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 December 14, 2016
“Some fairy tales begin, ‘If i’m elected‘“

“All fairy tales don’t start out, ‘Once upon a time.’ Many begin, ‘If I’m elected,’” is a political saying that has been cited in print since at least 1969. The origin is unknown, but in September 1969, American comedian and actor Red Skelton recalled that Everett Dirksen (1896-1969), a senator from Illinois, had made the remark. “All fairy tales don’t begin with ‘Once upon a time...’ Some start with ‘If I’m elected...,’” was said by another politician in the Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, IL) in July 1969.

A popular version was printed in The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) on July 28, 1974:

A little girl asked her mother if all fairy tales began with “Once upon a time....”
“No,” replied her mother “Today most of them begin with ‘If I’m elected...’”



Wikipedia: Everett Dirksen
Everett McKinley Dirksen (January 4, 1896 – September 7, 1969) was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the House of Representatives (1933–1949) and the Senate (1951–1969).

As Senate Minority Leader for a decade, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s, including helping write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that of 1968, both landmarks of civil rights legislation. Dirksen, a conservative, was one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of the Vietnam War and was also known as “The Wizard of Ooze” because of his flamboyant oratorical style.

13 July 1969, Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, IL), “The liberal Democrats in Southern Illinois” by Richard Richman, pg. 4, col. 5:
“All fairy tales,” he (U. P. Penn, former Republican precinct committeeman—ed.) said, “don’t begin with ‘Once upon a time...’ Some start with ‘If I’m elected...’”

23 September 1969, San Antonio (TX) Express, “TV/Hollywood Line” by Marilyn Beck, pg. 14-A, col. 4:
He (Red Skelton—ed.) can recall the time the Senator (Everett Dirksen—ed.) told him, “All fairy tales don’t start out, ‘Once upon a time.’ Many begin, ‘If I’m elected.’”

2 November 1971, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), “Our yearly elections: Just one campaign after another” by Joe Creason, pg. B1 col. 5:
THE CANDIDATES for governor kept talking about “credibility.” This short from The Castle, the publication at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, points up why it has been an issue: “...Kentuckians are beginning to learn anew that not all fairy tales start with ‘Once upon a time....’ Some start with ‘If I’m elected....’”

28 July 1974, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), Magazine, pg. 29, col. 2:
A little girl asked her mother if all fairy tales began with “Once upon a time....”

“No,” replied her mother “Today most of them begin with ‘If I’m elected...’”
Ruth Moore
Liberty, Ky.


15 December 1974, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Sunday Punch,” Magazine, pg. 30, col. 1:
A little girl once asked her mother if all fairy tales begin with “Once upon a time...”

“No,” replied her mother. “Today most of them begin with if I’m elected...”

Google Books
Nothing But Winners:
Over 6,000 One-Liners, Alphabetized and Categorized for Easy Reference

By Pat Williams and Ken Hussar
Wilmington, DE: TriMark Publishing Company
1984
Pg. 337:
Our little daughter asked my wife the other day, “Mommy, do all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time...’ My wife said, “No, dear, some of them begin with, “If I’m elected...”

Google Books
Roast of the Town
By Joey Adams
New York, NY: Prentice Hall
1986
Pg. 50:
When I was a kid, I knew that all fairy tales began with the line “Once upon a time.” Now that I’m grown up, I know that all fairy tales begin with the line “If I’m elected . . .”

Google Books
Hilarious Jokes You Can Tell Anywhere
By Silvio Famularo
Durham, CT: Strategic Book Group
2011
Pg. 161:
A young girl asked her dad, a politician, “Do all fairy tales begin with “Once upon a time . . . ?”

“No,” the father replied. “Some begin with, ‘After I’m elected. . .’”

Google Books
Great Funny Quotes:
Sweeten Your Life with Laughter

By David Young
Round Rock, TX: Wind Runner Press
2011
Pg. 184:
When I was a kid, I knew that all fairy tales began with the line, “Once upon a time.” Now that I’m grown up, I know that all fairy tales begin with the line, “If I’m elected . . .” — Anonymous

Twitter
LaffGaff
‏@LaffGaff
My daughter asked, “Do all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time?’”
I said, “No, some begin with ‘If I’m elected.’”
#funny #jokes
5:12 PM - 3 Nov 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, December 14, 2016 • Permalink