„If you're going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you.“

Credited to Shaw in the lead in to the mockumentary C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2004) and other recent works, but this or slight variants of it are also sometimes attributed to W. C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, and Oscar Wilde. It might possibly be derived from Shaw's statement in John Bull's Other Island (1907): "My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."
Another possibility is that it is derived from Shaw's characteristic of Mark Twain: "He has to put things in such a way as to make people who would otherwise hang him believe he is joking."
Variants:
If you are going to tell people the truth, you'd better make them laugh. Otherwise, they'll kill you.
If you're going to tell people the truth, you'd better make them laugh. Otherwise, they'll kill you.
Disputed

George Bernard Shaw photo
George Bernard Shaw192
1856 - 1950

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As quoted in The Volta Review (1934), p. 574 http://books.google.de/books?id=qWE4AQAAIAAJ&q=hate, Clifton Fadiman: The American Treasury 1455-1955 (New York 1955) p. 997 http://books.google.de/books?id=PEQ4AAAAIAAJ&q=really+make+them and Hugh Rawson, Margaret Miner: The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations (2006) p. 431 #5 http://books.google.de/books?id=whg05Z4Nwo0C&pg=PA431&dq=mehitabel from archy and mehitabel (1927)
Variante: If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.

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Fonte: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532–1564), Third Book (1546), Chapter 52 : How a certain kind of Pantagruelion is of that nature that the fire is not able to consume it
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