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 October 23, 2016
“Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?"/"He couldn’t fit in the elevator.”

In the film King Kong (1933), the ape King Kong climbs the Empire State Building. A joke was printed in a 1971 newspaper and in other newspapers in the 1970s:

Q: Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?
A: To get his kite.


A different punchline was cited in a 1981 newspaper:

Q: Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?
A: Because he was too big to fit into the elevator.


“Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?"/"He needed to catch a plane” is a similar joke with a different punchline.


Wikipedia: Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (381 m), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet (443 m) high. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York, until One World Trade Center reached a greater height in April 2012. The Empire State Building is currently the fifth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States and the 29th-tallest in the world. It is also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. When measured by pinnacle height, it is the fourth-tallest building in the United States.
(...)
Perhaps the most famous popular culture representation of the building is in King Kong (1933), in which the title character, a giant ape, climbs to the top to escape his captors but falls to his death after being attacked by airplanes. In 1983, for the film’s fiftieth anniversary, a huge 90-foot (27 m) tall inflatable Kong was placed on the building mast above the observation deck by artist Robert Vicino. In 2005, Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong was released, set in 1930s New York City, including a final showdown between Kong and biplanes atop a greatly detailed Empire State Building. (The 1976 remake of King Kong was set in a contemporary New York City and held its climactic scene on the towers of the World Trade Center.)

4 July 1971, Sunday Herald Traveler (Boston, MA), Young Folks Page, col. 6:
Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?
From MICHELLE DELABRUERE
Exeter, N.H.
To get his kite.

8 September 1981, State Times (Baton Rouge, LA), “A Little Bit of Humor,” The Bubble Gum Rapper, pg. 1, col. 2:
Q: Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?
A: Because he was too big to fit into the elevator.

13 August 1982, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “The Bean Bag,” pg. 16, col. 1:
Q. Why did King Kong Climb the Empire State Building?
A. Because he didn’t fit into the elevator.

Google Groups: nfo.sun-managers
SUMMARY: Salvaging FS destroyed by SunInstall
Sten Gunterberg
6/3/93
(...)
Why did King Kong climb the Empire State building? - He didn’t fit in the elevator.

Google Books
August 1998, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 61, col. 2:
Josh: Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?
Gosh: Why?
Josh: He couldn’t fit in the elevator. — Joey Anderson, Spokane, Wash.

Google Books
The Everything Kids’ Joke Book:
Side-Splitting, Rib-Tickling Fun

By Michael Dahl
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2001
Pg. 2:
Why did King Kong climb to the top of the Empire State Building?
He was too big to use the elevator.

Google Books
Barrel of Monkeys Super Silly Joke Book
By Dave Ross
Illustrated by Jared Chapman
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
2008
Pg. 46:
Why did King Kong climb the Empire State building?
Because he couldn’t fit in the elevator!

Twitter
Peter Maurici
‏@BlokesLib
Why did King Kong climb to the top of the Empire State building? ... ... He was too big for the elevator.
3:34 AM - 22 Apr 2009

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of One-Liners
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2012
Pg. ?:
Why did King Kong climb up the side of the skyscraper?
Because the elevator was broken.

Twitter
Apieceofenglishcake
‏@APEC_BCN
Joke of the day!
Q: Why did King Kong climb the Empire State Building?
A: He couldn’t fit in the elevator rasberry
8:14 AM - 3 Mar 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Sunday, October 23, 2016 • Permalink