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, 2011
“What’s the difference between musicians and government bonds?” (joke)

It’s an old joke that musicians and other entertainers usually don’t make much money:

Q: What’s the difference between musicians and government bonds?
A: Government bonds will eventually mature and earn money.


The joke has been told about particular musicians such as guitarists and drummers and trumpet players, about actors, and about mutual funds and IRAs. The joke has been cited in print since at least 1994. In the 2010s, however, investing in government debt has become less of a sure thing to “mature and make money.”


Google Groups: rec.music.classical
Musician jokes v2.0
boB
9/1/94
(...)
Q: What’s the difference between a drummer and government bonds?  A: The bonds mature.

Google Groups: rec.arts.theatre.musicals
Newsgroups: rec.arts.theatre.musicals
From: (Adam Grosswirth)
Date: 1995/05/07
Subject: New York Rock (Yoko Ono)

Q: What’s the difference between an actor and a mutual fund?
A: Mutual funds eventually mature and make money. 

Google Groups: rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz
Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz
From: “Lawson G. Stone”
Date: 1996/03/16
Subject: Re: Guitarit/musician jokes needed

What’s the difference between a guitar player and a mutual fund?
Eventually the fund will mature and make money.

Google Groups: rec.music.makers.guitar
Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.guitar
From: John Hurt
Date: 1997/08/01
Subject: Re: Musician Jokes

What’s the difference between a guitar player and a savings bond?
The savings bond will eventually mature and earn money.

Google Books
The Drummer’s Almanac
By Jon Cohan
Milwaukee, WI: H. Leonard
1998
Pg. 70:
What ‘s the difference between mutual funds and musicians? Mutual funds mature and make money.

Google Books
Musician
Issues 236-241
1998
Pg. 298:
What’s the difference between musicians and government bonds? Government bonds will eventually mature and earn money.

Google Groups: rec.music.makers.percussion
Newsgroups: rec.music.makers.percussion
From: Alex
Date: 1998/11/13
Subject: Re: Is this wierd?

Q: Whats the difference between a musician and an IRA?
A: Eventually the IRA will mature and make money.
As true as it is hilarious.

Google Books
Pretty Good Joke Book
By Garrison Keillor
Minneapolis, MN: HighBridge
2005
Pg. 203:
What’s the difference between drummers and government bonds?
Government bonds eventually mature and earn money.

Google Books
1001 Insults, Put-Downs, & Comebacks
By Steven D. Price
New York, NY: Lyons
2007
Pg. 179:
What’s the difference between trumpet players and government bonds?
Government bonds eventually mature and earn money.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Saturday, September 17, 2011 • Permalink