[Ads-l] Joke: Does your orchestra ever play requests?

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed Oct 7 12:21:28 UTC 2015


I am somehow reminded of an old joke--as old as Plutarch, but I believe I've heard a version attributed to Samuel Johnson and possibly others.

The stereotypically garrulous barber asks, "Sir, how would you like to be shaved?" (or "how do you wish your hair to be cut?").  The dyspeptic client replies, "In silence."

--Charlie

________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 5:32 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Joke: Does your orchestra ever play requests?

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Joke: Does your orchestra ever play requests?
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Barry found a great citation in 1922 for the "music request" joke. He
has now updated his entry on this topic:

http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/waiter_does_the_pia=
nist_play_requests/

[Begin excerpt]
28 May 1922, Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, UT), magazine sec.,
pg. 5, col. 7:
MUSIC WITH HIS MEALS.
The discordant music rendered by the so-called orchestra had so upset
one of the diners that he called the restaurant manager and remarked:

=E2=80=9CI note the paragraph on your menu wherein you state that the
orchestra will play anything on request. Can you prove the assertion?=E2=80=
=9D

=E2=80=9CYes,=E2=80=9D replied the manager. =E2=80=9CTheir repertoir is ver=
y extensive. What
do you wish them to play?=E2=80=9D

=E2=80=9CTell =E2=80=98em to play pinochle until I have finished my meal, a=
nd I will
be very grateful.=E2=80=9D=E2=80=94From Everybody=E2=80=99s Magazine for Ju=
ne.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 10:16 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yesterday Barry created an entry about a collection of jokes. One
> instance of the joke begins with the line: "Waiter, does the pianist
> play requests?"
>
> http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/waiter_does_the_p=
ianist_play_requests/
>
> Barry presented citations beginning in1964. Below is a citation in
> 1948 and a citation with a slightly different phrasing in 1953
> (syndicated):
>
> Date: May 02, 1948
> Newspaper: The Seattle Sunday Times (Seattle Daily Times)
> Newspaper Location: Seattle, Washington
> Section: Pacific Parade Magazine
> (Untitled short humor item)
> Quote Page 12, Column 4
> Database: GenealogyBank
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> "Does your orchestra ever play requests?"
> "Certainly. What would you like to have us play."
> "Pinochle!"
> [End excerpt]
>
>
> Date: November 04, 1953
> Newspaper: Springfield Union
> Newspaper Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
> Quote Page 1, Column 3
> Database: GenealogyBank
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Today's Chuckle
> "Does your orchestra ever play requests?"
> "Yes, what would you like them to play?"
> "Pinochle?"
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson

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