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 April 17, 2018
“What do you do with an elephant with three balls?"/"Walk him and pitch to the giraffe.”

An elephant riddle is:

Q: What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
A: Walk him and pitch to the giraffe.


The surprise answer reveals that this is a baseball joke. The joke has been cited in print since at least 1977.


2 January 1977, The Observer (London, UK), “How green are their fairways?” by Peter Dobereiner, pg. 14, col. 2:
His (Arnold Palmer—ed.) latest hit: “What do you do with an elephant with three balls? You walk him to first base and pitch to the giraffe.

20 June 1980, Nevada State Journal and Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, NV), “Hangin’ Out” with Guy Richardson, Entertainment sec., pg. 3, col. 3:
Best of Showtime (the TV show) this week: Question—What do you do with an elephant with three balls? Answer—Walk him and pitch to the giraffe.

Google Books
Thinking Through Writing
By Susan R. Horton
Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press
1982
Pg. 86:
Q: “What would you do with an elephant with three balls?”
A: “Walk him and pitch to the giraffe.

Google Books
Totally Tasteless:
The Collected Works (so far) of Blanche Knott

By Blanche Knott
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1983
Pg. 203:
What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
Walk him and pitch to the rhino.

Google Books
Jokes:
Outrageous bits, atrocious puns, and ridiculous routines for those who love jests

By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: Delacorte Press
1984
Pg. 60:
What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
Walk him and pitch to the giraffe.

Twitter
ɯɐɔoɹnǝu ǝɯʎɥ
@hyme
Q: What do you do with an elephant with three balls?? --->> A:  Walk him and pitch to the rhino!!
2:01 PM - 17 Sep 2007

Reddit—Jokes
What do you do to an elephant with three balls?
submitted May 19, 2013 by BTheFisch
Walk him, and pitch to the giraffe!

Reddit—Jokes
What do you do with an elephant with three balls?
submitted June 5, 2015 by Ezra611
Walk him and pitch to the rhino.

Twitter
Bad British Jokes
@BadBritishJokes
What do you do with an elephant with 3 balls?
Walk him and pitch to the giraffe. #joke #dadjokes #jokeoftheday #dadjoke #lol #lulz
7:15 PM - 17 Apr 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 • Permalink