Senator Soaper Says...

More Corny Iran Jokes from the 1950’s

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | December 27, 2021                    

Senator Soaper Says || Iran Jokes from the 1950's Senator Soaper Says was a nationally syndicated humor column penned by Harry Vincent Wade (1894-1973) of Detroit, Michigan, credited as H. V. Wade.

In 1953 the column was taken over by William E. Vaughan (1915–1977), who was also an author and associate newspaper editor of The Kansas City Star.

If that was before your time, these Iran-related excerpts from the pseudonymous column are a sampling of what you missed.

May 28, 1951

A careful reading of the Rubaiyat reveals that oil was unknown in the happy Persia of Omar’s time. [Omar Khayyam]

June 12, 1951

The renovators of old phrases are stumped by this rhubarb in Iran. Can’t think of anything to smooth troubled oil.

July 12, 1951

Faced with the problem of operating a modern oil refinery, the dreamy Iranian could do as our plumber does — turn handles until something happens.

July 27, 1951

Those baffled characters now in charge of Iran — have they thought of writing one of their government departments for a 10-cent pamphlet on how to run an oil refinery?

September 14, 1951

Britain sees no point in continuing the sinister comedy in Iran, now that Mossadegh has established a clear claim to the international Oscar for great emotional acting.

October 11, 1951

In fairness let it be said, by the time it gets to the U.N. it is no longer a situation, it’s a mess.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Being more self-contained, our orators never burst into tears like this Mossadegh of Iran, unless they’re addressing a jury in a damage action.

December 7, 1951

After the 90-0 vote of confidence, Mossadegh, premier of Iran, had to lie down. Still, if it were a testimonial banquet, he would have to be carried.

December 18, 1951

Because he’s an intellectual, it doesn’t follow that Mossadegh can operate a refinery. As Jimmy Durante remarked, when he couldn’t open the door, “Dat must be my Phi Beta Kappa key.”

[comedy skit involving Durante geting locked out of his car]

May 13, 1952

Where the young Shah’s speech to the Iranian parliament was delivered in less than five minutes, Mossadegh swoons for longer than that between paragraphs.

May 14, 1952

If our Harry’s version of the incident in Iran is much more dramatic than the facts, his future may lie in films. Somebody has to get up that history in the Hollywood manner. [President Harry Truman]

August 11, 1952

If Mossadegh the weeper is coming here for dough, it would be only fair if Teheran booked our crying Johnny Ray into the local Paramount at 25 grand.

August 12, 1952

A nation that gets up anything as classy as Persian rugs should do well by Mossadegh in the way of a crying towel.

August 22, 1952

Iran lets Mossadegh become a dictator; but only for six months. After that, he becomes a despot, or so it says here in history.

[In August Parliament overwhelmingly voted to grant him temporary emergency powers]

September 19, 1952

Mossadegh’s “terms”—we now gather—call for complete rehabilitation of Iran’s economy with American dough. Do we hear a second? Do we hear a one and a half? Yoo hoo, Washington!

November 27, 1953

For a big dramatic act in pajamas, Mossadegh hits heights heretofore only reached by the 10-year-old boy demonstrating how bad he feels at 8 o’clock of a school-day morning.

[Bill Vaughan wrote this one, while Mossadegh was being tried in court]

Arthur “Bugs” Baer: More Iran Jokes Than You Can Stand
Humorist Arthur “Bugs” Baer: He's Got More Iran Jokes Than You Can Stand (1950's)


Related links:

Iran According To Ed Sullivan (1951-1954)

William Ritt: You’re Telling Me! | Humor Column’s Iran Takes (1950’s)

What’s Wrong With Tears? | Max Lerner, New York Post, Oct. 3, 1951

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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