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 November 06, 2017
“A surgeon, an architect, and a politician” (joke)

What is the oldest profession?  “A surgeon, an architect, and a politician” is the start of a popular joke. The surgeon argues that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, so surgery is the oldest profession. The architect says that order was created out of chaos, and that was an architectural job. The politician then says, “But somebody created the chaos first!”

The joke was been cited in print since at least 1933.


8 August 1933, Wilmington (DE) Morning News, “Foreign Fun,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Looking Backwards
A surgeon, an architect, and a politician disputed which belonged to the oldest profession.

The surgeon claimed the distinction because Eve was made from Adam’s rib. That, he contested, was surgery.

“But,” said the architect, “before the advent of Adam order was made out of chaos. That was architecture.”

“Admitted,” said the politician, but who created the chaos?”

6 December 1934, Tampa (FL) Morning Tribune, “Proposing Chaos,” pg. 6, col. 2:
John Alsop had a favorite story about a surgeon, and architect and a politician, who disputed over which of the three represented the oldest profession. The surgeon: “Eve was made from Adam’s rib—that was a surgical operation.” The architect: “God made the universe out of chaos ‘’ that was an architect’s job.” The politician: “The politician came first—he made chaos.”

7 July 1936, The Times of India (Mumbai, India), “Current Topics,” pg. 8, col. 6:
Genesis
A surgeon, an architect, and a politician were arguing as to whose profession was the oldest.

Said the surgeon: “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that surely was a surgical operation.”

“Maybe,” said the architect, “but prior to that, order was created out of chaos, and that was an architectural job.”

“But,” interrupted the politician, “somebody created the chaos first!”

Google Books
February 1937, Wisconsin Catholic Clubwoman, pg. 73, col. 2:
PRECEDENCE
From Montreal Star.
A surgeon, an architect and a politician were arguing as to whose profession w-as the oldest.

Said the surgeon: “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that surely was a surgical operation.” “Maybe,” said the architect, “but prior to that, order was created out of chaos, and that was an architectural job.”

“But,” interrupted the politician, “somebody created the chaos first!”

Google Books
McHenry’s Quips, Quotes & Other Notes
By Raymond McHenry
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Pub.
1998
Pg. 338:
In a prestigious argument, a surgeon, an architect, and a politician debated over whose profession was the oldest. The surgeon boasted, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib. That was surgery!” “Maybe so,” said the architect, “but before that, order was created from chaos, and that was the work of an architect.” The politician quickly saw his cue and said, “But who do you think created the chaos?”

Graphic Joke
A surgeon, an architect, and a politician.
August 21, 2012 by grin
A surgeon and an architect, both English, were joined by an Irish politician, and all fell to arguing as to whose profession was the oldest.

Said the surgeon, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that surely was a surgical operation.”

“Maybe,” said the architect, “but prior to that, order was created out of chaos, and that was an architectural job.”

“Shure now,” interrupted the politician, “but somebody created the chaos first!”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, November 06, 2017 • Permalink