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 June 11, 2019
“The hotel towels were so thick, I could hardly close my suitcase”

Many people steal hotel towels. A joke was told in the column “The Hotel Guest” by Jack Geyer, in the Los Angeles (CA) Times on November 19, 1956:

“In New York I wound up at one of the ritzier hotels. (...) And the bath towels were so thick I could hardly close my suitcase.”

The joke was credited to comedian Nipsey Russell (1918-2005) in 1965. Some people recall actor and comedian Bob Hope (1903-2003) telling the joke on a television special. Baseball player and manager Yogi Berra (1925-2015) has been credited with the joke since the 1990s, but the joke had already been well known by that time.


19 November 1956, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Hotel Guest” by Jack Geyer, pt. 3, pg. 5, col. 1:
In New York I wound up at one of the ritzier hotels. Someone else made the reservation.

It was real swanky. There were three faucets in the bathroom—hot, cold and Chanel No. 5.

And the bath towels were so thick I could hardly close my suitcase.

27 August 1965, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, Hy Gardner column, pg. B26, col. 3:
Matty Simmons, the Diners Club executive, reports Nipsy Russell staying at a Miami Beach hotel where the towels were so thick and fluffy he could hardly close his suitcase!

25 August 1969, Daily Press (Newport News, VA), “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 10, col. 2:
Taffy Tuttle reports her vacation hotel was very plush: “Why, the towels were so thick I couldn’t close my suitcase!”

14 December 1974, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, Earl Wilson syndicated entertainment column, pg. 6, col. 1:
Nipsey Russell recalled working in an elegant new resort hotel: “A real fancy place. The towels were so thick and fluffy you could hardly close your suitcase.

16 July 1999, Orlando (FL) Sentinel, “Ex-Evans star joins Magic at summer league camp” by L.C. Johnson, pg. C6:
Also at the opening, summer-league game was well-traveled NBA director of scouting Marty Blake, who is working on a new book. It’s entitled, The Towels Were So Fluffy I Couldn’t Close My Suitcase. The book will detail Blake’s life on the road and his favorite hotels.

Google Groups: soc.culture.iranian
Have a nice long weekend everyone.
VEBTAR
9/4/99
Yogi Berra Quotes
(...)
“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”

Google Books
Life Is an Excellent Adventure:
An Irreverent Personal Odyssey

By Jerry Funk
Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing
2003
Pg. 118:
It brought to mind the old Bob Hope line about how “the towels were so thick I could hardly close my suitcase.”

Google Books
The Athlete’s Way:
Sweat and the Biology of Bliss

By Christopher Bergland
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2007
Pg. 224:
The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
YOGI 8ERRA

Google Books
Tommy Cooper All In One Joke Book
Compiled by John Fisher
London, UK: Random House
2014
Pg. ?:
The hotel was fine, but the towels were so thick, you couldn’t close your suitcase!

Twitter
Doug
@MichiganMan_2
Quote of the day
The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase ~ Yogi Berra
10:00 AM - 23 Jun 2016 from Alpena, MI

Twitter
Madhu
@arian_earthling
I stayed in a hotel where the towels were so thick, I could hardly close my suitcase.
12:57 AM - 9 Jun 2019

Reddit—Oneliners
Posted by u/nabaderp June 10, 2019
I stayed in a hotel where the towels were so thick, I could hardly close my suitcase.
COMMENTS
fufaloo
r/Frasier line from Harold Moon

aelbaum
This is a Bob hope joke from his special in Hawaii

Jammer97
That’s one of my favorite Yogi Berra sayings

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityHotels • Tuesday, June 11, 2019 • Permalink