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 22, 2015
“Nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in”

Academics specialize, but are often clueless in areas outside of this specialized knowledge. American humorist Will Rogers (1873-1935) pointed this out in a July 1931 newspaper column, where he wrote:

“For there is nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get off the thing that he was educated in.”

The Rogers quote has been very popular, but it’s often given as “thing he was educated on” instead of “thing he was educated in.”


Wikipedia: Will Rogers
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor. He became one of the most famous American media stars during the 1920s and 1930s.

Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 “talkies"), wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, the American people adored Rogers. He was the leading political wit of his time, and was the top-paid Hollywood movie star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.

5 July 1931, Abilene (TX) Morning Reporter-News, “He Tells Philosopher Durant That Satisfaction Is All Wet Get Out of Life” by Will Rogers, pg. 8, col. 2:
For there is nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get off the thing that he was educated in.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
9 August 1948, Amsterdam (NY) Evening Recorder, pg. 4, col. 1:
“There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing he was educated in.”—Will Rogers.

Google Books
The Gigantic Book of Teachers’ Wisdom
By Erin Gruwell
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2007
Pg. 277:
There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing that he was educated in. — WILL ROGERS

Google Books
The Quotable Intellectual:
1,417 Bon Mots, Ripostes, and Witticisms for Aspiring Academics, Armchair Philosophers...and ANyone Else Who Wants to Sound Really Smart

By Peter Archer
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2010
Pg. 168:
“There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.” —WILL ROGERS

Google Books
Will Rogers Views the News:
Humorist Ponders Current Events

By Robert V. Waldrop
Bloomington, IN: Abbott Press
2012
Pg. 19:
“Nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated on.”

Twitter
Quotes ReTweeted
‏@Quotes_RT
There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing he was educated in. - Will Rogers #quotes #quote
4:05 PM - 23 Nov 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Sunday, November 22, 2015 • Permalink