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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“Why did the Jewish man walk into a stop sign?"/"He wasn’t an observant Jew.” (10/18)
“Speed bumps are just expensive inverted potholes” (10/18)
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Entry from June 24, 2017
“A tragedy is a ship full of bankers sinking. A catastrophe is when they can all swim”

A joke about bankers is:

Q: What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?
A: A tragedy is a ship full of bankers going down in a storm. A catastrophe is when they can all swim.


The banker joke has been cited in print since at least 2012, and it has also been told about politicians and accountants. A old version of the joke has been credited to Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) and his alleged caustic remark about William Gladstone (1809-1898) falling into the Thames River.


C-SPAN
APRIL 12, 1991
Medical Liability Reform Sen. Hatch discussed the pending legislation to reform the medical liability system.
(...)
Benjamin Disraeli the prime minister of England was once asked to define the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe. After a moment’s reflection he said if his opponent Mr Gladstone were to fall into the Thames River that would be a tragedy. But if someone were to pull him out that would indeed be a catastrophe. I know a few people like that up here and I cannot decide whether the medical liability crisis in this release terms is a tragedy or a catastrophe.

Google Groups: talk.origins
[OT] Back from the Convention
Keith Bloom
8/1/04
Cyde Weys wrote in
news:Xns95387AD03483E2galopagosterrapincy@199.45.49.11:
> At least we agree on one thing ... Dubya getting re-elected
> would be tragic.

Q: What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?
A: If President Bush fell out of his helicopter and landed in the Potomac River, that would be a tragedy. If someone pulled him out again, that would be a catastrophe.

Apologies to Benjamin Disraeli.

Google Groups: alt.sports.baseball.ny-yankees
Wholesale designer bags
weheardthenews
5/5/10
(...)
DG, what is the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?  A tragedy is a shipful of illegal aliens going down in a storm.  A catastrophe is when they can all swim!

Roger CPA Review Blog
ACCOUNTANTS--BORING? NO WAY! LAUGH AT THIS.
Thursday, November 4, 2010 | Roger CPA Review
(...)
Q: What is the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?
A: A tragedy is a ship full of accountants going down in a storm.... A catastrophe is when they can all swim!

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of One-Liners
Compiled by Geoff Tibballs
London, UK: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2012
Pg. ?:
What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe? A tragedy is a ship full of bankers going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim.

Twitter
Phil Cassidy‏
@MartinCassdy
Whats the difference between a catastrophe and a tragedy.A Tragedy is a ship full of bankers sinking.A Catastrophe is when they can all swim
2:28 PM - 8 Mar 2013

Twitter
Vikas Sharma‏
@_VikasSharma
Wat’s difference betwen tragedy&catastrophe?A tragedy is a ship ful of Politician goingdown in a storm;a catastrophe is whn theycan all swim
8:59 AM - 14 Jun 2013

5 June 2014, Vancouver (BC) Sun, “Vancity banks on value-based future” by Michael Bernard, pg. D6:
“What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe? A tragedy is a ship full of bankers going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim.”

- From 25 Jokes About Bankers and Banking The world abounds in such jokes about bankers, particularly after the financial meltdown of 2008 and the U.S. government’s bailout of that country’s financial institutions.

Humoropedia
20 Best Banker Jokes
BY · PUBLISHED OCTOBER 6, 2014 · UPDATED SEPTEMBER 22, 2015
(...)
2. Bankers On A Ship
What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?
A tragedy is a ship full of bankers going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim.

Facebook
Bankers V/s Customers Jokes
May 16, 2015 ·
What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?
A tragedy is a ship full of bankers going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim.

Facebook
The Daily Coin
October 8, 2016 ·
What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe, a wag once asked? A tragedy is a ship full of bankers sinking. A catastrophe is when they can swim.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Saturday, June 24, 2017 • Permalink