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, 2015
“He gave a fireside chat and the fire went out” (joke)

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt held radio “fireside chats” to communicate with American citizens. In September 1975, Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (1912-1983) ran for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination, and American political satirist/comedian Mark Russell joked:

“He gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.”

President Jimmy Carter gave a fireside chat on February 2, 1977, and the fire did go out. “He gave a fireside chat and the fire went out” has been said about many dull politicians.


Wikipedia: Fireside chats
The fireside chats were a series of thirty evening radio addresses given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944. Although the World War I Committee on Public Information had seen presidential policy propagated to the public en masse, “fireside chats” were the first media development that facilitated intimate and direct communication between the president and the citizens of the United States. Roosevelt’s cheery voice and demeanor played him into the favor of citizens and he soon became one of the most popular presidents ever, often affectionately compared to Abraham Lincoln. On radio, he was able to quell rumors and explain his reasons for social change slowly and comprehensibly. Radio was especially convenient for Roosevelt because it enabled him to hide his polio symptoms from the public eye. Roosevelt preferred radio, because most of the major newspapers in the United States, and most of the circulation, tilted heavily toward the opposition Republican Party.

Wikipedia: Henry M. Jackson
Henry Martin “Scoop” Jackson (May 31, 1912 – September 1, 1983) was a U.S. Congressman and Senator from the state of Washington from 1941 until his death in Everett, Washington on September 1, 1983. Jackson was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 and 1976.

Google News Archive
2 September 1975, Nashua (NH) Telegraph, “Washington Window: Political Climate Seen Calm” by Arnold Sawislak (UPI), pg. 12, col. 8:
Of Sen. Henry Jackson it was said: “he gave a fireside chat, and the fire went out.”

Google Books
Newsweek
Volume 85
1975
Pg. 126:
And neither man excites: Bentsen is ineffably low-key, Jackson irrepressibly gray. “Scoop,” Washington comic Mark Russell cracked at a recent fund-raiser, “gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.”

Google Books
Presenting Mark Russell
By Mark Russell
New York, NY: Everest House
1980
Pg. 67:
It happened when word got out that Senator “Scoop” Jackson once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out. Any candidate burdened with a dull label might as well go back to his floor polisher rental business.

Google Books
Playing to Win:
An Insider`s Guide to Politics

By Jeff Greenfield
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1980
Pg. 112:
“Yet this quietly elegant presence”—I don’t know how it is possible to be quietly eloquent, either, but that’s what they’ll write — “seems to many observers” — that’s two other people at the bar — “to be more formidable gave a fireside chat last night and the fire went out") that candidacy is on the road to oblivion.

Google Books
Simon Says:
The Best of Roger Simon

By Roger Simon
Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books
1985
Pg. 90:
The often-told joke is that Glenn once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.

Google Books
Jimmy Carter and the Politics of Frustration
By Garland A. Haas
Jefferson, NC: McFarland
1992
Pg. 68:
THE “FIRESIDE CHAT.” On February 2, 1977 (a record cold day in a record cold winter), the new, self-assured president gave his first nationally televised “fireside chat” sitting before a roaring three-log fire in the White House library (the fire went out before he finished speaking).

Google Books
¡Obamanos!:
The Birth of a New Political Era

By Hendrik Hertzberg
New York, NY: The Penguin Press
2009
Pg. ?:
Senator Bob Dole, with characteristic bleak wit, evaluated his response to President Clinton’s 1996 address thusly: “I gave a fireside chat the other night, and the fire went out.”

Twitter
the Real Quidam
‏@theRQ
As we approach 25 yr unemployment highs, we recall last fireside chat of Jimmy “Less is More” Carter: so dull & dreary, the fire went out!
9:03 PM - 5 Jun 2009

Twitter
Casie Daugherty
‏@CasieDaugherty
“It is said that #Pawlenty once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out.” http://politi.co/iwWTau
10:13 AM - 24 May 2011

Twitter
Roger Simon
‏@politicoroger
Jim DeMint once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out. #CPAC2014
12:36 PM - 8 Mar 2014

Twitter
Roger Simon
‏@politicoroger
Lincoln Chafee once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out. (Sorry. Old joke.) #IDPHOF
8:49 PM - 17 Jul 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, July 18, 2015 • Permalink