Entry 646: Henny Youngman Tribute Post

Last month marked the 111th anniversary of Henny Youngman’s birth. He died when he was 91. (“The Doctor says ‘You’ll live to be 91!’ ‘I am 91!’ ‘See, what did I tell you?’”)

In case you’re too young to have heard of him, Henny Youngman was a stand-up comic. He was known as “the king of the one-liners.” He would stand on stage, looking uncomfortable, holding a violin for no apparent reason, and rattle them off, one after another. (“The patient says, ‘Doctor, it hurts when I do this.’ ‘Then don’t do that!’”)

He was a man out of time, performing the same act, often with the same jokes, long after his type of comedy had been overrun with “story-tellers.” The new guys were funnier perhaps, but you couldn’t tell their jokes to your friends the next day. (“The psychiatrist says, ‘You’re crazy.’ The man says, ‘I want a second opinion!’ ‘Okay, you’re ugly, too!’”)

Anyway, in tribute to this great man, I’ve come up with some one-liners of my own. But in keeping with this blog’s usual order of business, I’ve based them all on actual news stories. So below are summaries of the stories followed by the punchlines.

Airline Sacrifices Goat on the Tarmac Before Flight Takes Off. To ward off ‘evil eye’, Pakistan International Airlines reportedly sacrificed a black goat on the tarmac before the plane took off.

The Punchline: A white goat passed through security without a problem.

Live Cockroach Removed from Woman’s Skull in India. It came out through her nose.

The Punchline: Surgery was performed simply by turning on the lights.

Dolphins Seen Getting High on Puffer Fish. Footage shows dolphins passing a puffer fish to one another with their fins. The puffer fish release a toxin which produces a narcotic effect that the dolphins can deliberately manipulate for recreational drug use.

The Punchline: They’re smart, all right, but they still haven’t figured out how to get a pizza delivered.

Inventor of the Big Mac Dies. Michael Delligatti, one of the first McDonald’s franchisees, invented the Big Mac in 1967. He died at the age of 98.

The Punchline: He actually died months ago, but his body was kept warm under a heat lamp.

French Woman Wants to Marry Her Robot. She designed and 3D-printed the robot herself, and is now asking the French government to make such unions legal.

The Punchline: In a pre-emptive move, 3D printers have been banned in North Carolina.


School in Australia Bans Clapping at Assemblies. It did so to protect faculty and students who are “sensitive to noise,” and suggests (and I swear this is true): “Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.”

The Punchline: Five students were hospitalized after other students’ air punches went off target and smacked them in their excited faces.

Study Says Dinosaurs May Not Have Roared. According to the August print edition of the journal Evolution, dinosaurs may have actually mumbled or cooed like gentle pigeons.

The Punchline: If they didn’t mumble, they might have understood the warning about the asteroid.

Animals Kept In Deep Freeze For 30 Years Brought Back To Life. The 1mm long tardigrades were collected from a frozen moss sample in Antarctica in 1983.

The Punchline: Upon being revived, one of the tardigrades was heard to say, “Donald Trump? Really?”

Now that I think about it, mine sound more like SNL’s Weekend Update than Henny Youngman.  But thanks for the laughs, Henny. I’m sure you’re in heaven now where, if God sneezes, you won’t know what to say to him.

See you soon.

P.S. If you want to see Henny in action, click here.

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