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:
“Where do construction workers go to drink?"/"The Rebar.” (10/16)
“I’m gonna be a Social Justice Warrior for Halloween” (joke) (10/16)
“I threw a boomerang at a ghost the other day. I knew it would come back to haunt me” (10/16)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/16)
“What’s a police officer’s favorite gaming console?"/"WII U WII U WII U WII U WII U WII U.” (10/16)
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Entry from September 24, 2017
“The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades”

"The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades” is a one-line saying that has been printed on many images. It’s not known who first told the joke.

New York City-born comedian Demetri Martin popularized the joke and has used it in his routine since at least 2003.


Wikipedia: Charades
Charades (UK: /ʃəˈrɑːdz/, US: /ʃəˈreɪdz/) is a parlor or party word guessing game. Originally, the game was a dramatic form of literary charades: a single person would act out each syllable of a word or phrase in order, followed by the whole phrase together, while the rest of the group guessed. A variant was to have teams who acted scenes out together while the others guessed. Today, it is common to require the actors to mime their hints without using any spoken words, which requires some conventional gestures. Puns and visual puns were and remain common.

Wikipedia: Demetri Martin
Demetri Evan Martin (born May 25, 1973) is an American comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer, and humorist. He is best known for his work as a stand-up comedian, being a contributor on The Daily Show, and his Comedy Central show Important Things with Demetri Martin.

Google Books
Plays and Players
Issues 352-363
1983
Pg. 47: 
... and one dying of a heart attack as those about him continue their game of charades, believing his charade involves feigning a heart attack.

25 November 1996, Ottawa (ON) Citizen, “Voisins puts new humor in old cliches” by John Hare, pg. C12:
Les Voisins by Claude Meunier and Louis Saia, a wry look at the world of the suburban Quebec family in the 1960s, was a great success at the Theatre de l’Ile last season.
(...)
In the end, Fernand collapses while miming ``heart attack’’ in a game of charades.

17 August 2003, Sunday Times (London, UK), “It’s all geek to me” by Adrian Turpin, pg. 5:
Demetri Martin spent his time at university inventing three- dimensional crossword puzzles and learning to tap-dance.
(...)
The best of his one-liners have a gnomic quality to them. “I think the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.”

29 March 2005, Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, “Stand-up goes beyond the mic” by Lenny Ann Low, pg. 14:
In his first visit to Melbourne, American comic Demetri Martin uses a selection of drawings and sweet-tempered tunes on guitar and glockenspiel to illustrate his smart, gently delivered one-liners. Martin’s poetic, traditionally structured jokes reflect on the way digital cameras allow us to reminisce immediately, that the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades and that if you add the word “ladies” to the end of any sentence you’re guaranteed to sound like a sleaze.

Twitter
TechMonkey‏
@dbobo
“I think the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades”
5:05 PM - 10 Jul 2007

Twitter
Matt Craig‏
@mattcraig
The worst time to have a heart attack is while playing charades!
11:07 AM - 3 Oct 2007

Twitter
Del Williams‏
@delwilliams
I think the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades...or a game of fake heart attack.
-- Demetri Martin
5:21 PM - 15 Nov 2008

YouTube
Man has heart attack playing charades
Funny Ad Stars
Published on Jan 27, 2014
Group of friends are unaware that man has had a heart attack whilst plying charades and they think that he is still acting !

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Having a heart attack during a round of charades would be a terrible time to have a heart attack
submitted April 8, 2014 by fuckingoverit

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
A game of charades is the worst time to have a heart attack.
submitted September 24, 2017 by stalinismydaddy

Posted by Barry Popik
Sunday, September 24, 2017 • Permalink