The 2010 New Yorker Festival's Most Quotable Moments


It’s October again, which means that the annual conference of literary types and the people who love them that is The New Yorker Festival appears on our cultural radar. This year’s festival was held last weekend, and in addition to a heaping serving of high-falutin’ book-writin’ folks — Seamus Heaney, Michael Chabon, and Zadie Smith, to name a few — there was also a substantial does of television actors, comedians, rappers, and, of course, Justin Timberlake. We’ve rounded up the best quotes from the panels, from Alec Baldwin’s thoughts on Tracy Morgan to Cynthia Nixon’s riveting defense of gay marriage — after the jump.

Ian Fraizer, on traveling and humor in Russia: “Russia is like slapstick, except you actually die.”

“The Mongols. For humor, you can’t beat ’em.”

Alec Baldwin, on Tina Fey: “Humor to me is what Tina Fey tells me is humor.”

Alec Baldwin on days he feels unmotivated: “Sometimes you just want to sit with Kate Winslet and have an ice cream cone.”

Cynthia Nixon on same-sex marriage: “Gay people who want to marry have no desire to redefine marriage in any way. When women got the right to vote, it did not redefine voting.”

Fred Armisen, on which character is most challenging to play: “It’s hard to wear the Prince shoes. They’re really pointy.”

Seth Myers, on SNL: “Dick in a Box was a work of art.”

Steve Carell, on fame: “When I was on The Daily Show, the only time I got recognized was in Starbucks. You knew you��d made it when they didn’t have to ask and your name was just on the cups.”

Stephen King, on what scares him: “Disney pictures are scary as shit. They all are.”

Werner Herzog’s dictum on filmmaking: “Yes, shoot a porno film in 3-D. But not a romantic comedy.”

Regina Spektor on religion: “I’m a picky eater when it comes to religion… I’d like some of that and none of that, thank you.”

David Simon, on storytelling: “Short and simple doesn’t describe anything worth caring about”

Jane Mayer, on The New Yorker factcheckers calling her while she was in labor: “Childbirth pales in comparison to dealing with The New Yorker fact-checking department.”

Michael Chabon, on whether there is a comparable male experience to giving birth: “Whaling.”