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 June 08, 2017
“Maybe I should’ve said DiMaggio?” (talking dog joke)

Was New York Yankee Babe Ruth (1895-1948) the greatest baseball player ever? Or was it New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999).

A joke involves a man who enter a bar and tells the bartender that he owns a talking dog. The dog says “roof” and “rough,” but the bartender is not impressed. The dog is asked who the greatest baseball player is, and then answers, “Ruth!” As the man and his dog are thrown out of the bar, the dog says, “Maybe I should’ve said DiMaggio?”

The talking dog joke has been cited in print since at least 1950.


Wikipedia: Unnatural History (film)
Unnatural History is a 1959 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Abe Levitow, with a story by Mike Maltese. The cartoon is made up of blackout gags with no real story tying them together, similar to many cartoons directed by Tex Avery.

Plot
Professor Beest Lee (a pun on “beastly") narrates over clips of animals and their quirky behavior. Scenes include:
(...)
A man who proclaims to an entertainment agent his dog can talk whereas all the dog’s answers are “ruff”, particularly for the answers to the top of a house (roof), the owner’s name (Ralph) and the greatest baseball player (Ruth). When the agent throws them out, the dog picks himself up, dusts himself off, and declares to his owner: “Maybe I should’ve said DiMaggio?”

14 May 1950, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, “The Town Crier” by Kenneth Nichols, Sunday Magazine, pg. B1, col. 7:
There is a current vogue, as you may know, for talking dog stories.

In fact the vogue has reached such a height that they are now telling the one about the fellow who came into a bar trailed, so he said, by a talking dog. The bartender was skeptical.

Such skepticism may have been just what the fellow was looking for because he made a wager with the barkeep. If the dog could talk, as advertised, he—the owner—got a free drink.

“How was the road coming into town?” the owner asked.

“R-r-rough,” barked the dog.

The bartender shoved across the drink but in no spirit of amazement. In fact, he seemed unconvinced. So the same wager was made.

“What do we have over our house?” the owner asked the dog.

“R-r-r=roof,” barked the mutt.

Even more unwillingly this time, the bartender shoved across another drink. “That just sounds like a bark to me,” he complained.

THE OWNER was crushed.

“All right,” the owner said, “we’ll make the same wage and this time you pick out the topic. Ask me to ask him about anything.”

This being the time of year it is, naturally the bartender said, “Okay. Ask him something about baseball.”

“Who,” asked the owner, “was the greatest ballplayer who ever lived?”

“R-r-r-ruth,” barked the dog.

As the owner and his pooch were being propelled toward the door by the now irate bartender, other customers heard the dog say: “Maybe I should have said DiMaggio!”

17 May 1951, The Times Record (Troy, NY), “Tea Table Gossip,” pg. 34, col. 2:
“Me and my talking dog here will put on a good show for a meal,” the stranger told the night manager of the depot lunch room.

“Let’s see the show first,” answered the manager.

With the dog on the counter and the customers standing around, the stranger started talking to the animal: “Old fellow, I want you to talk to these people. First off, when we came into this building did you notice what was on top of it?”

“Arrr-uff!” said the dog.

“That’s right, a roof,” said the man.

The manager looked disgusted.

“Now,” said the man talking fast. “I notice that you read the sports page of the newspaper every day. So you must follow sports carefully. Who would you say is the greatest batter in baseball history?”

“Rrr-uff.”

“That’s right. Babe Ruth,” said the man.

“Outside! ‘said the manager.

The man sat at the curbstone, his face dejecteding resting in his hands. The dog sidled up to him and said: “Boss, do you think I should have said ‘DiMaggio?’”

YouTube
Ok, here is the joke. A guy walks into a bar with a dog under ...
botcaster inc. bot
Published on Jan 22, 2016
A guy walks into a bar with a dog under his arm, puts the dog on the bar and announces that the dog can talk and that he has $100 he’s willing to bet anyone who says he can’t. The bartender quickly takes the bet and the owner looks at the dog and asks, “What’s the thing on top of this building which keeps the rain from coming inside?” The dog answers “ROOF.” The bartender says, “Who are you kidding? I’m not paying.” The dogs owner says, “How about double or nothing and I’ll ask him something else.” The bartender agrees and the owner turns to the dog and asks, “Who was the greatest ballplayer of all time?” The dog answers with a muffled “RUTH.” With that the bartender picks them both up and throws them out the door. As they bounce on the sidewalk, the dog looks at his owner and says, “DiMaggio?”

Reddit—Jokes
A man with a dog walks into a bar in New Jersey.
submitted June 8, 2017 by Snack__Attack
He says to the barman, “This dog can talk.” The bartender replies, “What? Get outta here.” The man with the dog then says, “It’s true, I promise!” The bartender decides to see if there is anything to this and says to the man, “Tell you what, if you can prove that the dog talks I’ll give you free drinks for the rest of the evening.” “Its a deal!” says the man. He then proceeds to ask the dog “what is above your head?” “Roof!” the dog replies. The bartender thinks the guy is trying to pull a trick on him, and is about to throw them out when the man asks for a second try. The bartender reluctantly agrees. The man asks the dog, “Who is the greatest baseball player who ever lived?” “Ruth!” says the dog. The bartender is pissed because they tried to take him for a fool and immediately tosses them out on their asses. They pick themselves up, and while dusting off a bit the dog says, “I probably shoulda said DiMaggio.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Thursday, June 08, 2017 • Permalink