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 14, 2015
“My wife will buy anything that’s marked down. Yesterday, she brought home an escalator!”

"My wife will buy anything marked down,” goes an old joke told by a male comedian. “Yesterday, she brought home an escalator!”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1974, when it was not attributed to anyone. In 1976 and 1977, the joke was credited to comedian Jay Marr, to comedian Henny Youngman (1906-1998), and to comedy writer Robert Orben. The joke is usually credited to Youngman, who included it in the book Take My Life, Please! (1992).


17 September 1974, Waterloo (IA) Courier, pg. 13, col. 3 ad:
Our friend who loves sales bought three things just because they were marked DOWN—two coats and an escalator.
(Stop ‘n Shop.—ed.)

Google News Archive
16 May 1976, Reading (PA) Eagle, “My Favorite Jokes” by Jay Marr, Parade magazine, pg. 17, col. 1:
My girlfriend loves to shop. She’ll buy anything that’s marked down. Last week she bought a dress, handbag, and an escalator.

Google News Archive
3 August 1976, Miami (FL) News, Herb Rau column, pg. 11-A, col. 4:
TODAY’S HEARTBURN
Have a Henny Youngman-ism: “My wife Sadie will buy anything that’s marked down. Yesterday, she brought home an escalator!”

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 110
1977
Pg. 131:
“Yesterday she bought three things just because they were marked DOWN— two dresses and an escalator.” -Robert Orben

Google Books
Take My Life, Please!
By Henny Youngman with Neal Karlen
Thorndike, MA: Thorndike Press
1992
Pg. 246:
Because it’s not really Sadie that I’m talking about when I tell my audiences things like: My wife will buy anything marked down. Yesterday she brought home two dresses and an escalator.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2004
Pg. ?:
My wife is a compulsive shopper. She would buy anything marked down. Once she came homewith an escalator.
HENNY YOUNGMAN

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
Henny Youngman: My wife will buy anything marked down. Last year she bought an escalator. | #Quotes
4:23 AM - 4 Oct 2015

Twitter
swollenvoice
‏@swollenvoice
I will buy anything that’s marked down. I just bought an escalator.
12:00 PM - 6 Nov 2015

Daily Republic (Fairfield-Suisun, CA)
Wall Street woes may mean great Christmas
By Bud Stevenson From page B7 | November 15, 2015
The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield had this comment about Mrs. Dangerfield’s shopping habits: “My wife loves a sale. She buys everything marked down. Last week she came home with an escalator.”

OK, old joke, but what’s being marked down this past week was not funny to many investors.

Posted by Barry Popik
Saturday, November 14, 2015 • Permalink