Quotation by Joseph Epstein

Although there have been witty big men—Oscar Wilde comes first to mind—wit and humor seem more in the province of the smaller man. Chaplin, Keaton, the Marx Brothers were all small men. We expect a comedian to be small. He may also be fat. W.C. Fields was fat; so was Oliver Hardy. Fat is funny, small is funny. Lou Costello, of Abbot & Costello, was small and fat—a winning comic combination. Tall isn't funny, perhaps owing to its being too imposing, even slightly menacing. Tall and handsome conjoined are especially unfunny. One can always fall back on being the tall and silent type, of whom, in the movies, Gary Cooper was the apotheosis. But if one is small and silent, one is likely merely to be counted shy. Small men are under an obligation to do more talking; perhaps this is why so many of them are always joking.
Joseph Epstein (b. 1937), U.S. author, editor. "ShortSubject," American Scholar (Autumn 1988).

Pen name, Aristides.
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