Great Paragraphs: On using Michael Jordan to measure greatness

Every time I think you’ve hit a ceiling, you, you keep raising the bar. You’re like the Michael Jordan of being a son of a bitch.

— Detective Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson)
“True Detective, “Season 1, Episode 6: “Haunted Houses”

Great Paragraphs: Jim Gaffigan on the joys of being single

There were times in my life when I had one thing to do all day and I still couldn’t get to it. “I gotta go to the post office, but I’d have to put on pants. And they’re only open till five. Looks like I’ll have to do that next week.”

Jim Gaffigan, “Dad is Fat

Great Paragraphs: Jim Gaffigan on why museums have so many paintings of fruit

We haven’t wanted fruit for hundreds of years. That’s why there are so many paintings in museums of just bowls of fruit. Because you could start painting a bowl of fruit, leave for couple of days, come back and no one would have touched the bowl of fruit. But if you’re painting a doughnut, you’d bet finish it on the first sitting.

Jim Gaffigan, “Obsessed

Great Paragraphs: On death and sandwiches

The great Warren Zevon was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. He appeared a final time on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” in which the host dedicated the entire hour to his guest and friend. The following exchange was broadcast Oct. 30, 2002.

DAVID LETTERMAN: From your perspective now, do you know something about life and death that maybe I don’t know?

WARREN ZEVON: Not unless I know how much … how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.

Great Paragraphs: On the rules of rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock

Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors.

Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), “The Big Bang Theory

Great Paragraphs: Jim Gaffigan on strangers talking to you about Jesus

I do want everyone to feel comfortable. That’s why I like to talk to you about Jesus. He better not. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not. Does anything make you feel more uncomfortable than some stranger saying “I’d like to talk to you about Jesus”. Yeah, I’d like you not to. You can say that to the Pope. I want to talk to you about Jesus. He’d be like “Easy freak, I keep work at work.”

Jim Gaffigan, “Beyond the Pale

Great Paragraphs: Eddie Izzard on God and dinosaurs

So, in the Christian faith God created Adam in his own image, yeah? So that was good, but 65 million years before that God created the dinosaurs using the image of his cousin Ted. And Ted was not the black sheep of the family—he was the huge fucking monster of the family. And there must have been God, I mean it’s not in the Bible, is it? It should have been mentioned somewhere around Genesis. You’d think God would grab someone’s arm—some scribe who was copying out and saying, ” … but before that, there were dinosaurs who were a bit crap, so fuck ‘em.”

Eddie Izzard, “Circle”

Great Paragraphs: Bill Hicks on advertising and marketing

By the way, if there is anyone here tonight who is in advertising or marketing … kill yourself. … Seriously, though, if you are, do. No, really, there’s no rationalization for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers. You are the ruiners of all things good. … I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now. “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing? He’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market. He’s very smart.” I am not doing that you fucking evil scumbags. “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing now? He’s going for the righteous indignation dollar. That’s a good dollar. Lot of people are feeling that indignation. We’ve done research. He’s doing a good thing.” Goddamnit, I am not doing that you scumbags. Quit putting a dollar sign on everything on this planet. “Oh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Bill’s very bright to do that.”

Bill Hicks, “Chicago Funny Farm”