A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 06, 2013
“A reindeer walks into a bar…” (bar joke)

“A guy walks into a bar...” is a typical form of what has been called the “bar joke.” One of the oldest and most popular of bar jokes is:

A reindeer walked into a bar and ordered a Scotch and soda. The bartender served him and took two dollars out of a five the reindeer handed him.

“Pardon me,” said the bartender, “I hope you don’t mind my mentioning it but — I don’t think we’ve ever seen a reindeer in here before.”

“No,” said the reindeer indignantly, as he picked up his change, “and you’re not likely to see another — not at these prices.”


The joke was cited in several publications in 1952. The joke has been told about many other animals besides a reindeer, such as a bear, a dog, a gorilla and a kangaroo.


Google Books
Coronet
Volume 31, Issue 6
1952
Pg. 34:
A reindeer walked into a bar and ordered a Scotch and soda. The bartender served him and took two dollars out of a five the reindeer handed him.

“Pardon me,” said the bartender, “I hope you don’t mind my mentioning it but — I don’t think we’ve ever seen a reindeer in here before.”

“No,” said the reindeer indignantly, as he picked up his change, “and you’re not likely to see another — not at these prices.”

Google Books
October 1952, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 74, col. 2:
A reindeer walked into a bar and ordered a Scotch and soda. The bartender served him and took two dollars out of a five the reindeer handed him.

“Pardon me,” said the bartender, “I hope you don’t mind my mentioning it but — I don’t think we’ve ever seen a reindeer in here before.”

“No,” said the reindeer indignantly, as he picked up his change, “and you’re not likely to see another—not at these prices."— Ray Haug, Rockville, Ind.

Google Books
Dealer’s Digest
Volume 18, Issues 27-34
1952
Pg. 80:
In Arthur Godfrey’s Stories I love to Tell he relates how a reindeer walked into a bar and ordered a Scotch and soda, putting down a $5 bill. The barkeep served him, putting down $3 in change.

“Hope you don’t mind my saying so,” he told the animal, “but I don’t think we ever had a reindeer in here before.”

“And,” said the reindeer, angrily picking up his change, “you’re not likely to see another — at these prices.”

Google Books
Executive’s Treasury of Humor for Every Occasion
By William R. Gerler
West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing Company
1972, ©1965
Pg. 9:
A kangaroo walked into a bar and in clear, well-modulated tones asked the bartender for a Martini. The bartender was amazed, but concealed his surprise and mixed and served the drink to the kangaroo. The latter drank it quietly and eventually asked how much he owed.

“$1.75,” said the bartender.

The kangaroo paid the check and was about to walk out when the bartender, no longer able to restrain his curiosity, remarked: “We’ve never had the pleasure of serving a kangaroo here.”

To which the kangaroo politely and promptly replied: “And at these prices, it will be a mighty long time before you serve another one.”

12 September 1976, Salina (KS) Journal, “Carter just simply has no sense of humor, says Dole” (UPI), pg. 31, col. 2:
“This bear walks into a bar and orders a beer and plunks down a $5 bill. The bartender looked a little befuddled but went to the cooler, took a beer out and took the cap off for the bear. He rushed back to the boss and said, ‘Boss, a bear just ordered a beer and gave me $5. What should I do?’

“He said, ‘Well, give it back a nickel, it won’t know the difference?’

“So he put a nickel on the counter. But after a while he couldn’t stand it anymore, so he took a stool next to the bear and said, ‘You know, we don’t get many bears in here.’

“The bear said, ‘I don’t suppose you do at $4.95 a bottle.’”

6 May 1988, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “What’s so funny about this joke?”:
A kangaroo walks into a bar and orders a martini. “That’ll be 10 bucks,’ the bartender says. The kangaroo pulls a wallet out of his pouch and hands him a $20 bill. When the bartender returns with the change, he says, “You know, we don’t see many kangaroos in this joint.’

“And at these prices,’ the kangaroo says, “you won’t see many more.’

People have been laughing at this old chestnut for decades. Why? Because it’s funny, of course. And why is it funny? Funny you should ask.

Google Books
The Concise Handbook of Management:
A Practitioner’s Approach

By Jonathan T. Scott
New York, NY: Routledge
2011
Pg. 207:
A dog walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender stares at the dog for a moment then gets him his order. “That’ll be ten dollars,” the bartender says. The dog produces the money from a pouch attached to his collar. “Sorry for staring, says the bartender, “but I have to admit that we don’t get many talking dogs in here.

“At these prices,” says the dog, “I’m not surprised.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Wednesday, November 06, 2013 • Permalink