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:
“The worst kind of loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself” (4/25)
“Loneliness is the ultimate poverty” (4/25)
“Fall off the turnip truck” (to be naive, uninformed) (4/25)
“Freedom of speech is not a license to be stupid” (4/25)
“He who controls the weather controls the world” (4/25)
More new entries...

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Entry from January 27, 2018
“What do you call it when Father Christmas claps his hands at the end of a play?"/"Santapplause.”

"Santapplause” (Santa Claus + applause) is a Christmas portmanteau word. “Broadway Santapplause” was used by New York-born gossip columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) in 1946.

A riddle has been cited in print since at least 1988:

Q: What do you call a man who claps at Christmas?
A: Santapplause.


A slightly different riddle was posted on Twitter on December 5, 2009:

Q: What do the elves call it when Father Christmas claps his hands at the end of a play?
A: Santapplause!



19 December 1946, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “In New York” by Walter Winchell, pg. 20, col. 1:
Broadway Santapplause.

Google Books
The Schoolkids’ Joke Book
By Brough Girling
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins Canada, Limited
1988
Pg. 10:
What do you call a man who claps at Christmas?
Santapplause.

Google Books
The Father Christmas:
It’s a Blooming Terrible Joke Book

By Raymond Briggs
London, UK: Puffin Books
1994
Pg. 95:
What do you call a man who claps at Christmas?
Santapplause.

23 December 2000, The Mirror, “Driving Us Crackers” by Michael Burke, pg. 31:
WHAT do you call a man who claps when he sees Santa?
SANTAPPLAUSE.

8 December 2002, Newsday (Long Island, NY), Kidsday sec., pg. 1:
What do you call a man who claps every Christmas?
Santapplause.

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Puns of the Weak 12/13/02
Stan Kegel
12/13/02
(...)
What do you call a man who claps at Christmas?
Santapplause ! (Kids Jokes)

Google Groups: alt.2600
merry xmas
Sober
12/15/03
(...)
What do you call a man who claps at Christmas ?
Santapplause !

Twitter
Bollywood Sargam‏
@bollywoodsargam
Christmas jokes - 2849 Joke: What do you call a man who claps at Christmas
?
Santapplause ! .... http://tinyurl.com/o5lsmz
3:12 AM - 27 Jun 2009

Twitter
george ginis‏
@georgeginis
What do the elves call it when Father Christmas claps his hands at the end of a play?
Santapplause!
3:31 PM - 5 Dec 2009

Google Books
Christmas Jokes
By Delphon Coker
Xlibris (Xlibrispublishing.co.uk)
2016
Pg. ?:
When Santa does something good and we clap for him, What do we call that?
Ans: Santapplause

Twitter
Midlands Arts Centre (MAC)‏
@mac_birmingham
What do the elves call it when Father Christmas claps his hands at the end of a play?
A: Santapplause! #BadJokeFriday
10:45 AM - 1 Dec 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Saturday, January 27, 2018 • Permalink