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 January 18, 2015
“I just flew in and boy, are my arms tired!”

"I just flew in from (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York) and boy, are my arms tired!” is a classic joke told by American comedians. “I just flew in from New York. Boy, are my arms tired!” was cited in print in 1948.

“I just flew in from California, and boy, are my arms tired!” was told by Manhattan-born television personality Robert Q. Lewis (1920-1991) in 1951. “I just flew in from New York and boy...! are my arms tired!” was cited in 1954 and “I just flew in from Chicago and gosh are my arms tired” was cited in 1955.

The joke is so well known that it’s usually told with some variations or to illustrate a bad joke.

[This entry was assisted by research from the Quote Investigator.]


Old Fulton NY Post Cards
15 September 1948, The Post (Ellicottville, NY), pg. 7, col. 3:
The Hi-Reporter
Official Publication of Ellicottville Central School
All Material Furnished and Edited by the School Staff
(...)
The seemingly short summer vacation has come to an end and school is again in full swing. From now on anything can, and probably will happen___Bernie Stearns has a new shotgun in case anyone tries stealing his chickens. So, chicken thieves beware unless you want a yentilated veranda!___Virginia Kelly said: “I just flew in from New York. Boy, are my arms tired!"___ When football season opened, Gene Enright was the only one in shape.

25 January 1951, Boston (MA) Herald, “On Television” by Roger Swift, pg. 23, col. 8:
My own reaction was somewhat conditioned by the fact that the Durante show happened to be on at the same time, and while I suppose Robert Q. Lewis is a good enough man, it was a little painful to leave Durante’s version of “I’m a Vulture for Horticulture” in favor of Lewis’s joke, “I just flew in from California, and boy, are my arms tired!”

26 March 1954, The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, CA), pg. 32 ad:
OLD TRUSTY RUSTY SEZ:
I just flew in from New York and boy...! are my arms tired!
(...)
WEST COAST MERCHANDISE MART

Google News Archive
9 December 1955, Ottawa (Ontario) Citizen, “Noted U.S. Speaker Gene Flack Regales 500 At Annual Event,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Gene, a First World War buck private in the U.S. Army who rose to captain and hasn’t sat down since started with, “I just flew in from Chicago and gosh are my arms tired.”

1 August 1958, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, “‘Joke Rating Service’ Offered by Professionals” by Phyllis Battelle, pg. 34, col. 2:
“I just flew in from Hollywood—are my arms tired.” (12)
(A 12 rating out of 100 means that the joke is not good.—ed.)

Google News Archive
27 December 1968, Miami (FL) News, “Didja Hear The One About...” by John Keasler, pg. 12-A, col. 4:
“Just flew in from Philly,” he planned to say, on arrival, “And, boy, are my arms tired!”

Google News Archive
1 January 1975, Tuscaloosa (AL) News, “Brooks’ new movie more than jokes” by Charles Champlin (Los Angeles Times), pg. 30, cols. 3-4:
(Mel—ed.) Brooks moved from survival comedy to professional comedy inadvertently. He was working as a drummer in the house band at a Catskills resort when the comedian got sick. Brooks knew the dreadful routines by heart—“I just flew in from Chicago and boy are my arms tired”—and took over.

OCLC WorldCat record
I just flew in from Invercargill and boy are my arms tired!
Author: Rhythm Doktor, (Musician); Hyphenears (Musical group); Kefflins (Musical group); Blank Sabbath (Musical group); Janet Thomsons (Musical group); All authors
Publisher: Invercargill, N.Z. : TV Eye, [1984]
Edition/Format: eMusic : English

OCLC WorldCat record
I just flew in from Chicago ... and boy, are my arms tired
Author: Tom Kubis
Publisher: Glendale, CA : Walrus Music, [199-]
Edition/Format: Musical score : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Sunday, January 18, 2015 • Permalink