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, 2012
“The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love”

"The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love” has been credited (since the 1990s) to comedian Joe E. Lewis (1902-1971), but there’s no evidence that Lewis even said it. “With congress making still another cut in the income tax exemption, a fellow might as well marry for love alone” was cited in print in 1942. “The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love” was credited in 1953 to actress Janis Paige. “The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love” was said by comedian George Gobel (1919-1991) in 1956.

“The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love” was frequently printed in Earl Wilson’s syndicated entertainment column (where it was attributed to Paige and others) and in the “Today’s Chuckle/Smile” section of newspapers.


23 June 1942, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 14, col. 4:
Cupid’s Aid
(Detroit News.)
With congress making still another cut in the income tax exemption, a fellow might as well marry for love alone.

Google News Archive
3 October 1953, Beaver Valley Times (Beaver and Rochester, PA), “Man About Town on Gay Broadway” by Earl Wilson, pg. 4, col. 6:
WISH I’D SAID THAT: “The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love.”—Janis Paige.

26 November 1953, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “U. S. Need: A Good Satirical Magazine” by Meyer Levin, pg. 3M, col. 6:
About the only subject for humor which Judge seems to dote on, is the old tax gag. This leads to sophomoric quips like, “The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love.”

Google News Archive
29 July 1956, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “The Wit Parade” by E. E. Kenyon, The American Weekly magazine, pg. 12, col. 2:
The memory of last April’s session with the Internal Revenue Service is still fresh enough to prompt “Lonesome George” Gobel to quip:

“The way taxes are today, you might as well marry for love.”

3 September 1957, Newark (OH) Advocate, pg. 1, left masthead:
TODAY’S SMILE
The way taxes are today you might as well marry for love.

26 November 1964, The Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA), “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 16, cols. 4-5:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: “The way taxes are going to be in New York State,” sighed Taffy Tuttle, the showgirl, “you might as well marry for love.”

Google Books
Silence Is Not Golden--It’s Yellow
By Tom Anderson
Boston, MA: Western Islands
1973
Pg. 149:
The way taxes are in this country you might as well marry for love.

16 April 1994, Kokomo (IN) Tribune, “Celebrity Cipher,” pg. 16, col. 3:
PREVIOUS SOLUTION: “The way taxes are, you might as well marry for love.”—Joe E. Lewis.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners:
Over 10,000 Gems of Wit and Wisdom, One-liners and Wisecracks

By Geoff Tibballs
New York, NY: Carroll & Graff
2004
Pg. 517:
The way taxes are, you might as well marry for love.
JOE E. LEWIS

Google Books
Funniest Thing You Never Said 2:
The Ultimate Collection of Humorous Quotations

By Rosemarie Jarski
London: Ebury Press
2009
Pg. 173:
The way taxes are, you might as well marry for love.
Joe E. Lewis

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, December 14, 2012 • Permalink