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 November 18, 2014
Lawyer’s Brain (lawyer joke)

A popular lawyer joke involves the price of a lawyer’s brain relative to brains of other professions. The joke has been cited in print since at least 1994 and is of unknown authorship.

The form of the joke dates to at least 1981, when it was told about an economic forecaster’s brain instead of a lawyer’s brain.


Google Books
February 1981, Achievement, pg. 5, col. 4:
A financial type visited his Harley Street, London, doctor, I am told, to inquire into the possibility of a transplant. The organ in question, it transpired, was the brain. There were, he learned from the doctor, three types available: the banker brain at £2 an ounce, the stockbroker brain at £20 per ounce, and the economic forecaster brain at £200 per ounce.

“Good heavens,” said the man, “this forecaster brain must be fine stuff to command such a price.”

The doctor sighed. “Well, sir,” he replied, “you would be surprised how many forecasters we have to kill to get an ounce of brain.”
Financial Times

Google Groups: va.general
What is appropriate discussion for this group?
Greg Fife
11/23/94
(...)
Frequently Told Jokes List for alt.virginia.bashing.lawyers:
(...)
A man went to a brain store to get some brain for dinner.
He sees a sign remarking on the quality of proffesional brain
offerred at this particular brain store.  So he asks the butcher:
“How much for Engineer brain?”
“3 dollars an ounce.”
“How much for brain?”
“4 dollars an ounce.”
“How much for lawyer brain?”
“100 dollars an ounce.”
“Why is lawyer brain so much more?”
“Do you know how many lawyers you need to kill to get one ounce of brain?”

Humor Text—University of Arizona
SCIENCE JOKES
ver 6.7 mar 1, 1995
Collected by Joachim Verhagen ()
(...)
A guy decided to go to the brain transplant clinic to refreshen his supply of brains.  The secretary informed him that they had three kinds of brains available at that time.  Doctors’ brains were going for $20 per ounce and lawyers’ brains were getting $30 per ounce.  And then there were mathematicians’ brains which were currently fetching $1000 per ounce.

“A 1000 dollars an ounce!” he cried.  “Why are they so expensive?”

“It takes more mathematicians to get an ounce of brains,” she explained.

Google Groups: alt.humor
Brain Surgery
Dark Shadow
5/26/98
(...)
A woman diagnosed as having a brain tumor was told by her doctor that she would need the transplant of a one-pound brain. The doctor then asked, “What type of brain do you want?”
“What type?” the woman asked.
“Yes,” replied the doctor. “There is a substantial difference in price. For example, a one-pound brain of a surgeon costs $60,000, while you can get a one-pound brain of a nuclear physicist for $50,000, and so on.
“Can you give me a one-pound lawyer’s brain? Ever since I was a little girl I’ve dreamed of being a trial attorney.”
“That’s $250,000,” the doctor replied.
“Why so much? the woman asked. “That’s over four times what a surgeon’s brain costs.”
“Do you have any idea how many lawyers it takes to produce a pound of brain?” the doctor replied.

Google Groups: alt.humor
Lawyers Brains
Mr F.B.I.
3/17/99
A woman diagnosed as having a brain tumour was told by her doctor that she would need the transplant of a one-pound brain. The doctor then asked, “What type of brain do you want?”
“What type?” the woman asked.
“Yes,” replied the doctor. “There is a substantial difference in price. For example, a one-pound brain of a surgeon costs $60,000, while you can get a one-pound brain of a nuclear physicist for $50,000, and so on.
“Can you give me a one-pound lawyer’s brain? Ever since I was a little girl I’ve dreamed of being a trial attorney.”
“That’s $250,000,” the doctor replied.
“Why so much? the woman asked. “That’s over four times what a surgeon’s brain costs.”
“Do you have any idea how many lawyers it takes to produce a pound of brain?” the doctor replied.

Google Books
The Big Ass Book of Jokes
By Rudy A. Swale and Stefan Nekuda
Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press
2009
Pg. 348:
A man went to a brain store to get some brains to complete a study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brains offered at this particular store. He begins to question the butcher about the cost of these brains.
“How much does it cost for an engineer brain?”
“Three dollars an ounce.”
“How much does it cost for programmer brain?”
“Four dollars an ounce.”
“How much for lawyer brain?”
“$1,000 an ounce.”
“Why is lawyer brain so much more?”
“Do you know how many lawyers we had to kill to get one ounce of brain?

Google Books
I Want to Laugh:
Funny Jokes, Quotes, One-Liners and the Health Benefits of Laughter

By Derrick Ellis
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2010
Pg. 110:
A man went to a brain store to get some brain for dinner. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of brain offered at this particular brain store. So he asks the butcher:
“How much for Engineer brain?”
“3 dollars an ounce.”
“How much for ‘other generic profession’ brain?”
“4 dollars an ounce.”
“How much for lawyer brain?”
“100 dollars an ounce.”
“Why is lawyer brain so much more?”
“Do you know how many lawyers you need to kill to get one ounce of brain?”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, November 18, 2014 • Permalink