[PW] What is the original source of the quote "a little from column A and a little from column B"?

Donna Halper dlh at donnahalper.com
Tue Jan 9 21:08:13 PST 2018


On 1/9/2018 11:20 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> Thanks to John Cowan, John Baker, and Dana Dalrymple for their
> responses. Researcher Barry Popik found an instance alluding to a
> Chinese restaurant menu in 1958 that was mentioned by popular
> columnist Earl Wilson. A couple years earlier another columnist
> ascribed the quip to Borscht Belt comic Buddy Hackett:

For what it's worth, I find a 1959 cartoon by Arnold Roth, "Poor 
Arnold's Almanac" (Oakland Tribune, 12 July 1959) in which he uses the 
phrase "one from column A and one from column B" to discuss how ice 
cream flavors evolved and became popular; he has various characters from 
history, beginning with Nero, who supposedly are fans of ice cream. For 
example, Nero likes snow, flavored with fruit juice. Next, a colonial 
version of Howard Johnson imagines 28 flavors of snow.  But Marco Polo 
has a breakthrough-- he brings back some variations on flavors of ice 
cream after he visits China-- chocolate, vanilla, wonton and egg roll 
flavors, and people can pick one from column A and one from column B.  
So, evidently by 1959, this phrase was well-known in popular culture.


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