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 01, 2018
“Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies”

"Friends help you move. Best/Real friends help you move bodies” is a saying that has been printed on many images. “A friend is someone who’ll help you move; a best friend is someone who’ll help you move a body” was posted on the newsgroup alt.fan.letterman on March 12, 1994, referring to New York City-born stand-uo comedian Dave Attell’s appearance on the television show Late Night with David Letterman. “Quote of the Day: ‘Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.’ - Dave Attell” was posted on Twitter on February 13, 2009.

“Friends help you move. Good friends help you move a body. Best friends bring their own shovel” was posted on Twitter on February 7, 2010. Authorship of this variation is unknown.


Wikipedia: Dave Attell
David Attell (born January 18, 1965) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and writer, best known as the host of Comedy Central’s Insomniac with Dave Attell, which gave him a cult following. Born in Queens, New York, he grew up in Rockville Centre, New York with his cousins, the Small family, and now lives in New York City. Patton Oswalt and Bill Burr have hailed him as the greatest off-color comedian alive.

Google Groups: alt.fan.letterman
Name of the stand-up comic the other night?
Ben Bass
3/12/94
I’m not ordinarily a big stand-up comedy fan, but the other night Dave had a guy on who had a series of good lines that I really enjoyed.  I only caught part of his act, and missed his name.  The guy I refer to had lines such as “a friend is someone who’ll help you move; a best friend is someone who’ll help you move a body” and a shtick about a mafioso delivering the evening news. 

Can someone tell me this guy’s name?  I want to go see him if he ever comes to Chicago.  Post oe e-mail with your answer.  Thanks!
(...)
Fozzie Bear
3/14/94
(...)
His name is Dave Attell...he’s also in spots for Comedy Central. He’s a writer for SNL, just as Fred Wolf (formerly on CC’s “Comics Only"), also in the sketch is.

Google Groups: rec.humor
RAH - April - Part 2
jjt@iri14 infores com
4/4/94
(...)
Friends help you move.  Real friends help you move bodies.

19 September 1994, Networld World (Southborough, MA), “Call it vacation” by Scott Bradner, pg. 24:
A few truisms:

* Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

31 March 1995, Daily News (New York, NY), “Comedy Tonight” by Donna Coe, pg. 63, cols. 3-4:
Garry Shandling emceed HBO’s “Young Comedians Special,” featuring Dave Attell. Tonight at the Comedy Cellar, the “Jon Stewart” writer will display his edgy humor: “A friend is someone who will help you move. A best friend is someone who will help you move a body.”

16 March 1996, Vancouver (BC) Sun, “Karma & dogma: A miscellany of fascinating factoids, prosaic and profound,” pg. D18:
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

Google Books
When Some Body Disappears:
The Third Brett Higgins Mystery

By Therese Szymanski
Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press
1999
Pg. 36:
Friends help friends move, real friends help friends move bodies.

Google Books
The Everything Toasts Book:
Find the Right Words for Any Occasion—from Weddings, to Business Functions, Holidays, Gatherings, and More

By Dale Irvin
Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation
2000
Pg. ?:
“Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies. Here’s to my real friends.”

Google Books
The Wonderful and Surprising History of Sweeney Todd:
The Life and Times of an Urban Legend

By Robert L. Mack
New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic
2007
Pg. XIII:
Friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies. (Anonymous)

Twitter
Twila Marie
@twila_zoned
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.
12:46 AM - 23 May 2007

Twitter
Eric Scheid
@ericscheid
Replying to @angusf
@angusf good friends help you move house. really good friends help you move a body.
7:41 AM - 23 Jul 2008

Twitter
Ashley Maniw
@ashleymaniw
Quote of the Day: “Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.” - Dave Attell
1:20 PM - 13 Feb 2009

Twitter
Emmy, the Unpaid Cat Maid™
@emeraldjaguar
Friends help you move. Good friends help you move a body. Best friends bring their own shovel.
7:17 PM - 7 Feb 2010

Google Books
Last Day on Earth:
A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter

By David Vann
Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press
2011
Pg. 98:
Another of Steve’s favorite T-shirts: “Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.”

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of One-Liners
Edited by Geoff Tibballs
London, UK: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2012
Pg. ?:
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

Twitter
Ƹ̵Ӝ̵̨̄ƷJhiéssKriég®
@thevolves
Remember, friends help you move. Good friends help you move a body. Best friends bring their own shovel.
9:19 AM - 27 Jan 2013

Google Books
The Secrets She Keeps:
A Novel

By Michael Robotham
New York, NY: Scribner
2017
Pg. 314:
Real friends tell each other. Real friends help you bury bodies. Real friends bring their own shovel and don’t ask questions.

Twitter
lorraine Jo King
@LahLahBean
#sidesplittingsunday
Friends help you move.
Real friends help you move bodies.
3:21 PM - 1 Jul 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, July 01, 2018 • Permalink