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:
“A friend of wine is a friend of mine” (4/25)
“The first thing on my bucket list is to fill the bucket with wine” (4/24)
“I’m a wine enthusiast. The more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I become” (4/24)
“Homemade with love. In other words, I licked the spoon and kept using it” (4/24)
“Uncork and unwind” (wine saying) (4/24)
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Entry from November 26, 2015
“It takes only one drink to get me drunk—usually the fourth one”

"Remember, it takes only one drink to make you drunk. With me, it’s the fourth one,” syndicated New York entertainment columnist Earl WIlson (1907-1987) wrote in 1962, crediting the line to Red Kane (probably not the hockey player). Wilson wrote in 1973, “A bar-sitter insisted it takes only one drink to get him drunk: ‘And it’s usually the fourth one.’”

Earl Wilson credited the joke to American comedian George Gobel (1919-1991) in 1975. American comedian and actor George Burns (1896-1996) usually gets credit for a version of the joke, but it’s unlikely that he was the first to use it.


3 April 1962, Aberdeen (SD) American-News, “Earl Wilson On Tour,” pg. 4, col. 5:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: “Remember,” cautions Red Kane, “it takes only one drink to make you drunk. With me, it’s the fourth one.”

7 November 1973, Aberdeen (SD) American News, “Earl Wilson’s New York,” pg. 5, col. 2:
EARL’S PEARLS: A bar-sitter insisted it takes only one drink to get him drunk: “And it’s usually the fourth one.”

22 November 1975, Aberdeen (SD) American News, Earl Wilson syndicated entertainment column, pg. 4, col. 3:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: “Remember,” warns George Gobel, “It take only one drink to make you drunk. With me it’s the fourth one.”

Google Books
14,000 Quips and Quotes:
For Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers and Teachers

By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
1990
Pg. 308:
It takes only one drink to make a person drunk — and usually it’s the fourth one.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2004
Pg. ?:
It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
GEORGE BURNS

Google Books
The Quotable Drunkard:
Words of Wit, Wisdom, and Philosophy From the Bottom of the Glass

By Steven Kates
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2011
Pg. 93:
“It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth.” —GEORGE BURNS

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
George Burns: It takes only 1 drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the 13th or the 14th. | #Quotes
4:23 AM - 25 Nov 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, November 26, 2015 • Permalink