Caldwell Jones played center for basketball’s Philadelphia 76ers when a local sportswriter asked him what was his favorite seafood. “Salt water taffy,” Jones responded. The joke was popularized at the Philadelphia Sports Writers’ Association annual dinner in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in January 1981.
Earlier versions of the joke were cited in print in 1973 and 1979.
Wikipedia: Caldwell Jones
Caldwell “Pops” Jones (August 4, 1950 – September 21, 2014) was an American professional basketball player.
Jones was drafted from Albany State College (Georgia) by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 14th pick in the 1973 NBA Draft. He played 3 seasons in the American Basketball Association and 14 seasons in the NBA, most extensively with the Philadelphia 76ers.
28 February 1973, The Sunday Times (Salisbury, MD), “Small Fry Diary” by Nonnee Coan, pg. A-4, col. 2:
“The only kind of seafood I like is salt water taffy.”
28 November 1979, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Hal asks,” pg. 2-H, col. 1:
He (Doug Dieken—ed.) rattled off several one-liners, including “Duane’s (Duane Kuiper—ed.) favorite seafood is saltwater taffy.”
27 January 1981, The Daily Intelligencer (Doylestown, PA), “Quips fly at sports writers’ dinner” by Mike GIbson, pg. 13, col. 5:
“We (Philadelphia sports writers—ed.) asked Caldwell Jones what his favorite seafood was and he answered, ‘Salt water taffy.’”
Google News Archive
8 February 1981, Reading (PA) Eagle, “Sixers’ Pine Boys: Subs Are Equal To the Task” by Tony Zonca, pg. 72, col. 1:
Caldwell Jones’ favorite seafood is “saltwater taffy.”
21 December 1982, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “The NBA” by Don Greenberg, pg. 4B, col. 3:
DOESN’T SOUND FISHY
When asked what is his favorite seafood, Houston center Caldwell Jones replies, with a straight face, “salt water taffy.”
Originally Posted: September 27, 2004
They Said It
Think of the people quoted here as the spiritual descendants of Yogi Berra, imparting precious pearls of wisdom
CALDWELL JONES, 1987
Portland Trail Blazers center, when asked to name his favorite seafood:
NBA.com—Hang Time Blog
CALDWELL JONES, 64, STOOD TALL, QUIET
Posted by: Fran Blinebury
September 22, 2014 · 7:04PM
He ate chili dogs for breakfast, chugged beers in the locker room after a hard night’s work and when Oregonian reporter Dwight Jaynes once asked him to name his favorite seafood, replied: “Salt water taffy.”
@MoreTwitty: Old Joke (OJ):
“What’s your favorite seafood?”
Find most of my jokes at #cleanjoke
8:39 AM - 21 Mar 2015