A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 27, 2021
“What’s black and white and red all over?"/"An embarrassed zebra.”

“What’s black and white and read all over?”/"A newspaper” is a riddle cited in print since at least 1824. There are various different punchlines.

Q: What’s black and white and red all over?
A: An embarrassed zebra.
(cited in print since at least 1952)
A: A blushing zebra. (cited in print since at least 1956)
A: A sunburned zebra. (cited in print since at least 1959)


Newspapers.com
29 October 1952, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Five Kittens” by Thomas E. Murphy, pg. 12, col. 6:
Their coats are a mixture of black, white, and red, giving a new twist to the old riddle of “what’s black, and white, and red all over.” To the answers, newspapers and embarrassed zebras, must be added calico cats.

Newspapers.com
8 July 1953, Brattleboro (VT) Daily Informer, “Boyle’s Column” by Hal Boyle, pg. 12, col. 3:
“Here’s a riddle: What is black and white and red all over?”
(...)
“An embarrassed zebra.”

Newspapers.com
19 December 1953, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “Sunny Side” by James S. Pooler, pg. 3, col. 1:
The modern version of what’s black and white and red all over is slightly different. The answer is, “an embarrassed zebra.”

Newspapers.com
10 October 1956, Nashville (TN) Banner, “‘Round The Clock with Red O’Donnell,” pg. 2, col. 1:
JOKE?—What’s black and white and red all over?
You’re wrong, it ain’t a newspaper. It is a blushing zebra.

Newspapers.com
13 May 1957, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Daily Knave,” pg. 19, col. 1:
Small boy
Met 9-year-old Stephen Liner of Albany’s Cornell School. “What,” demanded Steve, “is black, and white, and red all over?” Assumed superior smile, replied like lightning, “A newspaper!” “No,” corrected Steve, “a sunburned zebra.”

Newspapers.com
2 January 1958, Courier-Times (Bristol, PA), “Jokes” by Barbara Blair, pg. 27, col. 2:
2. What is black and white and red all over?
ANS. A blushing zebra.

Google Books
Saturday Review
Volume 41
1958
Pg. 7:
Jackson asked us recently: “What’s black and white and red all over?” We went along benignly with this hackneyed old one: “A newspaper, of course,” we replied.

“Wrong!” she said triumphantly. “It’s an embarrassed zebra!” — John C. Fuller.

Newspapers.com
4 July 1959, The Tablet (Brooklyn, NY), “Chatterbox,” pg. 14, col. 2:
Lanfranc: What is black and white and red all over?
Llewelyn: A sunburned zebra.

newspapers.com
15 July 1959, The Gazette and Daily (York, PA), “Freddy” comic strip, pg. 32, col. 2:
A SUN BURNED ZEBRA!!

Newspapers.com
13 March 1960, The Sunday Advertiser (Honolulu, HI), “In One Ear” by Bob Krauss, pg. A-1B, col. 1:
Here’s a riddle. What’s black and white and red all over? Answer below.
(...)
The answer to today’s riddle is not a newspaper. It’s a sunburned zebra!

Newspapers.com
11 June 1961, The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), “Moon Mullins” comic strip by Ferd Johnson, Comics sec.:
WHAT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?
A SUNBURNED ZEBRA!

Google Groups: rec.humor
Grab Bag, partly sexual and/or scatological
Duke McMullan n5gax
Jan 14, 1990, 3:28:43 AM
What’s black and white and red all over?

- A newspaper
- A skunk in a blender
- “Pravda”
- Two prostitutes in an integrated brothel
- Santa Claus coming down the chimney
- A chocolate sundae with ketchup
- An English setter with mange
- A penguin with the measels
- A wounded nun
- A blushing zebra
- A sunburned penguin
- A skunk with diaper rash
- Students for a Democratic Society (topical: 1960’s)
- Supreme Court decisions by Justices Byron White and Hugo Black

Google Groups: rec.humor
Jokes for kids!!!!!!
Wade Price
Apr 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
What’s black and white and red all over?
1. A zebra with a sunburn.
2. A newspaper.

Google Groups: alt.books.stephen-king
Stumping Blaine
Mark Nesbitt
Jan 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM
While re-reading the Dark Tower books I noticed that in Jakes poem “My Understanding of the Truth” he wrote two riddles. Susannah used one when riddling Blaine in the new novel but what about the other one? What is black and white and red all over? A blushing zebra.

Google Groups: rec.humor.oracle.d
What’s black and…
Clark Magnuson
Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM
What’s black and white and red all over?
1)The newspaper
2) a sun burned zebra

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Puns of the Weak 02-07-03
Stan Kegel
Feb 7, 2003, 7:51:39 PM
(...)
What’s black and white and red all over?
1. A Newspaper
2. An embarrassed skunk
3. A sunburnt zebra (Daily Groaner)

Reddit—AntiJokes
Posted by u/ohmygodimonfire4 October 30, 2012
What’s black and white and red all over?
A critically injured Zebra.

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/yepokay90 May 3, 2016
What’s Black and White and Red all over?
The Zebra I just shot dead.

Reddit—AntiJokes
Posted by u/johngreenink March 10, 2017
What’s black and white and red all over?
1. a zebra who can’t apply lipstick very well
2. rice, black beans and chopped red pepper
3. an irate football referee

Reddit—AntiJokes
Posted by u/RogueCHlNCHlLLA September 16, 2018
Whats Black and White and Red all over?
A Zebra in a blender.

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/Chezamund January 12, 2019
What’s black and white and red all over
A sunburnt zebra

Reddit—Unclejokes
Posted by u/KingKongGodzilla June 11, 2020
What’s black and white and red all over?
(1st time): A newspaper
(2nd time, after I’d heard the newspaper punchline): An embarrassed zebra

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/morganob August 23, 2020
What’s black and white and red all over?
Classic answer: A newspaper.
Children’s answer: A zebra with a suntan.
Holiday answer: Santa at the bottom of the chimney.
Religious answer: An priest realizing that he really is wearing a dress.
Appalling answer: An interracial couple in an automobile accident.

Twitter
bhu⁷Butterfly✜˚•°.
@cocomoarmy
What’s black and white and red all over!  ~ an embarassed Zebra
1:38 PM · Apr 25, 2021·Twitter for Android

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Tuesday, April 27, 2021 • Permalink