In Season 1, Episode 2 of FRIENDS, ‘The One with the Sonogram at the End’, the following dialogue happens:
RACHEL: I know I had it this morning, and I know I had it when I was in the kitchen with…
Why Does Chandler Say “Dinah”? Why Is It Funny?
Chandler is quoting some of the lyrics from an 1894 American folk song, called ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad‘, which was made popular in the later part of the 20th century by being featured in popular cartoons including, ‘Looney Tunes‘. He’s quoting the following lyrics from this song:
🎵 Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Someone’s in the kitchen I know,
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Strummin’ on the old banjo. 🎵
Looney Tunes was a popular set of cartoons produced in America between 1930 and 1969. Even after this series of videos had finished, the cartoons were shown frequently on television. As a result, nearly everyone in America during the last half of the 20th Century would have known songs from this cartoon series. That includes Chandler, and all of the Friends characters. They would have watched these cartoons when they were kids. Actually, Chandler and Joey probably still watched them as adults. 😀
Personally, I watched these cartoons every Saturday afternoon, while growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
You’re likely already familiar with some of the characters from ‘Looney Tunes’ – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd. Below is a link to a YouTube compilation of these cartoons.
Is Chandler’s Joke Still Useful in the 21st Century?
Well, I can’t say for sure whether it’s useful or not. But I don’t think so.
I know that these original cartoons are no longer popular with today’s children, and they are not frequently shown on television. So, children growing up today may not know the song lyrics, “Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah”. Sadly, this joke is probably no longer useful. It was only useful and relevant until perhaps around the year 2000.
Other Samples of This Song