A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 31, 2016
“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work”

New York-born comedian, actor and film director Woody Allen has achieved immortality through his work, but he said that he didn’t want that:

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve it through not dying.”

The Woody Allen quote has been cited in print since at least 1975.


Wikiquote: Woody Allen
Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Königsberg on December 1, 1935) is an American film director, writer, musician, actor and comedian.

Qoutes
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.
. The Illustrated Woody Allen Reader (1993)
. The joke about immortality also appears in On Being Funny (1975)
. In an interview in Rolling Stone magazine from April 9, 1987, Allen said “Someone once asked me if my dream was to live on in the hearts of people, and I said I would prefer to live on in my apartment.”

29 June 1975, News Journal (Mansfield, OH), “For Woody Allen Fans Only,” pg. 2-F, col. 2:
He is a student of philosophy who is preoccupied with death. He is not joking when he says, “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens,” or “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.”

4 October 1975, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Woody Allen: The Devious Approach to Theology” by John Dart, pg. 19, col. 1:
Even local congregations may be discovering the metaphysical mettle of the comic theologian. All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena inserted in its July 27 church bulletin:

“Theological though for this week: ‘I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.’—Woody Allen.”

Google Books The Yale Book of Quotations
By Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 17:
Woody Allen (Allen Stewart Konigsberg)
U.S. comedian and filmmaker, 1935-
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. . . . I want to achieve it through not dying.
Eric Lax, Woody Allen and His Comedy (1975)

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
Woody Allen: I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. | #Quotes
8:53 AM - 30 Jan 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Sunday, January 31, 2016 • Permalink