Good Morning Vietnam

Memorable quotes from Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) starring Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer.

Dickerson: This is not military issue, airman. What sort of uniform is that?

Adrian Cronauer: Cretan camouflage sir. If you want to blend in with a bunch of drunken Greeks there’s nothing better.

Dickerson: That is humor. I recognize that. I also recognize your brand of soldier.


Richard Nixon: [Adrian has inserted his voice onto the press conference with Nixon] As I leave Vietnam today there will be no doubt in my mind that the Viet Cong will be defeated. And this war will be won. It does involve as you have suggested give and take.

Adrian Cronauer: Well I really didn’t make that suggestion, sir, I’m sorry.

Lt. Steven Hauk: Why would Cronauer’s voice be on this tape?

Private Abersold: I don’t know, sir.

Adrian Cronauer: Mr. Nixon, thank you for that concise political commentary, but I think I’d rather delve into a more personal for the men in the field. How would you describe your testicles?

Richard Nixon: [Hauk turns to the radio in horror] That they’re soft and they’re very shallow and they serve no purpose.

Adrian Cronauer: So what are you saying, sir?

Richard Nixon: They lack the physical strength.

Lt. Steven Hauk: Oh, my God. Please don’t do this to me.

Adrian Cronauer: How would you describe your sex life with your wife Pat?

Richard Nixon: It is unexciting sometimes.

Adrian Cronauer: Well, you can consider a sex change. There is an operation that can transform you into a female white dane or a very hell wung chihuaua. Mr. Nixon it is rumored that you have smoked marijuana. Are you planning to take some of the marijuana home back to the United States? How would you do that?

Richard Nixon: By plane. By helicopter and also by automobile.


Censor #1: [Adrian sees the story about the bombing that he witnessed and he starts taking it to the control room, going past the two censors] What do you think you’re doing? You know you’re forbidden to read anything not checked by this office.

Adrian Cronauer: What was there to check? I was there.

Censor #1: You know the rules, airman. If this is a legitimate news story, it must go through proper channels.

Adrian Cronauer: Look, tweedledee, it’s an actual event.

[referring to the blood on his shirt]

Adrian Cronauer: What do you think this came from? Shaving? It’s the truth. I just want to report the truth. It’ll be a nice change of pace.

Sgt. Major Dickerson: What’s going on here?

Adrian Cronauer: Sir, will you listen to me?

Sgt. Major Dickerson: [reads the story] This is not official news, airman. As far as I’m concerned, it didn’t happen.

Adrian Cronauer: It did happen.

Sgt. Major Dickerson: You shut your mouth!

Adrian Cronauer: What are you afraid of Dickerson? People might find out there’s a war going on?

Sgt. Major Dickerson: This news is not official.

Adrian Cronauer: You wanna know the assumption is perfectly safe around here? Well, it’s not. The fighting’s not in the hills, it’s downtown. It’s a


Adrian Cronauer: couple of fucking blocks!

Sgt. Major Dickerson: I said it’s none of your goddamn business!

Adrian Cronauer: I see your point. I’m sorry. Once I get inside and hit these air conditioners I get a little dizzy. Thanks for setting me straight.


Lt. Steven Hauk: And where you do imagine you’re going?

Adrian Cronauer: I’m going to get something to eat.

Lt. Steven Hauk: You ain’t got time. You’ll stay here and drink instant beverages or something. We promised our viewing audience Nixon highlights by 4:00 PM.

Adrian Cronauer: I’ve been on the air for four hours. I’m a little hungry.

Lt. Steven Hauk: That’s a joke right? I get it.

Adrian Cronauer: No. I’m actually hungry

Lt. Steven Hauk: Well I’m actually giving you an order.

Adrian Cronauer: Oh it’s an order. In that case gentlemen. Let’s edit.


Lt. Steven Hauk: First of all, don’t make fun of the weather here, and don’t say the weather is the same all the time here. Because it’s not. In fact, it’s two degrees colder today than yesterday.

Adrian Cronauer: Two degrees colder, me without my muff.


