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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, August 03, 1947, Image 127

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1947-08-03/ed-1/seq-127/

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Continued from page ten
later it carried 587 jokes “with the names of the
authors to such as are known.”
The years pass. Joe Miller has gone through count
less editions and picked up weight until the number
of original Joe Miller gags now stands above 5.700.
The 20th century opens, and sales of “Joe Miller’s
Jests” decline and die. But the jokes themselves have
not been buried with the boftk.
Our last stop is on a Sunday afternoon at the Brown
Derby in Hollywood, where the celebrated comedian,
Bernie Yak yak, and his writers are clustered around
next week’s script. One writer pulls a thin red book
from the pocket of his pea-green sports jacket.
Jo* Millar RmUmovmW
Writer: Oh, baby, here's some good stuff. What’s
more, it’s never been tapped. It’s a reprint of the
original Joe Miller, 1739. All in the public domain.
Yakyak: Stuff for us?
Writer: Try this one. “A dog coming open
mouthed at a sergeant upon a march, he run the spear
of his halbert into his throat and killed him. The
owner, coming out, raved that his dog was killed,
asked the sergeant why he could not as well have
struck him with the blunt end of the halbert. ‘So I
would,’ says he, ‘if he had run at me with his tail.’ ”
Other writers: (musing) Hmmmm.
Yakyak: No good. Milton Berle used it last week.
First writer: All right, here’s another. “Sir
William Davenant, the poet, had no nose. One day,
a beggar-woman followed him crying, The Lord pre
serve your eyesight, sir, the Lord preserve your eye
sight.’ ‘Why, good woman,’ said he, ‘do you pray
so much far my eyesight?’ ‘Ah, dear sir,’ said she,
‘if it should please God that you grow dimsighted,
you’d have no place to hang your spectacles on.’ ”
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Second writer: That’s no gag. We don’t know any
raHin romprliant withmit vwcpg
Third writer: Maybe it could be a gag about just
an ordinary guy with no nose. Not a movie star.
Yakyak: What kind of crazy talk is that? You
don’t like Hollywood, why don’t you go back where
you came from?
First writer: I got the switch, boss. It’s a little
moron joke. One little moron says to the other little
moron, “What would happen if you lost your nose?”
And the second little moron says, “I couldn’t smell.”
Yakyak: So?
First writer: So the first little moron says, “And
what would happen if you lost your mouth?” And
the second little moron says, “I couldn’t talk.”
Second writer: Better get to the punch-line.
First writer: Then the first little moron says,
“And what would happen if you lost your ears?” And
the second little moron says, “I couldn’t see.”
Yakyak: Couldn’t see?
First writer: I’m coming to it, boss. The first
little moron says, “Why couldn’t you see if you lost
your ears?” The second little moron says (this’ll
kill you, boss), “I couldn’t see because my hat would
fall down over my eyes.”
Yakyak: Write it in, Mac, write it in! A lulu!
Ah there, Joe Miller, happy illiterate! Are you
listening, boy? The End
“I can’t believe it, Judson — you, a loyal
and busted employee, asking for a raise!"
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