Unquotable:Noel Coward

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“He may have been thought the bigger wit, but I have obliged with a warm hand on most of his openings.”

~ Noel Coward on Oscar Wilde

"At this range, I can hit the bounder with almost unerring accuracy."
"A mere puppet, I am not."

Noel "Slice" Coward,[1] possibly history's second most famous wit of all time, has long been overshadowed by the more popular and gloriously gayer Oscar Wilde. Author of such classics as An English Gentleman's Guide to Dogging and his wartime hit Up the Arsenal!, Coward is often perceived as all that is jolly spiffing and exceedingly gay about Englishmen.

As with the falsification of any quotes, gaining the correct mindset is all-important. Gestures, articles of clothing, and glib articulation will all assist in assuming the character. Pink smoking jackets, gin and tonics (or "Pimms"), and carnations held firmly between the buttocks may all help you to "become" Noel Coward.

Noel Coward on the Popular Theatre[edit]

  • "Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington; she's an ugly arse of a girl with no perceptible talent."
  • "Ahhhhhhh, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
  • "I love it twice nightly, more if I can manage."
  • "Ahhh, the grease of the crowd paint, the roar of the smell."
  • "People are wrong when they say Opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. Noisy annoying shite."
  • "I always love a warm hand on my entrance."
  • "Greasepaint, ahhhh of the roar, the crowd of smell."

Noel Coward on Bottoms[edit]

  • "I have a garden full of furry bottoms, or something like that."
  • "Churchill had the most voluptuous arse, quite like two raging rhinos jostling inside a pair of slacks."

Noel Coward on Society[edit]

  • "It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty, and how few by evil, greedy corporate felons."
  • "It's a fair cop, but polite, upper-crust society is to blame."
  • "Extraordinary, how potent cheap tear gas is."
  • "It was not Cafe Society, it was Nescafe Society, or some other foul tasting coffee."
  • "Let's drink to the spirit of gallantry and courage that made a strange Heaven out of unbelievable Hell, and let's drink to the hope that one day this country of ours, which we love so much, will find dignity and greatness and peace again. And cheap tear gas."

Noel Coward on Sex[edit]

  • "Have him shaved, oiled and brought to my tent."
  • "I love it twice nightly, more if I can manage."
  • "Fuck me," I said to Mountbatten, more in hope than desperation, and the Earl grabbed hold of the cheeks of my arse and dragged me on like an old jackboot. How we all laughed."

Noel Coward on Plagiarism[edit]

  • "When you ask creative people how they create things, they can't help but feel a little guilty. They didn't create anything, they just pieced together bits of what they had seen before."
  • "I love it twice nightly, more if I can manage."
  • "Ahhh, the paint of the crowded, smelly roar of grease."
  • "Ahh, I get it now. 'Oscar Wilde Clone.' Very funny."
  • "I love the way the audience wanders into one of Ivor's First Nights whistling the tunes in advance!"

Noel Coward on Management[edit]

  • "As long as I can be fully in charge and leverage my competitive synergies, I can usually get it more than twice nightly."
  • "It takes a man filled with spunk and fortitude to manage a number of men beneath him."
  • "I particularly enjoy getting to the top of the pile. It is most rewarding."
  • "Mea culpa? Not blooming likely."
  • "If Coley continues to refuse to wear the Badger costume I am seriously considering asking him to leave."

See Also[edit]

^ 1. The nickname "Slice" was cruelly given to Coward by the famous anagrammatist Sir Alec Dow for reasons that should now be self-explanatory.