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Odds & Ends

Trivial Stuff

The Two Black Crows

George Moran and Charles Mack were a successful vaudeville act, thatís way before even radio became widespread. These are excerpts of some of their amusing gags and jokes which made them famous.

History Note:

MORAN: Tell us, boy, how was jazz discovered?

MACK: By a dog with a tin can tied to his tail chasing a 1914 Lizzie with four flat tires.

He Had One:

MORAN: For heavenís sake, whatís wrong?

MACK: I just saw a ghost.

MORAN: Did he give you a start?

MACK: Brother, I didnít need any start.


MORAN: Nobody believes in dreams.

MACK: Oh, I do. I never did until one night I dreamed I was eating flannel cakes and when I woke up the blanket was gone. And I had another dream. I dreamed I was awake and when I woke up I was asleep.

Help Wanted:

A farmer recently advertised in an Ohio paper for a woman to wash, iron and milk two cows.

Wanted: A herder for one thousand sheep that can speak French fluently.

Simple Mathematics:

MACK: On our farm the white horses eat more than the black horses.

MORAN: Oh, thatís silly. Why should the white horses eat more than the black horses?

MACK: Oh, I wouldnít be bothered with that. We tried every way to figure it out and we couldnít figure any reason unless it was because we had more of the white horses.


MORAN: Say, big boy, I heard the other day that you are the man that was married in a cage of gold.

MACK: Yes, sir, I am the man.

MORAN: Did it seem exciting?

MACK: It did then, but it wouldnít now. By the way, Little Bit, what do men call themselves after they are married?

MORAN: Hush, man, hush. This ainít the place for that kind of language.

Fastest Human:

MORAN: You didnít appreciate the job I got you last week.

MACK: Well, that wasnít no good job.

MORAN: Why, certainly. I got you a good job and you got fired the second day.

MACK: Oh, a good jobóbathing dishes. Who ever heard of anything like that?

MORAN: Who said anything about bathing dishes? I got you the best kind of job. All you had to do was to stick your head through the hole in the canvas and when the man throws the eggs at you, all you have to do is duck.

MACK: I donít want to hear no more about that job. Duck eggs. That left-handed man was brutal.

MORAN: How do you mean?

MACK: Oh, you knew that man rung in a billiard ball.

MORAN: Well, when you saw the ball coming, why didnít you duck?

MACK: I did duck.

MORAN: Well, if you ducked, how did you get hit?

MACK: Well, I tried every way to figure it out and couldnít figure any reason unless it was because I paused too long. I would rather train lions. Thatís the kind of work I like.

MORAN: To be a lion trainer you would have to be very quick.

MACK: Well, I am quick. Iím so quick when I go to bed at night I turn out the light 20 feet from the bed and Iím in bed asleep before the room is dark.

Just Plain Horror:

MORAN: Do you believe in spirits, Lazy Boy?

MACK: I sure does. I went to de spiritualistís last night.

MORAN: You know him?

MACK: Yeh, heís de feller made my boss, Mr. Horowitz, change his name.

MORAN: Well, he conjured up a spirit for Mr. Horowitz, and right after that Mr. Horowitz went by de name of plain Mr. Horror. You see, de ghost he scared him out of his witz.

What, No Eggs?

MORAN: That was a pretty girl I saw you with last night.

MACK: Yes, thatís Birdie Nest.

MORAN: And why do you call her Birdie?

MACK: Because sheís pigeon-toed, has crowís feet, her mother calls her a goose, while her father feathered her nest and she has a bill with everybody.

What is a Miracle?

MACK: I had the worst dreams last night I ever had in my life. I donít want any more of those pills for my money.

MORAN: Why, I took one of those pills and I had a wonderful dream. I dreamed you owed me two dollars and you paid me.

MACK: Doggone, that was a dream all rightóthat part where I owed you two dollars was a dream all right, but that part where I paid you was no dream. That was a nightmare.

MORAN: That would be more than a nightmare. That would be a miracle, and I certainly hope you know what a miracle is.

MACK: Oh, yes, I know what it is. What is it?

MORAN: Well, now, lemme see. Well, if a man swims from the United States to England thatís a miracle.

MACK: Why is it?

MORAN: Because it is out of the ordinary.

MACK: Why is it out of the ordinary?

