"Dying is easy, Comedy is hard" - Source?
March 7, 2006 2:17 PM   Subscribe

What is the origin of the phrase/quote/saying "Dying is easy, comedy is hard?"
posted by YoungAmerican to Writing & Language (8 answers total)
It may have been said by Edmond Gween on his deathbed. However, I didn't find any source that I felt good enough about to link to, so I will leave that to others. Therefore, with no evidence whatsoever, I claim that it was said by Edmond Gween on his deathbed.
posted by ND¢ at 2:37 PM on March 7, 2006

I thought it was Edmund Gwenn. Wikiquote says GB Shaw, but I don't think that's correct.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:38 PM on March 7, 2006

my searching matches the above with the most believable example given as this

Yes, it's tough, but not as tough as doing comedy.
When asked if he thought dying was tough.
~~ Edmund Gwenn, actor, d. September 6, 1959
posted by BSummers at 2:39 PM on March 7, 2006

The phrase is attributed to about a million people, none very convincingly, at least in terms of its origin. In addition to Gwenn and Shaw, I've also seen it attributed to Richard Burbage, Oscar Wilde, etc.
posted by Skot at 2:41 PM on March 7, 2006

It appears to have been attributed to multiple actors - George Bernard Shaw, Edmund Kean, (Jack Lemmon visiting) Edmund Gwenn, Edwin Booth (brother of John Wilkes Booth), and Donald Wolfit.
posted by junesix at 2:48 PM on March 7, 2006

Was said by Peter O'Toole's character, Alan Swann, in "My Favorite Year," the most underappreciated movie ever.
posted by frogan at 4:30 PM on March 7, 2006

"I think Alan Swann is beneath us."
"Of course he's beneath us -- he's an actor."
posted by pmurray63 at 9:20 PM on March 7, 2006

Oh my yes that is a great movie - in my all time top ten, but I think OToole cited Edmund Kean for that quote.
posted by vronsky at 4:09 PM on March 8, 2006

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