Sunday, September 05, 2010

Old Quips

While going through the belongings in an old house, I found a small booklet of fragile yellowed paper.

Wehman Bros' Vaudeville Gags and Jokes, published by Wehman Bros, 126 Park Row in 1916.

Maybe I'll scan part of it sometime. Many of the individual bits have been clipped out so the book in some parts looks like a collection of ribbons with jokes on them.

The material is scatter-shot (perhaps all the best gags were snipped decades ago). Most of the jokes rely heavily on puns, some simple:

- What did the vegetarian say when called upon to offer grace?
- He said: "Lettuce pray."
And some spectacularly labored and askew:

Billy and Geraldine sat on the porch.
Billy said: "I like your company Gerry."
Gurgled Geraldine: "Me, too."
Whereupon Billy became a holding company and drew up his articles of incorporation so close that Geraldine went into the hands of a receiver.

Here are a few more.
I've gone into a new business: making artificial limbs.
That so? How is it?
Oh, rushing. I put on two new hands yesterday.
I think my client will lose his case.
Have you exhausted all the means at you disposal?
No, but I've exhausted all the means at his disposal.
- My father has a new kind of typewriter -- he fills it with ink.
- My father has the kind you fill with wine.

I have a horse and taught him to talk.
I never knew a horse could talk.
The only thing is you can't hear him very well.
Because he talks horse.

My flight is boarding, so I'll leave it at that. Maybe I'll return to this book soon.

Happy gags to all.

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