MORAN: Well, because itís miraculous.

MACK: Well, then, if a cow was in a pasture eating green grassóthat would be a miracle.

MORAN: No, that wouldnít be a miracle.

MACK: Well, ainít that funny? Why wouldnít it be a miracle?

MORAN: Well, because itís not miraculous.

MACK: Well, then, would a cow in a pasture eating grass be a miracle, huh?

MORAN: No, that wouldnít be a miracle.

MACK: Well, if the dog chased the cow out, would that be a miracle?


MACK: Well, a canary bird up in the tree singingówould that be a miracle?


MACK: Well, what would a cow sitting up in the tree singing like a canary be?

MORAN: You got it now. Boy that would be a miracle.

Who Wants the Worm:

MORAN: Always remember the early bird catches the worm.

MACK: The early bird catches what worm?

MORAN: Why, any worm.

MACK: Who cares about that?

MORAN: Everybody knows the early bird catches the worm.

MACK: Well, what about it?

MORAN: Catches it, thatís all.

MACK: Well, let him have it. Who wants a worm anyhow? Whatís the wormís idea in being there?

MORAN: The worm lives there.

MACK: Doggone I donít even know where he is.

MORAN: Why, heís home, thatís where he is.

MACK: Well, Iíd rather not hear any more about it. Which is the early bird? Which bird is early?

MORAN: Why the first bird gets there is the early bird.

MACK: What causes that?

MORAN: Because he is the first bird there.

MACK: Yeah, but suppose some other bird got there ahead of him. Boy, you donít seem to know anything.

Nobody Home:

MORAN: Good morning, Big Boy.

MACK: Good morniní, Little Bit.

MORAN: What makes you carry your head down so, why donít you walk with your head upright like me?

MACK: You eber bin froo a field ob wheat when itís ripe?

MORAN: Of course; whatís that to do with my question?

MACK: Oh, noffiní; did you eber notice some ob de heads staní up and some hang down?

MORAN: Yesówell?

MACK: Dem what stanís up am empty.

Long, Long Trail:

MORAN: Big Boy, you have the reputation of being one of the smartest men in creation, what do you think is the greatest feat you ever performed?

MACK: I made so many pairs of shoes in one day that it took two days to count them.

MORAN: Thatís nothing.

MACK: Can you equal it?

MORAN: I can double discount it.

MACK: Please do relate.

MORAN: When I was a boy I worked on a farm, and I built so much stone wall in one day that it took me a week to walk home again.

Drew the Line:

MORAN: Say, Big Boy, how is your oldest sister these days?

MACK: Oh, sheís all right.

MORAN: Where is she living?

MACK: Out in Twin Falls, Idaho.

MORAN: Married?

MACK: Yep.

MORAN: Any children?

MACK: Yep, twins.

MORAN: And your brother, where is he living now?

MACK: Three Rivers, Mich.

MORAN: Is he married?

MACK: Yep.

MORAN: Any children?

MACK: Yep, triplets.

MORAN: Is that so? Well, that is quite a coincidence. Your sister lives in Twin Falls and has twins and your brother lives at Three rivers and has triplets. You know, I was always fond of your youngest sister; she is an awfully nice girl. I donít suppose sheís married yet, is she?

MACK: No, dad says she canít marry.

MORAN: Your dad says she canít marry, why not?

MACK: ĎCause the fellow sheís stuck on lives up in The Thousand Islands.

Simple Proof:

MORAN: Whatís an alibi?

MACK: A alibi is proving that you was where you was when you wasnít; and that you wasnít where you was when you was.

And No Telescope:

MORAN: I see your wifeís back from California.

MACK: I always knew she wore a low-neck dress, but I never knew that you could see her back from California.

A Plea of Clemency:

A colored gentleman on trial for his life in a Tennessee town, was asked by the judge if he had anything to say, whereupon he replied: "All ah has to say is this, Judge: "If you all hangs me, you-all hangs the best bass singer in Tennessee.

World Wants:

MORAN: I saw some funny advertisements in the paper this morning under the head of wants.

MACK: What were they?

MORAN: WantedóThe lid of a box on the ear; the handle of the cup of affection; the cow that gave the milk of loving kindness; a leaf of the balm of consolation; a few hairs from the tale of woe.

