[Ads-l] Quip: That person would attend the opening of an envelope

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 3 14:28:11 UTC 2019

The joke in the subject line has been examined by Nigel Rees and Barry
Popik. Now there is a Quote Investigator article in the topic:

The earliest match I found appeared in the Broadway gossip column of
Jack O’Brian in 1974. The actress Sylvia Miles was the target of an
elaborate version of the jest.

[ref] 1974 January 26, Lebanon Daily News, The Voice of Broadway by
Jack O'Brian, Quote Page 13, Column 6, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
(Newspapers_com) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
A carbonated Sylvia Miles of course turned up at Cue Mag’s salute to
Debbie Reynolds; Syl turns up at all openings; last week the madcap
mummer attended half a dozen openings, including one envelope, two
appendectomies and a cellar door . . . It’s not a good opening if it’s
[End excerpt]

I also found that pop artist Andy Warhol had embraced and extended the
joke in 1977:

[ref] 1977 August 18, The Christian Science Monitor, Cold showers and
parties by Melvin Maddocks, Quote Page 26, Column 3, Boston,
Massachusetts. (ProQuest) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
. . . the reasonably wise and certainly desperate words of a premier
party-goer, Andy Warhol: “I never go out alone. I am always surrounded
by my entourage at any party. We go to openings of envelopes, openings
of books — which are better — and closings of doors. That is to say,
we go out a lot. But I still don’t understand or believe in parties.”
[End excerpt]

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to quotation expert Nigel Rees who included this
expression in his reference “Cassell’s Humorous Quotations” (2001) and
mentioned it in his newsletter in July 2019. Rees presented a 1979
citation referring to Sylvia Miles. He also noted a linkage to Andy
Warhol and Wayland Flowers. In addition, thanks to top researcher
Barry Popik who explored this topic in 2014. Popik found citations
beginning June 1975.
[End acknowledgement]


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