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.

Recent entries:
“What’s the best thing to put into a cake or pie?"/"Your teeth.” (11/26)
“What are unhappy cranberries called?"/"Blueberries.” (11/26)
“How does a turkey drink her wine?” (joke) (11/26)
Thankscaking (Thanksgiving + cake) (11/25)
“If it burns, it earns” (11/25)
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Entry from November 26, 2014
“What’s the best thing to put into a cake or pie?"/"Your teeth.”

"What is the best thing to put into a cake/pie?” is a classic joke. “Your teeth” is the answer. “What is the best thing to put in pie?” has been cited in print since at least 1900. Many foods have been substituted in the joke instead of “pie,” although “pie” is used most often.

The joke is frequently told during Thanksgiving (involving pumpkin pie) and Christmas (involving Christmas cake or mince pie).


15 December 1900, The Biloxi Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS), “Pungent Paragraphs,” pg. 2, col. 5:
“What is the best thing to put in pie?” “Apples or peaches.” “No—your teeth."—St. Louis Republic.

Google Books
Nuts to Crack
By George Schorb
Chicago, IL: J. M. Truitt, Distributer
1902
Pg. 12:
Q. What is the best thing to put into pies?
A. Your teeth.

Chronicling America
21 August 1904, The Times-Dispatch (Richmond, VA), “Conundrums,” Magazine Section, pg. 8, col. 2:
9. What are the best things to put into pies?

Google Books
When Mother Lets Us Play
By Angela Mary Keyes
New York, NY: Moffat, Yard and Company
1911
Pg. 53:
What is the best thing to put into pies?
(Your teeth.)

4 December 1923, San Diego (CA) Union, “Roundabouts” edited by A. Roundabouter, pg. 4, col. 6:
Editor ‘Bouts: What is the best thing to put into a pie?
HOUSEWIFE
Your teeth, madam, your teeth.

Google Books
Practical Druggist and Pharmaceutical Review of Reviews
Volume 48
1930
Pg. 27:
Bill Arlington, an endman Billy Rice on the minstrel stage, said, “What’s the best thing to put into a pie?” Billy Rice said, “Your teeth.” Rather a pie-ous idea, but true.

Google Books
The Mirth of a Nation
By Jimmy Lyons
New York, NY: Vantage Press
1953
Pg. 290:
C: What’s the best thing to put into a good pie?
S: Apples?
C: No, your teeth!

Google Books
June 1964, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 80, col. 2:
What’s the best thing to put into pies?
Your teeth.
— Richard Urban, Troy, N.Y.

Google News Archive
18 April 1977, The FreeLance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), “Fun TIme: THe Riddle Box,” pg. 14, col. 2:
What’s the best thing to put into- a cake?
(...)
Your teeth.

Google Books
The Compleat Teacher’s Almanack:
A Practical Guide to Every Day of the Year

By Dana Newmann
West Nyack, NY: Center for Applied Research in Education
1991
Pg. 89:
What’s the best thing to put into a Thanksgiving pie? (Your teeth)

Google Books
Father Christmas “It’s a Bloomin’ Joke” Book
By Raymond Briggs
Puffin
1994
Pg. 68:
What’s the best thing to put into a mince pie?
Your teeth.

Google Books
Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving
By Connie Roop and Peter Roop
Brookfield, CT : Millbrook Press
1999
Pg. 1:
Q: What is the best thing to put into a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving?
A: Your teeth!

Google Books
1001 Really Stupid Jokes
By Mike Phillips
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2000
Pg. ?:
What’s the best thing to put into a pizza?
Your teeth.

Google News Archive
21 December 2004, The Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, MO), “Merry Christmas from Mayor Knudtson,” pg. 22, col. 2:
Q. What’s the best thing to put into a Christmas cake?
A. Your teeth!

Google Books
Christmas Cracker Jokes
By Amanda Li
London: Macmillan Children’s Books
2014
Pg. ?:
What’s the best thing to put into your Christmas dinner?
Your teeth.

Twitter
Susan Lee
‏@susanleebooks
Q: What’s the best thing to put into a pumpkin pie? A: Your teeth.
4:35 AM - 24 Nov 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, November 26, 2014 • Permalink


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