"The horse I bet on was so slow,” an old joke goes, “that the jockey kept a diary of the trip.” The joke was credited to Jewish-American singer and actor Al Jolson (1886-1950) in 1938, but the joke might be even older.
British-born American comedian Henny Youngman (1906-1998) has been frequently credited with the line since at least 1966, but he probably didn’t originate the joke.
Wikipedia: Henny Youngman
Henry “Henny” Youngman (original Yiddish surname Yungman; 16 March 1906 – 24 February 1998) was a British-born American comedian and violinist famous for his mastery of the “one-liner”. His best known one-liner was “Take my wife...please”.
In a time when many comedians told elaborate anecdotes, Youngman’s routine consisted of telling simple one-liner jokes, occasionally with interludes of violin playing. These depicted simple, cartoon-like situations, eliminating lengthy build-ups and going straight to the punch line. He was known as “The King of the One Liners”, a title conferred to him by columnist Walter Winchell. A stage performance by Youngman lasted only fifteen to twenty minutes but contained dozens of jokes in rapid-fire succession.
8 July 1938, Ironwood (MI) Times, “Broadway Limited” by W.A.S., pg. 4, col. 3:
Al Jolson threatens to give up his racing stable...Al didn’t mind so much when one of his horses came in last...But when he found out later that the critter was such a bad last, that the jockey kept a diary of the trip...he gave up.
30 December 1943, The Independent (Long Beach, CA), “Cub Reporter Takes Over to Give Lowdown on His Trip to the ‘Cleaners’” by the Cub Reporter, pg. 17, col. 1:
Blue Blood was so slow that the jockey kept a diary of the trip around the trip around the track.
26 December 1953, Anderson (IN) Herald, “Folklore” by William Wade, pg. 4, col. 2:
I bet on a horse so slow the jockey kept a diary on the trip.
27 July 1966, San Diego (CA) Union, “Henny Youngman And The ‘Revival’” by Donald Freeman, Pg. D-3, col. 1:
About his experiences at the track, for instance. “This horse was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip,” Henny cracks.
B.S.I Love You:
Sixty Funny Years with the Famous and the Infamous
By Milton Berle
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
I had some horse. The jockey kept a diary of the trip!
The Little Red Book of Horse Wisdom
Edited by Yvette Grant
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip.
-- HENNY YOUNGMAN
Henny Youngman: The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip. | #Quotes
4:23 AM - 1 Oct 2015