Dear Quote Investigator: ns love the adhering to catty quotation that was stated by one Hollywood gibbs or actress around another demonstrate who had actually allegedly slept her means to success:

She’s the original great time that’s been had actually by all.

You are watching: And a good time was had by all

Can you tell me who claimed this and also who to be the target that the gibe?

Quote Investigator: This wordplay joke is based on a comical alteration of a traditional expression the enthusiasm: A an excellent time was had actually by all. The jest is often attributed to the renowned film star Bette Davis and also sometimes to the prominent English theatre doubter Kenneth Tynan.

But neither is credited in the earliest circumstances of this quip situated by QI i m sorry was released in a 1946 book by the significant gossip columnist Earl Wilson. The actress who yielded the barb appeared in multiple films in the 1930s and 1940s however is not renowned today. The target of her ire was unidentified :

The tallish, beautiful actress, Leonora Corbett, can also claw through her painted lips. Seeing a reputedly loose woman waggling past, miss out on Corbett remarked, “There go the original good time that’s been had by all.” Of one actress whose capability was stated by everybody come be less than negative, miss Corbett said, “She has an ext talent to the square head 보다 anybody i know.”

Here are added selected citations in chronological order.

In June 1946 the joke was published in a profession publication referred to as “The Oil Weekly”. No the speaker no one the target that the comment was figured out :

An actress, upon seeing a questionable dame passing, sweetly remarked: “There walk the original good time that was had by all.”

In 1973 the saying was attributed to Bette Davis in a compendium assembled by the movie enthusiast Leslie Halliwell title “The Filmgoer’s book of Quotes”. The following comment to be purportedly command by Davis at an unknown actress who “slept her means to the top” :

I check out – she’s the original an excellent time that was had by all.

In 1974 Kenneth Hurren, a doubter for The Spectator (UK), supplied the expression when describing a character in a play he to be reviewing :

… a willowy but rather worn lady named Carmel Scott that is probably spoken of in Sydney literary circles as the an excellent time that’s been had actually by all and also whose technique to prospective authors might easily raise a few eyebrows also in Bloomsbury.

In 1980 a column in the Seattle Times discussed “The book of Hollywood Quotes: the Insults, the Insights, the renowned Lines” by Gary Herman. Several estimates were reprinted including one ascribed come Davis. In this variant words “who” was substituted because that “that” in Halliwell’s variation :

Bette Davis, on one unnamed starlet: “She’s the original an excellent time — that was had actually by all.”

In 1986 the speak was published in “The Penguin dictionary of modern-day Humorous Quotations” wherein it to be attributed come Bette Davis. The wording was similar to that provided in Halliwell’s compilation .

According come the Oxford dictionary of Humorous quote the adhering to has to be attributed to the drama doubter Kenneth Tynan who was born in 1927. The reference suggests that the deployed the quip when he was an undergraduate in ~ Oxford university :

There, standing at the piano, was the original great time who had been had by all.

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In conclusion, the earliest for sure citation situated by QI is in Earl Wilson’s 1946 book, and Wilson deadline the words to the actress Leonora Corbett. That is feasible that Bette Davis and also Kenneth Tynan likewise used the quip. Indeed, one of two people one may have used it prior to Corbett, yet the proof currently easily accessible to QI argues that Corbett must receive the credit.

1946, Pikes peek or Bust by Earl Wilson, page 221, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, N.Y. (Verified top top paper)

1946 June 24, The Oil Weekly, Squeaks from the Bull Wheel, This Curious World, page 170, Houston, Gulf Pub. Co. (Verified on paper)

1974, The Filmgoer’s publication of price quotes by Leslie Halliwell, Section: last Round Up, web page 215, , Arlington House, brand-new Rochelle, brand-new York. (Verified on paper)

1974 September 14, The Spectator, Section: evaluation of the Arts, Kenneth Hurren on a liven night under Under, , page 342, Spectator, London. (Verified top top microfilm)

1980 July 20, Seattle (Daily) Times, Quips and Quotes indigenous the Hollywood greats by Victor Wilson, web page E12, Seattle, Washington. (GenealogyBank)

1986, The Penguin thesaurus of modern Humorous quote compiled by Fred Metcalf, Section: Promiscuity, page 203, obelisk 1, Viking Penguin, brand-new York. (Verified ~ above paper)

2008, Oxford thesaurus of Humorous quote edited by Ned Sherrin, category Character, web page 49, Oxford university Press, brand-new York. (Verified on paper)