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 April 24, 2016
“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?"/"A stick.”

There’s an old joke about boomerangs:

Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
A: A stick.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1984.


Google News Archive
4 February 1984, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, Alex Thien column, pt. 3, pg. 1, col. 5:
Ask them what Australians call a boomerang that doesn’t come back. When they say they haven’t he slightest idea, tell them the answer. A boomerang that doesn’t come back is a stick.

22 July 1984, Park Forest (IL) Star, “Front and Center” by Marlene Cook, The Star magazine, pg. 5, col. 1:
Some of their (The Kingston Trio—ed.) jokes may be a little stale, but they still earned a chuckle or two. (“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick.”)

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
Stick (1985)
Quotes

Barry Braham: What’s a boomerang that doesn’t come back? It’s a Stick.

Google Books
Little by Little
By Georgia Bockoven
London: Harlequin Books
1985
Pg. 180:
“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?”

She thought for a minute, desperately wishing she had the answer. Mike grabbed her hand and started for the door.

“Give up?”

She nodded.

“A stick!”

Google Books
November 1985, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 74, col. 2:
Dick: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
Rick: You got me, Dick. What?
Dick: A stick.— Jason Cole, Landing, N.J.

14 September 1986, Greensboro (NC) News & Record, “Boomerangs: Entrepreneurs hoping venture gets off ground” by Maria C. Johnson, People & Places sec. pg. 1, col. 3:
The bad jokes were free. Example: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick.

Google News Archive
22 October 1987, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), “Ancient boomerang,” pg. 22, col. 7:
The unusual material from which it was made at least avoids the disparaging question that would be asked by defenders of the Australian Aboriginal boomerang: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick.

Google Groups: alt.fan.hanson
What do you call a boomerang…
Helen Oney
6/18/98
Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
A: A stick.

Google Books
Extremely Good Clean Jokes for Kids
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House
2001
Pg. 10:
Argyle: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
Angus: I’m in the dark.
Argyle: A stick.

Twitter
Tony McDonald
‏@mcdinoh
What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?...........A stick!
3:55 PM - 1 Mar 2007

Google Books
The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids:
A 3-in-1 Collection

By Rob Elliott
Grand Rapids, MI: Revell
2014
Pg. ?:
Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?
A: A stick.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, April 24, 2016 • Permalink