A am a great friend of public amusements, they keep people from vice.

Americans don't spend billions for entertainment. They spend it in search of entertainment.

Compare the cinema with theatre. Both are dramatic arts. Theatre brings actors before a public and every night during the season they re-enact the same drama. Deep in the nature of theatre is a sense of ritual. The cinema, by contrast, transports its audience individually, singly, out of the theatre towards the unknown.

Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy gets the Catholic Church. America gets Hollywood.

Fun can be the dessert of our lives but never its main course.

I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot.

I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.

The essential is to excite the spectators. If that means playing Hamlet on a flying trapeze or in an aquarium, you do it.

The Miss America contest is the most perfectly rendered theater in our culture, for it so perfectly captures what we yearn for: a low-class ritual, a polished restatement of vulgarity, that wants to open the door to high-class respectability by way of plain middle-class anxiety and ambition.

The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them.

The reason I'm in this business, I assume all performers are — it's ''Look at me, Ma!'' It's acceptance, you know — ''Look at me, Ma, look at me, Ma, look at me, Ma.'' And if your mother watches, you'll show off till you're exhausted; but if your mother goes, Ptshew!

The ultimate sin of any performer is contempt for the audience.