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:
“The shortest distance between two points is always under construction” (6/27)
Money Taking Agency (Metropolitan Transportation Authority or MTA nickname) (6/27)
“If I had a dollar for every existential crisis I’ve ever had…does money even matter?” (6/27)
“Keep your cymbal jokes to yourself. We’ve heard them all a Zildjian times” (6/27)
Better Quickly Exit (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or BQE nickname) (6/27)
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Entry from May 31, 2016
“Why do the French have so many civil wars?"/"So that they can win one.”

France has been invaded several times and there’s a classic war joke:

Q: Why do the French have so many civil wars?
A: So that they can win one.


English actor and comedian John Cleese (a founding member of the Monty Python comedy troupe) has told the joke many times. “‘Why did the French have so many civil wars? So that they could win one...’ - John Cleese” was cited on Twitter on October 8, 2009.


Wikipedia: John Cleese
John Marwood Cleese, (/ˈkliːz/; born 27 October 1939), is an English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

Twitter
Petter Andre Ådland
‏@petteraadland
“Why did the French have so many civil wars? So that they could win one...” - John Cleese
4:36 PM - 8 Oct 2009

Daily Nexus (University of California, Santa Barbara)
John Cleese Leaves UCSB Laughing
April 4, 2011 at 12:06 am by Erika Martin
Legendary British actor John Cleese graced Campbell Hall with his comedic styling yesterday as part of a week-long free event series hosted for students by UCSB’s Arts & Lectures department.

Google Books
So, Anyway...
By John Cleese
New York, NY: Crown/Archetype
2014
Pg. ?:
But then what about a joke like “Why do the French have so many civil wars?” Answer: “So they can win one now and again.” We don’t laugh because we hate the French, yet there is nevertheless a hard-edged quality here, as there is in all laughs that involve cultural stereotypes.

Twitter
dinarobertswakulczyk
‏@indydina
“Why do the French have so many civil wars? So they can win one now and again.” John Cleese #realtime
9:16 PM - 21 Nov 2014

The Huffington Post
John Cleese & Bill Maher Debate Political Correctness, Muse ‘You Can’t Make Jokes About Muslims, They’ll Kill You’
Sara C. Nelson
27/11/2014 17:10 | Updated 27 November 2014
(...)
Cleese complied, saying: “It’s so awful isn’t it. It starts out as a halfway decent idea and then it goes completely wrong.

“I used to go out and do these race jokes. I’d say ‘The French, you know, why did the French have so many civil wars? So they can win one now and again’.”

reddit
Why have the French had so many civil wars
submitted March 23, 2016 by JarkAttack
so they can win one now and again

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, May 31, 2016 • Permalink