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:
“Surely, not everybody was kung-fu fighting” (4/24)
“Sometimes it’s not about how good you are, but how bad you want it” (4/24)
“It’s not how good you are. It’s how bad you want it” (4/24)
“My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are” (4/24)
“You’re going to shit yourself when I tell you the price” (joke) (4/24)
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Entry from January 23, 2019
“Where do you find a down-and-out octopus?"/"On squid row.”

"On squid row” is a pun on the expression “on skid row.” “What happens to a guy who drinks like a fish?  He winds up on squid row“ was printed in a 1981 joke book. “Where can vagrant fish be found? On squid row” was printed in many newspapers in 1984.

The usual form of the riddle has been cited in print since at least 2004:

Q: Where do you find a down-and-out octopus?
A: On squid row.



Google Books
Smokey the Shark, and Other Fishy Tales
By Charles Keller
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1981
Pg. 14:
What happens to a guy who drinks like a fish?
He winds up on squid row.

17 June 1984, Sunday Boston Herald (Boston, MA), “Junior Whirl” by Hal Kaufman, comics sec., pg. ?:
Where can vagrant fish be found? On squid row.

20 July 2004, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Just Joking,” The Bubble Gum Rapper, pg. 12A, col. 2:
Sarah: Where can you find a down-and-out octopus?
Mark: On squid row.

Twitter
Steve Volante
@ardentoctopus
http://ardentoctopus.mevio.com/ Where do you find a down-and-out octopus?
On squid row!
4:56 AM - 17 Apr 2009

24 December 2010, The Sun (London, UK), “Fishmas crackers” by Mike Kernan, pg. 61:
Where do you find a down-and-out octopus? On squid row.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Really Silly Jokes:
Humour for the whole family

By Geoff Tibballs
London, UK Constable & Robinson Ltd
2011
Pg. ?:
Where would you find a down-and-out octopus?
On squid row.

Google Books
Sensible Nonsense.. Frank’s Comic Pack:
Humour Pack Series, Volume 1

By Frank Paul
BookBaby
2014
Pg. ?:
Where do you find a down-and-out octopus ? On squid row !

Thought Catalog
16 Silly Squid Puns That Are Inkredible
January Nelson
Updated October 17, 2018
(...)
2. Where do you find a down-and-out octopus?
On squid row.

Twitter
You Are Joking
@lahlahbean
Where do you find a down-and-out octopus?
On squid row.
#wednesdaywit
4:09 AM - 16 Jan 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Wednesday, January 23, 2019 • Permalink