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 April 17, 2016
“If you don’t pay your exorcist, do you get repossessed?”

A popular joke about “repossession” was told after the release of the film The Exorcist (1973). This joke was cited in February 1974:

“Did you hear of the man who refused to pay his exorcist and was repossessed?”

The pun is still included in many joke lists and books.


4 February 1974, Morning Star (Rockford, IL), “All about the Devil in Monty Cramer” by Bob Hill, pg. A4, col. 1:
I’m having a devil of a time trying to sort out all this exorcism business.

A few people seem to take it all fairly seriously, but then some heretic pinned a note on the newspaper bulletin board:

“Did you hear of the man who refused to pay his exorcist and was repossessed?”

13 February 1974, Forest Park (IL) Review, “Talk of the Town” by Jackie Schultz, pg. 7, col. 4:
Say—did you hear what happens to Catholics who don’t pay the bill from the exorcist? They get RE-POSSESSED!

Google News Archive
21 February 1974, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), “Watch exorcism tab—there could be hell to pay” by Bruce Taylor, pg. 4, col. 1:
Want to know happens to a person who doesn’t pay his exorcism hill? He’s repossessed.

Google News Archive
16 May 1974, Sarasota (FL) Journal, “Here’s What To Do If Creditors Start Pushing For Payments” by Sidney Margolius, pg. 5-B, col. 1:
NEW YORK—If you don’t pay your exorcist he may repossess you, a current joke goes. But if you don’t pay your finance company, your car or other expensive possessions certainly can be repossessed.

Google Books
July 1974, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 66, col. 3:
Francois: What happens when you don’t pay the exorcist?
Philippe: I know — you get repossessed! — Leon Greenwood, Hollidaysburg, Pa.

Google Groups: italia.bologna.barzellette
If you don’t pay your exorcist, you get repossessed
Bilbo Baggins
11/27/06

Twitter
Dhani Schimizzi
‏@IMeternalboy
THIS is a “pun” week: “If you don’t pay your exorcist, you get repossessed” & “A chicken crossing the road is poultry in action”...
3:58 PM - 9 Oct 2007

Google Books
Once Apun A Time:
A Rich, Historical and Sometimes Earthy Collection of Puns

By Robin Leech
Victoria, BC: FriesenPress
2015
Pg. ?:
If you don’t pay your exorcist, you will be repossessed.

Twitter
Calvin Shapiro
‏@YungFapGod
If you don’t pay your exorcist, do you get repossessed??
#AAAwkwardRadio
12:53 AM - 31 Mar 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Sunday, April 17, 2016 • Permalink