Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1934

Funny Bones, 1934

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 25, 2008

What would Saturday be without the traditional Keepa resurrection of some jokes from old Mormon magazines? The Improvement Era of 1934 this time —

Origin of “Nom de Plume”

Visitor: “And what’s your name, my man?”

Prisoner: “9742.”

Visitor: “Is that your real name?”

Prisoner: “Naw, dat’s just my pen name.”

High Geared

“Your boy friend talks too much. He rattles on like a flivver. I’m afraid he is a flat tire.”

“I know, pa, but his clutch is grand.”

Common Complaint

“You’re looking bad, old man. What’s the trouble?”


“But you always said your wife was a pearl.”

“So she is. It’s the mother o’ pearl that’s the trouble.”

He Was Interested

“What’s the matter with Ted?”

“Too conceited. The other day he bought a book called ‘What Two Million Women Want,’ just to see if they spelt his name right.”

Today’s Storyette

A Scot was having a heated argument with a street car conductor about the fare. The conductor insisted it was 7 cents, but the Scot was holding out for a nickel. Finally, as the car stopped, the conductor became exasperated and grabbed the Scot’s valise, hurling it off the car, with the suggestion that the Scot follow. “Hoot mon,” yelled the Scotchman, “first you overcharge me, then you try to kill my little boy!”

When Prayer Helps

A woman, whose husband had joined the navy, gave the following note to the preacher: “Mr. Tom Smith, having gone to sea, his wife requests that the congregation pray for his safety.”

The preacher, who was somewhat nearsighted, read aloud to his flock at the service the next Sunday, as follows: “Mr. Tom Smith, having gone to see his wife, requests that the congregation pray for his safety.”

Knew His Business

Sampson knew how to advertise. He took two columns and brought down the house.

It Rhymed, Anyway

Mr. Grouch: “Woman is nothing but a rag, a bone and a hank of hair.”

Mrs. Grouch: “Man is nothing but a brag, a groan and a tank of air.”


Sally: “It must be three years since I saw you. I hardly knew you – you have aged so.”

Sarah: “Well, I wouldn’t have known you, either, except for the dress.”

Hind Sight

Wife: “Don’t you think a man has more sense after he’s married?”

Hub: “Yes, but it’s too late then.”

He Was Particular

Farmer, to druggist: “Now, be sure and write plain on them bottles which is for the Jersey Cow and which is for my wife. I don’t want nothin’ to ‘appen to that Jersey cow.”

A Fair Exchange

Sourdough – Does Mr. Bilks pay his debts?

Gumboil – Yes, he returns our snow shovel in spring and borrows our lawn mower.

High Cost of Living

Young Man – “How much do I pay for a marriage license?”

Hard boiled clerk – “Five dollars down and your entire salary each week of your life.”

The Gathering Place

Billy Sunday: “And if I had my way I’d throw all the liquor and whisky in this town into the river.”

Chorister: “The congregation will please rise and sing No. 79, ‘Shall We Gather at the River?’”

He Went On

“Will your dog bite?” asked the tramp.

“Yes,” snapped the woman, “and he doesn’t care what, either.”

Mama in Reverse

The old fashioned woman who darned her husband’s socks has a daughter who socks her darned husband.

A Safe Winner

The list of prize winners at a recent picnic read:

Mrs. Smith won the ladies’ rolling pin throwing contest by hurling a pin seventy-five feet.”

“Mr. Smith won the hundred yard dash.”

A Winner

A man used to go to the golf club a great deal, coming home rather late. His wife became suspicious and went through his pockets one night, and found nothing but – a hole in one.


Diner – Waiter, I ordered an egg sandwich and you brought me a chicken sandwich.

Waiter – Yes, sir; I was a little late calling for your order.

Better to Worse

Self-pity is shameful. Even a flapjack has its ups and downs, and the waffle has depressions.


Teacher: “What is your idea of harmony?”

