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.

Recent entries:
“Two conspiracy theorists die and go to heaven…” (9/11 joke) (3/26)
“Coffee: starter fluid for the morning impaired” (3/25)
“But even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all. New York has great water for coffee” (3/25)
“Life begins after coffee” (3/25)
“I pretend coffee helps, but Iā€™m still a bitch” (3/25)
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Entry from November 03, 2016
“Why did the turkey cross the road?"/"It was the chicken’s day off.”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?"/"To get to the other side” is a classic riddle from the 19th century. Turkey versions have been popular, especially around Thanksgiving. “Why does a turkey cross the road? For some fowl reason of its own” was printed in 1962 newspapers. “Why does a turkey cross the road? To get to Mexico, where they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving” was printed in 1973 newspapers.

A popular version was printed in May 1975 newspapers:

Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?
A: To prove he wasn’t a chicken.


Another popular version was cited in a November 1990 newspaper:

Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?
A: It was the chicken’s day off.



5 August 1962, Sentinel-Record (Hot Springs, AR), “Riddles,” Family Weekly, pg. 20, col. 3:
Why does a turkey cross the road?
For some fowl reason of its own.

19 November 1973, Lexington (KY( Leader, “Turkey Tomfoolery,” pg. 6, col. 3:
“Why does a turkey cross the road?” asks a current card. The Answer: “To get to Mexico, where they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.”

3 May 1975, Piqua (OH) Daily Call, “Mini Jokes,” The Mini Page, pg. 2, col. 1:
Q. Why did the turkey cross the road?
A. To prove he wasn’t a chicken.
(...)
Sallie Freeman

29 January 1984, Newsday (Long Island, NY), Kisday, pg. J7, col. 3:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
To prove he wasn’t a chicken.
-- David Martucci, Bayside

18 November 1984, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Smiles,” Kisday, pg. G1, col. 3:
Why didn’t the turkey cross the road?
Because he was stuffed.
- Gerald Roberts, Garden City

21 November 1990, Iowa City (A) Press-Citizen, “Kids talk turkey to lift spirits” by Kanchalee Svetvilas, pg. 4A, col. 6:
For example, one student came up with, “Why did the turkey cross the road?” The answer: It was the chicken’s day off.

9 August 1991, The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), “Just for Laughs,” pg. 16, col. 1:
Q. Why did the turkey cross the road?
A. It was the chicken’s day off.
Stephen Donophan, age 11
Felton

Google Books
Kids’ Funniest Jokes
Edited by Sheila Anne Barry
Illustrated by Jeff Sinclair
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
1993
Pg. 80:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
Because the chicken retired and moved to Florida.
DYNISE BRISSON, 8

6 November 1994, Washington (DC) Post, “Children’s Books” by Michael Dirda, Book World, pg. 10, col. 2:
Why did the turkey cross the road? It was the chicken’s day off.

Google Books
The Little Giant Book of Riddles
By Joseph Rosenbloom
Illustrated by Sanford Hoffman
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
1996
Pg. 279:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
It was the chicken ‘s day off.

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Puns of the Weak: Special Thanksgiving Edition]
Stan Kegel
11/15/01
(...)
Why did the turkey cross the road?
To show that he wasn’t chicken.

Google Books
Penguin Pocket Jokes
By David Pickering
New York, NY: Penguin Books
2006
Pg. ?:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
To prove he wasn’t chicken.

Twitter
Dafyd Jones
ā€@dafyd
why did the turkey cross the road? to prove he wasn’t chicken
6:10 PM - 9 Feb 2007

Twitter
Rainy
ā€@rainyz
Why did the turkey cross the road? It was the chicken’s day off. Wa Wa Waaaaaaaaaaaaa. =/
5:49 AM - 24 Nov 2008

Google Books
Thanksgiving Turkey Jokes For Kids
By Peter Crumpton
PeteyRF Creative
2015
Pg. ?:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
It was the.chicken’s day off!

Google Books
Best Ever Classroom Jokes:
Because some of us never grow up

By Mike Haskins
New York, NY: Pavilion Books
2015
Pg. ?:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
He wanted to prove he wasn’t chicken.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, November 03, 2016 • Permalink