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 March 31, 2016
“We used to have empires ruled by emperors and kingdoms ruled by kings…”

A popular not-safe-for-work joke is:

“We used to have empires ruled by emperors. We used to have kingdoms rules by kings. Now we have countries ruled by...”

British comedian Kenny Everett (1944-1995) said on the BBC in 1984:

“When England was an empire, we had an emperor, when we were a kingdom, we had a king, and now we are a country, we’ve got Margaret Thatcher.”

The joke became popular on the Internet—without reference to British politician Margaret Thatcher—and was cited on Twitter on September 24, 2010. The last term is sometimes jocularly suggested to be “counts.”


Wikipedia: Kenny Everett
Maurice James Christopher Cole (25 December 1944 – 4 April 1995), known professionally as Kenny Everett, was a British comedian, radio DJ and television entertainer. Everett is best known for his career as a radio DJ and for The Kenny Everett Video Show

The Telegraph (UK)
Kenny Everett
Kenny Everett, who has died aged 50, was a disc jockey and television comedian with an engaging line in coarsely satiric comic sketches in disconcertingly bad taste.

12:01AM BST 05 Apr 1995
First published April 5 1994
(...)
The BBC took him back, but in 1984 he made another unfortunate joke, albeit one handed him on a piece of paper by his producer:

“When England was an empire,” he gurgled, “we had an emperor, when we were a kingdom, we had a king, and now we are a country, we’ve got Margaret Thatcher.”

Twitter
Chris
‏@bearpupuk
We used to have empires ruled by emperors then we had kingdoms ruled by kings now we have countries…
7:34 AM - 24 Sep 2010

Twitter
Audrey Stenson
‏@DANSCottage
Ruled by counts? RT @MaurizioC: In ancient times we had Empire seen over by Emperors, then Kingdoms ruled by Kings. Now we have countries
10:03 AM - 24 Sep 2010

Twitter
James Fearn
‏@JamesFromTheBay
It’s a funny world we live in. First there were Empires ruled by Emporers,than Kingdoms ruled by kings. Now we have countries ruled by.....
7:05 PM - 4 Nov 2010

Bungie
RFRT Maverick
A bit off topic… it’s a funny world we live in. Once we had kingdoms ruled by kings, empires ruled by emperors. Now we have countries…
05.25.2011 4:36 PM PDT

reddit—Shower Thoughts
First we had Empires ruled by Emperors, then we had Kingdoms ruled by Kings, now we have Countries ruled by....
submitted January 8, 2015 by [deleted]

reddit
We used to have empires ruled by emporers. We used to have kingdoms ruled by kings. (self.Jokes)
submitted March 27, 2016 by Skootchy
[removed]

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, March 31, 2016 • Permalink