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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Entry from January 21, 2016
“A ghost walks into a bar…” (bar joke)

“A guy walks into a bar...” is a typical form of what has been called the “bar joke.” A popular version involving a ghost is:

“A ghost walks into a bar. The bartender says, ‘We don’t serve spirits!’”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1996. Another ghost joke is: “Don’t drink with ghosts. They can’t handle their boos.”


Google Groups: alt.callahans
A man walks into a bar…
Firesong
10/23/96
(...)
A ghost walks into a bar, “Sorry,” says the bartender ,"we don’t serve spirits here.”

Google Groups: aus.jokes
A Horse Walks into a Bar..
VickersKen
10/4/97
A ghost walks into a bar and the barman says
“Sorry we don’t serve spirits”

Google Groups: alt.music.queen
DOES BRIAN KNOW HIS LATIN?

2/12/98
(...)
This ghost walks into a bar and asks for a drink. “I’m sorry” says the barman. “We don’t serve spirits!”

Google Books
Can You Keep a Secret?
By Sophie Kinsella
New York, NY: THe Dial Press
2004
Pg. 205:
“‘A ghost walks into a bar. And the barman says . . .’”

“’We don’t serve spirits.’” Jack gives me a quizzical look. “That’s a very old joke.”

Google Books
Guy Walks Into A Bar...:
501 Bar Jokes, Stories, Anecdotes, Quips, Quotes, Riddles and WIsecracks

By Michael Lewis
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
2005
Pg. 21:
A ghost walks into a bar at closing time. The bartender says, Sorry, we don’t serve spirits at this time of night.

Google Books
The Best ‘A Man Walks Into A Bar’ Jokes
By Billy Brownless
Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin
2009
Pg. 35:
A ghost walks into a bar at closing time. The bartender says, ‘Sorry, we don’t serve spirits at this time of night.’

Twitter
LaffGaff
‏@LaffGaff
A ghost walks into a bar and orders a beer. The barman says, “Sorry, we don’t serve spirits here.” #funny #jokes
7:05 PM - 25 Apr 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Thursday, January 21, 2016 • Permalink