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 October 27, 2012
“Most of the best-sellers are cookbooks and diet books — how not to eat it after you’ve cooked it”

Andy Rooney (1919-2011) was a humorist who had a syndicated newspaper column and who made video essays for the popular 60 Minutes television program. Rooney wrote in a May 1981 newspaper column:

“The two biggest sellers in any bookstore are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.”

The line later was used on 60 Minutes and it’s been cited in many books on food and also books on quotations.


Wikipedia: Andy Rooney
Andrew Aitken “Andy” Rooney (January 14, 1919 – November 4, 2011) was an American radio and television writer. He was most notable for his weekly broadcast “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on 60 Minutes aired October 2, 2011. He died one month later, on November 4, 2011, at age 92.

31 May 1981, Seattle (WA) Times, “Last shall be first in upside-down diet (watch for the movie” by Andy Rooney, pg. A10, col. 1:
The two biggest sellers in any bookstore are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.

14 June 1981, Seguin (TX) Gazette-Enterprise, “‘Tween Me and My Typewriter” by Jeanelle Bryant, pg. 1B, col. 2:
Understand three of the biggest sellers at bookstores are the Bibles, cookbooks and diet books.

Don’t know where the Bible fits in except it provides the spiritual food we need—and the cookbooks tell us how to prepare fine, delicious foods and the diet books give us tips on how to not eat any of it.

And, most of us have dozens more cookbooks than the diet kind, and they surely look more worn and used.

Google Books
7 February 1983, The New Yorker, pg. 32, col. 2:
“Most of the best-sellers are cookbooks and diet books — how not to eat it after you’ve cooked it.”
(Spoken by Andy Rooney—ed.)

Google Books
And I Quote:
The Definitive Collection of Quotes, Sayings, and Jokes for the Contemporary Speechmaker

By Ashton Applewhite, William R. Evans III and Andrew Frothingham
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
1992
Pg. 192:
The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books — how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook. — Andy Rooney

Google Books
The Ministers Manual (Doran’s): 1993 Edition
By James William Cox
San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco
1992
Pg. 12:
The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books—how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook.— Andy Rooney

Google Books
The Brief Holt Handbook
By Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell
Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers
1995
Pg. 213:
Most of the best-sellers are cookbooks and diet books — how not to eat it after you’ve cooked it. (Andy Rooney, The New Yorker)

Google Books
Years of Minutes:
The Best of Rooney from 60 Minutes

By Andy Rooney
New York, NY: PublicAffairs
2003
Pg. 4:
Cookbooks
Do you know the two biggest best-sellers in bookstores year after year?

Number one is cookbooks. Cookbooks outsell everything else in a bookstore.

Number two best-seller year after year? Diet books. How not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook.

Google Books
Out of My Mind
By Andy Rooney
New York, NY: PublicAffairs
2006
Pg. 110:
There were dozens of diet books in one store I visited, and a short distance away there must have been 100 cookbooks. The Joy of Cooking and Fanny Farmer are still going strong. It’s ironic that the bestselling books anywhere are No. 1, cookbooks — books on eating — and No. 2, diet books — books on not eating.

Google Books
Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes:
Over 2000 One-Liners, Straight Lines, Stories, Gags, Roasts, Ribs & Put-downs

Compiled by Barry Dougherty and H. Aaron Cohl
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
2009
Pg. 121:
The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books—how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook. —ANDY ROONEY

Google Books
Quotes, Jokes & Anecdotes
By Gerard O’Boyle
Leicestershire: Matador
2012
Pg. 73:
The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books, how not to eat what you’ve just learned to cook.
Andy Rooney

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Saturday, October 27, 2012 • Permalink