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 December 04, 2017
“If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?”

"If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?” is a joke on police Miranda warnings that has been printed on many images. The saying has been cited in print since at least 1995 and 1996, and is of unknown authorship.

American comedian George Carlin (1937-2008) is sometimes credited, but he is not responsible for the one-line saying. There is also no evidence that American author Jess Walter—whose writings are mostly in the 2000s—is responsible for the saying.


Wikipedia: Miranda warning
The Miranda warning, which also can be referred to as a person’s Miranda rights, is a right to silence warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.

The Miranda warning is part of a preventive criminal procedure rule that law enforcement are required to administer to protect an individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its functional equivalent from a violation of his or her Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the Supreme Court held that the admission of an elicited incriminating statement by a suspect not informed of these rights violates the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, through the incorporation of these rights into state law. Thus, if law enforcement officials decline to offer a Miranda warning to an individual in their custody, they may interrogate that person and act upon the knowledge gained, but may not use that person’s statements as evidence against him or her in a criminal trial.

George Didn’t Say That! (Part 2: The Bogus Quote List
Various one-liners, part 3
21. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Google Books
What a College Senior Should Know When the Barrel Is Empty and the Party Is Over
By Charley Swayne
C. Swayne
1995
Pg. 82:
When a mime is arrested, he should not have the right to remain silent.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Eternal Questions
Stuart A. Bronstein
10/2/96
(...)
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

4 November 1996, Quad-City Times (Davenport, IA), Bill Wundram column, pg. 2A, col. 1:
IF the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Google Books
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grammar and Style
By Laurie Tozakis
New York, NY: Alpha Books
1997
Pg. ?:
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell her that she has the right to remain silent?

4 March 1997, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), “Brians at bottom of IQ food chain,” pg. 12:
Just a thought: “If the police arrest a mime artist, do they tell her she has the right to remain silent?” (Anon, via Greg Roth).

Google Groups: rec.humor.jewish
“Puns of the Weak” 12/08/00
Stan Kegel
12/13/00
(...)
If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent? (George Carlin)

Google Books
Jokes Over Easy:
1,386 delicious jokes from the best comedians

By Judy Brown
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble
2003
Pg. 146:
If the cops arrest a mime, do they have to inform him of his right to remain silent?
-- JAY LENO

Twitter
JC‏
@jmanbme
If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
1:33 PM - 27 Mar 2007

Twitter
David Brown‏
@neoblog
If cops arrest a mime… do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
11:46 AM - 7 Aug 2007

Google Books
Do Vegetarians Eat Animal Crackers? and Other Questions You Might Not Think To Ask!
By Robert Bimler
Lulu Press (Lulu.com)
2008
Pg. ?:
If a mime gets arrested, do the police tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Funny Status
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has…
May 27, 2011 Silly Status Updates
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes
By Geoff Tibballs
London, UK: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2012
Pg. ?:
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
GEORGE CARLIN

Twitter
Brazos Bookstore‏
@BrazosBookstore
“If a police officer arrests a mime, does he need to tell him he has the right to remain silent.” - @Jess__Walter Reading tonight at 7!
6:13 PM - 20 Mar 2013

Google Books
Laughter Never Gets Old:
Wisdom and Wit for the Young at Heart

By Bob Phillips and Jimmy Hawkins
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2015
Pg. 26:
If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, December 04, 2017 • Permalink