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Kate Clinton

  • The recession has traditionally proved good for comedy because people don't buy large-ticket items. They might not get a refrigerator, but they might go, 'I need a laugh — a cheap laugh.'

    • Kate Clinton,
    • interview ()
  • When women go off together we call it separatism. When men go off together we call it Congress.

    • Kate Clinton,
    • in Harriet Lerner, Life Preservers ()
  • [On cloning sheep:] Oh great, just what we need — more sheep.

    • Kate Clinton,
    • in The Progressive ()
  • Whenever a woman describes herself as a 'post-feminist' I picture women lashed to posts. Joan of Arc was an early post-feminist.

  • Each time we had a visiting writer, I asked what she thought of women and humor. By the end of the year, I had perfected my question and asked Adrienne Rich why there was so little written about women and humor. She looked at me right in the eye and said, 'You write it.' I took that as an order.

  • [On Nancy Reagan:] At one photo op press conference, she toured a crack house and decried how awful it was, yet one suspected that for our Drug Czarina it had something to do with a plaid couch.

  • I've always felt that a really good joke, a really good one-liner, is a really good line of poetry. It's imagistic, it's compact, there is a rhythm to it.

    • Kate Clinton,
    • in "L in a Handbasket," Bitch ()
  • Laughter takes the tyranny of the lies we are told and told and told and it blows them apart.

    • Kate Clinton,
    • in "L in a Handbasket," Bitch ()
  • In this political climate, people are so shut down to other ideas — I call it a hardening of the categories — that if you can get them to open up and laugh, there is a possibility of improvement, and a possibility of change. I think humor sneaks up on people, and before you know it, you're laughing at something you might not agree with.

    • Kate Clinton,
    • in "L in a Handbasket," Bitch ()
  • [On being lesbian:] One pointer: don't come out to your dad in a moving vehicle.

  • Teaching is performance art.

  • Gays have always been in the military. Alexander the Great was originally Alexander the Fabulous. A gay man invented C-rations. He claims he could never talk anyone into the cilantro garnish. Obviously, gays were not allowed to design the outfits, because we never would have stayed with the earth tones for so long.

  • When CBS sportscaster Ben Wright claimed women don't make good golfers because their 'boobs' get in the way of their swings, I thought, 'Two words, Ben. Beer. Gut.'

  • In right field we had a woman who was a therapist. As a right fielder, she was a wonderful therapist. ... Whenever a fly popped up to center, she could be heard saying to the center fielder, 'I believe in your skills; I support you in your effort to catch the ball.'

  • Of all sports, football seems to be the most sanctioned homosocial opportunity for straight men to be with each other, pat butts, struggle, strive, and take showers together. All that talk of tight ends and penetration. The reason there are face masks on those helmets is so that can't kiss each other.

  • In his second term, [Ronald] Reagan completed the work of his first term — the rich got really rich, everything was deregulated, advocacy programs were quashed, the Savings and Loan program was trashed, the deficit was tripled, unions were busted, Housing and Urban Developing was in shambles, banks were closing, the military got lots of new toys, the religious right was strong, and AIDS was ignored.

  • Once he became president, George [H.] Bush revealed a vein of Styrofoam and no matter how deep he tried to go, he always ended up bobbing on the surface. His inaugural speech was like being present at the death of language ...

  • After the Reagan years, there were only three people of color in the Republican Party. Their slogan was 'Republicans — the Other White Meat.' George [H.] Bush tried to dispel the 'whites only' image of his party, often referring to his Mexican-American grandkids as 'the little brown ones over there,' and nominated Clarence Uncle Thomas to the Supreme Court.

  • So few people voted in the elections [of 1996] that the ones who did were called activists.

  • Feminism taught me to listen and nod when told the biggest piles of crap, to pause then burst into guffaws; to recover, then look them in the eye and say incredulously, 'Oh, my goodness, you mean it.' They never say those lies again with any degree of confidence.

    • Kate Clinton,
    • in Ms. ()

Kate Clinton, U.S. comedian, writer, activist

(1948)