[imitating Walter Cronkite]

Adrian Cronauer: I just want to begin by saying to Roosevelt E. Roosevelt, what it is, what it shall be, what it was. The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it’s hotter than a snake’s ass in a wagon rut.


Adrian Cronauer: Mantovani? They feed Mantovani to insomniacs who don’t respond to strong drugs!


Adrian Cronauer: Goooooooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll! Time to rock it from the Delta to the D.M.Z.!


Lt. Steven Hauk: Furthermore, you are to stick to playing normal modes of music, not weird stuff. Those who we’d find acceptable here would include Lawrence Welk, Jim Nabors, Mantovani…

Adrian Cronauer: …Percy Faith…

Lt. Steven Hauk: Percy Faith… good!… Andy Williams, Perry Como, and certain ballads by Mr. Frank Sinatra.

Adrian Cronauer: Would Bob Dylan be outta line?


[Lt. Steven Hauk uses Army jargon to refer to a press conference to be given by former Vice-President Nixon]

Adrian Cronauer: Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn’t we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? ‘Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we’d all be put out in K.P.


Adrian Cronauer: You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.


General Taylor: Woah, Dick, put the brakes on. I wanted to wait until airman left to talk with you. Dick, I’m transferring you.

Sgt. Major Dickerson: Transferring me? Where to sir?

General Taylor: You’re going to Guam.

Sgt. Major Dickerson: Guam sir? There’s nothing going on in Guam. Why Guam?

General Taylor: Dick, I’ve covered for you a lot of times cause I thought you were a little crazy. But you’re not crazy, you’re mean. And this is just radio.

[goes to the elevator and laughs]

General Taylor: “More dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.” That’s funny.


Adrian Cronauer: If I don’t get to my English class, they’ll be a lot of people speaking in short choppy sentences.

Edward Garlick: Look, we’ve got to talk and talk now!

Adrian Cronauer: Not now man come on.

Edward Garlick: I can’t believe you. What? That’s it? You’re going to leave the whole fucking thing behind and leave everything fucking hanging! People are depending on you!

Adrian Cronauer: Edward, please! That’s two nasty words in one year. Forgive me.


Sgt. Major Dickerson: [Pointing to his rank insignia] What does three up and three down mean to you, airman?

Adrian Cronauer: End of an inning?


Adrian Cronauer: The Mississippi River broke through a protective dike today. What is a protective dike? Is it a large woman that says “Don’t go near there! But Betty- Don’t go near there! Don’t go down by the river!”… No, we can’t say “dyke” on the air, we can’t even say “lesbian” anymore, it’s “women in comfortable shoes. Thank You.”


[Listening to Cronauer]

Private Abersold: You know, he’s funny, he’s like a Marx Brother.

Lieutenant Steven Hauk: And which Marx Brother would that be, Private? Zeppo? I don’t find him funny at all.

Private Abersold: Zeppo? Wasn’t he the one with the hat?


Adrian Cronauer: You know, you’re very beautiful. You’re also very quiet. And I’m not used to girls being that quiet unless they’re medicated. Normally I go out with girls who talk so much you could hook them up to a wind turbine and they could power a small New Hampshire town.


Sgt. Major Dickerson: You’re not gonna last long here, pal.

Adrian Cronauer: You can always send me back to Crete.

Sgt. Major Dickerson: Oh, you think this is a joke. I can come up with alternatives other than Crete and I’m real good at stuff like that. I got people stuck in places they haven’t even considered how to get out of yet. You don’t think I can come up with something good? Can you envision some fairly unattractive alternatives?

Adrian Cronauer: Not without slides.


Adrian Cronauer: Hey, we’re back. That last two seconds of silence was Marcel Marceau’s newest hit single, “Walkin In The Wind.” And now, here are the headlines. Here they come right now. Pope actually found to be Jewish. Liberace is Anastasia and Ethel Merman jams Russian radar. The East Germans, today, claimed the Berlin Wall was a fraternity prank. Also the Pope decided today to release Vatican-related bath products. An incredible thing, yes, it’s the new Pope On A Rope. That’s right. Pope On A Rope. Wash with it, go straight to heaven. Thank you.


