Talk:The Iceman Cometh

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The 1973 film should be split off as a separate article - Alan Smithee 00:23, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Done! 1973 has it's own article now... SkierRMH 09:24, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

What does it mean?[edit]

Can someone explain the title and how it relates to the content of the play? (talk) 02:44, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I figure the title Iceman referred to Hickman. He was someone the patrons of the bar would anticipate coming to "start the party" as this article suggests. He represented the arrival of free drinks, most likly "On the rocks" which is ice, so "The Iceman Cometh". TacfuJecan (talk) 22:32, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

It's in the play

The title refers to remarks Hickey had repeatedly made on prior visits to Harry's bar about his wife having a fling with the iceman while he was on the road in an era before electric refrigerators in homes when people had actual ice boxes cooled by ice blocks delivered by an iceman. This is mentioned several times in the play. I have wondered if any double entendre with the word "come" was intended which would certainly not be surprising among the characters of this play, although nothing of that kind is even hinted at in the dialog, and if so, even as just a title, that it passed without comment in 1946. (Then again in 1938 the Cole Porter song My Heart Belongs to Daddy seems to make a subtle reference to cunnilingus (.. to dine on my fine finnan haddie .. asking for more .. etc) without any adverse results.) There is harsh irony in this since it appears that the opposite is the case, that Hickey's wife was totally faithful and endlessly forgiving of his womanizing and drinking sprees. This surfeit of virtue creates such self-hatred in Hickey and anger at his wife that he is ultimately driven to kill her to end their common pipe dream that his latest indiscretion will be his last. Jszigeti (talk) 05:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Full Script[edit]

Available via Project Gutenberg of Australia at Not sure if there is a copyright issue with listing the link. —Wasabe3543 15:29, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Popular culture references[edit]

This is a particularly bad accumulation of trivia. It took all I had not to delete the entire section. I can remember various pop-culture references as far back as Andrew Dice Clay's The Diceman Cometh (1989). "The --man cometh" pop-culture references, neutrally listed, could easily dominate the article.

As I had never heard of the play/film adaptations and happened to be at the computer when I heard the phrase for the millionth time, I Googled it to figure out what this apparent cultural touchstone is all about. Our list of pop-culture references is just that--a list devoid of context or insight.

As someone devoting some marginal mental energy for the last twenty years wondering why "The --man cometh" is supposed to mean something, I appreciate the article. Too bad there's not a hint of why the phrase is used so liberally with no apparent link to the original work.

If I should remember to re-visit this page, I will be bold. Such lists, given the nature of the medium, regenerate over time anyway.... (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:01, 16 September 2009 (UTC).

Miss one ~ and SineBot comes to the rescue. Thanks, SineBot. (talk) 08:19, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


The article states that one actor appeared in both the 1960 TV adaptation and the 1973 film. In fact, two actors appeared in both adaptations- the one mentioned in the article and Sorrell Booke, who played Hugo both times. This can be verified by reading the wikipedia articles for both adaptations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Sorry- that should be the Productions section, not the Adaptations section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:01, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

In November 2014, I found the production and adaptation sections thoroughly intermixed, redundant in many places, and filled with fan writing about the play and some of the actors, and rambling. I have attempted to clean this up, apply a consistent format throughout, and remove the hero worship (that belongs in the actor articles if at all) also adding some actual information along the way.

A separate section was added for some pertinent actor trivia about repeat appearances. Robards in several stage productions and TV. Booke in both the TV and film adaptations. And most remarkable, Tom Pedi, in the original 1946 production, the TV production and the film production. Note also that three actors in the 1973 film made their last film (but not TV in one case) appearance in The Iceman Cometh, Fredric March, Robert Ryan, and Martyn Green. Jszigeti (talk) 06:00, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Title taken from an earlier poem?[edit]

I remember reading a poem called "The Iceman Cometh" in school. It seemed like a 19th-century poem about how nice it was that the cart of ice was coming through town and ice could be bought to cool people down. I think this poem would pre-date the play and the title might have influenced it. But I can't remember who wrote the poem, and searching the web does not seem to help in this instance (too much clutter from later works - if you search for 'iceman cometh poem' you get very recent poems, but that's not it, it was an OLD one). If there's an ORIGINAL "Iceman Cometh" poem and it was notable enough to be included in books that are placed in school libraries (at least in the UK) then it should probably be mentioned somewhere (not sure whether in this article, or on the disambiguation page, or what, but SOMEwhere), but does anybody remember who wrote it so we can put together a proper citation? as 'I remember reading a poem at school' isn't verifiable by others... (talk) 13:54, 17 April 2015 (UTC)