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 April 02, 2015
“They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They’re not laughing now”

British comedian Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003) is remembered for a classic line:

“They all laughed when I said I’d become a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.”

It’s not known when Monkhouse first said the line, but it appears in his autobiography, Crying with Laughter: My Life Story (1993).


Wikiquote: Bob Monkhouse
Robert Alan Monkhouse OBE (1 June 1928 – 29 December 2003) was a British comedian, actor and presenter.

Sourced
When I said I was going to become a comedian, they all laughed. Well, they’re not laughing now, are they?
. Second obituary on BBC news website

OCLC WorldCat record
Crying with laughter : my life story
Author: Bob Monkhouse
Publisher: London : Century, 1993.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
Bob Monkhouse has been a star in show business for over 40 years. During those years he has known both triumph and tragedy. These are his memoirs.

goodreads
“They all laughed when I said I’d become a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.”
― Bob Monkhouse, Crying With Laughter: My Life Story
“People used to laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well they’re not laughing now.”
― Bob Monkhouse, Crying With Laughter: My Life Story

The Guardian (UK)
‘Beneath my underpants I’m a riot of polka dots and moonbeams’
Lynn Barber joins Bob Monkhouse at home in Barbados

Lynn Barber
Saturday 19 August 2000
(...)
This is why younger comedians worship him - he’s like a walking comic reference library. I must say his gags don’t do much for me, though I like his joke, ‘They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian… They’re not laughing now.’

Google Books
Contemporary Poems:
Some Critical Approaches

By Lesley Jeffries and Peter Sansom
Huddersfield Smith/Doorstop Books
2000
Pg. 81:
Which we might feel is the poetry equivalent of Bob Monkhouse’s ‘You all laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. You’re not laughing now.’

Google Groups: sci.math
Funny names for mathematicians?
Bill Taylor
12/20/01
(...)
They laughed at me when I said I wanted to be a comedian.
But I showed them - nobody’s laughing now!

Google Groups: alt.obituaries
Bob Monkhouse; Telegraph obit
Hyfler/Rosner
12/29/03
Bob Monkhouse
(Filed: 30/12/2003)
Bob Monkhouse, the comedian who died yesterday aged 75, became synonymous with television game shows, playing the unctuous host to more than 30 different programmes that, like him, seemed to many to exemplify all that was most superficial about television; his oozing charm, lacquered tan and hovering eyebrow attracted a measure of critical loathing that was markedly at odds with the popularity of his shows.
(...)
In fact, he was a remarkably brilliant gag writer. One of his best lines -"They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian . . . they’re not laughing now” - demonstrated genuine wit; ...

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Great British Humor
Edited by Michael Powell
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2010
Pg.104:
When I first said I wanted to be a comedian, everybody laughed. They’re not laughing now.
Bob Monkhouse

Google Books
Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
Edited by Gyles Brandreth
Oxford: Oxford University Press
2013
Pg. 59:
They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian...They’re not laughing now.
Bob Monkhouse 1928–2003 English entertainer: attributed; BBC News 29 December 2003 (online edition)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Thursday, April 02, 2015 • Permalink