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Play it Again, Sam JAN 20 04 assume movie
Cites "It doesn't do anything." w/o "That's the beauty of it." Because it was originally a play with an even earlier date it's worth noting here, the question before the answer is not cited, and there is the possibility surrounding dialogue will flesh it out even more. Further, this is the source of the misremembered Casablanca quote and almost never mentioned when that quote is pooh-poohed.

Rik Mayall person APR 23 03
Bottom and Young Ones suggested, TV I think. Believe a writer/performer whose oeuvre needs investigation. I erroneously reported a NO to Little Noises in previous versions of this chart, have moved it to SUGGESTED. Close in Drop Dead Fred, which see.

Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, The TV JUL 18 03
Second season, third ep, an EXACT MATCH is claimed. The importance of this citation is such that corroboration is desired. I have looked at script excerpts and find a pill that does nothing in series two, and a "That's the beauty of it" (about a real estate scam) in series three. Thus the desire for scrutiny of complete eps. The series aired from 1976-78, the post cited includes a link to the show's IMDb page. Writer for the series is listed as David Nobbs. Dialogue is between stars Leonard Rossiter and Geoffrey Palmer. Some links on JUL 09 04 (and I have added some to this site).

TRBB (TDDA) webpage APR 11 03
The Really Big Button (That Doesn't Do Anything) evidently appeared on the Internet in the mid-90s. The one at SpatulaCity was cited. While an iconic item in its own right, it is too young (in fact the Internet itself is too young) to be a satisfactory source. Original Suggester recommended it as a relaxant while pondering our quote.

The Collective Unconscious psychological concept APR 12 03
Would explain much.

Prose Source:

Disc World APR 16 03

Galactic Pot-Healer AUG 14 03
By Phillip K. Dick (I thought this was by Kilgore Trout, which opens up a whole new can of--something)

Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy SEP 01 03 originally radio, later TV
There were sequels, too (REU, LUE, SLTAF, and two new ones I don't know the titles of) ultimately leading to a six-part trilogy, available in one volume; the whole of which I do not own.
HHGG NO, Read May 14 04
Then on JAN 06 05 a poster claimed it was in the "books" and the TV show and the radio show--at least in the UK.
refuted by a NO Watched TV Jan 08 05
Jan 06 05 poster then claimed he'd never seen the TV show, but had YES Read "yesterday" Jan 09 05
At which point I announced my resolve to read the dang things myself. To date, I?ve read HHGG, LUE, SL&TFATF (not REU), and I say NO read.
Also, NO Read Sat Apr 9 05 the 6 books in one volume, confirming same poster?s more general NO post Feb 18 05
But, YES Watched TV Mon Apr 18 05 ?saw? exact line recently; posted by new poster who says they own the radio show on CD and the TV show on DVD. Yipes. See also entry under STRONG BUT REFUTED.
Muddying the waters is the release of a feature film in April 2005.
Watch this space.

How the West was Lost AUG 06 03

SF short story MAY 06 03
Just bound to be.

Sherlock Holmes And The Computer AUG 05 03
by Thomas H. Hunter, http://www.icubed.com/~thunter/stories/computer.htm
"But what does it do, Holmes?" "Anything, Watson! That's the beauty of it--a machine that is not restricted to a single task, but can do anything you ask of it." "But what is it doing now?" "Er, nothing really." muttered Holmes as he tried to block my view of the clattering typewriter. (Pretty good, but needs date)

Vonnegut Monkeyhouse or Player Piano MAY 06 03

Axiom or something AUG 13 03
"Many churches are like that impressive invention which had hundreds of wheels, coils, gears, pulleys, belts, bells, and lights which all went around and rang and flashed at the touch of a button. When the inventor was asked about the function of the weird machine, he replied, "What does it do? Oh, it doesn't do anything, but doesn't it run beautifully?" (New poster Sat 9 05 credits ?Dropping Your Guard,? a vanity press book of sermons ?by? Charles R. Swindoll, which the Aug 13 03 poster on Mar 13 05 notes was released no later than 1986.)

Intriguing Possibilty:

Burke's Law TV AUG 17-18 03
Unclear partial MATCH. A chunk of text from an unidentified source (see the posts for url of search page and what to search for) lists the answer as what may be dialogue or exposition, from the script or from a fan synopsis. Question is not present. Burke's Law is a late 50s-early 60s US series.

Unclassifiable Post:
"Has anyone consulted The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Dr. Hibbert, of Springfield? Or perhaps the works of Dr. Nick Riviera ("HI, DR. NICK!")? I do believe that it was "The Simpsons" take on The Machine That Goes 'Ping.' Dick Solomon may have used the phrase, too. I'm fairly certain that it wasn't from a feature film." MAR 18 04
This one is too deep for me.

Posted by kcor1953beauty at 8:06 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: 07/05/05 7:36 AM CDT

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