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 September 17, 2014
“I’ve got a million of ‘em” (comedy saying)

"I’ve got a million of ‘em” is what Manhattan-born comedian Jimmy Durante (1893-1980) often said after telling a corny joke. The line probably originated in the mid-1920s, from his days in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies. Durante was credited with “I’ve got a million of ‘em” in a 1929 newspaper story. Durante used the line in the film Roadhouse Nights (1930) and in many of his other films.

“I’ve got a million of ‘em” has been used by other people (besides Durante) in many other contexts. In 2014, a Twitter photo used the “I’ve got a million of ‘em” line with a photo of President Barack Obama, surrounded by his quotations of unfulfilled promises and untruths.


Wikipedia: Jimmy Durante
James Francis “Jimmy” Durante (February 10, 1893 – January 29, 1980) was an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, New York accent, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America’s most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. His jokes about his nose included referring to it as a Schnozzola, and the word became his nickname.

5 October 1929, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press, “Show Girl” by William Anthony McGuire, Story Section, pg. 10, col. 4:
“I’ve got a million of ‘em!” Schnozzle said complacently.

The Internet Movie Database
Roadhouse Nights (1930)
68 min - Drama - 23 February 1930 (USA)
Director: Hobart Henley
Writers: Garrett Fort, Ben Hecht (story)

28 February 1930, Boston (MA) Herald, “The Screen: Roadhouse Nights,” pg. 19, col. 7:
And these same talking pictures have now kidnapped Jimmy Durante wildest, craziest and, in some old way, one of the most engaging low comedians ever to convulse a Ziegfeld audience, haveset him to acting as a timorous dittymonger, doubling as a dirty-aproned waiter, and have metamorphosed him in a flash of the camera’s shutter into a new screen comedian to be reckoned with. He rings in one or two of his routine gags ("I’ve got a million of ‘em"), sings a verse or two raspingly, picks up his hat as fast as some one knocks it off his head.

1 April 1935, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 13, col. 6
Million Trout Are Placed in Mass. Streams
BOSTON, April 1 (INS)—Echoing Jimmy Durante’s famous remark “I’ve got a million of ‘em,” Director Raymond J. Kenny of the state fisheries and game division announced today that a million trout have been placed in the state streams for the opening of the fishing season on April 15.

OCLC WorldCat record
Harry Engel, Inc. proudly presents Jimmy (Schnozzle) Durante’s jumbo song book : with comedy songs, photographs, cartoons, gags, and short stories
Author: Jimmy Durante
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Harry Engel, ©1936.
Edition/Format: Musical score : English
Contents:
I’m Jimmy that well dressed man --
I know darn well I can do without Broadway (can Broadway do without me?) --
You gotta start off each day with a song --
I got a million of ‘em --

Google Books
Radio Comedy Diary:
A Researcher’s Guide to the Actual Jokes and Quotes of the Top Comedy Programs of 1947-1950

By Gary Poole
Jefferson, NC: McFarland
2001
Pg. 28:
DURANTE: {After bad joke) I’ve got a million of em! A million of em!
(From a radio program in 1947.—ed.)

Twitter
Joseph Maloney
‏@MJoemal19
@LSUJEFF @Irish_in_LA @olretiree RT @jhartfield72 The “Jimmy Durante” of Politics “I’ve got a million of ‘em”. pic.twitter.com/MThEEHt4L3
4:15 AM - 28 May 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theater • Wednesday, September 17, 2014 • Permalink


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