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:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/22)
“There’s no ‘I’ in denial” (10/22)
“I walked past a homeless guy with a sign that read, ‘One day, this could be you‘“ (10/22)
“Your bank account is the adult version of your report card” (10/22)
“Why did the girl sit on her watch?"/"She wanted to be on time.” (10/22)
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Entry from July 17, 2015
“A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar…” (bar joke)

“A guy walks into a bar...” is a typical form of what has been called the “bar joke.” A popular joke on the joke is:

“A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender says, what is this, a joke?”

The joke (which has many versions about the varied people who enter the bar) has been cited in print since at least 1999.


Forbidden Planet (August 21, 1999)
A black guy, a white guy, a Catholic priest, a Lutheran minister, a Rabbi, a hooker, a chicken, a football player, a baseball player, a wife, a husband, a Pole, a Russian, a little boy, a dog, a drunk, an Irishman, Saint Peter, and a penguin walk into a bar. Bartender says, “What is this, a joke?”

Google Groups: alt.music.stone-temple
new to the group
TUS...@webtv.net
12/1/99
(...)
i’ll leave my first post with a joke..........stop me if ya heard this 1 before..........a priest a nun and a rabbi walk into a bar and sit down............the bartender walks over and says...........what the hell is this......a joke?...........later folks..............

Google Books
Mischief Marketing:
How the Rich, Famous & Successful Really Got Their Careers and Businesses Going (and how You Can, Too!)

By Ray Simon
Lincolnwood, IL: Contemporary Books
2000
Pg. 53:
Use storytelling formats. Example: “A rabbi, a nun, and an Irishman walk into a bar in New York City, the bartender takes one look at them and says, ‘What is this? A joke?’”

Google Books
The Reorganization:
The Sequel to Stolen Minds

By Robert L. Cunningham
San Jose, CA: Writer’s Showcase
2002
Pg. 232:
“Well,” Greg continued, “a priest, a nun, a rabbi, a lawyer and a doctor walk into a bar. The bartender takes one look at them and says, ‘What is this? A joke?’.”

Google Books
March 2003, Popular Mechanics, “Why We Laugh” by Jim Wilson, pg. 40:
A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender asks: “What is this, a joke?”

Google Groups: rec.humor.jewish
Another Bar Joke? You try!
Marvin Margoshes
5/18/04
(...)
The bar joke that ends all bar jokes:

A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says, “What is this, a joke?”

Google Books
Inside Jokes:
Using Humor to Reverse-engineer the Mind

By Matthew M. Hurley, Daniel Clement Dennett and Reginald B. Adams
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
2011
Pg. 138:
A priest, a rabbi and a nun walk into a bar, and the bartender asks them, “What is this, a joke?”

A Way with Words
What is This, a Joke?
Posted by grantbarrett on October 5, 2013
A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender says, what is this, a joke? Yep.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Friday, July 17, 2015 • Permalink