As the actress said to the bishop...

As the actress said to the bishop...

A phrase used to point out or emphasize that a remark had a risqué double meaning, whether or not it was intended. The phrase, first heard in Britain in the mid-20th century, contrasts a worldly actress and a very proper clergyman to whom such double meanings had to be pointed out. It also took the form of “as the bishop said to the actress,” “as the schoolmaster said to the schoolgirl,” and any number of other combinations. Mae West's repartees, such as replying to a man's saying, “I've heard so much about you” with “Yeah, but you can't prove it,” coming from almost anyone else would qualify for an “As the actress said to the bishop . . .”
See also: actress, said