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:
“What do you call a Russian tree that grows meat?"/"Dimitri.” (8/15)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (8/15)
“How do you make Swiss cheese?"/"With a holey cow.” (8/15)
“Is a subpar golfer good or bad?” (8/15)
FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) (8/15)
More new entries...

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Entry from September 16, 2012
“Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?”

"Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?” is a jocular question that has been cited in print since at least 1988. The comedian Gallagher was credited for using the joke in 1989 and probably popularized the joke in his comedy shows earlier in the 1980s.


Google Books
More of the Straight Dope
By Cecil Adams (Ed Zotti)
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1988
Pg. 80:
Why do we drive on the parkway and park in the driveway?— Deidra N., Baltimore

23 May 1989, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), pg. 6C, col. 6:
Houston Astros pitcher Larry Andersen is, well, kind of a strange guy.
(...)
For instance, he would like to know why you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

24 October 1989, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, “Gallagher hammers home his message” by Dee Ann Rexroat, pg. 8A, col. 2:
You drive on a parkway, and park on a driveway.

Google News Archive
1 December 1989, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “After the 2nd millennium a decade comes to naught” by Brian O’Neill, pg. B1, cols. 1-2:
I hadn’t been this perplexed since 1 heard a comic ask, “Why do people park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?”

Google Books
The Gospel Through the Windshield:
A Devotional for Drivers

By Joseph William Seaborn
Indianapolis, IN: Wesley Press
1990
Pg. 92:
It’s a little confusing, but in America we park on driveways and drive on parkways.

28 July 1991, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Here’s the Pitch,” pg. D2:
The world’s 10 most perplexing questions, courtesy of San Diego Padres reliever Larry Andersen (drum roll, please):
(...)
Why do you drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?

Google Books
Naked Pictures of Famous People
By Jon Stewart
New York, NY: Perennial
2001, ©1998
Pg. 70:
Once, right before dessert, Jesus said to no one in particular, “Why do people park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?” It was kind of funny.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 16, 2012 • Permalink