"I feel sorry for short people,” a popular joke goes. “When it’s raining, they’re the last to know.”
The joke has been cited in print since at least 1970. In 1971, the joke was credited to New York-based comedian Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004), who probably coined it.
“Midgets are the last to know when it rains and the first to know when it’s flooding” was credited in 1973 to actor and comedian Martin Mull.
Wikipedia: Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004) was an American stand-up comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!” and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles, especially in Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School.
4 March 1970, Boston (MA) Herald Traveler, “Hub-Bub” by J. J. Smith, pg. 10, col. 4:
And Roastmaster Lennie Meyers of WHDH, no physical giant, was told that “the only trouble with being short in stature is that when it rains, Lennie is the last to know it.”
19 October 1970, Bucks County Courier Times (Levittown, PA), pg. 1, col. 1:
I feel sorry for short people. When it rains they’re the last to know.
24 March 1971, San Diego (CA) Union, Don Freeman (TV-Radio Editor) column, pg. D-4, col. 1:
Rodney paused and shrugged. His expression turned from morose to philosophical. “Why complain?” he said. “I get no respect but everybody’s got problems. I really feel sorry for short people—when it rains, they’re the last to know!”
Google News Archive
7 November 1973, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), “Funny-man Martin Mull: Master of the gimmick” by Michael A. Barrett (UPI), pg. 36, col. 7:
His gimmicks have made him more than just another entertainer. He started with his midget band and coined: “midgets are the last to know when it rains and the first to know when it’s flooding.”
Google News Archive
18 December 1974, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Little people in a land of giants” by Ron Martz, pg. 1-C, col. 1:
Mack Herron is so short he’s the first to know when the sewers back up and the last to know when it rains.
Travel & Leisure
In Sarasota, Florida, a circus midget said the chief disadvantage of being short is that when it rains, short people are the last to know of it.
Hilarious Roasts, Toasts & One-Liners
By Gene Perret and Terry Martin
Edison, NJ: Galahad Books
I feel sorry for short people, you know. When it rains, they’re the last to know. — Rodney Dangerfield
I feel sorry for short people, you know. When it rains, they`re the last to know. by Rodney Dangerfield
1:22 PM - 9 Sep 2008
n when it floods, they’r the frst to drown RT @ayush_filth I feel sorry for short people, you knw. When it rains, they’re the last to know.
10:26 AM - 1 Feb 2011
Short ppl: last to know when it rains, first to know when it floods.
2:02 PM - 5 Nov 2011
Rodney Dangerfield: I feel sorry for short people, you know. When it rains, they’re the last to know. | #Quotes
7:23 PM - 15 Jul 2015