[PW] ? "Nobody Here But Us Chickens" (Quotation Query #760)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 09:06:05 PST 2017


Regarding the history and evolution of the joke: While searching I
came across a distinct joke that followed a similar schema in 1905.
There was an inquiry, and the punchline response was an adsurdist
denial rendered in vernacular.

Date: October 11, 1905
Newspaper: Eau Claire Leader
Newspaper Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Quote Page 4, Column 2
Database: Newspapers.com

[[Begin excerpt, please double check]]
Standing Rule at the Club
[New York World.]

Jones had just run over to see if Mr. and Mrs. Blank would go to the
theatre with them.  Mrs. Blank was awfully sorry—she would so much
like to go, but, unfortunately, Blank was out, but probably he was at
the club. She would telephone. The following conversation ensued:
"Main 31333, please, Hello! Is this the -----club? Is my husband
there? Hello! Not there? Sure? Well, all right, then; but hold on, how
do you know my name." "There ain't nobody's husband here—never," was
the wise attendant's reply.
[[End excerpt]]



On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 11:39 AM, Tim Stewart
<timoteostewart1977 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here's a June 12, 1908, appearance under the heading "Talk of the Day."
> Note the attribution to *Life*.
>
> New York Tribune (NY, NY), June 12, 1908, page 6
> URL (newspapers.com):
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/88193334/?terms=%22nobody%22%2B%22us%2Bchickens%22
>
> [begin excerpt]
>
> Owner of the Coop---Who's in there?
> Quick Witted Rastus (softly)---'Taint nobody in heah 'ceppin' us
> chickens.---Life
>
> [end excerpt]
>
> Tim Stewart
>
>
>
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> - - - - - - - - - - -
> Read excerpts from the forthcoming *Dictionary of Christianese
> <http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/>*
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 10:26 AM, Barbara Schmidt <schmidtbrb at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> I suspect the June 11, 1908 illustration in LIFE magazine may be the
>> earliest appearance.  I am unable to read the name of the illustrator for
>> that cartoon from the online scan.  I would be interested to see if anyone
>> has a better copy who might be able to identify the name of that artist
>> and then the opinions as to whether or not the illustrator originated the
>> idea or was simply illustrating some sort of joke that was popular at the
>> time -- something that was perhaps being acted out on the stage in black
>> face comedy.
>>
>> Barb
>> _______________________________________________
>> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
>> list at project-wombat.org
>> http://www.project-wombat.org/
>>
> _______________________________________________
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> list at project-wombat.org
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