[Ads-l] Joke: Cocktail or beer named Love in a Canoe is sure close to water

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 23 05:06:58 UTC 2015

JL wrote:
> Some may recall Monty Python's question, "Why is American
> beer like making love in a canoe?"

Barry Popik has an excellent entry on this family of jokes with a
great first citation dated July 11, 1952. A man who is asked to
concoct a name for a new beer offers the following suggestion: "Canoe
Beer". He is reticent to explain the rationale for the name, but he
finally says: "In fact I used to lie down in the canoe and look up at
the sky. That's pretty close to water and that's what this beer is."

Here is a link to Barry's entry: http://bit.ly/1kyel5n

Gershon Legman has an entry on the joke, and he situates it in 1952.

I found an instance that disparages a cocktail instead of a beer. The
text is only visible in snippets via Google Books, but the date is
probably circa 1949:

Year: 1949 (uncertain)
Periodical: Temple Dental Review
Volume 19
Organization: Temple University School of Dentistry
Quote Page 26 (uncertain)
(Google Books snippet data; should be verified on paper)

[Begin excerpt]
Have you tried Munchak's latest cocktail special -- "Love in a Canoe"?
Perdue: "Yes, and it is sure close to water."
[End excerpt]

To estimate the true date I searched for numbers such as 1949 and
1950. The following excerpt suggests that the target volume probably
does contain issues in 1949 or 1950.

[Begin excerpt]
The first regular meeting of the Temple University Chapter of the
Junior American Dental Association for the 1949-1950 school year was
held October 11, 1949.
[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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