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 01, 2015
“No man goes before his time—unless the boss leaves early”

"No man goes before his time—unless the boss has left early” is a jocular line that has been cited in print since at least 1952. Citations in 1952 and 1953 did not show the name of a particular author.

American comedian and actor Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was credited with the line in 1954, but Marx was well-known in the 1950s and it’s unlikely that the earlier printed citations wouldn’t have credited him.


Google Books
Coronet
Volume 33, Issue 2
1952
Pg. 68:
Office Business
No MAN goes before his time—unless the boss has left early.—Answers

31 December 1952, Tripoli (IA) Leader, “Over the Fence” by Murph, pg. 8, col. 1:
No man goes before his time . . . unless the boss has left early.

17 June 1953, Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle, pg. 4, col. 1:
No man goes before his time, unless the boss leaves early.

11 July 1953, State-Times (Baton Rouge, LA), “Pull Up a Chair” by Neal O’Hara, pg. 4-A, col. 7:
Country editor speaking: “No man goes before his time—unless, of course, the boss leaves early.”

29 October 1954, Boston (MA) Traveler, “Kwik Klips,” pg. 24, col. 3:
“No man goes before his time—unless, of course, the boss leaves early.” (Groucho Marx in PAGEANT)

13 July 1955, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “The Town Trumpeter” bu Glenn Trump, pg. 13, col. 3:
A neatly-framed sign on the wall of an Omaha office:

“No man goes before his time—unless, of course, the boss leaves early.”

Google News Archive
11 July 1960, Beaver County (PA) Times, “Earl Wilson On Gay Broadway,” pg. 13, col. 5:
EARL’S PEARLS: No man goes before his time—unless, of course, the boss left early.

15 July 1963, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Today’s Chuckle,” pg. 1, col. 3:
No man goes before his time, unless the boss leaves early.

Google Books
Quote Unquote
By Lloyd Cory
Wheaton, IL: Victor Books
1977
Pg. 372:
No man goes before his time — unless the boss leaves early.
(GROUCHO MARX)

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 214:
No man goes before his time — unless the boss leaves early.

Twitter
DBABankers
‏@DBAbankers
Today’s DB Adage:
“No man goes before his time, unless the boss leaves early.” - Groucho Marx
5:51 AM - 8 Sep 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, October 01, 2015 • Permalink