Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:31 PM
ambushed is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 2,712

What's the "Hard-boiled egg" joke?


I've been hearing the punch line (or at least the last line) of a joke (however poor) for years, especially in MST3K/RiffTrax vids. It's something like "no, make that three hard-boiled eggs".

Huh? My older brother knows hundreds if not thousands of jokes. but he's never heard of that one, and no one else I've asked has either.

But surely some among the teaming millions know it, so if you do, would you please share it?
  #2  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:43 PM
Inner Stickler's Avatar
Inner Stickler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 15,191
I assume it's a reference to this.
  #3  
Old 10-31-2019, 05:44 PM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 41,125
As far as I know it's from A Night at the Opera as Inner Stickler says. I use that a lot but not many people get it.
  #4  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:32 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
No one watches the Marx Brothers any more. They're way too far over most people's heads.
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #5  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:22 PM
SCAdian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,776
"And one duck egg."
  #6  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:36 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
No one watches the Marx Brothers any more. They're way too far over most people's heads.
I think you’re right. The level of intelligence in this hemisphere has declined to the point where most of us can no longer understand the popular humor enjoyed amongst our grandparents.

99 per cent of Millenials would be mystified at the image of a man dressed in a sardine barrel, or bewildered at someone crushed by a falling safe.

Nov shmoz ka pop.
__________________
Uke
  #7  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:38 PM
Two Many Cats is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,044
I got that riff, but one old timey throwaway joke puzzles me. "You wanna buy a duck?" Sometimes followed by "Why a duck?" The Borscht Belt/Greatest Generation would always snigger knowingly at this.

Was it dirty or something? I know what duck rhymes with, but c'mon.
  #8  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:55 PM
Hatchie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Boston
Posts: 95
"You wanna buy a duck" was something the comic Joe Penner used to say (not to me) on the radio. It got laffs. I doubt there was any subtext, although you can supply your own if you like (you naaaasty man!).

"Why a duck" is not related. I think it was part of a Chico Marx (those Marxes again!) routine where someone used the word "viaduct", and Chico would answer ... you get it.

Here's one I don't get: "Hmmm, nice piece of material!", used now and then in Warner Bros. cartoons - obviously someone's catch phrase, but whose?
  #9  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:59 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,830
“Why a duck?” Was a Groucho/Chico routine in The Cocoanuts, the Broadway smash hit that became the first (1929) Marx Bros. movie. Yeah, it was based on “viaduct.”
__________________
Uke
  #10  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:12 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchie View Post

Here's one I don't get: "Hmmm, nice piece of material!", used now and then in Warner Bros. cartoons - obviously someone's catch phrase, but whose?
I found a web link suggesting it was Joe Besser's phrase. https://cartoonresearch.com/index.ph...his-lamp-1948/
  #11  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:35 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,738
In the future people will be baffled when old-timers say "D'oh!" or "That's what she said." Catch phrases have a limited life.
  #12  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:38 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
In the future people will be baffled when old-timers say "D'oh!" or "That's what she said." Catch phrases have a limited life.
Absolutely. Old books will be published in annotated form so that there can be footnotes from the editor explaining who "Kato Kaelin" was, or "Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent."
  #13  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:25 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchie View Post
"Why a duck" is not related. I think it was part of a Chico Marx (those Marxes again!) routine where someone used the word "viaduct", and Chico would answer ... you get it.
"Why a duck" is a reference, not a catchphrase. It only appeared in one comedy routine (unlike "Wanna buy a duck?" which Joe Penner used all the time).

When people say it, they are referring to the Marx Brothers routine. It was only funny within the routine, and when people used it to show they knew the routine. AFAIK, it was not used in any professional comic's routine.

It's the same with "And two hard boiled eggs," though that's far less common.
  #14  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:33 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,775
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchie View Post

Here's one I don't get: "Hmmm, nice piece of material!", used now and then in Warner Bros. cartoons - obviously someone's catch phrase, but whose?
It's possible that this referred to a (presumably then-popular) joke about a tailor.
  #15  
Old 11-01-2019, 12:37 AM
Hatchie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Boston
Posts: 95
A tailor? Hmmm.
Sam, you made the pants too long!

Hard boiled eggs and nuts!
  #16  
Old 11-01-2019, 12:59 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchie View Post
Hard boiled eggs and nuts!
You forgot the "Hmmph!" at the end.

