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Phil Donahue Quotes

Phillip John Donahue

Phil Donahue quotes: soundbites from the long-time TV personality.

“You’ve got to be hungry and ambitious.”

“In reality, the most important things happen when you don’t look for them.”

“You’ve got to survive inevitable conflicts that appear to have no resolutions—conflicts that appear unresolvable—and you can’t make impetuous decisions.  That gets easier to do as the years go by.  Tomorrow, it won’t seem so terrible.”

“The most creative, innovative ideas come from people with the least power and the least to lose.”

“Ask questions.  Don’t worry about saying something stupid.  I hold the record for that.”

“Controversy is not a dirty word.  Controversy means it’s important and it’s something that people disagree on.”

“Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that humans belong to the same class of animals as cats and cows and raccoons.  They’re like the people who become successful and then don’t want to be reminded of the old neighborhood.”

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

“This is Sesame Street.  A place where people, birds, monsters all live in perfect harmony.”

“The radio of my youth… is now a quaint memory replaced by computer hard drives.”

“I was very ambitious.”

“If you dream of castles in the sky around me, be prepared to roll-up your sleeves and build a foundation!”

“I entered Notre Dame, you know, thinking that I had the answers to all the questions and I graduated from Notre Dame realizing that not only didn’t I have the answers to all the questions, but the questions were now more exciting for me.  It was like I was free to question things.”

“Well, I came to realize, like so many others too late—too soon old, too late smart.  We were raised at a time when people thought the worst thing you could do was spoil your children, you know.  Kids have to know that life is tough and it’s filled with challenges and you have to make them tough, blah, blah, blah.  It was like they were clay and you had to knead ’em and push ’em and create…”

“I have come to the point where I am at peace with my own imperfection in terms of understanding it, and I am enjoying the business of wondering.”

“Through the years you learn that everything is not that big a deal, and this isn’t going to break us up no matter what, so you get used to saying, ‘Okay, let’s just talk it out.'”

“I’ve been very good about trying not to sound like the old guy who says, ‘In my day, we’d never do that.'”

“It’s such a more enlightened time now.  Parents are more enlightened.”

“I remember enjoying the woods when I was a child, but I never had the opportunity to really understand it.  I want my grandchildren to not only enjoy the environment, but be curious about it and appreciate its vulnerability.”

“We all want to be famous people, and the moment we want to be something we are no longer free.  Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”

“What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.”

“I love being a celebrity, but it isn’t easy.  At first, I thoroughly enjoyed being famous.  Will you remember me when I’m gone?”

“I believe celebrity spoils people.  Some worse than others.”

“I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.”

“I’ve had a lot of people try to censor me over the years.  And I just think, let the door remain open.  Let’s see what happens.  It’s a lot better open with fresh air coming in.”

“I tip like crazy.  They’ll remember me.  Celebrity can be expensive.”

“I have had time to analyze my feelings.  I am certain that they are totally neurotic, sexist, silly and a big waste of time.”

“I realize what you can do when you scare the population and how media contributes to that.”

“In order to keep this feather in the air—and that’s what it is—my people have to stay on fire creatively.”

“Loud doesn’t mean right.”

“I was proud of the waves I had made, but wondered how many boats I was supposed to rock.  I’m just like everyone: I want to be loved.”

“I’ve met a lot of wonderful people—people going to jail and famous stars—and I’ve had a wonderful time doing it and learning things I never knew.”

“I am a very lucky guy.  I have had so many things happen to me because of my good fortune of having a television show.”

“What really keeps me going is the constant belief that it could all disappear tomorrow.”

“People can yell at me, they can criticize me, they can call me names.  But there’s one thing they can’t do: they can’t take away my flag.”

“No sad songs for me.  I’m a lucky guy.  You know, I got a little money.”

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