These are so wonderful that we tracked down the source of such splendidness to a book: Viva la Repartee: Clever Comebacks and Witty Retorts from History’s Great Wits and Wordsmiths.
1. Thomas Reed vs. Henry Clay.
2. Winston Churchill vs. Lady Astor.
3. NYC Mayor Ed Koch vs. Andrew Kirtzman, after the reporter insisted on pressing a point about an inconsistent statement Koch had made.
4. Groucho Marx vs. A contestant on You Bet Your Life, after the contestant revealed that he was a father of 10.
5. Abraham Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas, after Douglas called him two-faced during a debate.
6. Pierre Trudeau vs. Richard Nixon, upon hearing that Nixon had called him an asshole.
7. Oscar Wilde vs. Lewis Morris Morris had just been passed over for the Poet Laureateship.
8. Miriam Hopkins vs. An anonymous singer
9. James McNeill Whistler vs. Oscar Wilde, after Whistler had made a particularly witty observation.
10. Senator Fritz Hollings vs. Henry McMastor, when challenged by his Republican opponent during a televised debate to take a drug test.