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 December 21, 2015
“Why don’t melons run away to get married?"/"Because they cantaloupe.”

"Cantaloupe” sounds like “can’t elope.” The pun has been cited in print since at least 1886.


9 September 1886, Wall Street Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 1, col. 2:
FRED SCHENCK, who makes a specialty of keeping posted on social matters, is authority for the statement that Morosini has decided to feed his two remaining daughters hereafter on muskmelons, so that they cantaloupe.

9 June 1908, Kansas City (MO) Star, “Poems Asked For: The Irish Jubilee,” pg. 7, col. 3:
Rein-deer and snow-deer, dear me and antelope,
And the women ate so mushmelon the men said they canteloupe.

6 October 1928, Waterloo (IA) Evening Courier, “Jest a Moment,” pg. 11, col. 2:
Who is it that the tall com stalks?
(It is not me I hope) --
And do the melons all feel sad
Because they cantaloupe?
E MEGOW

Google News Archive
28 August 1977, Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, “The Stroller” by Seymour Rosenberg, pg. 1, col. 1:
Migrant melon pickers are permitted to marry in the U.S. but they cantaloupe.

Google News Archive
10 June 1996, Reading (PA) Eagle, “Mighty Funny’s Mini Jokes,” The Mini Page, pg. 3, col. 2:
Q: Why did the two watermelons get married?
A: They cantaloupe!
(sent in by Cindy Aliss)

Google News Archive
10 May 1999, Bangor (ME) Daily News, “Painful puns will leave you groaning” by Gary Borders, pg. 1(, col. 5:
Why won;t melons elope in Las Vegas? They canteloupe.

Google Books
Oh! for Heaven’s Sakes!
By Anthony Pereira
Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing
2002
Pg. ?:
Why won’t melons elope in Las Vegas?
They cantaloupe.

Google Books
Penguin Pocket Jokes
By David Pickering
New York, NY: Penguin Books
2006
Pg. ?:
Why don’t melons run away to get married?
Because they cantaloupe.

Google Books
Jumbo Jokes And Riddles Book:
Hours of Gut-busting fun!

By Beth L. Blair
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2007
Pg. 163:
Why do melons rarely marry?
They “cantaloupe” (can’t elope).

Google Books
September 2008, , “Think & Grin,” pg. 63, col. 2:
Craig: Why do melo>s have to get married in churches?
Joe: Why?
Craig: Because they cantaloupe!
August Rothenberger, Bridgeville, Pa.

Google Books
Dry Off Book, Book 2
By Jackson Lanehart
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2010
Pg. 56:
Eve: Why do melons always have big weddings?
Steve: Because they cantaloupe.

Google Books
Belly Laugh Jokes for Kids:
350 Hilarious Jokes

By Sky Pony Editors
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
2015
Pg. ?:
Q: Why didn’t the watermelons get married?
A: Because they cantaloupe.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, December 21, 2015 • Permalink