Wednesday, February 09, 2022

From the Dick Buchanan Files: The Old Joke Cemetery 1947 - 1972

Today's special on the delicious blog menu today: Some old gag cartoons courtesy of Dick Buchanan. We are at the intersection of the famous comedian Fred Allen and cartoonist Martin Branner. (Best known for the long-running Winnie Winkle comic strip.) Before Allen had his radio show and before Martin Banner was a full-time cartoonist, they were both in Vaudeville. Branner and his wife had been hoofers billed as "Martin and Fabbrini." They must have crossed paths with Fred Allen.

Via Wikipedia:

" ... Allen commissioned comic-strip artist Martin Branner to cover a theater curtain with an elaborate mural painting depicting a cemetery with a punchline on each gravestone. This was the 'Old Joke Cemetery,' where overworked gags go to die."


Taking his cue from this, we turn things over to the Master of Ceremonies, the Hon. Dick Buchanan. Thank you and take it away, Dick!


Laugh In Peace
(1947 – 1972)

The Old Joke Cemetery was created by comedian and humorist Fred Allen in 1922 for the Schubert Brothers Passing Show of 1922. It was a theater curtain with an elaborate mural painting depicting a cemetery with a punchline on each gravestone and crypt. As the audience began to read the jokes laughter ensued and by the time Mr. Allen appeared, the audience was in stitches. This was the "Old Joke Cemetery", where overworked gags go to die. Although, Fred Allen’s curtain no longer exists, The Old Joke Cemetery has survived. It now consists of a crypt chock full of aged gag cartoons. As chance would have it, the Old Joke Cemetery is located in New York’s Greenwich Village, just around the corner from the Cartoon Clip File. In fact, some days one can detect the faint aroma of stale jokes in the air. This is one of those days. Hold your nose and peruse some of the vintage gag cartoons interred in the poison ivy encrusted gag cartoon crypt of The Old Joke Cemetery . . .

1. DON TOBIN. Collier’s April, 1952.

2. REAMER KELLER. The Saturday Evening Post March 27, 1948.

3. JOE ZEIS. The Saturday Evening Post June 15, 1957.

4. CHON DAY. The Saturday Evening Post January 15, 1959.

5. JERRY MARCUS. American Legion Magazine November, 1963.

6. DICK CAVALLI. American Legion Magazine October, 1952.

7. AUBREY L. COX. American Magazine November, 1950.

8. GUSTAV LUNDBERG. Collier’s May 24, 1947.

9. VIRGIL PARTCH. For Laughing Out Loud October-December, 1956

10. GLENN BERNHARDT. American Legion Magazine August, 1966.

11. BOB ZAHN. Best Cartoons Male & Stag October, 1974.

12. CLYDE LAMB. Boys’ Life February, 1950.

13. STAN HUNT. The Saturday Evening Post September 27, 1958.

14. A.F. WILES Punch April 7, 1954.

15. SALO ROTH. The Saturday Evening Post. August 7, 1948.

16. SLIM (Robert Johnson) True Magazine February, 1972.

17. CORKA (Jon Cronin) Collier’s June 13, 1953.

18. STANLEY STAMATY. 1000 Jokes Magazine December – February, 1958.

19. VIRGIL PARTCH. True Magazine June, 1964.

20. JACK TYRELL. Argosy Magazine August, 1957.

21. DAN Mc CORMICK. The Saturday Evening Post August 8, 1953.

22. STAN HUNT. The Saturday Evening Post September 27, 1958.

23. PETER WYMA. American Magazine July, 1955.

24. JERRY MARCUS. American Legion Magazine September, 1954.

25. BARNEY TOBEY. This Week Magazine November 14, 1948. 

25. GEORGE DOLE (George la Mendola) American Legion Magazine August, 1965.


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