Polish-American movie producer Samuel Goldwyn (1879-1974) was known for his malapropisms, or “Goldwynisms.” Syndicated Hollywood columnist reported in June 1948:
“Stop me if you’ve heard this Samuel Goldwynism. One of Sam’s aides said he was taking the afternoon off to see a psychiatrist. Sam gave him a sour look and said: ‘Anyone who goes to see a psychiatrist should have his head examined.’”
It’s not known for certain if the story is true, or if a Goldwyn aide released a fiction to the Hollywood press. The line—sometimes technically termed an “Irish bull”—is a classic in the psychiatry profession.
Wikipedia: Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn (born Szmuel Gelbfisz (Yiddish: שמואל גלבפֿיש); August 17 1879 – January 31, 1974), also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Jewish Polish American film producer. He was most well known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood. His awards include the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958.
Samuel Goldwyn was also known for malapropisms, paradoxes, and other speech errors called ‘Goldwynisms’ ("A humorous statement or phrase resulting from the use of incongruous or contradictory words, situations, idioms, etc.") being frequently quoted. For example, he was reported to have said, “I don’t think anybody should write his autobiography until after he’s dead.” and “Include me out.”
IMDb.com (The Internet Movie Database)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
19 June 1948, Greensboro (NC) Record, “In Hollywood” by Erskine Johnson (NEA Staff Correspondent), pg. 7, col. 6:
HOLLYWOOD.—Stop me if you’ve heard this Samuel Goldwynism. One of Sam’s aides said he was taking the afternoon off to see a psychiatrist.
Sam gave him a sour look and said: “Anyone who goes to see a psychiatrist should have his head examined.”
11 July 1948, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), Magazine, “These Gags Made N.Y. Laugh: Columnist Reports on Best Giggle for First Half of ‘48” by Earl Wilson, pg. 10-C, col. 5:
Two Goldwynisms: “Any one who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined,” and “When Truman goes on a speaking tour what he should do is keep his mouth shut.”
They Never Said It:
A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions
By Paul F, Boller and John H. George
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
PSYCHIATRIST QUOTE: “Anyone who would go to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”
No one knows who first made this remark, but it was not Goldwyn. Someone on his staff seems to have put it into circulation.
The Yale Books of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Samuel Goldwyn (Samuel Goldfish)
Polish-born U.S. motion picture producer, 1882-1974
“Anybody who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.”
Attributed in N.Y. Herald Tribune, 26 December 1948. Probably an apocryphal Goldwynism.
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Irish bulls might be pregnant with truths
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Sep. 06, 2010 5:00AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 4:25PM EDT
Alternate names for this phenomenon are “Goldwynism” and “Berraism” because of the penchant of movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn and former baseball player Yogi Berra for this type of declaration.
Goldwyn “allegedly” made all of the following statements:
Anyone who would go to a psychoanalyst should have his head examined!