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 October 30, 2017
“What happened to the monster that took the five o’clock train home?"/"He had to give it back.”

When people “take the train home,” they do not literally “take” the train, but a riddle is:

Q: What happened to the monster that took the five o’clock train home?
A: He had to give it back.


The joke has been popular at Halloween and has been cited in print since at least 1988.

“Do you take the train to work?"/"No way! The train takes me!” is a similar train joke.


Google Books
Dinosaur Jokes
By Laura Alden
Illustrated by Russell Rigo
Chicago, IL: Child’s Press
1988
Pg. 18:
What happened to the dinosaur that took the five o’clock train home?
He had to give it back.

Google Groups: rec.humor
HALLOWEEN
Nancy Carson
10/10/96
(...)
What happened to the monster that took the five o’clock train home? 
He had to give it back.

Google Books
Dr. Speedy’s Jokes and Riddles
By Higino Gonzalez
San Jose, CA: Writers Club Press
2000
Pg. 90:
Q: What happened to the monster that took the five o’clock train home?
A: He had to give it back.

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
[Fwd: Submit: Halloween Riddles]
Stan Kegel
10/30/00
(...)
What happened to the monster that took the five o’clock train home?
He had to give it back.  (By Paul Croft)

Google Books
Laugh and Learn Grammar: Grades 4-6
By Debra Housel
Westminster, CA: Teacher Created Resources
2007
Pg. 55:
What happened to the monster that took the six 6 o’clock train home?
He had to give it back.

Twitter
Oly Grocery Outlet‏
@OlympiaGO
Bad Joke of the Day:  What happened to the monster who took the 5 o’clock train home?  He had to give it back!  smile
10:26 AM - 30 Sep 2009

13 July 2010, The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Queensland), pg. 16:
Q: What happened to the monster that took the five o’clock train home?
A: He had to give it back.

Twitter
Gladstone‏
@HMTreasuryCat
What happened to the man who took the 5 o’clock train home? He had to give it back! #traingate
10:50 AM - 23 Aug 2016

Twitter
CommuterClub‏
@CommuterClub
A bit of transportation humour for your Thursday:
What happened to the man who took the 5 o’clock train home?
He had to give it back!
9:32 AM - 19 Oct 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Monday, October 30, 2017 • Permalink