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:
“Every time I lose some weight, I find it again in the refrigerator” (3/29)
“Can’t wait to get off work, then I can finally stop staring at this damn computer…” (3/29)
“If you ran like your mouth, you’d be in good shape” (3/28)
“Do I like my coffee black? There are other colors?” (3/28)
“Sorry, I can’t go to work tomorrow. I fractured my motivation” (3/28)
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Entry from March 10, 2015
“How do you know if there’s a lead singer outside your door?” (joke)

A classic joke is told about a singer (or a bad musician):

Q: How do you know if there’s a lead singer outside your door?
A: You don’t: She can’t find the key and doesn’t know when to come in.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1992.


Google Groups: rec.music.classical
Musical jokes
“Vinay K. Chaudhri”
7/31/92
(...)
How do you tell when your lead singer is at the door?
He can’t find the key, and doesn’t know when to come in.

Google Groups: rec.music.classical.performing
Know Any Singer Jokes?
Ruth Cross
3/10/95
(...)
Q:  How can you tell that there’s a vocalist at your front door?
A:  She doesn’t know when to come in.

Google Groups: bit.listserv.bgrass-l
FW: Viola Jokes
Pollak, Edward
7/13/95
(...)
Why do violists stand for long periods outside their own houses?
They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.

Google Books
The Musician’s Joke Book:
Knowing the Score

By Nancy Groce
New York, NY: Schirmer Books; London: Prentice Hall International
1996
Pg. ?:
How do you know if there’s a lead singer outside your door?
You don’t: She can’t find the key and doesn’t know when to come in.

Google Books
The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Joke Book
By Dave Marsh
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin
1997
Pg. 27:
How can you tell when a chick singer is knocking at your door?
She doesn’t know when to come in, and she can’t find the key.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Humor
Edited by Geoff Tibballs
New York, NY: Carroll & Graf
2000
Pg. 220:
Why do viola players stand for long periods outside people’s houses?—They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.

Google Books
Man Walks into a Bar:
Over 6,000 of the Most Hilarious Jokes, Funniest Insults and Gut-Busting One-Liners

By Stephen Arnott and Mike Haskins
Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press
2007
Pg. 319:
Why do viola players spend a lot of time standing outside houses? They can’t find the key and don’t know when to come in.

Google Books
The Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: Revised and Updated!
Over 2,000 One-liners, Stories, Gags, Roasts, Ribs & Put-downs

Compiled by Barry Dougherty and H. Aaron Cohl
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
2009
Pg. 348:
How do you know when there’s a singer at the door? They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.

Twitter
Vocalist Problems
‏@VocalProblems
How do you tell when a bad singer is at the audition door? He can’t find the key & doesn’t know when to come in. #vocaljokes #vocalproblems
3:51 PM - 13 Jun 2012

Twitter
Emma Carter
‏@xeecarter
How do you know when a soprano is at your door?
She can’t find the key and she doesn’t know when to come in.
12:56 PM - 5 Mar 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Tuesday, March 10, 2015 • Permalink