Adrian Cronauer: Here’s a news flash: Today President Lyndon Johnson passed a highway beautification bill. The bill basically said that his daughters could not drive in a convertible on public highways.


Adrian Cronauer: Mayday! Mayday! Dragon-Lady with incredible figure at 11 o’clock! Stop the car.

Edward Garlick: I can’t do that, sir.

Adrian Cronauer: Aw, Edward, you don’t understand. I’ve been on a small Greek island with a lot of women who look like Zorba, I never thought I’d find women attractive ever again. And now that I do, you won’t even turn the car around? Thanks a lot.

Edward Garlick: You have a very important meeting with the top brass…

Adrian Cronauer: -Oh, there she is again! How did she get ahead of us?

Edward Garlick: That’s another person, sir.

Adrian Cronauer: She’s beautiful and quick. Speed up, check her stamina. Oh my God, they’re quick, they’re fast, and small. Ha, ha, ha, ha! I feel like a fox in a chicken coop!


Lieutenant Steven Hauk: I understand you’re pretty funny as a dee-jay and, well, comedy is kind of a hobby of mine. Well, actually, it’s a little more than just a hobby, Reader’s Digest is considering publishing two of my jokes.

Adrian Cronauer: Really.

Lieutenant Steven Hauk: Yeah. And perhaps some night we could maybe get together and swap humorous stories, for fun.

Adrian Cronauer: Oh, why not? Maybe play a couple of Tennessee Ernie Ford records, that’d be a hoot.

Lieutenant Steven Hauk: That’s a joke, right?

Adrian Cronauer: Maybe.

Lieutenant Steven Hauk: I get it.


Adrian Cronauer: What’s the demilitarized zone? It sounds like something from the Wizard of Oz “Oh no don’t go in there!” “Ohhh wee ohh. Ho Chi Minh.” “Oh look you’ve landed in Saigon. You’re amongst the little people now.” “We represent the ARVN army, the ARVN army. Oh no! Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail! Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail!”


Adrian Cronauer: [On Lt. Hauk] In the dictionary under “asshole” it says “See him.”


Adrian Cronauer: [impersonating an Intelligence Officer] We’ve realized that we’re having a very difficult time finding the enemy. It isn’t easy to find a Vietnamese man named “Charlie.” They’re all named Nguyen, or Tran, or…

Adrian Cronauer: [as himself] Well, how are you going about it?

Adrian Cronauer: [as Intel Officer] Well, we walk up to someone and say, ‘Are you the enemy? And, if they say yes, then we shoot them.”


Edward Garlick: What will you do, sir? What will you do? What will you do with your time?

Adrian Cronauer: Oh, I don’t know. There are plenty of things I can think of. Maybe go downtown and try to find a Vietnamese man named “Phil.”


Lt. Steven Hauk: Sir, the man has got an irreverent tendency. He did a very off-color parody of former VP Nixon.

General Taylor: I thought it was hilarious.

Lt. Steven Hauk: Respectfully, sir, the former VP is a good man and a decent man.

General Taylor: Bullshit! I know Nixon personally. He lugs a trainload of shit behind him that could fertilize the Sinai. Why, I wouldn’t buy an apple from the son of a bitch and I consider him a good, close, personal friend.


Adrian Cronauer: Five months in Vietnam, and my best friend is a V.C. THIS WILL NOT LOOK GOOD ON A RESUMÈ!


Adrian Cronauer: Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It’s 0600 hours. What does the “O” stand for? O my God, it’s early! Speaking of early, let’s hear it for that Marty Lee Drywitz. Silky smooth sounds, making me sound like Peggy Lee…


Adrian Cronauer: Here’s a little advice: Never eat in a Vietnamese restaurant next to a pound.


[imitating Lawrence Welk]

Adrian Cronauer: Thank you for the lovely tune, that funky music will drive us till the dawn. Let’s go, let’s bugaloo till we puke!


Adrian Cronauer: What is the difference between the Cub Scouts and the military? Bzzzzzt! Cub Scouts don’t have heavy artillery!


Adrian Cronauer: [after eating a spicy Vietnamese dish] Shit! This stuff is burning the hair off my feet!


