William “Will” Penn Adair Rogers, (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935), born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma, was an American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer and actor and one of the best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s.
His accomplishments include being a champion lasso thrower, a performer on the Broadway stage, the star of 71 movies, a radio broadcaster, an author of six books, and a syndicated newspaper columnist. In his travels around the world he befriended presidents, senators, prime ministers, and kings.
Will Rogers was famous for his simple, insightful humor and his ability to connect honestly with everyone he met. His comments about politics of the era seem as though they would be as valid today as they were when he put pen to ink. See if you agree.
There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?
I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.
The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.
On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.
The man with the best job in the country is the Vice President. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, “How’s the President?”
An economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.
Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing — and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.
If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.
Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.
Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you can find a rock.
A fool and his money are soon elected.
About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
Our Constitution protects aliens, drunks, and U.S. Senators.
Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.
Politics is applesauce.
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it… You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.
I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him “father.”
There ought to be one day–just one–when there is open season on senators.
The country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of Congress.
If you ever injected truth into politics you’d have no politics.
Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.
We don’t seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?
Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.
Liberty doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in speeches.
Ohio claims they are due a president as they haven’t had one since Taft. Look at the United States; they have not had one since Lincoln.
The 1928 Republican Convention opened with a prayer. If the Lord can see His way clear to bless the Republican Party the way it’s been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get it without even asking.
There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail.
All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.
Will Rogers was asked about the nature of his humorous remarks about politicians. “I have often said in answer to inquiries as to how I got away with kidding some of our public men, that it was because I liked all of them personally, and that if there was no malice in your heart there could be none in your gags.
Rogers even provided an epigram on his most famous epigram:
- When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: “I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I did’nt like.”