Did you know that the first historic reference to todays “Knock Knock, Who’s There” stems from the pen of William Shakespeare in his Scottish Play: Macbeth? Whilst plainly not smoothed into todays format of challenge/response culminating in a pun, it is a satirical monologue that makes reference to events of that time.
Macbeth Act II, sc. iii
Here’s a knocking indeed! If a
man were porter of hell-gate, he should have
old turning the key.
knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of
Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer, that hanged
himself on the expectation of plenty: come in
time; have napkins enow about you; here
you’ll sweat for’t.
knock! Who’s there, in the other devil’s
name? Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could
swear in both the scales against either scale;
who committed treason enough for God’s sake,
yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come
knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an
English tailor come hither, for stealing out of
a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may
roast your goose.
knock; never at quiet! What are you? But
this place is too cold for hell. I’ll devil-porter
it no further: I had thought to have let in
some of all professions that go the primrose
way to the everlasting bonfire.
Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.