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.

Recent entries:
“A man is washing the car with his son. The son asks, ‘Dad, can’t you just use a sponge?‘“ (6/23)
“Don’t waste a moment of your life trying to be normal” (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
“‘Be strong,’ I whispered to my wifi signal” (6/23)
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Entry from October 19, 2015
“A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student”

"A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student” is an old line of unknown authorship. “He (Charles Haddon Spurgeon—ed.) is a self-taught man, and contrary to what was said of another distinguished self-taught man, that he had a very poor teacher, Mr. Spurgeon had a very good and wise teacher” was cited in 1883. The other distinguished self-taught man was probably Scottish geologist and writer Hugh Miller (1802-1854). “For many a man who teaches himself, has a poor teacher, and a stupid and refractory pupil” was cited in 1910.

“A self-made man who had a poor teacher and a worse student” was said in 1945 of Benito Mussolini (1883-1945). “A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student” was cited without attribution in 1968. “A self-taught person usually has a poor teacher and a worse student” was credited in 1975 to Canadian-American bandleader Guy Lombardo (1902-1977). New York-based comedian Henny Youngman (1906-1998) is often credited with the line, but he didn’t coin it and possibly never said it.


Google Books
July 1883, The Chautauquan, “Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon” by A. A. Livermore, pg. 565, col. 2:
He is a self-taught man, and contrary to what was said of another distinguished self-taught man, that he had a very poor teacher, Mr. Spurgeon had a very good and wise teacher.

Google Books
Autobiography and Personal Tributes
By William Phillips Tilden
Boston, MA: Press of Geo. H. Ellis
1891
Pg. 286 (Appendix):
It was said of one who was self-taught that he had a very poor teacher, but Mr. Tilden was favored in this respect.

Google Books
February 1910, Every Where (Brooklyn, NY), “The Two February Americans,” pg. 329:
Lincoln, on the contrary, was a natural scholar — self taught, but judiciously so, which is well worth noting: for many a man who teaches himself, has a poor teacher, and a stupid and refractory pupil.

Google Books
Canadian Landscape Painters
By Albert Henry Robson
Toronto, ON: Ryerson Press
1932
Pg. 47:
Always described as self taught, his work refutes that classic witticism, “the self taught artist had a very poor teacher,” for O’Brien’s work is conspicuous for its accomplished technique and able draughtsmanship.

19 July 1945, Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen, “Ciano,” pg. 4, col. 4:
“He (Bottai, a minister of national education—ed.) calls him (Mussolini—ed.) ‘a self-made man who had a poor teacher and a worse student.’”

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 797:
A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student.

27 August 1975, The Daily Times-News (Burlington, NC), “Readin’, Writin’ And All That” by Paul Steiner (Women’s News Service), pg. 1C, col. 2:
“A self-taught person usually has a poor teacher and a worse student.”—Guy Lombardo.

Google Books
Phillips’ Book of Great Thoughts, Funny Sayings:
A Stupendous Collection of Quotes, Quips, Epigrams, Witticisms, and Humorous Comments:
For Personal Enjoyment and Ready Reference

By Bob Phillips
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House
1993
Pg. 106:
EDUCATION.
A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student

Google Books
Teachers:
Jokes, Quotes, and Anecdotes

Edited by Patrick Regan
Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing
2001
Pg. 138:
A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student. — Henny Youngman

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
Henny Youngman: A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student. | #Quotes
1:23 AM - 20 Oct 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Monday, October 19, 2015 • Permalink