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:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/17)
“How do you stop a dog from barking in the back yard?"/"Put it in the front yard.” (10/17)
“What do you call a nightmare about paper?"/"A bad ream.” (10/17)
“I’ve been cutting carbs lately—with a pizza cutter” (10/17)
“Why did the dog cross the road?"/"To get to the barking lot.” (10/17)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 11, 2012
“If God wanted us to fly, he would have given us tickets”

"If God had intended us to fly, He would have given us wings” is a popular anonymous proverb. The jet age of the 1960s added a different ending: “If God wanted us to fly, he would have given us tickets.”

“If the Lord had intended us to fly this way, he would have given us tickets” is from a “Church Humor” comic strip by Leo Carnavan in June 1969. The one-line saying has been credited to Brooklyn-born film director, writer and comedian Mel Brooks since at least 1994, but there’s no earlier evidence that would indicate that he said it.


Wikiquote: Aviation
If God had intended us to fly, He would have given us wings.
. Anonymous proverb. Note that many humorous variations have been made from this, replacing the second half of the sentence with things such as, “He would have given us more money” or “He would have bought us the tickets” or in the quixotic commentery of Michael Flanders, “he would never have given us railways”.

19 June 1969, Billings (MT) Gazette, “Church Humor” comic strip by Leo Canavan, pg. 16, col. 4:
(Two angels are sitting on top of a DC-9—ed.)
“If the Lord had intended us to fly this way, he would have given us tickets.”

20 July 1969, Chicago (IL) Tribune, comic strip, pg. 24:
“If the Lord had intended us to fly this way, He would have given us tickets.”

Google Books
Come in number one, your time is up
By Derek Jewell
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1971
Pg. 107:
“If God had meant us to fly, he would have given us airline tickets,” he said, trying an old and somewhat desperate joke.

Google Books
Some of My Best Friends Are Blues
By Ronnie Scott and Mike Hennessey
London: W.H. Allen
1979
Pg. 29:
After all, as I’ve often reflected since, if God had meant us to fly, he would have given us all El Al tickets.

Google Books
The Popular Voice:
A Musical Record of the 60s and 70s

By Derek Jewell
London: Deutsch
1980
Pg. 43:
That’s a natural lead-in to the jokes ("If God had meant us to fly he would have given us air-line tickets"), which are as sardonically Jewish as the tune he wrote called “Some Of My Best Friends Are Blues”.

30 August 1981, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Music” by Martin Bernheimer, Calendar, pg. K62:
To pine for those days does not imply a conviction that movies should have remained silent, that hoop skirts should come back, that television should not have been invented, or that if God had wanted us to fly he would have given us tickets.

Google Books
Mark My Words:
Great Quotations and the Stories Behind Them

By Nigel Rees
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble, Inc.
2002, ©1997
Pg. 35:
‘If God had intended us to fly, He would have sent us tickets’ - attributed to Mel Brooks by Frederic Raphael in 1994.

Google Books
The 2,548 Wittiest Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Touchstone (Simon and Schuster)
2012
1,648
If God wanted us to fly, he would have given us tickets. —Mel Brooks

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Sunday, November 11, 2012 • Permalink