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 August 28, 2009
“Why don’t cannibals eat clowns?"/"Because they taste funny!”

"Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny!” This popular cannibal-eats-clown joke (wordplay on “tastes funny” meaning “strange” or “not right” and “tastes funny” meaning “ha-ha") dates to at least 1991.

“Two clowns are eating a cannibal” is a jocular backwards variation of this joke.


Google Books
Self-Regulation of Stereotypic Responses:
Implications for prejudice reduction efforts

By Margo Jeanne Monteith
Thesis/dissertation
1991
Pg. 156:
Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? They taste funny.

27 February 1991, St. Louis (MO) Post-Disaptch, “Peoria: How Is The War Playing There? Often With Worry-And Tension-Relieving Humor” by Bill Smith, pg. 11A:
‘’Why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny.”

Google Books
The Secret Survival Manual:
A guidebook for teens

By J Brent Bill and Rob Suggs
Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell
1993
Pg. 47:
Oh, by the way, the reason cannibals don’t eat clowns is — they taste funny.

1 January 1993, Fresno (CA) Bee, ‘Bartending”:
“How come cannibals don’t eat clowns?” a waitress said, picking up her order. “Because they taste funny,” she said, giggling, and went away.

Google Books
Kids’ Funniest Jokes
Edited by Sheila Anne Barry
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
1994
Pg. 70:
Why don’t cannibals eat clowns?
Because they taste funny.

29 October 1884, Boston (MA) Herald, “Rosie O’Donnell at the Comedy Connection” by Dean Johnson, features, pg. 23:
“Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other, `Say, does this taste funny to you?’”

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
v. 149, nos. 891-896
1996
Pg. 50:
ONE CANNIBAL TO ANOTHER while eating a clown: “Does this taste funny to you?”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, August 28, 2009 • Permalink