January 24, 2011

Sometimes it’s not just a cigar…


“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
       Attributed to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
       Creator of the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry (and a heavy cigar smoker)
       This famous “quotation” suggesting that not every penis-shaped object should be viewed as a Freudian “phallic symbol” was coined by some unknown jokester decades ago. It has been cited and satirized so often that most people assume Freud actually said it. However, the line does not appear anywhere in Freud’s writings or any of his recorded public comments. Quotation experts like Fred Shapiro, author of The Yale Book of Quotations, and Ralph Keyes, author of The Quote Verifier, have concluded that there’s no evidence Freud uttered this quip and highly unlikely that he said it. (It’s hard to conclusively prove a negative. No Freudian pun intended.)


“Haven’t we had about enough of this cigar smoking shit in this country?...Sigmund Freud said ‘Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.’ Oh, yeah? Well, sometimes it’s a big, brown dick, with a fat, arrogant, white-collar business criminal asshole sucking on the wet end of it.”
       George Carlin (1937-2008) 
       Comic genius
       In his 1999 HBO special You Are All Diseased


“As Bill Clinton learned the hard way, sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.”
       Keri McCormick White
       Advice blogger
       In a post on her “Social Grace” blog, Monday, December 6, 2010


“Sometimes a Dick is Just a Dick.”
       Actor Steven Weber
       Comment about then Vice President Dick Cheney on The Huffington Post, February 9, 2007


SVU Detective Stabler: “Stabbings aren’t necessarily sexual. You know sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Is there a specific reason you called us out?”
Police Detective Bremmer: “Whoever did this sliced off his ‘cigar’ and took it with him. Is that specific enough?”
       In the “Payback” episode of the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (first aired September 20, 1999)

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