fall with a foot or a hand. It's a knack. I started so young that landing right is second nature with me. Several times I'd have been killed if I hadn't been able to land like a cat. Imitators of our act don't last long, because they can't stand the treatment.


I gotta do some sad scenes. Why, I never tried to make anybody cry in my life! And I go `round all the time dolled up in kippie clothes-wear everything but a corset...can`t stub my toe in this picture nor anything! Just imagine having to play-act all the time without ever getting hit with anything!


Like everyone else, I like to be with a happy crowd.


All my life I have been happiest when the folks watching me said to each other, `Look at the poor dope, wilya?


About Buster Keaton

Quotes 19 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Actor
Birthday October 16

A comedian does funny things. A good comedian does things funny.


No man can be a genius in slapshoes and a flat hat.


I`ve had few dull moments [in my life] and not too many sad and defeated ones.

In saying this I am by no means overlooking the rough and rocky years I`ve lived through. But I was not brought up thinking life would be easy. I always expected to work hard for my money and to get nothing I did not earn. And the bad years, it seems to me, were so few that only a dyed-in-the-wool grouch who enjoys feeling sorry for himself would complain.


Down through the years my face has been called a sour puss, a dead pan, a frozen face, The Great Stone Face, and, believe it or not, "a tragic mask." On the other hand that kindly critic, the late James Agee, described my face as ranking "almost with Lincoln's as an early American archetype, it was haunting, handsome, almost beautiful." I can't imagine what the great rail splitter's reaction would have been to this, though I sure was pleased.


I don't act, anyway. The stuff is all injected as we go along. My pictures are made without script or written directions of any kind.


I don't feel qualified to talk about my work.