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 18, 2009
Crickets or Crickets Chirping (silence)

"Crickets” or “crickets chirping” means total silence from all listeners (except for the crickets chirping in the background. In the cartoon Show Biz Bugs (1957) Daffy Duck performed an act for a theatre audience, only to hear crickets chirping (and no applause). “Crickets chirping” was the show biz response for a bad joke or a bad act.

In online conversations from the late 1990s and 2000s, “crickets” has meant silence to someone’s argument. Political blogs use “crickets” (or “crickets chirping") to indicate that the Democrats or the Republicans have no response to the argument presented.


Wikipedia: Cricket (insect)
Crickets, family Gryllidae(also known as “true crickets"), are insects somewhat related to grasshoppers and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets (family Tettigoniidae). They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae. There are about 900 species of crickets. They tend to be nocturnal and are often confused with grasshoppers because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs.
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Popular culture
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In American comedy, the sound of crickets may be used to humorously indicate a dead silence when a response or activity is expected. For example, if a comedian in a TV show tells a bad joke, instead of the audience laughing, crickets may chirp.

Similarly on political blogs, writers may use the concept of “crickets chirping” in a rhetorical sense to signal that the writer believes that he or she has made a point that a hypothetical opponent cannot answer. The space that would have been occupied by the nonexistent answer is instead occupied by the symbolic word *crickets* to symbolize this silence.

Urban Dictionary
crickets
to make a joke that no one laughs at.
after someone says a lame joke, it’s as if you can hear the “crickets” because no one laughed.
by anonymous Jul 23, 2003

Urban Dictionary
*crickets chirp*
Used to point out or emphasise silence. (Well, not precisely silence, since chirping crickets make sound. But you get it.)

The idea is that you can only hear crickets when there are no other sounds, such as conversation or laughter. Often used to denote the awkward pause after a bad joke.

Joe: What’s the sound of two drums and a cymbal falling over a cliff?
Ted: *tiredly* I don’t know, Joe. What is the sound of two drums and a cymbal falling over a cliff?
Joe: baDUM-ksh!
*crickets chirp*
Joe: ...Oh, come on. That was funny.

by Lady Chevalier May 23, 2005

New York (NY) Times
THE GREATEST OF BUGS BUNNY
By JANET MASLIN
Published: November 20, 1981
‘’THE LOONEY Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie,’’ which opens today at the Criterion Center, Gemini and other theaters, is a sort of ‘’Bugs’ Greatest Hits,’’ because it strings together several of the redoubtable rabbit’s better cartoons.
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And Daffy, to his further humiliation, is greeted with a silence so deep he can hear crickets chirping every time he leaps to the stage.

20 November 1993, Rocky Mountain News, “Hundreds Imagine a Great Airport and Great Party” by J. R. Mehringer:
Judging from the funereal silence that followed (crickets chirping, a pin dropping), the song’s not big among the successful over-50 crowd.

23 October 1999, Lancaster (PA) Intelligencer Journal, “I’ll just close my eyes and point to vote”:
“It’s crickets chirping. Hardly anyone I know is going to march out to the polls.”

AppleInsider - General Discussions
pscates
01-14-2002, 01:31 PM
It’s days like these that chuckleheaded late night comics like Leno, Letterman, Kilborn, O’Brien, etc. fall on their collective knees and thank the mighty gods of comedy for this good fortune bestowed upon them.

:rolleyes:

Leno: “Due to their apparent danger to citizens, Congress has passed a 15 day waiting period for pretzel purchases...” [crickets chirping...]

Strategy Page
Subject: Calling out all Democrats who can shoot straight....
American Kafir 10/11/2002 8:59:59 AM
Now that the Senate has finally shut up perennial windbag Democratic Senator Byrd-brain and finalized approval for President Bush to lead the nation’s military without a Supreme Court showdown, with an amazingly restrained resolution by 43% of the Democrats in Congress voting to challenge Saddam before he nukes someone, we can finally discuss election year issues for Congress, with the elections coming up in less than a month. And yes, once again the Democrat’s issues are? Crickets chirping in the darkness? 

Captain’s Quarters
July 31, 2005
Dafydd: Flipper the Duck
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Patterico has also noticed the thundering sound of a million crickets chirping in the MSM auditorium; or as Paul Simon (the successful singer, not the lefty senator) wrote, the “sounds of silence.” It’s hard to imagine so many quiet noises if it had been Bill Frist or Tom DeLay who casually flipped left and right; Dana Milbank in particular would have gotten at least four op-eds out of it. 

Maggie’s Farm
Friday, July 18. 2008
Fallacy of the Week: Argument ex silentio and chirping crickets
An argument ex silentio claims “You respond with silence, thus I am proven right.”

From Wiki:

“In general, the claim that the absence of something demonstrates the proof of a proposition. An argumentum ex silentio ("argument from silence") is an argument based on the assumption that someone’s silence on a matter suggests (’proves’ when a logical fallacy) that person’s ignorance of the matter or their inability to counterargue validly.”

Of course, there are many reasons for silence besides an inability to make a counterpoint, including a simple lack of interest in pursuing a line of discussion or, as I have often found myself doing in debates with Liberals, reverting to silence out of a feeling of futility.

In the blog world, the common expression “crickets chirping” is a cute way of implying an ex silentio argument. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes an error.

Badger Blues
Crickets chirping
August 8, 2008
I have very little to say about the presidential race.

The Retirement Chronicles
Friday, July 17, 2009
Useless Facts and Trivia: Volume 10
It has been a while since I posted any more “Useless Facts and Trivia” for you, so here is the next installment. (Along with MY COMMENTS in bold italics).
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9. Two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
(Any comments, those of you from New Jersey??? I’ve got nothing.) (Sound of crickets chirping).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, July 18, 2009 • Permalink