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.

Recent entries:
“Big Bugs in the Big Apple” (James and the Giant Peach film, 1996) (5/6)
“Big Apple, 3 AM” (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time video game, 1992) (5/6)
Entry in progress—BP (5/6)
“Big Apple, 3 AM” (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time video game, 1992) (5/6)
“It’s the dream, the Big Apple” (Howard Stern’s Private Parts film, 1997) (5/6)
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Entry from July 26, 2020
Mask Debater

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic resulted in some requirements to wear face masks. Many people noticed that “mask debate” sounds like “masturbate,” and “mask debater” sound like “masturbator.”

“@hodakotb Referred to the Covid-19 protective mask discussion as ‘the great mask debate.’ It made Dr. Torres laugh because it sounded like ‘the great masturbate’” was posted on Twitter by TonyBristolUSA on March 31, 2020. “March 30, 2020 will be remembered as the day President Donald Trump became known as the Mad Mask-Debater” was posted on Twitter by Derrill Holly later on March 31, 2020.

“Mask Debate” was popularized on the HBO television show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on July 26, 2020, on the segment “And Now This: We Promise You: These People Are Not Saying ‘Masturbate.’”


Wikipedia: 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and was recognised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.

Twitter
ɹǝuɹnʇ ɯıʇ
@Tim91Turner
The “Great Mask Debate” kind of sounds like something else… heard it on the news and had to rewind it to really know what they said.
7:19 AM · Mar 31, 2020·Twitter for Android

Twitter
TonyBristolUSA
@TonyBristolUSA
@hodakotb Referred to the Covid-19 protective mask discussion as “the great mask debate.” It made Dr. Torres laugh because it sounded like “the great masturbate.” Kudos to
@TODAYshow copy writers who are now looking for a Dr McCraken. First name Phil.
7:27 AM · Mar 31, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Derrill Holly
@DerrillHolly
March 30, 2020 will be remembered as the day President Donald Trump became known as the Mad Mask-Debater
8:34 AM · Mar 31, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
cassie driver
@deweycutie
@hodakotb are you saying masturbate on tv?  Oh, mask debate!  Lol
9:17 AM · Mar 31, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
AgileTator
@AgileTator
This morning while watching The Today Show, did anyone else mis-hear the remark about “ the great mask debate “
and thought they said “ The Great Masturbate “ . . .
10:37 AM · Mar 31, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Peter J. Milanese
@pmilano1
I know what they really said was ‘The great mask debater’.... I didn’t hear it that way at first.
4:20 PM · May 21, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
James Hazelden
@jameshazelden
Mask debate sounds a bit like masturbate. There you go.
11:16 PM · May 21, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Michael Avila
@AtomicKnight
I think people who bitch about wearing masks and that they stomp on their “freedom”, should be called “Chronic Mask Debaters”.
5:30 PM · May 22, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
knoxdr0157
@knoxdr0157
“Let’s not politicize the mask debate”
I think Chuck Todd just called us
Mask debaters. #maskdebaters
9:58 AM · May 24, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Jami Mullikin
@jamimullikin
Anyone else giggle everytime the media says Mask Debaters? #meetthepress @chucktodd @adamcarolla
10:02 AM · May 24, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
RachPo
@RachPo
When I hear the phrase “mask debate” it sounds like “masturbate.”
11:51 AM · May 24, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Mask Debater
@MaskDebates
Pennsylvania is a Mask Debater Hero (anyone know who we send the certificate to?) #maskdebate #maskdebater #maskmandate #pennsylvania
Masks mandatory in all public spaces in Pennsylvania, Gov. Wolf says https://fox29.com/news/masks-mandatory-in-all-public-spaces-in-pennsylvania
4:45 PM · Jul 1, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
playclothes33
@playclothes33
Mask debaters sounds like masterbaters and I like that
#masks #masterbate
11:01 PM · Jul 1, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Mask Debater
@MaskDebates
Mask Debate Twice a Day #CoolIn4Words #maskdebates #maskdebater #maskdebating
Mask Debate Twice A Day Face Mask • Our Virtual Holiday
Comfy two layer protective face mask with black soft stretch ear straps. Inside layer consists of soft & cozy ultra breathable nylon spandex. Outer layer consists of anti microbial micro knit…
ourvirtualholiday.com
3:40 PM · Jul 24, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

YouTube
Last Week Tonight - And Now This: We Promise You: These People Are Not Saying “Masturbate”
Jul 27, 2020
Geoff Jacobs
From the July 26, 2020 episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”.

I do not own any of this content.

Twitter
Rob Z
@RobThez
One of the few upsides of having a Southern English accent with /ɑː/ sounds is that when I say ‘mask debate’ it can’t be confused with… Something else
8:53 AM · Jul 27, 2020·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Howard Chin
@HowardChin7
“Mask Debate” - what does that sound like if you say it over and over?  Thinking face
Last Week Tonight - And Now This: We Promise You: These People Are…
From the July 26, 2020 episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”. I do not own any of this content.
youtube.com
1:16 PM · Jul 27, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
FreddyG - Standup Comic
@OrangeFreddyG
John Oliver pointed out that “Mask Debate” sounds like masturbate. Honestly watching ppl have the former is more disgusting.
10:55 PM · Jul 27, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military/ Religion • Sunday, July 26, 2020 • Permalink