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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“No matter how loud car alarms are, cars never seem to wake up” (11/18)
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Entry from January 24, 2010
“All the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair”

Politics is spoken about in many professions, but people who cut hair and who drive taxicabs are well-known chatterers. “All the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair” was said by New York City-born comedian George Burns (1896-1996) in 1979 (and possibly earlier).

“How come all the people who know how to run the country are already employed as bartenders, barbers and bus drivers?” was in an ad in the Los Angeles (CA) Times in 1975. “Will you please tell me how come all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair? “ was a question directed to a “Dear Abby” newspaper column in 1977.


Wikipedia: George Burns
George Burns (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996), born Nathan Birnbaum, was an American comedian, actor, and writer.

His career spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television, with and without his wife, Gracie Allen. His arched eyebrow and cigar smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three quarters of a century. He enjoyed a career resurrection with a new image as an amiable and unusually active old comedian that began at age 79 and ended shortly before his death at age 100.

Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 117:
George Burns (nathan Birnbaum)
U.S. comedian, 1896-1996
“Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.”
Quoted in Life, Dec. 1979.

17 September 1975, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pt. 1, pg. A4 ad:
HOW come all the people who know how to run the country are already employed as bartenders, barbers and bus drivers?

Google News
17 July 1977, Nevada (MO) Daily Mail, “Dear Abby” by Abigail Van Buren, pg. 3, col. 4:
DEAR ABBY: Will you please tell me how come all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair?  CURIOUS
DEAR CURIOUS: Give thanks that all the people who CLAIM to know how to run the country are driving taxicabs and cutting hair—and NOT running the country.

OCLC WorldCat record
“Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair”
Author: George Burns
Publisher: [Mill Valley, Calif. : Winston Network, 1984]
Series: Streetfare journal. 
Edition/Format: Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 24, 2010 • Permalink