"There's no such place as Wasatchekan."
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #17  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:07 AM
RioRico is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: beyond cell service
Posts: 412
Somehow my ancient mind conjures an image of a jokester cracking a "hard boiled" egg on the fall guy's head, only it's not hard boiled after all, ha ha.
  #18  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:17 AM
nightshadea is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: a condo in hell 10th lvl
Posts: 5,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
I found a web link suggesting it was Joe Besser's phrase. https://cartoonresearch.com/index.ph...his-lamp-1948/
he also used it when he was with the 3 stooges hed look at an attractive girl and run a finger down her arm and say it and usually would get smacked by either the girl or moe .....
  #19  
Old 11-01-2019, 07:28 AM
Two Many Cats is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
he also used it when he was with the 3 stooges hed look at an attractive girl and run a finger down her arm and say it and usually would get smacked by either the girl or moe .....
I didn't know Moe was a #MeToo supporter.
  #20  
Old 11-01-2019, 08:39 AM
BlueInfinity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 213
I think it's just an alternate and slightly silly way to measure time. It takes around ten minutes to boil an egg, but that's not the point. He means that something is happening that he expects will take X time, but then something went wrong so now it'll take Y (Y>X).
  #21  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:53 AM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 41,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
In the future people will be baffled when old-timers say "D'oh!" or "That's what she said." Catch phrases have a limited life.
The Simpsons being cancelled?! Have you heard something?
  #22  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:59 AM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 41,125
I have no idea where the 'material' line started. It was used in a Seinfeld episode with George. I have some inkling of a very old, maybe 1930s short, not the Stooges, with some comedian feeling the material. There are a lot of old jokes about tailoring and clothes manufacturing that points to 'material'. I don't even remember the body of the joke now, but one punchline was a guy falling or jumping off a building and shouting "Cut velvet!" on the way down.
  #23  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:42 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
I have a feeling the "material" line came from some gangster movie, like Humphrey Bogart fingering George Raft's lapel just before he whacks him:

"Hmmm, nice material. Who's your tailor?"
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #24  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:45 AM
Johnny L.A. is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 61,830
In case anyone doesn't like watching videos, here is the Stateroom Scene:

Quote:
Driftwood plans a rendezvous with Mrs. Claypool in his stateroom. Then he finds out how small it is (a third class cabin, about the size of a janitor's closet), and that he, his steamer trunk, and the bed barely fit in it. Driftwood discovers that Fiorello, Tomasso, and Ricardo have stowed away in his steamer trunk and discarded his clothes. Fiorello insists on eating ("We getta food or we don't go"). Driftwood calls a steward ("I say, Stew") and orders dinner.
Driftwood: And two medium-boiled eggs.
Fiorello: (inside room): And two hard-boiled eggs.
Driftwood: And two hard-boiled eggs.
Tomasso: (inside room): (honk)
Driftwood: Make that three hard boiled eggs.
This continues until Fiorello and Tomasso each have ordered about a dozen hard-boiled eggs and Driftwood has ordered about everything else—including coffee to sober up some stewed prunes. This is just a set-up for the famous "Stateroom Scene", in which a total of 15 people crowd into Driftwood's tiny cabin.
  #25  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:51 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchie View Post
Hard boiled eggs and nuts!
"You're 'better' now. Hmmph!"
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #26  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:59 AM
tullsterx is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
I think you’re right. The level of intelligence in this hemisphere has declined to the point where most of us can no longer understand the popular humor enjoyed amongst our grandparents.

99 per cent of Millenials would be mystified at the image of a man dressed in a sardine barrel, or bewildered at someone crushed by a falling safe.

Nov shmoz ka pop.
I might agree but for the fact that the Marx Bros is about the only comedy in history I just don't get. I mean, much of Shakespeare is hilarious, but the Marx Bros are just over my head. I find that hard to believe. But, at the end of the day it's true that I just don't get it.
  #27  
Old 11-01-2019, 11:18 AM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by tullsterx View Post
I might agree but for the fact that the Marx Bros is about the only comedy in history I just don't get. I mean, much of Shakespeare is hilarious, but the Marx Bros are just over my head. I find that hard to believe. But, at the end of the day it's true that I just don't get it.
Absurdism isn't your cup of tea?
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #28  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:49 PM
bizerta is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: wilmington, ma
Posts: 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
I think you’re right. The level of intelligence in this hemisphere has declined to the point where most of us can no longer understand the popular humor enjoyed amongst our grandparents.

99 per cent of Millenials would be mystified at the image of a man dressed in a sardine barrel, or bewildered at someone crushed by a falling safe.

Nov shmoz ka pop.
I think context has a lot to do with humor. The line wouldn't be funny if it had only been said once.

