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 December 14, 2009
“Show business is high school with money” (show business adage)

Martin Mull is credited by other comedians for saying “Show business is (like) high school with money,” but he probably originally said “Show business is just like high school, except you get paid.” David Letterman credited Mull with “Show business is like high school with money” in a 1985 Rolling Stone interview.

“Hollywood is (like) high school with money” has been cited in print since at least 1987..


Wikipedia: Martin Mull
Martin Mull (born August 18, 1943) is an American actor who has starred in his own television sitcom and acted in prominent films. He is also a comedian, painter, and recording artist. He is by nature a satirist and incorporates his comedic sense into all of his work.

Rolling Stone
David Letterman and the Gnat Who Sank the Love Boat
LYNN HIRSCHBERG
Posted Jun 20, 1985 11:07 AM
(...)
“Martin Mull has the best line I ever heard about show business. He says, ‘Show business is like high school with money.’ And it is.”
(David Letterman interview—ed.)

11 September 1985, Doylestown (PA) , “Celebrity Cypher,” pg. 52, col. 1:
PREVIOUS SOLUTION: “Show business is like high school with money.”—Martin Mull

Google Books
Gossip: the inside scoop
By Jack Levin and Arnold Arluke
New York, NY: Plenum Press
Pg. 109:
That’s why even Martin Mull refers to Hollywood as “high school with money.”

Michael Johnson
I also have a sign over my desk that says, “Show business is like high school with money.” Just to keep things in perspective. Commercial music, with all its promotional and marketing genius, brilliant musicianship and glittering presentation, still seems to be synonymous with artistic compromise.

Maybe entertainment is the enemy of art after all.
Performing Songwriter - Volume 2, Issue 12 - May/June 1995

Google Books
Dirty Jokes and Beer:
Stories of the Unrefined

By Drew Carey
New York, NY: Hyperion
1997
Pg. 117:
Some genius once said that show business is like high school with money, and that’s exactly what it’s like.

OCLC WorldCat record
Power List: Class of ‘03 - If Hollywood is high school with money, then here’s a peek at who’s at the head of the class. We rank the industry’s most powerful players, from Steven Spielberg to Reese Witherspoon to Tom Hanks. See who’s class prez, who skipped a grade, and who’s clowning around. Plus, a primer on stars’income and a report on power players’life expectancy.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y. : Premiere Pub., 1987-
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Premiere. (May 2003): 54
Database: ArticleFirst

Google Books
Laugh Off:
The Comedy Showdown Between Real Life and the Pros

By Bob Fenster
Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel
2005
Pg. 69:
Comic Martin Mull: “Show business is just like high school, except you get paid.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Hollywood is like high school with money
Author: Zoey Dean
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., 2009.
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English : 1st ed

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Monday, December 14, 2009 • Permalink