This "What is an Optimist?" schtick was a big thing at one time, but it's hard to know whether it was passe by 1930.
I bring this up because throughout its first year of publication the fledgling New Yorker magazine peppered its pages with the same joke, over and over again:
Pa, what's an optimist?Sometimes, for variety, they'd reverse it.
A man who thinks he can do it in par.*
A man who thinks he can do it in par.This was obviously some New Yorker editor's 1925 idea of a joke, and the repetition was also supposed to be funny, but...well, I hereby admit that I didn't get it. Eventually it seemed like something they were doing just to fill the occasional half-inch of blank column.
Pa, what's an optimist?
* (I'm paraphrasing a bit because I haven't read those issues in several years, but the joke appeared so often that I think it's permanently engraved in my mind).