When I was in OCS, we were not allowed to watch television for the first 8 weeks. Every Tuesday, the instructors would come in mimicking Sammy Davis, Jr, "Here come de judge". None of us saw the humor in it until we were allowed to watch Sammy do it, in judges robes, with the white wig, with that big gavel of his. After that, all one had to say was, "Here come de judge" and we all knew what he was talking about.
  #29  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:26 PM
SmartAleq's Avatar
SmartAleq is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 5,425
Pretty sure "Here come de judge!" was Flip Wilson.
  #30  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:37 PM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 36,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
In the future people will be baffled when old-timers say "D'oh!" or "That's what she said." Catch phrases have a limited life.
I'm not so sure. Both have meaning outside their reference. "D'oh" came from and is a sounds humans make when exasperated. And I honestly have no idea what piece of fiction "That's what she said" is referencing--I just know it's a joke about how something someone said could be interpreted as sexual.

I do agree with your general claim: jokes based only on references have a dated shelf life. They're funny because they remind us of a funny context in which they were said. But I think your examples are of those which aren't entirely based on references.
  #31  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:44 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
Pretty sure "Here come de judge!" was Flip Wilson.
Sammy Davis, Jr, on Laugh-In, I think.

Flip's catch phrase was "The Devil made me do it!"
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #32  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:14 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Sammy Davis, Jr, on Laugh-In, I think.
It was originated by Pigmeat Markham in the 50s. Davis was imitating it and it was considered new, since Markham didn't perform for white audiences due to segregation.

Markham wasn't happy, but that was assuaged and he joined the Laugh-In cast the next season.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #33  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:18 PM
Two Many Cats is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by tullsterx View Post
I might agree but for the fact that the Marx Bros is about the only comedy in history I just don't get. I mean, much of Shakespeare is hilarious, but the Marx Bros are just over my head. I find that hard to believe. But, at the end of the day it's true that I just don't get it.
If you wouldn't mind clarifying, when you say "over my head" do you mean that you don't understand Marx Brothers jokes, or that you understand what they mean, but the joke just falls flat for you? Because there is a big difference there.

Personally, I liked the Marx Brothers a lot more when I was younger. It may be oversaturation, but I still find Monty Python funny, even after having seen their bits over and over. Certainly more times than I've watched Duck Soup.
  #34  
Old 11-01-2019, 07:35 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 42,446
It also could be a reference to the tapeworm joke.

(somewhat off color joke follows)

Man has a tapeworm, but cant afford a real Doctor, goes to a quack. The quack sez "i will need 3 hard boiled eggs, two chocolate covered cherries and a hammer. "

The man is gobsmacked.

The quack explains. "We insert a hard boiled egg up your anus. Followed by a chocolate covered cherry. Next day the same. Third day, just the egg. When the tapeworm sticks his head out looking for his dessert, I smash him with the hammer."




  #35  
Old 11-01-2019, 07:51 PM
Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 21,351
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAleq View Post
Pretty sure "Here come de judge!" was Flip Wilson.
And Shorty Long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tullsterx View Post
I might agree but for the fact that the Marx Bros is about the only comedy in history I just don't get. I mean, much of Shakespeare is hilarious, but the Marx Bros are just over my head. I find that hard to believe. But, at the end of the day it's true that I just don't get it.
Maybe you need a laff track so you know where the jokes are.
  #36  
Old 11-01-2019, 07:52 PM
RTFirefly is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 39,904
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
No one watches the Marx Brothers any more. They're way too far over most people's heads.
"All I can offer you is a Rufus over your head."
  #37  
Old 11-01-2019, 07:59 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
That was recorded ten years after Markham performed it.
  #38  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:34 PM
Lumpy's Avatar
Lumpy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 16,699
Groucho Marx never actually said this, but it would have fit him perfectly:

[Angry Man]: "Do you take me for a fool!?"
[Groucho]: "Well that's beside the point..."
  #39  
Old 11-05-2019, 10:49 AM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,830
Awfully close to this throwaway exchange in A Night at the Opera:

Detective Henderson: “Am I crazy, or are there four chairs in here now?”
Otis B. Driftwood: “Which question do you want me to answer first, Henderson?”
__________________
Uke
  #40  
Old 11-05-2019, 11:01 AM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 42,616
The rapid-fire dialog was sometimes difficult for the brain to decipher and required additional listening. This one, for instance, from Duck Soup:

Quote:
Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You'd better beat it; I hear they're gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
  #41  
Old 11-05-2019, 12:59 PM
Snarky_Kong is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
In the future people will be baffled when old-timers say "D'oh!" or "That's what she said." Catch phrases have a limited life.
"That's what she said" is self-contained. No need for any cultural context.
  #42  
Old 11-07-2019, 03:16 PM
Fleetwood's Avatar
Fleetwood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: NH-US
Posts: 1,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
I didn't know Moe was a #MeToo supporter.
Nah, Moe was a member of the Woman Haters Club. Not a very good one, but a member. (YouTube clip)
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017