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 forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
“Want to hear a really dark joke?…Decaf” (3/24)
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Entry from February 21, 2016
“I said, ‘Make me a Zombie.’ The bartender said, ‘God beat me to it.‘“

The “Zombie" cocktail (rum and fruit juices) was popularized at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. New York-based comedian Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) told a joke in his routine:

“I asked the bartender to make me a Zombie. He said that God beat him to it.”

Dangerfield’s joke has been cited in print since at least 1982.


Wikipedia: Zombie (cocktail)
The Zombie, (also known as skull-puncher), is a cocktail made of fruit juices, liqueurs, and various rums. It first appeared in late 1934, invented by Donn Beach (formerly Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gannt) of Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber restaurant. It was popularized soon afterwards at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Wikipedia: Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004) was an American stand-up comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles, especially in Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School.

2 October 1982, Boston (MA) Herald American, “No respect turns to love by Larry Katz, pg. B13, col. 3:
And his (Rodney Dangerfield’s—ed.) bartender: “I told him to make me a zombie. he said God beat him to it!”

19 September 1986, Boston (MA) Herald, “Gonzos show no respect for Rodney” by Dean Johnson, pg. 39, cols. 4-5:
“I asked the bartender to make me a Zombie,” Dangerfield confessed, “and he said God beat him to it.”

Google Books
Carpenter
Volume 106
1986
Pg. 34:
Luke: Make me a Zombie.
Bartender: God beat me to it.
—Catering Industry Employee

3 June 1988, Boston (MA) Globe, ‘The Disreputable King of Lowbrow” by Jim Sullivan, pg. 35:
Dangerfield starts—and keeps winding back to—this core of comic self-loathing. His weight (too fat), his sexuality (nil), his looks (pug ugly), his bad habits (too numerous to name). “I told the bartender to make me a zombie,” says Dangerfield. “He said ‘God beat me to it.’”

Google Books
The Joy of Not Working:
How to Enjoy Your Leisure Time Like Never Before

By Ernie J. Zelinski
Edmonton, Alberta: Visions International Pub.
1991
Pg. 117:
A dull-looking man walked into the bar and said to the bartender, “Make me a zombie!” The bartender took one look at him and replied, “I can’t God beat me to it!”

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 141, Issues 843-848
1992
Pg. 80:
RODNEY DANGERFIELD says he walked into a club the other day and told tf bartender, “Make me a zombie.” “Too late,” the bartender replied. “God beat me to it.”

Google Books
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies
By Matt Mogk
New York, NY: Galllery Books
2011
Pg. 220:
As he (Rodney Dangerfield—ed.) riffs in one of his routines:

I walked into a bar and asked the bartender to make me a zombie. He took one look and said, “God beat me to it!

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
Rodney Dangerfield: Yeah, I know I’m ugly. I said to a bartender, “Make me a zombie.” He said, “God beat me to it.” | #Quotes
11:53 PM - 20 Feb 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Sunday, February 21, 2016 • Permalink