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 December 11, 2014
“I miss my wife’s cooking—as often as I can”

"I miss my wife’s cooking—as often as I can” is a popular joke of uncertain origin. “I miss my wife’s cooking — whenever I get a chance!” was cited in print in 1944.

The joke is often credited to popular one-liner comedian Henny Youngman (1906-1998), but the early citations of the joke do not credit Youngman. “I miss my wife’s cooking—as often as I can!” was credited to Youngman in 1981.


Google Books
Collier’s
1944
Pg. 256:
“I miss my wife’s cooking — whenever I get a chance!”

27 November 1946, Marietta (GA) Daily Journal, “Quickies"by Ken Reynolds, pg. 4, col. 7:
“Since I found this place with a Marietta Daily Journal Want Ad, I miss my wife’s cooking—every chance I get!”

11 February 1950, Waukesha (WI) Daily Freeman, pg. 7, col. 3 ad:
I sure miss my wife’s cooking...every chance I get.
(Goff’s restaurant.—ed.)

25 September 1952, Elgin (IA) Echo, “The Broadcaster,” pg. 8, col. 6:
Traveling Salesman: “I miss my wife’s cooking.”
Second Salesman: “So do I—every time I can.”

22 May 1981, The Morning Union (Springfield, MA), “Henny Youngman is still king of the one-liners” by Marilyn and Hy Gardner, pg. 35, col. 2:
“I miss my wife’s cooking—as often as I can!”

16 July 1984, Pacific Stars and Stripes, “More than one line on Henny” by Sid Shapiro, pg. 13, col. 1:
New York—Henny Youngman has made people laugh with his one-liners from the London palladium to Las Vegas, from Miami to Broadway, over radio and television—even Dial-A-Joke.

Now the 77-year-old comedian is pushing his book, “Take My Jokes, Please.”
(...)
Marriage: “I miss my wife’s cooking—as often as I can.”

Google Books
Hilarious Roasts, Toasts and One-Liners:
The Ultimate Source for Speeches, Toasts, Parties, or Any time for Pure Fun

By Gene Perret with Terry Martin
Edison, NJ: Galahad Books
2001
Pg. 204:
I miss my wife’s cooking — as often as I can.—Henny Youngman

Google Books
Jewish Comedy Stars:
Classic to Cutting Edge

By Norman H. Finkelstein
Minneapolis, MN: Kar-Ben Publishing
2010
Pg, 20:
(“I miss my wife’s cooking—as often as I can.” ... )
(Henny Youngman.—ed.)

Google Books
To Hell With The Diet:
A Feast of Quotations for the Guilty Epicurian

By Aubrey Malone
Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press
2014
Pg. ?:
I miss my wife’s cooking –- as often as I can.
Henny Youngman

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, December 11, 2014 • Permalink