A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“What’s the difference between a feminist and a baby?” (joke) (9/24)
“I loaned a blind guy some money” (joke) (9/24)
“The only difference between this place and the Titanic is they had a band” (9/23)
“How many people died on the Titanic?"/"A boatload.” (9/23)
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Entry from September 23, 2016
“The only difference between this place and the Titanic is they had a band”

The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912 and sunk on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. One Titanic joke that has been posted on many office signs is:

“The only difference between this place and the Titanic is they had a band.”

The jocular one-liner was first appeared in Earl Wilson‘s syndicated newspaper entertainment column in September 1974:

“‘The difference between the Titanic and the stock market,’ sighed a broker, ‘is that when the Titanic went down, it had a band playing.’”


Wikipedia: RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died in the sinking, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. The largest ship afloat at the time it entered service, the RMS Titanic was the second of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, and was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, her architect, died in the disaster.

17 September 1974, Courier-Post (Camden, NJ), Earl Wilson syndicated entertainment column, pg. 12, col. 8:
EARL’S PEARLS: “The difference between the Titanic and the stock market,” sighed a broker, “is that when the Titanic went down, it had a band playing.”

2 October 1974, Atchison (KS) Globe, pg. 16, col. 6:
Question: What’s the difference between the Titanic and the Stock Exchange?
Answer: The Titanic had a band.

22 December 1974, Detroit (MI) Free Press, pg. C1, col. 1:
Sick Economy, Sick Joke
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE between Chrysler Corp. and the Titanic? The TItanic had a band. The joke’s hot in the Chrysler corporate offices.

15 September 1982, Trenton (NJ) Times, “Show businesses report slow summer,” pg. c8, col. 7:
ATLANTIC CITY (AP)—High rents, bad weather and hard economic times turned week-long vacationers into day-trippers this summer and put business owners at the South Jersey shore in a financial pinch, officials said yesterday.

“The only difference between this summer and the Titanic is they had a band,” reads a sign outside the North Wildwood Boardwalk arcade of Fred Mahana, who was one of the shore merchants trying to keep a business afloat this summer.

Google Books
Dressing for dinner in the naked city, and other tales from the Wall Street journal’s middle column
By Jane Berentson
New York, NY: Hyperion
1985
Pg. 36:
Inside, a radio blares the Rolling Stones, and a sign on a bulletin board reads, “The only difference between this place and the Titanic is they had a band.”

Google Books
Prince of the Magic Kingdom:
Michael Eisner and the re-making of Disney

By Joe Flower
New York, NY: J. Wiley
1991
Pg. 116:
Morbid humor crept in. Signs popped up reading, “The only difference between this place and the Titanic is they had a band.”

Google Books
The Day the Phones Stopped:
The Computer Crisis—The What and Why of It, and How We Can Beat It

By Leonard Lee
New York, NY: Donald I. Fine
1991
Pg. 135:
In the IRS processing center in Andover, Massachusetts, a worker hung up a sign: “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS PLACE AND THE TITANIC IS THE TITANIC HAD A BAND.”

Google News Archive
4 October 1991, The Hour (Norwalk, CT), “Layoffs,” pg. 2, col. 4:
McNamara, who already has lined up a job with a private law firm, had a sign tacked above her empty desk that read, “The only difference between this and the Titanic is they had a band.”

Google Groups: k12.ed.art
Will pay for SQUIRREL: full-colour and B&W art (no Moose!)
Don Z’Boray
3/12/95
(...)
“The difference between this place and the Titanic is ... They had a band!”

Google Groups: rec.arts.tv.soaps.abc
GH: The Week in Review 10/13 Pt. 1 of 3
Amy McWilliams
11/22/97
(...)
Luke:  “The only difference between this place and the Titanic is they had a band.”

Google Groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000
Modem Shopping
dhc...@netins.net
4/27/99
(...)
The only difference between this place and the Titanic is that THEY had a band.

Google Groups: alt.religion.scientology
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ARS AND TITANIC
Mistmagoo55
6/29/00
ARS is sort of like the TITANIC.  We saw a terrific sign once that reminds us of this:

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
THIS PLACE AND THE TITANIC
IS THE TITANIC HAD A BAND!

Google Books
A Man Walks Into a Bar 3
By Jonathan Swan
London: Ebury Press
2010
Pg. 364:
Sign seen in an office: The difference between this place and the Titanic is...they had a band!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, September 23, 2016 • Permalink


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