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 August 05, 2014
“A jury is one thing that never works when it’s fixed”

"What’s one thing that doesn’t work when it’s fixed?” is a popular riddle. The answer is “a jury.”

The joke has been cited in print since 1946, when it appeared in the syndicated newspaper feature “Daffynitions” by Paul H. Gilbert.


8 June 1946, Seattle (WA) Times, “Daffynitions” by Paul H. Gilbert, pg. 13, col. 4:
JURY: The one thing that’ can’t work right when it’s fixed.

Google Books
Laughter Is Legal
By Francis Leo Golden
New York, NY: F. Fell
1950
Pg. 76:
THERE IS only one thing that doesn’t work right when it’s fixed. And that’s a jury.

4 August 1950, The Echo (Richardson, TX), pg. 4, col. 4:
A jury is one thing that won’t work right when it’s fixed.

20 January 1954, Charleston (WV) Gazette, pg. 1, col. 7:
Today’s Definition
Jury

The only thing that doesn’t work when it’s fixed.

Google News Archive
18 July 1969, Palm Beach (FL) Post, “Favorite Jokes” by Joe Sicari, Parade magazine, pg. 23, col. 2:
A jury is the only thing that doesn’t work right when it’s fixed.

25 August 1979, Pacific Stars and Stripes, “Jumble” answer, pg. 23, col. 1:
When a jury doesn’t “work"—WHEN IT’S “FIXED”

Google News Archive
4 October 1979, Baltimore (MD) Afro-American, pg. 1, col. 2:
chuckle
A jury is the only that doesn’t work when it’s fixed.

Twitter
Yongsu D. Roger
‏@BingTheHuman21
@amandangeo How about a law joke? *ahem*.. What’s the one thing that never works when it’s fixed? .. The jury xD
9:50 PM - 30 Dec 2012

Twitter
Thomas Kurt Fuchel
‏@FuchelAttorney
Todays lawyer Humor:  Q: What’s the one thing that never works when it’s fixed?
 A: A jury.  By #duilawyerpittsburgh
1:51 PM - 11 Mar 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, August 05, 2014 • Permalink