You wanna buy a duck?

I need to know the origin of this phrase, and please let’s not get into the mystique of Joe Penner–it’s not his line. It’s not. OK? The query is ancient and deeply rooted in long-forgotten societies. While I was perusing some of his unpublished research papers on the matter, I found a brief fragment of a passage in which H.P. Lovecraft reveals the pitch had, at one time, been made to Cthulhu itself.

I know the SDMB and I have had our differences, but please help me out here. My very sanity depends on at least some of you setting your own aside for a few moments to do me this one charity.

Are you sure that you don’t mean “Why a duck?”?

Who the hell is Joe Pienner?

There are not enough facepalms.

How 'bout a hint?


nm. i didn’t realize the OP was going off into HP Lovecraft territory.

Joe Pennerwas a comedian and actor with the catchphrase “Wanna buy a duck?”

However, I have no idea what the OP is asking.


Those old cartoons were pretty dark.

This was a coded message, right?

Duck is an intrinsically funny word. No one knows why.

well, because if you suddenly shout “duck!”, it may not be clear whether you saw a critter or are issuing a warning

A duck joke doesn’t echo.

It has a k in it. K’s are funny.


You don’t know the origin of the duck phrase, and I do not know eider. Sorry.

How do you get down off an elephant?

With a ladder, Silly.

The phrase as I understood it was first found in a cave near Lascaux inscribed in Aramaic and later translated into Latin by Pontifex Spinifex as “Velisne ad anas redimere hoc”. Some think that he may have misinterpreted this as one source believes the original was being transcribed and the orator may have had something thrown at him (which may or may not have been a duck), a relatively common response to travelling salesmen at the time.

The attribution to C’Thulhu was a misdirection by the Church (specifically Pope Clement I) to keep the truth about things (like ducks) being flung at honest, hard working businessmen by early Fundamentalist Christians who got the whole bit about throwing out the money lenders completely wrong. This would have caused a huge outcry (and quacks as ducks inevitably got hurled about) and the complete fragmentation of Christianity well before Luther, or The Great Schism, which was a result of publicly showing a fragment of the Duck Manifesto (Anas Manifesto), as it came to be called.

A lesser known (but related) catchphrase: “Come to my house for a duck dinner. You bring the duck.”

It was used by a charater who also has a better-known cathcphrase but used this about as much.

Ducks cost a lot of money. If you need to buy one, best go to the bank for a loon.