Joke: I'm looking here because the light is better (1932)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 6 04:02:21 UTC 2013

LH said:
> I wonder if that's the same drunk who's looking for the
> keys that he lost two blocks away under that same lamppost
> because the light is so much better there.

I did not find this joke in the YBQ or the DMP. A scholarly joke
tracing reference work may exist; perhaps a list member can name one.
After a quick search, below are the two most interesting cites I
found. The earliest cite does not involve a drunk. Inebriation may
have been incorporated in the evolving joke to provide a rationale for
Mr. Snoop's casual attitude toward empirical reality.

[ref] 1932 October, Boys' Life, Volume 22, Number 10, Think and Grin,
Edited by F. J. Rigney, Quote Page 36, Published by the Boy Scouts of
America, New York. [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Bright Idea
MR. SNIFF: What are you looking for?
MR. SNOOP: A five-dollar bill.
MR. SNIFF: Are you sure you lost it on this street?
MR SNOOP: Oh no! I lost it in the next block, but I'm lookin' up here
because the light is better.
[End excerpt]

Below is version with a drunk that was collected by the indefatigable Evan Esar.

[ref] 1945, Esar's Joke Dictionary by Evan Esar, Quote Page 140,
Harvest House, New York. (Verified with scans) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
A policeman saw a drunk crawling about in the gutter under a lamppost
and asked him what he was doing. "Lookin' for a quarter I losh,"
replied the drunk. "Where'd you lose it?" inquired the cop. "'Bout a
block down th' shtreet," was the answer. "Then why look here?"
insisted the officer. "'Cause there's lotsh more light here,"
explained the drunk, continuing his search.
[End excerpt]


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