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 February 21, 2021
“Why did the computer cross the road?"/"To get a byte to eat.”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?"/"To get to the other side” is a classic riddle from the 19th century. There are several computer variations.

“Why did the computer cross the road? It had the chicken’s number” was printed in the book Your Reading: A Booklist for Junior High and Middle School Students (1983). “Why did the computer cross the road? To get another bus” is a computing joke that was printed in the Dayton (OH) Daily News and Journal Herald (and other newspapers), in a syndicated computing column by T. R. Reid and Michael Schrage, on March 2, 1997.

“Q: Why did the computer cross the road? A: Because it was programmed by a chicken” was printed in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) on January 28, 1990. “‘Why did the computer cross the road?’ ‘Because it was programmed by a chicken’” was printed in the book Language and Ideology in Children’s Fiction (1992) by John Stephens. “Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: Because the chicken programmed it” was printed in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) on May 24, 1992. “Why did the computer cross the road? Because it was programmed by the chicken” was printed in The Times of India on September 22, 1995.

“Why did the computer cross the road? To get a byte to eat” was printed in the Petaluma (CA) Argus-Courier on April 25, 2001. “Why did the computer cross the road? To have a byte to eat!” was printed in the Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland) on February 12, 2006. “Why did the computer cross the road? To get a byte to eat” was printed in the Los Angeles (CA) Times on September 25, 2006. “Why did the computer cross the road? To get a byte to eat” was printed in the book Jokelopedia (2013, but originally published in 2000).


Google Books
Your Reading:
A Booklist for Junior High and Middle School Students

Jane Christensen
National Council of Teachers of English. Committee on the Junior High and Middle School Booklist
1983
Pg. 336:
Why did the computer cross the road? It had the chicken’s number.

Newspapers.com
2 March 1987, Dayton (OH) Daily News and Journal Herald, “Have a funny one about your PC? Send it in” by T. R. Reid and Michael Schrage, pg. 13, col. 3:
... Riddles ("Why did the computer cross the road? To get another bus.") ...

Newspapers.com
28 January 1990, The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales), pg. 71, col. 2:
Q: Why did the computer cross the road?
A: Because it was programmed by a chicken.
Jillian, Alstonville.

Google Books
Language and Ideology in Children’s Fiction
By John Stephens
New York, NY: Longman
1992
Pg. 92:
‘Why did the computer cross the road?’
‘Because it was programmed by a chicken.’

Newspapers.com
24 May 1992, The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales), pg. 79, col. 3:
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: Because the chicken programmed it.
Carla (12), Georges Hall.

22 September 1995, The Times of India (Mumbai), Bombay Times, pg. 3, col. 8: 
Why did the computer cross the road? Because it was programmed by the chicken.

Google Groups: alt.music.jimi.hendrix
Rare ZEP/HENDRIX/QUEEN ETC - MOZ MORRIS
Moz Morris
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
Q. Why did the computer cross the road?
A. It was programmed by the chicken.

Google Groups: soc.culture.vietnamese
The Jokes of 1995 smile
Tuyet Pham
Mar 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
> Why did the Computer cross the road? Cause the chicken was programming
> it.

Newspapers.com
25 April 2001, Petaluma (CA) Argus-Courier, “Writing Corner,” pg. 24, col. 3:
Why did the computer cross the road?
To get a byte to eat.
-- Rachel Alves

15 August 2004, Sunday Herald-Sun (Melbourne, Victoria), “Gags,” pg. F06:
Q: Why did the computer cross the road?
A: It was programmed by a chicken.
- Skye, 9, Melton South

12 February 2006, Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), “Funnies,” pg.  3:
Why did the computer cross the road?
To have a byte to eat!

Newspapers.com
25 September 2006, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Kids’ Reading Room: Jokes & Riddles,” pg. E16, col. 3:
Why did the computer cross the road? To get a byte to eat.
Shaniqua
Compton Elementary, Compton


9 June 2008, Ocala (FL) Star-Banner, “Letters to Matt Manatee,” pg. ?: 
Q. Why did the computer cross the road’
A. He wanted to catch his mouse!
Daniel Dunca
Grade 1
Ocala Springs Elementary


Twitter
Lara Nieberding
@ThePurpleLara
Replying to @brianclark
@copyblogger Why did the computer cross the road? *to get a byte to eat*
10:33 AM · Jul 25, 2008·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Melissa Amory
@mamory
Replying to @wizard04
@wizard04 Why did the computer cross the road?  Because the chicken programed it to!  grin
3:25 PM · May 6, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Michelle Blicavs
@MichelleBlicavs
Why did the computer cross the road?? It was Programmed by chickens! Courtesy of ABC Rollercoaster #fb
2:26 AM · Jun 8, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
John Jacob
@johncjacob
Need a smile? My son Alex said to me; dad, why did the computer cross the road? Because it was programmed by the chicken (lol) SMILE, JJ
6:15 AM · Jun 23, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Arthur S. Barraca
@arbarraca
Replying to @rxtmr
@rxtmr a kid ask me"why did the computer cross the road?” i was stumped-He ans"To get a byte to eat “
9:38 PM · Oct 4, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Kayey Fender
@QueenAmaranth
Why did the computer cross the road? because the chicken programmed it to.
3:11 PM · Nov 2, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Reddit—Funny
Posted by u/LostPhenom March 24, 2011
Why did the computer cross the road?
... Because he was programmed by the chicken.

Google Books
Jokelopedia:
The Biggest, Best, Silliest, Dumbest Joke Book Ever!

By Eva Blank, Alison Benjamin, Rosanne Green, Ilana Weitzman and Lisa Sparks
New York, NY: Workman Publishing
2013 (Originally published in 2000)
Pg. 77:
Why did the computer cross the road?
To get a byte to eat.

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/dudewhodoesstuff November 24, 2013
Why did the computer cross the road?
To get a byte to eat…

Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/JellyComprehensive50 February 21, 2021
Why did the computer cross the road?
It was programmed by the chicken

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Sunday, February 21, 2021 • Permalink