Charles Van Doren: I've stood on the shoulders of life and I've never gotten down into the dirt to build, to erect a foundation of my own. I've flown too high on borrowed wings. Everything came too easy.
Albert Freedman: It's not like we're hardened criminals here. We're in show business.
Herbie Stemple: You wanna be worshipped? Go to India and moo.
Herbie Stemple: Come and see Herbie Stempel get thrown to the Columbia lions! Watch Charles Van Doren eat his first kosher meal in his life.
Mark Van Doren: Your name is mine.
Mark Van Doren: Sixty-four thousand dollars for a question, I hope they are asking you the meaning of life.
Jack Barry: Eleven points will bring you to 21 and you will be our new champion! Because of a disagreement with his commanding general, Ulysses S. Grant was virtually placed under arrest for a brief time early in 1862. Who was the commanding general of the Union army at that time? Tough question.
Charles Van Doren: Just so oddly familiar.
Herbie Stemple: And they love me for the same reason they used to hate me, because I'm the guy who knows everything.
Mark Van Doren: Why don't you just put it in the bank Charlie? That's what I've always done with my prize money.
Charles Van Doren: It's just, you don't understand dad, it's, there are all sorts of tax implications.
Mark Van Doren: You Think I can't understand the concept of taxes.
Charles Van Doren: At this level it's a bit more complicated.
Mark Van Doren: And at my level? I never thought of myself as having a level. What level might that be?
Mark Van Doren: What these books have conclusively proven is that the diffence between men and women is exactly 38 pages.
Man 1: Can I quote you, Mark?
Mark Van Doren: Not before I quote me.
Dorothy Van Doren: His own quotes are his greatest pleasure.
Man 2: Did you hear the market dropped 30 points today. There's a rumor Eisenhower died.
Dorothy Van Doren: How could they tell?
Mark Van Doren: Oh, please. Don't get Dorothy started on politics. There'll be a raid.
Dick Goodwin: You know, money isn't everything.
Sandra Goodwin: I'm not the one who came home with a Chrysler catalogue.
Student At Book Party: Professor Van Doren, I took your course at Columbia - "Hawthorne, Original Sin, and the American Experience." Well, as silly as it sounds, it changed my life.
Mark Van Doren: Was it the Hawthorne or the sin?
Account Guy: Stempel is an underdog. You know, people root for that. It's a New York thing.
Martin Rittenhome: Queens is not New York.
Herbie Stemple: You know why they call them Indians? Because Columbus thought he was in India. They're "Indians" because some white guy got lost.
Herbie Stemple: I love my wife, but it's like living with a plague of locusts.
Mark Van Doren: Cheating on a quiz show? That's sort of like plagiarizing a comic strip.