Origin of quote, "I said GOOD DAY, sir!"

The phrase is usually haughtily enounced in a upper-class British accent, as though one is about to stomp off in a huff. Jon Stewart uses it frequently on The Daily Show, and Google returns a lot of similar references. The only lead I have found is that Willy Wonka has a similar line in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, but I don’t remember the tone of the dialogue to say for certain whether it matches.

I’m thinking it’s how polite society used to brush people off, and visibly show anger without breaking any huge rules of etiquette.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

It’s Fez’s tag line in That 70s Show, too.

And Fez does it the very best.

“Now good day!”
“But Fez–”
(holding up hand)“ISAIDGOODDAY!”

John Zoidberg, M.D., does a pretty good one too.

I’d go with Stark Raven Mad’s initial explanation. I doubt that you will find a “first use” (although you might check Jane Austen or one of her contemporaries). Tolkien employed it in the opening scene of The Hobbit (using “Good Morning” instead of “Good Day” and letting Gandalf do a little riff on the various meanings which Bilbo has invested in the phrase in a very short conversation).

Wonka delivers the line in a tone of extreme anger. It’s near the end of the movie, after he’s ordered Charlie and Grampa Joe to leave and given a long list of their offenses, concluding with “GOOD DAY, SIR!” They start to protest, and Wonka turns and yells again “I SAID GOOD DAY!”

This probably popularized the phrase and that’s definitely what I think of when I hear people say it, but if you notice, it’s a case of “Play it again, Sam.” Wonka never actually says “I said good day sir.” And I didn’t realize that until halfway through the post, and I checked IMDb to be sure.

Stark Raven Mad probably nailed it.

I can find a use of the device in an 1876 Chicago Tribune news story.

A defendant in a trial tells a badgering newspaper reporter, “I bid you good day, sir.” And he means “quit asking me questions which I’m not going to answer.”

I’m sorry, gentle. I didn’t see that you had mentioned Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory right in the OP. :smack:

Whenever I hear that line–and I heard it this week on The Daily Show–I always think of that same line from Wonka delivered by Gene Wilder, because typically, it is said in the same manner. Jon Stewart said it very much the same way.

The utterance “I said-I said Good Day, Sir!” said by a haughty old man with an English accent is ringing major bells with me…like it’s from a specific TV or radio show.
Either The Goon Show
Or maybe the Major from Fawlty Towers
Something of that nature.

The phrase has “music hall” acts written all over it. It’s a convienient exit line just as much as “I say, I say, I say!” is an entry line So it’s probably been in show business forever.

Comedian 1: [Enters] I say, I say, I say!
Comedian 2: [Enters] ?
Comedian 1: Joke setup…
Comedian 2: ?
Comedian 1: Punchline, rimshot
Comedian 2: I did not wish to know that, good day sir!
[Both Exit]

For me it is one of the major weakness’s of the show. It was never that clever, but now having become totally predictable it is most annoying. But then, the whole character of Fez is rather annoying to me.

You will also find some similar in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol when Scrooge is dismissing his nephew’s relentless good cheer:

" Because you fell in love!" growled Scrooge, as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. “Good afternoon!”

“Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?”

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?”

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle!”

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“And A Happy New Year!”

“Good afternoon!” said Scrooge.

His nephew left the room without an angry word, notwithstanding. "

Another vote for Wonka. All of my friends recognize the Stewart quote and the similar quote by Janeane Garofalo in Mystery Men as a reference to that classic scene between Grampa Joe and Wonka.

Dustin Hoffman in TOOTSIE, exiting Dr. Brewster’s office.

I associated the line with A Christmas Carol, too. Note that my first exposure to the story was the 1962 Mr. Magoo version. In this version, Magoo/Scrooge dismisses the two charity workers from his office by standing, shaking his fist at them, and shouting, “I bid you…GOOD AFTERNOON!”

Then he returns to his desk and chortles: "That’s the beauty of it–I don’t pledge anything!

From just reading the title of the thread, I thought of Wonka.

Pretty sure Homer Simpson has said it too.

Thanks, everyone. Now I need to dig up a copy of Wonka and watch it again.

Stark Raven Mad, exactly. Marley23 nailed the quote.

As for the suggestions from tomndebb and others that it’s older than time itself to brush people off with a “good day” or some variation on this, naturally I realize this; but the quotation I’m chasing is said with a very specific emphasis: Jon Stewart in particular nails the tone in how he puffs himself up first and then puts a little space between each word. It sounds so familiar, I feel like this meme must have originated with some movie and TV show.