Adrian Cronauer: I can’t even make fun of Richard Nixon, and there’s a man who’s screaming out to be made fun of.


Adrian Cronauer: How can you fight a war in this shit? I don’t know where they are, I don’t even know where I am. I can’t see dick. Like hunting with Ray Charles.


Adrian Cronauer: I’m sayin’ I’m through, Ed. I’m tired of people tellin’ me what I can’t say. “This news isn’t official.” “That comment is too sarcastic.” I can’t even make fun of Richard Nixon and there’s a man who’s screaming out to be made fun of!


Adrian Cronauer: [an Army sergeant demands to know who allowed Tuan in the bar] That’s all right. I did. Hey, come on now. If you kick out the gooks, the next thing, you have to kick out the chinks, the spicks, the spooks and kikes. All that’s gonna be left in here are a couple of brain-dead rednecks, and what fun would that be?


Adrian Cronauer: Real homey, in an opium kinda way.


Adrian Cronauer: Good morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test. This is rock and roll. Time to rock it from the delta to the DMZ! Is that me, or does that sound like an Elvis Presley movie? Viva Da Nang. Oh, viva, Da Nang. Da Nang me, Da Nang me. Why don’t they get a rope and hang me? Hey, is it a little too early for being that loud? Hey, too late. It’s 0600 What’s the “0” stand for? Oh, my God, it’s early. Speaking of early, how about that Cro-Magnon, Marty Dreiwitz? Thank you, Marty, for “silky-smooth sound.” Make me sound like Peggy Lee. Freddy and the Dreamers! Wrong speed. We’ve got it on the wrong speed. For those of you recovering from a hangover, that’s gonna sound just right. Let’s put her right back down. Let’s try it a little faster, see if that picks it up a little bit. Those pilots are going, “I really like the music. I really like the music. I really like the music.” Oh, it’s still a bad song. Hey, wait a minute. Let’s try something. Let’s play this backwards and see if it gets any better. Freddy is a devil. Freddy is a devil. Picture a man going on a journey beyond sight and sound. He’s left Crete. He’s entered the demilitarized zone. All right. Hey, what is this “demilitarized zone”? What do they mean, “police action”? Sounds like a couple of cops in Brooklyn going, “You know, she looks pretty to me.” Hey, whatever it is, I like it because it gets you on your toes better than a strong cup of cappuccino. What is a demilitarized zone? Sounds like something out of The Wizard of Oz, Oh, no, don’t go in there. Oh-we-oh Ho Chi’Minh Oh, look, you’ve landed in Saigon. You’re among the little people now. We represent the ARVN Army The ARVN Army Oh, no! Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. “Oh, I’ll get you, my pretty!” Oh, my God. It’s the wicked witch of the north. It’s Hanoi Hanna! “Now, little GI, you and your little ‘tune-ooh’ too!” “Oh, Adrian. Adrian. What are you doing, Adrian?” Oh, Hanna, you slut. You’ve been down on everything but the Titanic. Stop it right now. Hey, uh, hi. Can you help me? What’s your name? “My name’s Roosevelt E. Roosevelt.” Roosevelt, what town are you stationed in?. “I’m stationed in Poontang.” Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What’s the weather like out there? “It’s hot. Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking.” Well, can you tell me what it feels like. “Fool, it’s hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It’s damn hot! I saw – It’s so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It’s that hot! Do you know what I’m talking about.” What do you think it’s going to be like tonight? “It’s gonna be hot and wet! That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but it ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle.” Thank you, Roosevelt. Here’s a song coming your way right now. “Nowhere To Run To” by Martha and the Vandellas. Yes! Hey, you know what I mean! Too much?

One thought on “Good Morning Vietnam

  1. As for the monologue about the mayor of Saigon asking GIs not to hang their laundry on window sills because “the mayor wants you to keep Saigon beautiful”, that very same monologue (obviously not Robin Williams’ voice) was played in Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen’s character was riding out to the boat that would take him up the Nung River. I’ve often wondered if that was an actual recording of Adrian Cronauer, I wouldn’t know who to ask and expect to never really find out, it will probably just be an unknown part of movie lore.


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