Sunday, December 17, 2017
The conniving and bibulous character Fields developed caught the public imagination at a time when the nation was deep in the throes of the Great Depression and the sale of liquor was still prohibited by law. He appeared on the scene as the embodiment of public misbehavior, a man not so much at odds with authority as completely oblivious to it. He drank because he enjoyed it and cheated at cards because he was good at it. Fields wasn't a bad sort, but rather a throwback to a time when such behaviors were perfectly innocuous and government wasn't quite so paternalistic.
-James Curtis, W. C. Fields: A Biography