[Ads-l] Joke: "He's too caustic." "Hang the expense! Get him!" (1930)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 23 13:23:25 UTC 2015

A classic anecdote about Samuel Goldwyn depicted the famous producer
misunderstanding the term "caustic".  Way back in 2011 I created an
entry about this joke on the QI website with a first citation in "The
New Yorker" magazine dated August 11, 1934.

Recently, Barry Popik created an entry on this topic with a wonderful
first citation dated April 15, 1934 revealing that George Burns and
Gracie Allen used a version of the gag in their comedy act.

Now, I've pushed the date back to May 20, 1930.

[ref]1930 May 20, The Oneonta Daily Star, The Cost, Quote Page 9,
Column 2, Oneonta, New York. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
The film producer was in difficulty about the leading man for his new film.
“What about So-and-so?” he asked.
“He’s too caustic,” said the studio manager.
“Hang the expense!” roared the producer. “Get him!”--Tit-Bits.
[End excerpt]

Since, the periodical "Tit-Bits" was acknowledged the jest was in
circulation sometime before this date. Here is a link to my entry and



Citations and feedback welcome,

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

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