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 October 18, 2013
“A horse 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 horse is:

“A horse walks into a bar and the barman says, ‘Why the long face?’”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1993, when it was included in the film comedy Hot Shots! Part Deux.

A popular “A horse walks into a bar...” anti-joke is:

“A horse walks into a bar. Several people get up and leave realizing the potential danger of the situation.”


The Internet Movie Database
Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
Quotes

Ramada Rodham Hayman: I’m married. I was married before you and I ever met. I’m still married today.
Topper Harley: You’re joking.
Ramada Rodham Hayman: I’m not.
Topper Harley: You’ve got to be.
Ramada Rodham Hayman: If I was joking, I would say: “A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, ‘Why the long face?’”
Topper Harley: You are married.

25 April 1993, Cumberland (MD) Sunday Times-News, “You can’t make good green beans without them” by Jim Goldsworthy, pg. 1E, col. 1:
A horse walks into a bar, sits down and orders a drink. Pretty soon he begins to cry.

The bartender comes up to the horse and says, “Hey buddy, why the long face?”

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
PLSE REPOST THE HORSE IN THE BAR JOKE
Charles
11/13/94
(...)
A horse walks into a bar.
Bartender:  “Why the long face?”

Google Groups: rec.humor
Horse walks into a bar......
John Wiswell
2/21/95
Horse walks into a bar
Bartender says....” Why the long face?”

Google Books
Getting Your Message Across:
The Seven Steps to Communicating Successfully in Every Situation

By James Hooke and Jeremy Philips
East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster Australia
1996
Pg. 26:
An example of this is when you tell a humorous story, such as: ‘A horse walks into a bar and the barman says, “Why the long face?“‘

Google Books
A 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. 72:
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender asks, Why the long face?

Google News Archive
11 March 2005, Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, KY), “Dissent Is Way Cool” by Drew Swain, pg. B12, col. 2:
A horse walks into a bar one day and orders a drink, the bartender asks, “Why the long face?” HA!!!!

Google News Archive
3 January 2006, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Slouch: Hoping against a three-Pete,” pg. B5, col. 2:
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “So why the long face?”

YouTube
Song: Horse Walks Into a Bar (Why the Long Face?)
Matt Hanley Presents
Uploaded on Nov 14, 2009
Expanded version of joke “Horse Walks into a Bar..” set to tune of Three’s Company theme, in honor of John Ritter.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Friday, October 18, 2013 • Permalink