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 November 07, 2012
“Revenge is sweet and not fattening”

“Revenge is sweet” is a proverb that dates to at least the 16th century. ‘Revenge is sweet and not fattening” has been credited to the film director Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), but it’s not certain if he ever said it.

Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons (1881-1972) wrote in April 1954:

“Edgar Bergen’s crack, ‘Revenge is sweet—and not fattening.’”

It’s likely that the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (1903-1978)—not Hitchcock—said the popular one-liner. “Not fattening” is sometimes replaced by “non-fattening.”

“Why can’t diabetics get vengeance?"/"Because vengeance is sweet” is another joke that uses the same proverb.


Google Books
Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
By John Simpson and Jennifer Speake
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2008
Pg. ?:
REVENGE is sweet
(...)
1566 W. PAINTER Palace of Pleasure 300 Vengeance is sweete vnto him, which in place of killing his enemy, giueth life to a perfect frende.
1609 JONSON Silent Woman IV.V. O reuenge, how sweet art thou!
1658 Whole Duty of Man XVI. 346 ‘Tis a devilish phrase in the mouth of men, that revenge is sweet. .. Is it possible there can be any such sweetnesse in it?

25 April 1954, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Protest Bing as Drunkard” by Louella A. Parsons, pg. 5F, col. 2:
Edgar Bergen’s crack, “Revenge is sweet—and not fattening.”

13 June 1954, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Radio TV Gag Bag” culled by Larry Wolters, pg. 44, col. 1:
“Revenge is sweet,” says Charlie McCarthy, “and nonfattening!”
(Charlie McCarthy was voiced by Edgar Bergen.—ed.)

Google Books
The Fifth and Far Finer Than the First Four 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Fawcett Crest
1994
214
Revenge is sweet and not fattening.
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)

Google Books
Casting Couch Confidential
By Bessie Bardot and Geoff Barker
Sydney: Pan Macmillan
2003
Pg. ?:
Revenge is sweet . . . and non-fattening!
JUNE BIRD (ARTIST)

Google Books
The Down and Dirty Dish on Revenge:
Serving It Up Nice and Cold to That Lying, Cheating Bastard

By Eva Nagorski
New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books (St. martin’s Press)
2009
Pg. 111:
Revenge is sweet and not fattening.—Alfred Hitchcock

Google Books
Tweet This Book:
The 1,400 Greatest Quotes of All Time in 140 Characters Or Less

By Sayre Van Young and Marin Van Young
Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press: Distributed by Publishers Group West
2011
Pg. 136:
Revenge is sweet and not fattening.
Alfred Hitchcock

Narragansett-SouthKingstownPatch
5 THINGS: Novelists, Hitchcock and Marko Jaric
Shake off that sleepiness from staying up to watch the debate, or baseball, with these great activities.

By Stephen Greenwell
October 12, 2012
“Revenge is sweet and not fattening.” – Alford (sic) Hitchcock.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, November 07, 2012 • Permalink