Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poe folk don't 'spect much?

In an episode of “Frasier”, Frasier is worried about his upcoming recitation of “Annabel Lee” to a local Poe Society. His brother Niles says to him: “Don’t worry. Poe folk don’t ’spect much.” Hilarity ensues. Clearly both Niles and the audience thought he'd made a delicious pun.

I'm not used to being the dull knife in the drawer, but I don't get this one. I thought I had it when I imagined it punning on a phrase like "poor folk don't 'spect much", which sounds like a likely quote from an ancient play, but no luck, it does not seem it has ever been uttered until I thunk it. (It should have, it's a good phrase).

Help me out?

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, November 12, 2008   10 comments links to this post

10 Comments:

At 12 Nov 2008, 14:30:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uncle Ron said...

In the South (South Carolina) where I live..."Poor" is sometimes pronounced ..."Po", by some of the folks chere abouts...

Edgar Allen Poe was buried in Charleston...his surviving relatives might be considered as Poe folk...

 
At 12 Nov 2008, 16:07:00, Blogger RC said...

Po folk don't expect much,they're uneducated.

 
At 12 Nov 2008, 20:57:00, Blogger eolake said...

Only trouble is when you google "poor folk don't 'spect much" as a phrase, I'm the first one to use it on the web ever, so clearly it's no a famous phrase anybody would make a pun on.

 
At 12 Nov 2008, 21:09:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thinking about it, that is probably what it's supposed to refer to, even though it isn't a famous phrase.

 
At 15 Dec 2008, 10:03:00, Blogger John Clifford said...

It's not a famous phrase. It's a play on words, a pun.

"Po' folks don't 'spect much' is a country/black manner of speech here in America (yes, both whites and blacks talk like that).

The play on words lets Niles utter a 'truism' and a put-down.

This probably doesn't make much sense to non-Americans, but it IS funny.

 
At 15 Dec 2008, 11:41:00, Blogger eolake said...

Thanks, John.

 
At 17 Feb 2009, 20:29:00, Anonymous Bob said...

I've just been watching this episode of Frasier and have exactly the same query - that's how I came across this blog. While I'm here - there is something else in Frasier that I missed the humour on or mis-heard the quote that maybe someone can help me out on. I think it was a conversation between Niles and Frasier and it was menetioned about Frasier's ...... Yagards? or Yak Arts? It might possibly have been Jacquards - as in French textile woven product? Any ideas? Appreciative of your help.
Bob

 
At 17 Feb 2009, 20:50:00, Blogger eolake said...

I've no clue about that one, sorry.

 
At 22 Oct 2012, 07:29:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a search cause i liked this joke a lot, and found this question from 4 years ago. even though you might not be folowing it still. The joke was that he has no reason to worry how he will recite Annabel Lee, beacuse "Poe folk" (fans of Edgar Allen Poe whose poetry and storries are kind of depresive), won't be expecting much - they are depresed with gooly thoughts.
It was a witty humor. :)

 
At 30 Jan 2014, 04:50:00, Blogger Michael Grady said...

I imagined it being a line from Porgy 'n Bess. I have absolutely no evidence, but I still imagine.

 

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