I have searched online, but in vain, to find a definite origin to this phrase.
It seems to be a general sort of description to describe a fan club or social society.
LA Dodgers announcer Vin Scully uses it frequently when he reads some glowing statistic for a player, for example, “That’s the 35th homer of the season for Joe. That will be good news to the members of the Joe Blow Marching and Chowder Society”.
The reason the above reply appears to have been written by a drunk, illiterate person, is:
I was drinking wine, holding on to the phone calling my local talk show to shoot down two loonies about the Albany UFO and The “current” UN sex scandal. The scandal is 8 months old, and the UFO is probably rods. I had to talk and write at the same time. NOt a good combo.
Chuck Thanks for that info. That certainly predates Kelly.
Squink I’m still trying to find a verifiable source in your links. I have only read them through one time, but they seem to be all second and third hand info, with no actual cites to the phrase being used.
“Squink I’m still trying to find a verifiable source in your links.”
Yes, in amongst the google links was a ref to a C&M society in Maine being formed in the ~1850’s. That and the U of Rhode Island Oceanography organization (uri.edu) should be fairly simple to verify, but maybe not through just the internet.
The article isn’t an actual cite of the phrase from the 1870’s, but it certainly implies that the phrase was used back then. If you want more, you could try e-mailing the author as indicated in the link.
Damn, the article being from admitted New England storytellers, I did wonder a bit. Further digging revealed several claims that the term dates to the 1800’s, but nothing definite shows up before ~1940.
The 1920s Algonquin gang were dubbed the “Thanatopsis Literary and Inside Straight Club” by F.P. Adams, in a reference to Sinclair Lewis’s novel Main Street. Although the famous Will Cotton caricature painting is labelled “The Thanatopsis Pleasure and Inside Straight Club.”
In their endless self-referential writings, some of the members substituted “chowder” somewhere in there. Let me look for a cite.
At least two of those guys, Benchley and Sherwood, were New Englanders.
Well, thanks to Barry Popik(You know, “Windy City” and “Big Apple”? Yeah, that guy) we can cite it from 1939. I don’t know how that squares with the comic strip origin.
Mr. Popik dug up: 2 June 1939, NYTimes, p.37.
Lee Gould of the branch chapter formed by the Elizabethan Chowder and Marching Society at Harvard University will lead an open forum on the relative merits of blasting operations.
I realize I’m about 8 years late to this particular party, but I was trying to figure out what exactly a “Marching & Chowder Club” was, and I stumbled upon this thread. I figured I’d share this link that I came across, wherein during a 1974 interview, one Dr. Shaw Livermore claims to have been a member of the Buffalo Marching & Chowder Club from 1934 to 1940. From the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/livermores.htm