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 July 24, 2014
“Why is monastery food so greasy?"/"It’s cooked by friars.”

The words “fryer” and “friar” have been the source of several jokes. One was told in 2005:

“Why is food in a monastery so greasy?”
“lt’s cooked by friars.”


A joke appeared in the Saturday Review in 1963 that was widely reprinted involved two monks who opened a fish and chips shop in front of their monastery. A lady asked, “Are you the fish friar?” “No, ma’am, I’m the chip monk,” was the reply.


Google Books
The Saturday Review
Volume 46
1963 (This Google Books date may be incorrect.—ed.)
Pg. 10:
It’s from Thomas W. Palmer, a Tuckahoe, New York, dentist who tells of two monks who set up a fish ‘n’ chips stand outside their monastery. One morning a lady came to the stand and asked the one in charge, “Are you the fish friar?”

He answered, “No, ma’am, I’m the chip monk.”

25 April 1963, Ludington (MI) Daily News, pg. 4, col. 2:
From the Saturday Review comes the story of the two enterprising monks who set up a fish ‘n’ chips stand in front of the monastery. One of the monks was tending the business one day when a lady customer inquired, “Are you the fish friar?” And the answer was, “No, ma’am. I’m the chip monk.”

Google Books
The Public Speaker’s Handbook of Humor
By Helen Eisenberg and Larry Eisenberg
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker
1972, ©1967
Pg. 88:
Fish and Chips. In England two monks had a little roadside stand near the monastery. A woman who came to buy said to one of them, “Are you the chip monk?”
“No,” he replied. “I’m the fish friar!”

Google Groups: rec.humor
It’s a small town & other stuff
cate3.o...@xerox.com.osbunorth
1/22/90
(...)
A traveling salesman once stopped along a deserted stretch of road at a monastary.  He was hungry and a sign outside the monastary read “Friday Night—Fish and Chips Dinner”.  Since it was Friday night and since he was hungry, he went in to try the food.

When he went in, he found that many others were there also.  This monastary had quite a reputation for its excellent fish and chips. Well, very soon the meal was brought out and put before him.  He began to eat and was quickly amazed at how great the food was.  He devoured his meal in minutes and then ordered more.

After he was finally through, he asked the waiter if he could meet the cook.  The salesman had to thank him for such an excellent meal.  The waiter agreed, and led the man into the kitchen and introduced him to the cook.  The salesman began to commend the cook’s great ability to cook fish and chips, when the cook interrupted.  “Wait a minute, wait a minute.  I am only the fish friar.  The chip monk is over there.”

Google Groups: alt.sex.stories
adult jokes 2 (http://WWW.RNE.COM)
SEAN MCFARLANDS
11/1/96
(...)
Did you hear about the 2 men from the monastery who opened up a fast food seafood restaurant??
one was the fish friar, and the other was the chip monk.

Google Books
The Everything Kids’ Gross Jokes Book:
Side-splitting Jokes That Make Your Skin Crawl!

By Aileen Weintraub
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2005
Pg. 95:
Why is food in a monastery so greasy?
lt’s cooked by friars.

Google Books
Jumbo Jokes And Riddles Book:
Hours of Gut-busting Fun!

By Beth L. Blair
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2007
Pg. 329:
Why is food in a monastery so greasy? It’s cooked by friars.

Google Books
Jokelopedia, Third Edition:
The Biggest, Best, Silliest, Dumbest Joke Book Ever!

By Eva Blank, Alison Benjamin, Rosanne Green, Ilana Weitzman and Lisa Sparks
New York, NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
2013
Pg. ?:
Why is monastery food so greasy?
It’s all cooked by friars.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, July 24, 2014 • Permalink