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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 10, 2020
“I fell off a 30 foot ladder yesterday. I’m fine, I was only on the second rung”

A joke has it that a person fell off a tall ladder (25 or 50 or 90 or 100 feet). Then, however, it is revealed that the person slipped on only the second rung.

The ladder joke has been cited in print since at least 1922.


Newspapers.com
13 October 1922, Kansas City (KS) Advocate, pg. 4, col. 5:
A Kansas City carpenter fell off a 50-foot ladder the other day without being injured. He fell off the second rung from the bottom.

Newspapers.com
16 January 1941, Lathrop (MO) Optimist, pg. 8, col. 1:
John Bob Walker: I fell off a 30 foot ladder yesterday.
John Bill Bridewater: And you didn’t even get hurt?
John Bob: Oh, no, I was only on the second rung when I slipped.

Newspapers.com
29 January 1950, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Maw Green” comic strip by Harold Gray, comics sec.:
“HE JUST FELL OFF’N A NINETY-FOOT LADDER”
“...WAS HE KILLED INSTANTLY?”
“NA! HE ONLY FELL OFF’N TH’ SECOND RUNG!”

Google Books
Night Lamp
By Jack Vance
New York, NY: A Tor Book
1996
Pg. 83:
“Ten years ago I fell off a ladder and I was only on the second rung.”

Google Groups: sci.med.dentistry
fluorosis (how much fluoride?)
Joel M. Eichen
12/9/04
(...)
Yeah, a neighborhood kid fell off a thirty foot ladder ...... but he was unharmed ....

He was only on the second rung, thank God.

Twitter
Happy
@PastorHappy
Replying to @shoestringing
@shoestringing Some people use ladders… I fell off a forty foot ladder yesterday. Good job I was only on the second rung when it happened.
6:41 PM 路 Mar 28, 2009路Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Rod A. White
@WriterRod
BREAKING NEWS: A man fell off a 75 foot ladder today and suffered only minor grass-stains. Miracle? Nah, he was only on the second rung! =)
8:19 PM 路 Feb 24, 2010路Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Les Hyne 馃弽
@leshyne
Bit sore. Fell off a 5 metre ladder today. Luckily I was only on the second rung.
11:44 AM 路 Jan 28, 2012路Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
I Kent even
@kentgrossarth
Fell off a 20-foot ladder today but I was only on the second rung so it’s all good.
1:21 AM 路 Aug 21, 2013路Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Bob Kostic
@causticbob
I fell off a IOOft ladder once, luckily I was only on the second rung
4:41 PM 路 Jan 28, 2017路Twitter Web Client

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/MobileBrowns May 5, 2020
I fell off of a twenty foot ladder today :(
I鈥檓 ok though, I was only on the second rung.

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/Po1sonator June 11, 2020
I fell off a 30 foot ladder yesterday.
I’m fine, I was only on the second rung.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Wednesday, June 10, 2020 • Permalink