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 February 21, 2017
“What do you call a drummer with half a brain?"/"Gifted.”

A popular drummer joke is:

Q: What do you call a drummer with half a brain?
A: Gifted.


The “half a brain” joke has been said about many groups of people. “What do you call a politician with half a brain?” was printed in a 1981 newspaper. “What do you call a Frenchman with half a brain?” was printed in a 1984 newspaper. “What do you call a blonde with half a brain?” has been cited in print since at least 1991.

“What do you call a violist with half a brain?” and “What do you call a bass-clarinetist with half a brain?” were both cited in 1993. The drummer version has been told since at least 1996.


28 March 1981, Boston (MA) Herald American, “Pols and Politics,” pg. A3, col. 1:
QUESTION: What do you call a politician with half a brain?
ANSWER: Gifted.

27 January 1984, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “War of Words: French and English Fight with Jokes” by Steve Twomey, pg. A1:
From the pages of the country’s most popular tabloid, the Sun, these salvos came whistling across the channel:

* What do you call Frenchmen who have an IQ of 180? A village.
* What do you call a fly inside a Frenchman’s head? A space invader.
* What do you call a Frenchman with half a brain? Gifted.

25 March 1991, Toronto (ON) Star, “Cynical old doc has all the answers to handling personal relationships” by George Gamester, pg. A4:
OKAY. WHAT DO YOU CALL A BOSS WITH HALF A BRAIN?
Beats us.
GIFTED!

3 October 1991, Boston (MA) Globe, “Hair-brained humor” by Diane White, pg. 69:
Q. What do you call a blonde with half a brain?
A: Gifted.

29 June 1982, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, Steve Love column, pg. B1, col. 1:
What do you call a Michigan resident with half a brain? Gifted.

Google Groups: rec.music.classical
finally - the joke list. . .
susan poliniak
11/10/93
(...)
Q - What do you call a violist with half a brain?
A - Gifted.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Musician Jokes (in score order)
C.D.
11/19/93
(...)
What do you call a bass-clarinetist with half a brain?  Gifted.

Google Groups: k12.ed.music
More Instrument Jokes
Peter K Schoenhoff
8/31/95
(...)
Q: What do you call a trombone player with half a brain?
A: Gifted.

5 June 1996, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), “Celebrity or wannabe?: Smith blurs line; Close redraws it” by Doug Camilli, pg. B7:
I am reliably informed by my musician friends that drummers are to the world of music what Newfies are to Canada. Examples:

Q: What do you call a drummer with half a brain?
A: Gifted.

Google Books
The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Joke Book
By Dave Marsh and Kathi K. Goldmark
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin
1997
Pg. 8:
What do you call a drummer with half a brain?
Gifted.

9 October 1998, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, “Some mail continues trickling in” by Bill Kirby, pg. 1C, col. 1:
Question: What do you cal a man with half a brain?
Answer: Gifted.

MusicRadar
The 23 best drummer jokes ever
By Joe Bosso August 18, 2008
(...)
What do you call a drummer with half a brain?
Gifted.

Twitter
Mick_Shrimpton
‏@Mick_Shrimpton
What do you call a drummer with half a brain? Overqualified!
12:19 PM - 22 Dec 2008

Twitter
Makabra
‏@makabra
@Mick_Shrimpton: What do you call a drummer with half a brain?
Gifted.
1:41 PM - 5 Feb 2009

Google Books
I Drum, Therefore I Am:
Being and Becoming a Drummer

By Gareth Dylan Smith
New York, NY: Routledge
2016
Pg. 113:
Q: What do you call a drummer with half a brain?
A: Gifted!

Reddit—Jokes
What do you call a percussionist with half a brain?
submitted February 22, 2017 by Sabertoothpanda_
Over qualified.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Tuesday, February 21, 2017 • Permalink