If you have ever been prank called and asked this question, you may understand where the question comes from, but most people simply shake their heads and move on with their lives. The actual brand of Prince Albert pipe tobacco was introduced in 1907 by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and is an American brand product. In 1987, John Middleton Inc. purchased and now owns the brand and it is still manufactured to this day.
Reason Behind the Joke
Most pranksters would call up a tobacco shop asking the infamous “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” joke. When the store clerk who answers the phone responds that yes, they do have that particular brand in a can, the prankster follows up with a response about letting the poor man out before he suffocates. Variations have been made over the years, but the basis of the joke remains the same.
The reason it was such a popular prank was that Prince Albert was sold in a can, though there were other packaging options available, such as pouches.
Nowadays, most tobacco shops do not carry Prince Albert pipe tobacco, causing the joke to go out of fashion. However, pranksters will still call up others to ask the infamous question, though fewer and fewer people respond with a yes answer, allowing them to finish the joke.
As an independent brand, Prince Albert is still quite popular in the US. In the 1960s, there was a version of filtered cigarettes from the brand, though it was considered a failure. Recently, Prince Albert is available as loose tobacco and as cigars, where the manufacturer creates a cigar using the pipe tobacco that everyone enjoys due to the burley based blend.
R.J. Reynolds named the brand specifically after Edward VII and this information shocks many people. However, history buffs realize that Edward VII was known all around as Prince Albert before he was crowned King, so the name truly does fit.
While most people associate Prince Albert with pipe tobacco, cigars have also come about and there are two different variations of cigar flavors, including sweet and soft vanilla and soft cherry vanilla. Cigars are usually sold in packs of 25 or 50.
For those that want a pipe tobacco, there are three options including original, cherry vanilla and soft vanilla. Tobaccos are usually sold in either a 14-ounce tin or a 1.5-ounce pouch with six pouches.
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