A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 06, 2010
“Everyone should believe in something—I believe I’ll have another drink”

"Well, a man’s got to believe something, and I believe I’ll have another drink,” is a line in Peter de Vries’s book, The Vale of Laughter (1967). The saying is often given as: “Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.” Sometimes the drink is specified, such as “I believe I’ll have another beer” or “I believe I’ll have another cup of coffee.”

The quotation is often credited to comic actor W. C. Fields (1880-1946). but there is no evidence that Fields had ever said it.


Wikipedia: Peter De Vries
Peter De Vries (February 27, 1910 - September 28, 1993) was an American editor and novelist known for his satiric wit. He has been described by the philosopher Daniel Dennett as “probably the funniest writer on religion ever”

Wikipedia: W. C. Fields
William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields created a comic persona: a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs, children, and women.

Google Books
The Vale of Laughter
By Peter De Vries
Boston, MA: Little, Brown
1967
Pg. 317:
Our Schweinhund leaned negligently back on one elbow and said, “Well, a man’s got to believe something, and I believe I’ll have another drink,” and held his glass out to the fractured Gloria, who knelt bottle in hand.

Google News Archive
10 July 1974, Boca Raton (FL) News, ‘Illusion needed for camouflage” by Dick West, pg. 5A, col. 1:
As Peter de Vries once wrote, “A man’s got to believe in something, so I believe I’ll have another drink.”

Google Books
A fine and private place: a novel
By Morley Callaghan
New York, NY: Mason/Charter
1975
Pg. 18:
“Well, I’ve got to believe in something.”
“What do you believe in, Al?”
“Well,” and he paused, looking at her gravely, “I believe I’ll have another drink.”

Google News Archive
20 May 1975, Tri-City Herald (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, WA), pg. 6, col. 5 cartooon;
“AHH, YES! A MAN HAS TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, AND I BELIEVE I’LL HAVE ANOTHER DRINK!”
(In this Olphant editorial cartoon, the “Uncle Sam"-dressed figure is drawn to look like W. C. Fields—ed.)

Google Books
March 1978, Texas Monthly, pg. 162, col. 1 ad:
“Every man needs something to believe in, right now I believe I’ll have another beer”
(T-shirt saying—ed.)

Google Books
Doc Blakely’s Handbook of wit and pungent humor
By James Blakely
Houston, TX: Rich Pub. Co.
1980
Pg. 80:
WC FIELDS: “A man’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.”

Google Books
The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Fireside Press (Simon & Schuster)
2002
19
Everybody should believe in something; I believe I’ll have another drink.
Unknown

Google Books
The Forbes Book of Business Quotations:
10,000 Thoughts on the Business of Life

By Ted Goodman
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers : Distributed by Workman Pub. Co.
2006
Pg. 49:
A man’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.
W. C. Fields

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 06, 2010 • Permalink