Smart Sophomore: “A freckled-faced girl in a polka dot dress and a leopard coat leading a giraffe.

On to His Job

Office Manager to New Office Boy: “Has the stenographer told you what to do in the afternoon?”

New Boy: “Yes, sir, I was to wake her up when I saw you coming.”

A Penny Saved is a Penny Burned

A father said, “Now, son, start saving the pennies and put them in this yellow box, and when you get five pennies give them to me and I’ll give you a nickel and you can put that in this blue box; then, when you get five nickels give them to me and I’ll give you a quarter and you can put it in this red box.”

Seventeen years later the boy discovered that the red box was the gas meter.

Dr. Nosemwell Says

Both men and women sprang from monkeys, but women sprang the farthest.

The Job for the Man

Collegiate: “Father, I’ve a notion to settle down and start raising chickens.”

Father: “Better try owls. Their hours will suit you better.”

Not Too Hasty

A certain gentleman recently lost his wife; and a young miss of six who came to the funeral, said to his daughter, “Your pa will marry again, won’t he?” “Oh, yes!” was the reply; “but not until after the funeral!”

Past Tense

Mrs. Jones: “My husband talked in his sleep last night.”

Secretary: “Well, what does that make me?”

Mrs. Jones: “His ex-secretary.”

Relied on Precedent

The late Senators Spooner of Wisconsin, and Allison of Iowa, were leaving the Capitol one evening when it commenced to rain heavily. “Do you think it will stop?” asked Spooner. “It always has,” answered Allison.



  1. funny stuff—who said the old times had no humor

    Comment by tjk — October 25, 2008 @ 8:26 am

  2. “I know, pa, but his clutch is grand.”

    Yeah, I’d like to see a line like that in the Ensign or New Era today. Or the “Past Tense” joke. Heh. Who knew those Depression era Mormons were so racy. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — October 25, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  3. Very funny collection. (Either that or I’m in a better than normal frame of mind from having been able to sleep in a bit this morning.)

    “dat’s my pen name”

    “first you overcharge me, then you try to kill my little boy!”

    Thanks for the laughs!

    Comment by Researcher — October 25, 2008 @ 8:41 am

  4. I don’t get the second to last one at all.

    Comment by TrevorM — October 25, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

  5. I don’t get the second to last one at all.

    Mr. Jones obviously mentioned his secretary’s name in his sleep the night before, probably in an amorous way. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — October 25, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

  6. Another great set of jokes. Researcher and bfwebster,I also liked the “his clutch is grand,” and “trying to kill my little boy.”

    Comment by Maurine — October 25, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

  7. Bruce, i got that part, but the statement, “so what does that make me?” doesn’t follow from that line of discussion.

    Comment by TrevorM — October 26, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  8. I agree that it’s a poorly worded joke, Trevor, like whoever wrote it just wanted to get to the punchline, whether the set-up made sense or not. Either that, or “what does that make me?” was a pop culture catchphrase that made sense in 1934 but no longer does — how much longer will “master of his domain” or “not that there’s anything wrong with that” draw guffaws, for instance? In any case, the situation is funny, even if the wording isn’t particularly well done.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 26, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  9. #8 – Ardis, I often wonder what people years from now will think when they read our blog comments. I wonder how many of them will think that some of our comments are jokes, when we meant them in total seriousness – or how many will be taken seriously that we meant as jokes.

    Oh, and “Common Complaint” was priceless – as much for the title as the actual joke.

    Comment by Ray — October 26, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  10. Forgot to add:

    “Dr. Nosemwell Says” surprised me.

    Comment by Ray — October 26, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

  11. the clutch joke seems sort of randy for a church mag. Maybe I’m too closely associating the clutch with the stick-shift?

    Comment by Matt W. — October 26, 2008 @ 9:28 pm

  12. Well, Mark W., I’m fairly certain that one isn’t in any church magazine – past or present.

    Comment by Ray — October 26, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

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