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Category Archives: Medical school humor

Daily Alta California, March 29, 1891. Yet another zany med student, doing how they do. The joke just never got old.

Baltimore Sun, February 27, 1893. Those wacky medical students are at it again! Read more.

Okay, so I’ve roughed out a provisional draft of alternate lyrics to “My Favorite Things” for our own Jackie of Finland to record, per our contractually-binding exchange in this comment thread. I’m also in negotiations to get the two surviving Seidlitz Brothers to dub some backing vocals, though according to their agent, Shlomo’s voice box is pretty much shot from three packs of Chesterfields a day since the McKinley administration. No matter: that’s why God made Pro Tools and the electrolarynx.

I’m kind of going back and forth on the first verse here, as it lacks the 100% concrete historicity that the other verses have. Though maybe I could fix that by nailing down concrete references to back it all up.

Barrel-clad hobos and window-ledge pastries
Irish patrolman and drunks with the DTs
Blackguards and maidens and oncoming trains
These are a few of my favorite thangs

Phials of acid in ex-lovers’ faces
Naked wild women in desolate places
Negroes with blue gums who kill when they bite
This is a load of my favorite shite

Mince pies for breakfast, and luncheon, and dinner
Corpses injected to make their eyes glimmer
Med school students defiling the dead
This sort of thing tends to fuck with my head

Cuckqueaned wives killing spinster cult leaders
Cats sold as rabbits to unwitting eaters
Show-offs igniting their cee-gars with bills
These are symptoms of society’s ills

When the dog brings
Dynamite back

When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I feel truly bad

Jackie: Far be it from me to impinge on your creative process, but I was thinking this would work best Lento assai and in a minor key.

tops 3 17 27New York Times, March 17, 1927. Yet again, med-school humor muddies the waters of what might be a murder investigation. There’s something really creepy about the isolation of skull tops either way. Read More »

3 19 1930New York Times, March 19, 1930. Hardy-har-har! More high-spirited med school japery. Either that, or some Depression-era serial killer is getting a free pass. I’m curious how a whilom police detective ends up leading a brush-cleaning crew. Seems like a downward professional trajectory. Gotta be a story there.

wapo 2 6 07Washington Post, February 6, 1907. As we’ll see, med school high jinks involving dead human body parts were common enough to be a source of ‘noise’ that routinely interfered with vital police work. Although another way of looking at it is that med school pranks gave police a useful way to explain away hard-to-solve homicides.

uncannyLos Angeles Times, May 24, 1910. This gag doesn’t seem all that ‘canny’ to be. Just douchey.

effigy 1 16 1900Washington Post, January 1, 1900. The line between a giddy student prank and an outrage against decency can be such a fine one. Sometimes the distinction comes down to a placard bearing an opprobrious reference to the superintendent. But you can understand how these high-spirited kids got a little carried away on a fun place like Blackwell’s Island, with its small pox hospital, charity hospital, penitentiary, almshouse, workhouse and lunatic asylum.

grewsome 1Chicago Tribune, December 16, 1892. A dozen students said this in chorus? Jeez, they sure aren’t possessed of many devils or anything, no sir.
This fun-with-dead-bodies-in-med school story was a real perennial, as we shall see. I believe this sort of thing still goes on today, even if med schools no longer rely on grave robbers to obtain subjects for gross anatomy classes. Read More »