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 September 13, 2012
“In court, your fate is in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to escape jury duty”

Norm Crosby, a comedian, told this joke on The Tonight Show in 1978:

“There’s so much lunacy in the world...look at courtrooms. Where else would you place yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty? Lunacy!”

The joke has become a popular classic statement about jury duty.


Wikipedia: Norm Crosby
Norm Crosby (born September 15, 1927) is an American comedian sometimes associated with the Borscht Belt who often appeared on television in the 1970s. He is known for his use of malapropisms and is often called The Master of Malaprop. He was born in Boston.

Google News Archive
4 August 1978, Merced (CA) Sun-Star, “Quotes From ‘The Tonight Show,’” g. 12, col. 2:
Norm Crosby: “There’s so much lunacy in the world...look at courtrooms. Where else would you place yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty? Lunacy!”

4 January 1980, Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Smiley Anders’ Baton Rouge,” pg. B1, col. 1:
When Capt. Nap Paxton, the bailiff, asked him if he was having a jury trial, the guy said, “Heck no, if they aren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty, I don’t want them trying me.”

27 April 1980, Mobile (AL) Register, “A Few Words With Norm Crosby” by Fran Carpentier, Parade magazine, pg. 26, col. 3:
Have you ever stopped to think that when you go to court and face a jury, you’re putting your fate into the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty?

Google Books
Roast of the Town
By Joey Adams
New York, NY: Prentice Hall
1986
Pg. 39:
Norm philosophizes: ‘Have you ever stopped to think that when you go to court and face a jury you’re putting your fate into the hands of twelve men and women who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty?”

19 April 1992, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), “Laugh A Little With Ron Sullivan,” pg. 10W, col. 1 ad:
Remember, when you go to court you are putting your fate in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of Jury duty
(MIDAS Guns?Jewelry—ed.)

6 June 1993, Toronto (Ontario) Star, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, comma ...” by Peter V. MacDonald, pg. D6:
When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. - Norm Crosby

New York (NY) Times
Trial By Jury (1994)
FILM REVIEW; Taking On the Tough Guys: It’s Idealistic, but Is It Smart?

By CARYN JAMES
Published: September 10, 1994
There are two schools of thought about serving on a jury. One side holds that it’s a civic responsibility; the more cynical view is that no one should be judged by 12 people who aren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Las Vegas (NV) Sun
Web site aims to settle legal disputes away from public eye
By Abigail Goldman
Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 | 2 a.m.
(...)
Jurors are another dangerous unknown, best summed up by comedian Norm Crosby: “Going to court means putting fate in the hands of 12 people not smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Google Books
Fixing the Engine of Justice:
Diagnosis and Repair of Our Jury System

By David Tunno
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc.
2012
Pg. 32:
I don’t trust twelve people who aren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Thursday, September 13, 2012 • Permalink