New York-born actor, film director and comedian Woody Allen said in his comedy act in the 1960s:
“I was the sensitive kid, poet. There were tough kids in my class, there was a kid in my class named Floyd. Floyd used to sit in the dumb row in school, y’know. Vegetable mentality, y’know. I made friends with him years later when we got older, I removed a thorn from his paw. Once, I was on my way for my violin lesson when I was a kid, and I’m walking past the pool room, and Floyd and all of his friends are out, y’know, they’re swiping hubcaps, in Brooklyn, from moving cars, which is really...amazing.”
Walt Frazier, who first played for the New York Knicks basketball team in 1967, was said (in 1969) to be so quick that he could “steal hubcaps off moving cars.”
A related Rodney Dangerfield joke is: “I live in a tough neighborhood. They got a children’s zoo. Last week, four kids escaped.”
Wikipedia: Woody Allen
Heywood “Woody” Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, December 1, 1935) is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker and playwright, whose career spans more than 50 years.
He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes and scripts for television and publishing several books of short humor pieces. In the early 1960s, Allen began performing as a stand-up comedian, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes. As a comedian, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he maintains is quite different from his real-life personality. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen in fourth place on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, while a UK survey ranked Allen as the third greatest comedian.
Woody Allen - Standup Comic
I was the sensitive kid, poet. There were tough kids in my class, there was a kid in my class named Floyd. Floyd used to sit in the dumb row in school, y’know. Vegetable mentality, y’know. I made friends with him years later when we got older, I removed a thorn from his paw. Once, I was on my way for my violin lesson when I was a kid, and I’m walking past the pool room, and Floyd and all of his friends are out, y’know, they’re swiping hubcaps, in Brooklyn, from moving cars, which is really...amazing.
Google News Archive
20 January 1966, The Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL), “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 29, col. 3:
His (Woody Allen—ed.) boyhood friends used to steal hubcaps— off moving cars.
22 April 1967, Life magazine,"Woody" by Paul O’Neil, pg. 95, col. 1:
One of the high spots of his act concerns Floyd– “He used to sit in the Dumb Row at school...a vegetable mentality in a leather jacket”—who swipes hubcaps “from moving cars” and waylays young Woody outside the Jerome Avenue subway.
Coaching, Athletics, and Psychology
By Robert N. Singer
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
An article in Newsweek (December 15, 1969) described Prazier as follows: Other Knicks have suggested that Frazier is so quick he can snatch flies out of midair and steal hubcaps off moving cars, and those cracks also please him.
By Lee Guthrie
New York, NY: Drake Publishers
In later years, he especially remembered Floyd, who was adept at stealing hub caps...from moving cars. This hyperbole was necessary to get across the full depth of Floyd’s toughness, meanness and proclivity toward being a bully.
29 August 1992, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Farrow-Allen pairing had hallmarks of family” (Seattle Times), pg. B6, col. 1:
A much younger Woody Allen bragged on the Ed Sullivan Show” that he grew up in a neighborhood that was so tough the teenage hoodlums stole hubcaps off moving cars.
Rodney Dangerfield: I came from a real tough neighborhood. On my street, the kids take hubcaps - from moving cars. | #Quotes
10:23 AM - 6 Jan 2016