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 May 18, 2019
“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” is a jocular saying about mothers that has been printed on many images. “DELAY: If evolution really works, Ed Dussault asks, how come mothers still have only two hands?” was printed in the Centre Daily News (State College, PA) on December 21, 1976. Ed Dussault probably wrote the line that month for the Saturday Evening Post.

“If evolution works, how come mothers still have only two hands?” was the early form of the saying, but around 2000, it came to be written as, “If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” Also around 2000, American comedian and actor Milton Berle was credited as the author, but there is no evidence that Berle—who notoriously used others’ jokes—said it first.


21 December 1976, Centre Daily News (State College, PA), “Good Evening!,” pg. 1, col. 3:
DELAY: If evolution really works, Ed Dussault asks, how come mothers still have only two hands?

Google Books
Quote Unquote
By Lloyd Cory
Wheaton, IL: Victor Books
1977
Pg. 102:
If evolution works, how come mothers still have only two hands?
(ED DUSSAULT)

23 February 1977, The Mercury (Pottstown, PA), pg. 39, col. 4 ad:
“If evolution really works how come mothers still have only two hands.”
(Edward James Oldsmobile.—ed.)

15 July 1977. The Daily Standard (Sikeston, MO), pg. 2, col. 6:
A DARWINIAN FLAW?
If evolution really works, how come mothers still have only two hands?
Ed Dussault

13 May 1979, Sunday Star (Toronto, ON), pg. A3, col. 6:
If evolution really works, how come mothers have only two hands?

Google Books
Meditations for New Mothers
By Beth Wilson Saavedra
New York, NY: Workman Publishing
1992
Pg. 265:
If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?
ED DUSSAULT

Google Books
A Mother’s Love:
Reflections and Memories

By Jane Resnick
New York, NY: Smithmark Publishers
1995
Pg. ?:
If evolution really works, how come mothers still have only two hands? - ED DUSSAULT

Google Books
Don’t Stop Laughing Now!:
Stories to tickle your funny bone and strengthen your faith

By Barbara Johnson, Ann Spangler and Shari MacDonald
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
2003
Pg. 157:
If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? -Milton Berle

Twitter
JJ
@jjmac
just ordered my mom some flowers.  barely in time.  If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?  ~Milton Berle
7:26 PM - 6 May 2008

Google Books
The Snark Handbook: Parenting Edition:
Morning Sickness, Potty Training, Rebellious Teens, and Other Joys

By Lawrence Dorfman
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2013
Pg. ?:
If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? —MILTON BERLE

Twitter
Courtenay Elementary 🐾
@CourtenayTigers
“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” -Milton Berle
#HappyMothersDay
4:10 PM - 12 May 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Saturday, May 18, 2019 • Permalink