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 20, 2015
“What do you call a cow with no legs?"/"Ground beef.”

Popular cow riddles are:

“What do you call a cow with one leg?"/"Steak.”
“What do you call a cow with two legs?"/"Your mom.”
“What do you call a cow with two/three legs?"/"Lean beef.”
“What do you call a cow with three legs?"/"Tri-tip.”
“What do you call a cow with five legs?"/"Rare.”

There are two “ground beef” cow jokes. This joke was cited in 1971:

Wilber: What do you call a cow that sits on the grass?
Philbert: I don’t know, what?
Wilber: Ground beef.


This joke was cited in 1983:

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.



Google Books
December 1971, Boys’ Life, “THink and Grin,” pg. 98, col. 2:
Wilber: What do you call a cow that sits on the grass?
Philbert: I don’t know, what?
Wilber: Ground beef. —Joseph Poletti, Lakewood, N.J.

18 December 1872, Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette, “Mini Jokes,” THe Mini Page, pg. 3, col. 1:
Q What do you call a cow that sits on the grass?
A Ground beef.
Jon Rishell—Punxsutawney

27 June 1982, Boston (MA) Herald American, “Riddle Box,” comics sec.:
What do you call a cow that’s lying down?
Ground beef.

18 June 1983. Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, “Jokes,” pg. D6, col. 5:
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

17 March 1984, Gettysburg (PA) Times, “Golf balls, tin cans, monkeys” by Geoffrey W. Taylor, pg 4, col. 2:
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

Google Books
Names
1985
Pg. 291:
16. What do you call a cow with three legs? Lean beef.
I7. What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.

Google News Archive
15 August 1985, Reading (PA) Eagle, “Harvest,” pg. 32, col. 4:
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef!

Google News Archive
5 June 1986, Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, “The Stroller” by Seymour Rosenberg, pg. 1, col. 1:
Cow jokes are now popular in California. For instance what do you call a cow with no legs? round beef. How about a cow with only three legs? Lean beef. And a cow with only two legs? Extra lean beef.

Google Books
Cracking Jokes: studies of Sick umor Cycles & Stereotypes
By Alan Dundes
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press
1987
Pg. 18:
What do you call a cow with three legs?
Lean beef.

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

Google Books
Over 1500 Fantastic Jokes
By Guy Campbell, Mark Devins, Paul Moran and Simon Ecob
London: Dean
2002
Pg. 229:
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground Beef!

Straight Dope Message Board
Do you know any jokes for 7-10 year olds? 
Tenebras
10-15-2007, 01:55 AM
Forgive me if these have been told before. . .

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef

What did the snail say when he rode on the turtle’s back?
(throw your arms in the air and yell) WHEEEE!

What do you call a cow with one leg?
Steak.

What do you call a cow with two legs?
Lean beef.

What do you call a cow with three legs?
Tri-tip.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of One-Liners
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2012
Pg. ?:
What do you call a cow with two legs?
Lean beef.

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

Facebook
Certified Angus Beef ® brand
June 20, 2012 ·
What do you call a cow without legs? Ground beef
What do you call a cow with one leg? Steak
What do you call a cow with two legs? Lean beef
What do you call a cow with three legs? Tri-tip
What do you call a cow with FIVE legs? Rare.

Special thanks to our new intern, Malorie, for today’s comedy routine!

reddit
What do you call a cow with three legs? (self.Jokes)
submitted May 30, 2013 by hitokirivader
Tri-tip.
What do you call a cow with two legs?
Lean beef.
What do you call a cow with one leg?
Steak.
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

Reddit—TipOfMyTongue
What do you call a cow with 4 legs? (self.tipofmytongue)
submitted February 28, 2017 by georgecena1337
Alright so there are 4 parts to this joke:
What do you call a cow with 4 legs? (A cow)
What do you call a cow with 3 legs? (Tri-tip)
What do you call a cow with 2 legs? (This one has 2 answers: lean meat OR your mom)
What do you call a cow with 1 leg? (Steak/stake)
What do you call a cow with no legs? (Ground beef)
But I could have sworn that the cow with 4 legs had a better/second answer that wasn’t just “A cow” and it was way more funny.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, December 20, 2015 • Permalink