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 August 11, 2013
“Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes”

"Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes” is a jocular saying that has been cited in print since at least 1972 (when it was not credited to any author). In 1997, Reader’s Digest credited German cabaret comedian Werner Finck (1902-1978) with authorship. Finck is now usually credited with authorship, but it’s not known when he ever said it.


Wikipedia: Werner Finck
Werner Finck (2 May 1902 – 31 July 1978) was a German Kabarett comedian, actor and author. Not politically motivated by his own admission but just a “convinced individualist”, he became one of Germany’s leading cabaret artists under the conditions of the Nazi suppression after 1933.

Google News Archive
16 May 1974, Cape Girardeau (MO) Bulletin, “Rustlings” by Gary Rust, pg. 2, col. 1:
Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes.

11 April 1978, Alton (IL) Telegraph, pg. B-6, col. 5 classified ad:
WOOFFY SAYS:
Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes.
WOOFF Realtors

Google Books
Saint Lucia at independence, February 22, 1979
Saint Lucia: Voice Press
1979
Pg. 104:
Everybody wants to eat at the Government’s table but no one wants to wash the plates.

Google Books
Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes:
Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America’s Most Popular Magazine

By Reader’s Digest Association
Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest
1997
Pg. 197:
Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes. — WERNER FINCK

Google Books
Worth Repeating:
More Than 5,000 Classic and Contemporary Quotes

By Bob Kelly
Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel
2003
Pg. 152:
Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes. — Werner Finck

Twitter
Richard Stephenson‏
@richstep51
“Everybody wants to eat at the government’s table, but nobody wants to do the dishes.” - Werner Finck #quote [pic] http://ff.im/qmWpu
12:19 AM - 8 Sep 10

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, August 11, 2013 • Permalink