Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Cried All The Way To The Bank

Posted by Elyse Bruce on March 26, 2010

Liberace was the first to use this phrase that has caught on in popular culture.  He leveraged his fame in 1953 through hundreds of promotional tie-ins with banks, insurance companies, automobile companies and food companies. Liberace was the perfect pitchman as the vast majority of his audience was housewives.

One particular critic wrote an unfavourable review of Liberace that took on his gimmicky act,  showy but careless piano playing, non-stop promotions, and gaudy display of success in a review of Liberace’s concert at Madison Square Gardens.  He wrote a letter to the critic, stating, “Thank you for your very amusing review. After reading it, in fact, my brother George and I cried all the way to the bank.”

Years later, Liberace retold the anecdote to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, and finished it by saying “I don’t cry all the way to the bank any more — I bought the bank”.

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