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 forthcoming—B.P. (10/18)
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Entry from January 17, 2017
“Why did the M&M go to school?"/"Because it wanted to be a Smartie.”

A popular riddle about Smarties candy has been cited in print since at least 1997:

Q: Why did the jelly baby go to school?
A: He wanted to be a Smartie.


“Jelly baby” was replaced by “jelly bean” by at least 2000. An M&M version has been cited in print since at least 2009:

Q: Why did the M&M go to school?
A: Because it wanted to be a Smartie.



Wikipedia: Smarties
Smarties are a colour-varied sugar-coated chocolate confectionery popular primarily in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, the Nordic countries, South Africa, and the Middle East. They have been manufactured since 1937, originally by H.I. Rowntree & Company in the UK. They are currently produced by Nestlé.

Wikipedia: M&M’s
M&M’s (styled as m&m’s) are “colorful button-shaped chocolates” produced by Mars, Incorporated. The candy shell, each of which has the letter “m” printed in lower case on one side, surrounds a filling which varies depending upon the variety of M&M’s. The original candy had a milk chocolate filling which, upon introducing other variations, was branded as the “plain” variety.
(...)
M&M’s originated in the United States in 1941, and are now sold in as many as 100 countries.

18 December 1997, The Sun (London, UK), “50 best Christmas cracker jokes” by Julian Reed, pg. 8:
Why did the jelly baby go to school?
He wanted to be a Smartie.

13 May 2000, Observer (Sarnia, ON), “Sarnia’s multitude of signs contains a few gems” by Carl Degurse, pg. A4:
It could be a snippet of poetry ("The dew of compassion is a tear” - Lord Byron), it could be a riddle ("Why did the jelly bean go to school? He wanted to be a Smartie") , or an observation that is timely for this community ("Gambling is God’s way of saying you have too much money.")

Google Groups: alt.support.autism
Those were the days was: Arthur Golden responds to Kev et al
BevB
4/2/01
(...)
Why did the jelly bean go to school?
Because he wanted to be a Smartie.

Twitter
Wayne Mansfield
‏@WayneMansfield
Xmas cracker Joke:Q. Why did the jelly baby go to school?  A. Because it wanted to be a smartie. Courtesy: Marlene http://bit.ly/a3UG
1:13 AM - 17 Dec 2008

Twitter
Prongo kids games
‏@Prongo
Joke of the day: Q: Why did the jellybean go to school? A: Because he wanted to be a smartie! Submitted by: smiley
7:44 AM - 4 Jun 2009

Twtter
Lisa LaJoie
‏@ClairvoyantLisa
Why did the m&m go to university? It wanted to be a smartie !
8:53 PM - 10 Jun 2009

Google Books
July 2009, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 51, col. 3:
Luke: Why did the M&M go to school?
Stan: I’m stumped.
Luke: Because he really wanted to be a Smartie!
Luke Collins, Somers, N.Y.

Twitter
star
‏@starinmelbourne
@charliegirrrl Q: why did the m&m go to school? A: he wanted to be a smartie!
12:37 AM - 8 Feb 2010

Google Books
Justin’s Jokes
By Justin Fletcher
Illustrated by Patrick Tate
London: Faber & Faber
2011
Pg. 59:
Why did the jelly bean go to school?
Becauseit wanted to be a smartie

Google Books
More Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids
By Rob Elliott
Grand Rapids, MI: Revell
2014
Pg. ?:
Q: Why did the Starburst go to school?
A: It wanted to be a Smartie.

Google Books
50 Totally Fresh Fully Mint School Jokes Bru!:
Turn that learning frown upside down!

By Matthew Grant
Published by author
2014
Pg. ?:
Tom: Why did the M&M go to school?
Bob: I’m stumped.
Tom: Because he really wanted to be a Smartie!

Google Books
Peter Pumpkin Goes Trick-or-Treating
By Peter Nanra
Bloomington, IN: Archway Publishing
2015
Pg. ?:
Why did the M&M go to school? Because it wanted to be a Smartie.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, January 17, 2017 • Permalink