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:
Great Plains (11/11)
“An apology is a promise to do things differently next time, and to keep the promise” (11/10)
“Commercials for prescription drugs would be better if the actors had to act out the side effects” (11/10)
“Money for jam” (easy money) (11/10)
“No matter where you go, there you are” (11/10)
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Entry from April 04, 2016
“Diner: Is soup on the menu? Waiter: No, I wiped it off.”

An old restaurant joke about something “on the menu” is:

Customer: “Is there any soup on the menu today?”
Waiter: “There was, sir, but I just wiped it off.”


The joke was cited in the New York City humor magazine Life in 1921. Many foods—besides soup—have been used in the joke.

“The menu had many different kinds of food on it. So I asked, ‘Can I have a clean one?‘“ is a similar menu joke.


Google Books
3 March 1921, Life magazine, pg. 328, col. 2:
... the seedy Waiter, who explained that, “we did have soup on the menu, sir, but I wiped it off”; ...

Google News Archive
8 March 1941, New London (CT) Evening Day, “The Chatterbox,” pg. 8, col. 7:
Customer: “Is there any soup on the menu today?”
Waiter: “There was, sir, but I just wiped it off.”

Google News Archive
8 October 1969, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), “Fun Time—The Chuckle Box,” pg. 2, col. 6:
Customer: Is there any soup on the menu?
Waiter: There was, but I wiped it off.

Google Books
Joys of Jewish Humor
By Henry D. Spalding
Middle Village, NY: Jonathan David Publishing
1996
Pg. 259:
“Waiter, how come there’s no coffee on the menu?”
“Because I wiped it off!

Google Books
The Everything Kids’ Joke Book:
Side-Splitting, Rib-Tickling Fun

By Michael Dahl
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2001
Pg. 15:
Luna: Is there any tapioca pudding on the menu?
Waiter: There was, but I wiped it off.

Twitter
Marvin Swartz
‏@popicomedyhour
A man asked the waiter if he has soup on the menu. The waiter says we did yesterday, but I wiped it off.
9:53 PM - 20 Jul 2009

Google Books
Jolly Jokes for the Young at Heart
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2010
Pg. 137:
Customer: “Is there stew on the menu today, waiter?”
Waiter: “No, sir. I wiped it off.”

Twitter
Frank Bunton
‏@TwistinFrank
Diner: “Is there any soup on the menu?”
Waiter: “There was, but I wiped it off.”
4:45 AM - 16 May 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Monday, April 04, 2016 • Permalink