Identification Marks:

MACK: Well, boy, Iím going down to feed the pigs so Iíll meet you down at the pig pen.

MORAN: Iíll meet you at the pig pen. You better keep your hat on so Iíll know you.

MACK: If I get there first, Iíll make a chalk mark and if you get there first, you rub it out.

Back to Earth:

MACK: Mr. Johnson, what are we made from?

MORAN: The good book says we are made from dirt.

MACK: Is that so? I can see now why you never take a bath.


MACK: If you do your name is mud.

Short and Snappy:

Great fire sale now going on; donít go elsewhere to be cheated, come in here.

Wanted: A smart young man to be partly outside and partly behind counter.

I have two nice, airy bedrooms for gentlemen twenty-two feet long and ten feet wide.

Widow in very comfortable circumstances wishes to marry at once two sons.

A gentleman advertised for a maid to do light housework, and one of the applicants asked where the lighthouse was located and if she could get ashore Thursdays.

Doggone Crazy:

MORAN: Whatís that youíre readiní there, boy?

MACK: Mah friení, I done got a letter from de Byrd Exhibition to the South Pole.

MORAN: Any news?

MACK: Yep. De letter tells about de dog I done give Admiral Byrd. And he wasnít no bird dog either. But de news is sad, brudder.

MORAN: Has anything happened to de dog? He ainít dead, is he?

MACK: Nope, itís worse dan dat. De dog, he done losí his mind.

MORAN: Maybe de Southern part of the world was too cold, hey?

MACK: No, de dogís mind snapped when de boys landed. De dog went crazy runniní around lookiní for de pole.


MORAN: Mr. Crow, you sure look downhearted. How come you ainít your regílar self today?

MACK: Iíse disgusted, datís what.

MORAN: How come you git so disgusted?

MACK: Well, itís mah wife. I come home de other night, loviní as could be and did sumpthiní I ainít done for a long whileóI kissed my wife.

MORAN: So what happened to git you feeliní so low?

MACK: ĎCause when I kissed her she slapped me down. She said: "De gas am turned off, de baby is sick, de butcher refused to give any more credit, and now you, my husband, come home drunk.

Success at Last:

MORAN: How do you get dat black eye?

MACK: De spiritualist give it to me.

MORAN: Why he hit you?

MACK: I hit him first, because my college teacher once gave me de advice.

MORAN: Advice? Did he tell you to hit the spiritualist?

MACK: Sort of, yeh. But before I hit dis spiritualist, I asked him if he was happy, and he said he was, so then I smacked him on de nose.

MORAN: Hey. I donít get dis, Big Boy. How come you got advice to hit de spiritualist when you ask him is he happy?

MACK: Well, de college teacher he done told me I would never amount to anything until I struck a happy medium.

Anchored with Paper:

MORAN: I learn by the public prints, Big Boy, that your house had a very narrow escape from destruction.

MACK: Yes, sir; it stood right in the line of the tornado, and was in the very center of the devastating devastiveness.

MORAN: How then did your house alone withstand the fury of the wind while your neighbors were rendered homeless?

MACK: Why, you see, I had my house so heavily mortgaged that the tornado couldnít budge it.

Check and Double Check:

MORAN: Datís a fine pair oí shoes youse weariní dere, my friení.

MACK: Yeh. I done cheated de store man out of dem.

MORAN: How come? I seen you give him de check. Ainít de check no good, nohow?

MACK: Sure, de check is got money behind it in de bank, but dat man he canít cash it.

MORAN: He can, too, I saw you sign it.

MACK: Sure I signed it, big boy, but wait till dat man git to de bank. I didnít fill in de amount.

Fit to Kill:

The wooden-legged preacher was admiring the hogs from outside the fence. "Ah, Broder Johnsing, dem hogs oí yourín is in fine condition."

"They sure is, parson. Ef all of us was as fit to die as dem hogs is there wouldnít be a thing for you to preach about."


MACK: I used to grow pigs. We used to buy young pigs in August and then we would sell them in April.

MORAN: What did you pay for the pigs in August?

MACK: Well, $4 each.

MORAN: What di you sell them for in April?

MACK: $4 each.

MORAN: You paid $4 in August and sold them in April for $4. Why, you canít make any money that way.

MACK: No, we found that out.