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:
“There is no Planet B” (3/21)
“I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit” (3/21)
“If the climate were a bank, it would have been saved by now” (3/21)
“Why did the homophone cross the rowed?"/"To get to the other sighed.” (3/21)
“You can’t ride two horses with one behind” (3/21)
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Entry from February 17, 2018
“If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way”

"If your wife want to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way” is a jocular one-line saying that has been printed on many images. “Warning: If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way” was published in the Canyon (TX) News on October 8, 1952. “Fellow comes forward to offer this advice: ‘If you wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way’” was published in The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) on October 12, 1952. Authorship is unknown.

Brooklyn humorist Sam Levenson (1911-1980) used the line in his book, You Don’t Have to Be in Who’s Who to Know What’s What (1979), and is frequently credited for the saying. However, Levenson does not appear to be credited for the 1952 saying before the 1979 book, so it’s unlikely that he said it first.


Wikipedia: Sam Levenson
Samuel Levenson (December 28, 1911 – August 27, 1980) was an American humorist, writer, teacher, television host, and journalist.

8 October 1952, Canyon (TX) News, “Just Between You, Me and the Gatepost” by Lawrence Hunnicutt, pg. 11, col. 1:
Warning: If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.

12 October 1952, The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), “Southern Accent,” pt. 4, pg. 5, col. 6:
Fellow comes forward to offer this advice: “If you wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.”

1 February 1953, Atlanta (GA) Journal and Constitution, “Around Town” by Hugh Park, pg. 8-B, col. 1:
“If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.”

28 August 1953, Courier-Post, (Camden, NJ), “Life Hereabouts” by Jake Weiner, pg. 3, col. 1:
TODAY’S BRIGHT REMARK (from the Public Service News): “If your wife wants to learn to drive...don’t stand in her way.”

Google Books
The Sourcebook of Humor
By James C. Hefley
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House
1968
Pg. 67:
Sam was just home from the hospital and giving his neighbor some friendly advice. “Man, if your wife ever wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.”
(The “Sam” here is not Sam Levenson.—ed.)

Google Books
Nothing But Winners:
Over 6,000 one-liners, alphabetized and categorized for easy reference

By Pat Williams and Ken Hussar
Wilmington, DE: TriMark Pub. Co.
1984
Pg. 507:
If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes
By Geoff Tibballs
London, UK: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2004
Pg. ?:
If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.
SAM LEVENSON

Google Books
Phillips’ Treasury of Humorous Quotations
By Bob Phillips
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers
2004
Pg. 77:
If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way. — Sam Levenson

Google Books
You Don’t Have to Be in Who’s Who to Know What’s What:
The Wit and Wisdom of Sam Levenson

By Sam Levenson
New York, NY: Open Road Distribution
2016 (Originally published in 1979)
Pg. ?:
If your wife want to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.

Twitter
John Welford‏
@welfordwrites
#quote If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way. Sam Levenson
2:20 AM - 13 Feb 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Saturday, February 17, 2018 • Permalink