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 February 14, 2016
“It was so hot in New York that I walked past Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open”

New York syndicated entertainment columnist Earl Wilson (1907-1987) repeated a classic New York gag every summer, crediting American actor and comedian Don Sherman (1932-2012):

“The warm weather recalls Don Sherman’s line: ‘It was so hot I went to visit Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.’”

Earl Wilson used Don Sherman’s line in entertainment columns of June 1960, July 1961, June 1962, July 1963, July 1964, August 1965, June 1966, August 1968, July 1971, July 1972 and July 1977.


Wikipedia: Grant’s Tomb
Grant’s Tomb, now formally known as General Grant National Memorial, is the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826–1902). Completed in 1897, the tomb is located in Riverside Park in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City, across the street from the monumental Riverside Church. It was placed under the management of the National Park Service in 1958.

Google News Archive
30 June 1960, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, Earl Wilson column, pt. 1, pg. 11, col. 2:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: The warm weather recalls Don Sherman’s line: “It was so hot I went to visit Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

21 July 1961, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 6C, col. 3:
The muggy Manhattan weather recalls Don Sherman’s line: “It was so hot that I visited Gen. Grant’s tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
22 June 1962, Beaver County (PA) Times, Earl Wilson Column, pg. 17, col. 6:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: “It was so hot yesterday,” gasps Don Sherman, “that I passed Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
3 July 1963, Beaver County (PA) Times, “Earl Wilson On Gay Broadway,” pg. 9, col. 4:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: “It’s been so hot,” gasps Don Sherman, that I passed Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
6 July 1964, Sarasota (FL) , “It Happened Last Night” by Earl WIlson, pg. 22, col. 8:
WISH I’D SAID THAT: The muggy N. Y. weather recalls Don Sherman’s line: “It was so hot that I walked past Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
25 August 1965, Beaver County (PA) Times Earl Wilson Column, pg. D-3, col. 5:
EARL’S PEARLS: I didn’t realize how hot it’s been in New York,” reports Don Sherman, “till I passed Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
14 June 1966, Sarasota (FL) , “It Happened Last Night: by Earl Wilson, pg. 11, col. 8:
EARL’S PEARLS: Don Sherman figures everybody’s feeling New York’s warm weather: “I walked past Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
6 August 1968, Sarasota (FL) , “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 18, col. 8:
EARL’S PEARLS: “It’s been very hot in New York,” notes Don Sherman. “In fact, I visited Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Google News Archive
7 July 1971, Beaver County (PA) Times, Earl Wilson column, pg. B7, col. 2:
EARL’S PEARLS: “It’s been very hot in New York,” notes Don Sherman. “In fact, I passed Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

5 January 1972, Variety, “The Big Layoff” by Jackie Kannon, pg. 126, cols. 4-5:
So watch out, world. One of these days there’ll be a bigger and better Ratfink Room with a seating capacity of almost 40 people (go for broke is my motto), a new set of degenerates to amuse and a host of up-to-date witticisms planted by my pressagent in Earl Wilson’s column, such as “Jackie Kannon said it was so hot today he went to Grant’s Tomb and the door was open!”

Google News Archive
24 July 1972, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 6-B, col. 4:
WISH I’D SAID THAT: “It’s been so hot in New York,” claims Don Sherman, “that I went past Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.” (Vintage 1918.)

14 September 1975, Boston (MA) Globe, “My Favorite Jokes” by Danny Klayman, Parade magazine, pg. 19, col. 1:
It was so hot in New York the other day I drove by Grant’s Tomb and the door was open.

Google News Archive
26 July 1977, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 10-A, col. 8:
WISH I’D SAID THAT: The weather reminds us again of DOnald Sherman’s line: “It was so hot that I walked past Grant’s Tomb—and the door was open.”

Twitter
joe noia
‏@joenoia
@hughhefner RT @AlisonsParents I Hear it was really (unseasonably) hot in N.Y.C. Friend of mine passed Grant’s tomb- door was open! Orson…
1:56 AM - 24 Mar 2010

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Sunday, February 14, 2016 • Permalink