Tributes

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover.

We are so proud that our grandfather, W.C. Fields, is among the international icons on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band iconic, 1967 album cover. He is found in the top row, 6th from left. “There were those who refused to be on there, saying, ‘I'm not a lonely heart,’ or, ‘I don't want to be on there.’ Letters had to go out to get permission from everybody, and some people did turn us down.” GEORGE, www.thebeatles.com
[Click on the album cover to enlarge.]

“Sgt. Pepper's: The greatest album of all time turns 50”

“The front cover was unique and expensive, featuring an array of the Beatles idols, mostly Americans, including W. C. Fields, Dion, Dylan, Brando, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Laurel & Hardy, Edgar Allan Poe and Mae West. Other figures, such as Gandhi, Oscar Wilde or Lewis Carroll, had enduring influences on the Beatles' social and artistic developments.” Read more by Alexander E. Hooke...

By Alexander E. Hooke, The Baltimore Sun, May 31, 2017

“The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ at 50: Still Full of Joy and Whimsy”

“They rejected any generation gap. The album cover set the 1967 Beatles, with their mustaches and shiny mock band uniforms, alongside their suited, mop-topped pop-star wax statues—so recent, yet so distant—and cultural figures like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sonny Liston and W. C. Fields, a rightful claim to adult significance. But the LP was also packaged with cardboard cutouts—a mustache, military stripes—like something for children. While the Summer of Love nurtured hippie dreams of creating a new world, the Beatles reminded listeners of how entrenched the old one was, and how comforting.” Read more by Jon Pareles...

By Jon Pareles, The New York Times, May 30, 2017

Celebrity Tributes

The Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, says, “W.C. Fields is the Icon of American Culture and Humor.”

Adam McKay, Director of Arnchorman 2, December 2013: “You’re literally naming one of my all-time favourites. W.C. Fields I think is one of the funniest comics of all time. In fact, of all the old style comics, he’s the one that to this day, I will still laugh at his stuff. We’re talking about 80 years ago and his stuff is still funny. It’s amazing.”

Zach Galifianakis, star of The Hangover and rising comedian, credits W.C. Fields as his influence, May 29, 2010, on MySpace: “Influences – my family, my friends and wc fields...”

Judd Apatow on Make ’Em Laugh, PBS, 2009: “W.C. Fields is the funniest guy of everybody, ever.”

Conan O'Brien on Inside Actors Studio with James Lipton, 2009, – Who makes you Laugh? “W.C. Fields I think is maybe the funniest man that ever lived.”

NYC poster
W.C. Fields on Broadway again!
W.C. Fields Exhibit, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, May—August 2010.
[Click on the image to enlarge.]

John Cleese, English actor and comedian, says in the introduction to Turner Classic Movies, W.C. Fields Star of the Month, June 2001.

“I discovered W.C. Fields long after I was familiar with Chaplin, Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy and immediately liked him best….Fields had the courage to play the disreputable character and the brilliance to make riskier and more profound jokes than others.”

“At a time when political correctness often stifles honesty and impulse to laugh and genuine wit is in such short supply, I think nothing could be healthier than the re-discovery of this most original, perceptive and unrepentant of comedians.”

Others say he is the first example of American humor. W.C. Fields is not slapstick, his humor is cerebral. As in all works of art, every time we see or hear a Fields' film, we see or hear some thing new. W.C. Fields studied us, the travelers in the daily journey of life and the human condition, and then served it back to us in his artistry through humor.