The amazing Red Buttons was born today in 1919. He was the comedian and actor who hosted “The Red Buttons Show” on TV from 1952-1955. He later appeared in many movies, including “The Longest Day”, “The Poseidon Adventure”, and “Hatari!” He won an Academy Award for his role in the movie Sayonara. He also won a Golden Globe Award during his career. He starred on both The Garry Shandling Show and The Larry Sanders Show and had a recurring role on ER. He was a favorite on the Dean Martin Roasts doing his famous bits “never got a dinner” and “I was there”!
After Red passed away, I believe it was Norm Crosby who said that what made Red so amazing was he continued to write and rewrite material using the themes “Never Got a Dinner” and “I was there”! The bit ALWAYS got laughs. He even did the bit on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
While some of these lines are a bit dated – They still make me laugh. When Red would take the dais at a Friar’s Club Roast or on the Dean Martin Roast, he would always ask the question “Why are we giving (guest of honor) a dinner?! Some of the most famous people in history never got a dinner!” Here are some of my favorite Red Buttons Lines:
Abraham Lincoln, who said, “A house divided … is a condominium.” Never got a dinner!
George Washington, who said to his father, “Dad, if I never tell I lie, how am I ever gonna become President?” Never got a dinner!
Cain, whose wife divorced him because he wasn’t Able. Never got a dinner!
Goliath’s mother, who said to Goliath, “Stop running around with David! You’re always coming home stoned!” Never got a dinner!
Dr. Spock, who said, “Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.” Never got a dinner!
Jack the Ripper’s mother, who said to Jack, “How come I never see you with the same girl twice? ” Never got a dinner!
Noah’s wife, who said to Noah, “Don’t let the elephants watch the rabbits.” Never got a dinner!
John Travolta, who said, “My Saturday night fever was nothing compared to my Sunday morning rash.” Never got a dinner!
Nostradamus, who PREDICTED he would never get a dinner! Never got a dinner!
Adam, who said to Eve, “What do you mean you have nothing to wear?” Never got a dinner!
Eve, who asked Adam, “Does this fig leaf make me look fat?” Never got a dinner! (Got an apple, but never got a dinner.)
Maid Marion, who said to Robin Hood, “I will not live in a house with a Little John.” Never got a dinner!
Adam, who said to God in the Garden of Eden, “I’ve got more ribs, do you got more broads?” Never got a dinner!
Moses, who said to the Children of Israel, “Wear your galoshes, I never did this trick before… and stop calling me Charlton!” Never got a dinner!
Flash Gordon, who said, “No, that’s not how I got my name” Never got a dinner!
Amelia Earhart, who said, “Stop looking for me, see if you can find my luggage” Never got a dinner!
President Jimmy Carter, who said to Pope John Paul II, “Next time bring the missus” Never got a dinner!
King Henry VIII, who said to his lawyer, “Forget the alimony, I’ve got a better idea” Never got a dinner!
King Soloman, who said to his thousand wives, “Who hasn’t got a headache?” Never got a dinner!
Queen Elizabeth who said, “Not now I’m on the throne!” Never got a dinner!
Aladdin, who said to his wife, “I know it’s not a lamp, keep rubbing!” Never got a dinner!
Red was one of the best.