Entry in progress—B.P.
“What do you think of the execution of the team?” (a sports version of the joke) became popular in 1979, when it was atttributed to Tampa Bay Buccaneers football coach John McKay (1923-2001).
[This entry was prepared with valuable research assistance from the Quote Investigator.]
2 July 1904, Brooklyn (NY) Life, pg. 5, col. 2:
“So you went to Dr. Pedal’s piano recital, eh? Tell me, what do you think of his execution.”
“To be thoroughly frank with you, I think he thoroughly deserved it.”
13 February 1907, Punch, or the London Charivari, pg. 113, col. 1:
THE EXTREME PENALTY.
(Two people are talking about a piano player’s performance.—ed.)
She. “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HIS EXECUTION?”
He. “I’M IN FAVOR OF IT.”
3 August 1916, The Patriot (Harrisburg, PA), “Little Benny’s Notebook,” pg. 6, col. 7:
WILLYUM, I red a good joak today, ma sed to pop after suppir yestidday.
Well then I avize you to keep it a secret, the joaks you dont tell are very funny, sed pop.
O, is that so, sed ma, well jest for that Im going to tell it and make you laff, its about a gerl playing the piano, and one man ses to anuther one, Wat do you think of her enunciation? and the uther man ses, Im in favor of it. . . .
I gess I dident git it ixactly rite, it seems to me perhaps enunciation izent the ixact werd, sed ma. . . .
And ma thawt a wile longer, and then she sed, Execution, thats it, execution, wat do you think of her execution? Im in favor of it, izent that a good joak.
It serteny is, and it was jest as good wen Noah brawt it over in the ark, sed pop.
Do you meen to say youve herd it before? sed ma.
O, not more than 2000 times, sed pop . . .
31 January 1936, Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL), “Hollywood Chatter” by Hubbard Keavy, pg. 6, col. 3:
Groucho Marx said he knew a Berlin song that was even worse. He’d forgotten the title, but he knew the words. Chico Marx remembered the music and played while Groucho sang this wartime lament. One line went, “The war makes butchers out of brothers.” After he sang, Groucho asked the audience what they thought of his execution. And, almost in chorus, a dozen voices shouted: “We’re in favor of it.”
28 June 1961, State Times Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Short Stories Reported from Capital Scene” by Vernon Louviere (State-Times Washington Bureau), pg. 8C:
He (New York Congressman Emanuel Celler—ed.) tells friends, “When I was a little fellow, I used to play the violin. My father invited Fritz Kreisler in to listen to me play one day and when I finished playing the third movement of the Mendelsohn Violin Concerto my father turned to Kreisler and said, ‘How do you like his execution?’, to which Kreisler replied, ‘I am in favor of it.’”
New York City • Music/Dance/Theater • Thursday, September 03, 2015 • Permalink