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 October 03, 2015
“I failed to make the chess team because of my height”

Bronx-born comedian, author and film director Woody Allen joked in 1964:

“I failed to make the chess team because of my height.”

A young Woody Allen was short, but he was athletic and certainly smart enough to make his school’s chess team. The chess quotation has been frequently cited.


Wikipedia: Woody Allen
Heywood “Woody” Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, December 1, 1935) is an American actor, writer, director, comedian and playwright, whose career spans more than 50 years.

He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes and scripts for television and publishing several books of short humor pieces. In the early 1960s, Allen began performing as a stand-up comedian, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes. As a comedian, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he maintains is quite different from his real-life personality.[2] In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen in fourth place on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, while a UK survey ranked Allen as the third greatest comedian.

By the mid-1960s Allen was writing and directing films, first specializing in slapstick comedies before moving into dramatic material influenced by European art cinema during the 1970s, and alternating between comedies and dramas to the present.

15 February 1964, Boston (MA) Traveler, Earl Wilson entertainment column, pg. 8, col. 5:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: Woody Allen, the wispy comic, complains he failed to make the chess team at school, “Because of my height.”

Google Books
Woody Allen:
Clown Prince of American Humor

By Bill Adler and Jeffrey Feinman
New York, NY: Pinnacle Books
1975
Pg. 7:
In spite of jokes to the contrary ("I failed to make the chess team, because of my height"), he was athletic. He went out for track, baseball, and boxing. And he was good at them all.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips and One-liners:
Over 8,000 Gems of Wit and Wisdom, One-liners and Wisecracks

By Geoff Tibballs
New York, NY: Carroll & Graff
2004
Pg. ?:
I failed to make the chess team because of my height.
WOODY ALLEN

Google News Archive
13 June 2007, Dodge County Independent (Kasson, MN), “Quotes,” pg. 2, col. 3:
“I failed to make the chess team because of my height.”
-- Woody Allen

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
Woody Allen: I failed to make the chess team because of my height. | #Quotes
8:54 PM - 2 Oct 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, October 03, 2015 • Permalink