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 20, 2013
“I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.” (stand-up comedian joke)

"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, you’ve been a wonderful audience. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal. And don’t forget to tip your servers” is a classic line that a Borscht Belt comedian in the Catskills in the 1960s might have told his audience. However, early citations have not been found. Tim Allen, the star of television’s Home Improvement and the co-host of the 1992 Emmy Awards, popularized the joke after a terrible monologue, when he told the audience:

“Try the veal, I’ll be here all week.”

While veal is the food most often used in the joke, audiences have also been told to try the brisket, the borscht, the fish and the chicken. The food is often skipped entirely, with the joke being simply, “I’ll be here all week.”


TV Tropes
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all week.” Said after a joke that didn’t go over.

Google News Archive
31 April 1992, Madison (IN) Courier, “Emmy Awards drags on and on” by Scott Williams (AP), pg. 4, col. 3:
At one point, he (Tim Allen—ed.) even used a standup’s throwaway to a tough room:

“Hey, try the veal; I’m here all week.”

31 August 1992, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “Highlights—and lowlights—of Emmy night,” pg. C4:
The Johnny Carson Best Comeback During a Lousy Monologue Award: Tim Allen, while bombing as co-host: “Try the veal, I’ll be here all week.”

Google Books
Pieces of the Sky
By David L. Paterson
New York, NY: Samuel French
1996
Pg. 37:
JOSHUA: I’m not good at delivery - and yet they make me a mailman! Ba-doom-bump. Thank you—I’ll be here all week—try the Brisket.

Google Books
Ten on Sunday:
The Secret Life of Men

By Alan Eisenstock
New York, NY: Atria Books
2003
Pg. 112:
“Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Phil. He’s here all week,” I say. ‘Try the veal,” Phil says.

Straight Dope Message Board
elmwood
01-03-2006, 09:53 AM
I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.
Little quips like “try the veal” and “remember to tip your servers” often appear after bad one-liners in SDMB posts, and on many other message baords.

Uni-Watch
Nike to Sponsor Borscht Belt Comedy Tour
By Paul Lukas, on May 19th, 2006
(...)
Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Try the brisket, it’s terrific.

Google Books
Killer Instinct
By Joseph Finder
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2006
Pg. 140:
I pantomimed a Borscht Belt rimshot in the air. “Thank you, you’re a wonderful audience, I’m here all week,” I said. “Try the veal chop, it’s great.”

New York magazine—Vulture
7/24/08 at 1:00 PM
Joss Whedon Will Be Here All Week. Try the Veal.

Google Books
The Noncyclist’s Guide to the Century and Other Road Races:
Get on Your Butt and into Gear

By Dawn Dais
Berkeley, CA: Seal Press
2009
Pg. 14:
Not as in, “I’ll be here all week! Tip your wait-staff!” sort of touring, but more along the lines of “Have bike, will travel.”

WordReference.com
DeuxExpats
5th October 2009, 4:58 AM
There’s an expression in English that I find quite funny, and I’m wondering if there’s an equivalent in French.

“I’ll be here all week.”

If someone makes a funny joke that gets a laugh, he might follow it up with “Thanks, I’ll be here all week.”

This imaginatively places the speaker in the role of a comedian who is doing stand-up comedy in a club for the rest of the week. It’s another joke that one adds on, and it’s an admission of self-consciousness about telling jokes in the first place.

a list of things thrown five minutes ago
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
PAGING THE LATE WILLIAM SAFIRE:  You know the cliched closing line from standup comics: “Thank you! I’ll be here all week!  Try the veal! Don’t forget to tip your waitresses!”
Here’s what I couldn’t help but wonder:  why veal?  Did this derive from some particular comic’s routine?

Straight Dope Message Board
Mewl Dear
02-28-2012, 07:40 PM
I’ll be here all week, try the veal.
I hear it all the time.
Anyone know where it started?

Google Books
A Vaporous Collection of Moments:
Short Stories and Essays on the Absurdities of Life

By Dominic Macchiaroli
Pneuma Springs Publishing
2013
Pg. 88:
“Friends and countrymen, lend me your ears. Caesar is dead because some bad guys killed him. Bummer. (Applause) Thank you! I ‘ll be here all week, enjoy your dinner.”

Privateer Press Forums
Sosthenes
02-26-2013, 11:29 AM
(...)
Here all week, try the borscht…

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theater • Tuesday, August 20, 2013 • Permalink