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 September 17, 2016
“What did one worm say to another?"/"I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap.”

To eat “dirt cheap” is to eat very cheaply. There’s a joke:

Q: Do you want to eat dirt cheap?
A: I don’t like dirt.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1926.

Worms were added to the joke, as posted on Twitter on June 17, 2009:

Q: What did one worm say to another worm?
A: I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap.



16 May 1926, Macon (GA) Daily Telegraph, pg. 18, col. 7:
Don: “You can eat dirt heap in that restaurant.”
Vera: “Yeah, but who want to eat dirt?”—Ex.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
4 June 1926, Daily Star (Brooklyn, NY), “Ask Doc Spoofer,” pg. 18, col. 1:
As You Like It.
MY DEAR DOC:
Say, Doc, I’ve found a place where we can eat dirt cheap. Want to go?
CRONY

I don’t like dirt at any price.

8 October 1935, St. Louis (MO) Star-Times, “Funny Men Know Seven Kinds of JokeS—Benn Hall in the Review of Reviews,” pg. 12, col. 6:
1. Literal English (puns)—The “straight man” remarks: “You can eat dirt cheap at that restaurant.”

“But,” replies the comedian, “I don’t like dirt.”

16 August 1937, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “In the Wake of the News” by Arch Ward, pg. 21, col. 3:
But Who Wants It?
Sign on a neighborhood restaurant: “You Can Eat Dirt Cheap Here.”
-- Harry N. Strouss.

10 September 1972, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, pg. 14A, col. 1:
Prominent purchasing agent, Norman T. hanser, of Mississippi River Transmission Corp., knows a Restaurant where you can Eat Dirt Cheap. Who wants to eat dirt.

Google Books
The Everything Kids’ Gross Jokes Book:
Side-splitting Jokes That Make Your Skin Crawl!

By Aileen Weintraub
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2005
Pg. 52:
Did you hear about the restaurant where you could eat dirt cheap?
Who wants to eat dirt?

Google Books
Galaxy’s Greatest Giggles
By Matt Rissinger and Philip Yates
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
2008
Pg. 33:
Worm #1: Do you know a good restaurant?
Worm #2: I know one where we can eat dirt cheap.

Google Books
3650 Jokes, Puns, and Riddles
By Charles Foxgrover, Anne Kostick and Michael J. Pellowski
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
2009
Pg. 137:
One worm to another: Follow me. I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap.

Twitter
❤️ FizzyDuck ❤️
‏@FizzyDuck
What did one worm say to another worm? I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap
1:45 AM - 17 Jun 2009

Twitter
Spam Jokes
‏@SpamJokes
What did one worm say to another worm? I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap!!
8:03 AM - 26 Nov 2009

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Really Silly Jokes
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson, Ltd
2011
Pg. 109:
First man: I know a café where we can eat dirt cheap.
Second man: But who wants to eat dirt?

July 2011, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 51, col. 3:
Two hungry worms were sitting together. The fi rst one said to the second: “I know where we can eat dirt cheap!”
John Bauer, Fresno, Texas

Twitter
ePest Solutions
‏@epestsolutions
What did one worm say to another worm?
I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap!!
9:40 AM - 16 May 2015

Twitter
Surety Pest Control
‏@SuretyPest
#throwbackthursday to an old joke on our Facebook “What did one worm say to another worm? I know a restaurant where we can eat dirt cheap!”
5:05 PM - 15 Sep 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Saturday, September 17, 2016 • Permalink