'Good evening ladies & germs' - WTH?!?

Does this ancient, cliched, Catskill comic opening line actually mean anything? Is there any double entendré implied with the word ‘germs’? Or is it just a simple (and dumb) substitution for gentlemen?

I’ve heard other variants of it (always substituting another word with a soft ‘g’); I think it is just a catch-the-audience-by-surprise-warm-up thing.

Far as I know, it’s just something silly along the lines of

Good evening ladles and jellyspoons!

IIRC, back in the 60’s there was a popular insult comic by the name of Jack E. Leonard who used the line quite a bit on TV.

Actually, it was Milton Berle, though others may have stolen his material:

Ladles and Jellyspoons;

I come before you to stand behind you, to tell you something I know nothing about. Next Thursday, which is Good Friday, there will be a mother’s meeting for fathers only. Admission is free, you can pay at the door; pull up a chair and sit on the floor. Now gather around and I’ll tell you the fable of the four square corners on the round table.

A speech I had learned in Cub Scouts mumbledy-mumble years ago, typed completely from memory. Now if I could just remember where I left my spare glasses.

Could Ladles and Jellyspoons have come from 1948? According to that site, the “poem” was sighted in: