Joe Miller (from Joseph Miller, 1684-1738, a witty actor, who was a favorite about the time Congreve's plays were fashionable), a stale jest. The compilation, "Joe Miller's Jests," published a year after the death of the supposed author, was the work of John Mottley (1692-1750), but the term has been used to pass off, not only the original stock, but thousands of jokes manufactured long after Miller was buried.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.