Alexander Woollcott

  • American critic
  • Born January 19, 1887
  • Died January 23, 1942

Alexander Humphreys Woollcott (January 19, 1887 – January 23, 1943) was an American critic and commentator for The New Yorker magazine and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. He was the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside, the main character in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939) by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and for the far less likable character Waldo Lydecker in the film Laura (1944). Woollcott was convinced he was the inspiration for his friend Rex Stout's brilliant, eccentric detective Nero Wolfe, an idea that Stout denied.

Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening.

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day.

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.

Many of us spend half of our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing.

Germany was the cause of Hitler as much as Chicago is responsible for the Chicago Tribune.

All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening.

His huff arrived and he departed in it.

Nothing risque, nothing gained.

At 83 Shaw's mind was perhaps not quite as good as it used to be, but it was still better than anyone else's.

It comes from the likes of you! Take what you can get! Grab the chances as they come along! Act in hallways! Sing in doorways! Dance in cellars!

The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm.