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 July 25, 2015
“Capitalist hell or Communist hell” (joke)

A popular joke about “Capitalist hell vs. Communist hell” was told by a Polish newspaper in 1957. The joke was often told about the Soviet Union and is still told when citizens of a communist or a socialist country face consumer shortages.


Google News Archive
2 April 1957, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, “Red Hell Was More Popular Than The Other” (From Pro Prostu, Communist newspaper, Warsaw, Poland), pt. 1, pg. 16, col. 6:
A Polish citizen arrived in hell and found that there were two entrances to the place. On the left a poster proclaimed: “Communist Hell.” Above the doorway on the right there was a poster: “Capitalist Hell.”

He further noticed that there was a considerable queue in front of the Marxist inferno, while at the entrance of the free enterprise hades there was the devil all by himself, and no customers.

The doomed citizen approached the queue which stretched out from the red place of torment.

“How do they treat you in the Communist hell?” he inquired.

“They first boil the people, then they roast them on the coals, and all the while they make them sit down on razor blades.”

“And in the capitalist hell?” he inquired.

“Exactly the same thing.”

“Then why is there such a queue in front of the Communist hell?”

“Because in the Communist hell they are always short of coal and razor blades!”

Google News Archive
8 August 1957, Lakeland (FL) Ledger, “Notes On Eggs And Elephants” by Hal Boyle, The Poor Man’s Philosopher (AP), pg. 4, col. 4:
CRUSADE FOR FREEDOM relays the story of the Roman Communist who died and went to hell. When he arrived at the entrance, he was surprised to find two doors.

On one door was the notice, “Communist hell,” and on the other, “Capitalist hell.”

“Which do you choose?” he was asked.

“The Communist hell, of course,” he replied. “There is bound to be a fuel shortage!”

Google Groups: alt.support.mult-sclerosis
8-) Dave
Martin McDowell
12/31/99
A political activist named Dave was just arriving in Hell, and was told he had a choice to make.  He could go to Capitalist Hell or to Communist Hell. Naturally, Dave wanted to compare the two, so he wandered over to
Capitalist Hell.  There outside the door was Rockerfeller, looking bored.  “What’s it like in there?” asked Dave.  “Well,” replied Rockerfeller “In Capitalist Hell, they flay you alive, boil you in oil, chain you to a rock and let a vulture tear your liver out, and cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives.”

“That’s terrible!!” gasped Dave.  “I’m going to check out Communist Hell!” He went over to Communist Hell, where he discovered a huge line of people waiting to get in; the line circled around the lobby seven times before receding off into the horizon.  Dave pushed his way through to the head of the line, where he found Karl Marx busily signing people in.  Dave asked Karl what Communist Hell was like.

“In Communist Hell,” said Marx impatiently, “they flay you alive, boil you in oil, chain you to a rock and let vultures tear out your liver, and cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives.” “But ...  but that’s the same as Capitalist Hell!” protested Dave. “True,” sighed Marx, “but sometimes we don’t have oil, sometimes we don’t have knives ...”

Google Groups: rec.humor.funny.reruns
Capitalist Hell vs Communist Hell
“Henry_Ca...@xerox.com
1/9/01
A political activist named Dave was just arriving in Hell, and was told he had a choice to make.  He could go to Capitalist Hell or to Communist Hell.

Naturally, Dave wanted to compare the two, so he wandered over to Capitalist Hell.  There outside the door was Rockerfeller, looking bored.  “What’s it like in there?” asked Dave.  “Well,” he replied , “In Capitalist Hell, they flay you alive, boil you in oil, chain you to a rock and let a vulture tear your liver out, and cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives.”

“That’s terrible!!” gasped Dave.  “I’m going to check out Communist Hell!” He went over to Communist Hell, where he discovered a huge line of people waiting to get in; the line circled around the lobby seven times before receding off into the horizon.  Dave pushed his way through to the head of the line, where he found Karl Marx busily signing people in.  Dave asked Karl what Communist Hell was like.

“In Communist Hell,” said Marx impatiently, “they flay you alive, boil you in oil, chain you to a rock and let vultures tear out your liver, and cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives.”

“But ...  but that’s the same as Capitalist Hell!” protested Dave.

“True,” sighed Marx, “but sometimes we don’t have oil, sometimes we don’t have knives ...”

Google Groups: soc.culture.usa
“Iron Lady” Understands What Communism Is All About
Barry Marjanovich
4/26/01
“Iron Lady’ draws record crowd here
Thatcher urges free markets and global missile defense
Thursday, April 26
Lady Margaret Thatcher told the one about St. Peter meeting former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at the Pearly Gates and giving him the option to be sent to a capitalist hell or a socialist hell.

St. Peter is perplexed when Brezhnev chooses the socialist hell and reminds the Soviet hard-liner that this is no time for propaganda.

Brezhnev’s response, according to Britain’s former prime minister, is: “I know in a socialist hell they will always be short of fuel.”

Laughter erupted among a record crowd of 2,200 people Wednesday night who attended the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s 129th annual dinner at Franklin & Marshall College to hear the “Iron Lady” expound upon the virtues of free enterprise.

Twitter
Rahim Mohamed
‏@TarHeelTory
.@Dfildebrandt you ever hear that old joke about “capitalist hell” v. “socialist hell”? http://www.jokeindex.com/joke.asp?Joke=627 … @CommonSenseTory
5:19 AM - 26 Jul 2015
Chapel Hill, NC

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, July 25, 2015 • Permalink