Hal Holbrook: Mark Twain Tonight! (1967 TV Special)
Mark Twain: I was very particular about the kind of job I wanted. I didn't want to work. So I went over to the Congress, that Grand Old Benevolent National Asylum for the Helpless, and I reported on the inmates there.
Mark Twain: I wonder if God invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.
[first lines, as seen on the original telecast, but not on the DVD]
Mark Twain: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm always sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they all have such a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead; so is Milton, and so is Shakespeare. And I'm not feeling very well myself. I was born modest, but it wore off.
Mark Twain: I used to tell lies, but I gave it up. The field is overrun with amateurs.
Mark Twain: Ladies and gentlemen, how solemn and beautiful is the thought, that the earliest pioneer of civilization is never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the missionary, but whiskey.
Mark Twain: Well then, says I, what's the use in you learning to do right, when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong? And the wages are just the same.
Mark Twain: Well, it's a comical invention, the human race, any way you look at it. But sometimes it seems a shame that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Mark Twain: Well, that California get-rich-quick disease of my youth spread like wildfire. It produced a civilization which has destroyed the simplicity and repose of life, its poetry, its soft romantic dreams and visions, and replaced them with a money fever, sordid ideals, vulgar ambitions, and the sleep which does not refresh. It has created a thousand useless luxuries and turned them into necessities, and satisfied nothing. It has dethroned God and set up a shekel in his place. Oh the dreams of our youth - how beautiful they are, and how perishable!
Mark Twain: When I was 14, my father was so stupid I could scarcely stand to have the old man around, but by the time I was 21, I was amazed by what he'd learned in just seven years
Mark Twain: Man is really the most interesting jackass there is. It's his idea, you see, that the deity sits up at nights to admire him.
Mark Twain: You see, man is also the religious animal. He's the only one who's got the true religion! Several of them.
Mark Twain: Man is the only animal who deals in the atrocity of war. He's the only one, that for sordid wages, goes forth in cold blood to exterminate his own kind. He has a motto for this: "Our country, right or wrong!"... And he has another motto: "Even though the war be wrong, we are in it! We cannot retire without dishonor!" Why, not even a burglar could have said that better.
Mark Twain: [about Huckleberry Finn] We liked him. We admired him. We enjoyed his society. And because his society was forbidden us by our parents, we enjoyed it all the more.
Mark Twain: [just before the first intermission] It's a terrible death to be talked to death.
Mark Twain: In just one hour of twenty-four, not more, I pause and reflect in the stillness of the night, and then I'm humbled, and then I'm properly meek, and during that little while I'm only the Mary Ann, fourteen hours out, cargoed with vegetables and tinware. But during all the twenty-three hours my vain self-complacency rides high on the white crests of approval, and then I am a stately India-man, ploughing the great seas beneath a cloud of canvas, and laden with the kindest words that have ever been vouchsafed to any wandering alien in this world, I think. Then I am the Begum of Bengal, seventy years out, homeward bound. Thank you and good night.