Family of Stand-Up Comics Reveal What It's Like To Be The Butt Of A Joke
The direct, in-your-face nature of stand-up comedy is one of its most notable features, however, there are times when people get offended by the surprise of being the subject of a joke. It's all well-intentioned, of course, but for some, that's doesn't make up for momentary jabs.
Submissions have been edits for clarity, context, and profanity.
Sometimes asking for permission is better than asking for forgiveness.
I do some stand-up but it's not my main focus. When my wife does something I think would make for a good bit I immediately ask her if I can use it for a joke. If she says no, I'll typically let it go. If I think it's really good, I'll prep the joke and run it by her again a few days later to see if actually hearing the joke will change her mind. If she's still uncomfortable, I don't use it.
Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, where's the fun in life?
My husband is a comic. He always asks me before turning a bit about me or our kids into part of his act. I assume he may say things while he's working out material at open mics, but we always talk about it before he uses it during a "real" show. Overall, it doesn't affect our relationship much. If anything, we are able to be more open and honest with each other about our quirks and habits that are annoying. It also helps that we are both capable of laughing things off and are not easily offended. The bits he has that involve me are all in good fun and are embellished for a better punchline. We both know the truth about our lives!
Cons: it can be uncomfortable when I'm at a show and everyone stares at me, and I'm asked personal questions. People tend to assume that his jokes are the truth, but really they are a version of it.
Pros: A few years ago Chappelle was in town on my birthday. My husband (then boyfriend) opened for him, and he had the entire auditorium full of people wish me happy birthday and I got to hang out in the green room with all of the comics afterward. It was cool.
Seems like a totally normal relationship.
My ex is a stand-up comedian, and I would attend everyone one of those open mic nights in support. All his fans knew who I was, so when he made a joke about his sex life, they all knew it was about me.
I turned bright red, but it wasn't anything other than a tad embarrassing.
I guess it helps that it was a funny joke.
Why not go to have a good time in addition to showing up to be supportive?
My SO is a DJ. Not exactly the same but still the whole performance thing. I've been to all his shows. Some have sucked. I'm not going to be entertained though. I'm going because I love and support him.
No one wants to be a research subject on a date. Unless they're being paid.
I went on a date with a guy who was a stand-up comic (no-one notable) and the way he asked questions about my past relationships made it sound like he was digging for material. I should have invoiced him.
Talk about having arbitrary "lines in the sand..."
I'm a comic and a large part of my act is based on things I've experienced in my relationships, with women or my dad. I have about 15 minutes just about how my dad is an abusive criminal that made my childhood a living hell. We don't talk much but he called me one day to say he saw a video of one of my sets and he thought the bits about him were really funny, that was a surreal moment.
I've written material about most of my serious romantic relationships including my wife (now ex-wife), and only one woman has ever gotten mad at me and it was the strangest thing. I wrote a joke about a very personal aspect of our sex life and it alludes to her being dumb. Obviously, the first time I did it in front of her I thought that would lead to her being upset but SHE LOVED THAT JOKE. She used to ask me to do it anytime she would come to a show. A few months later I riffed a throwaway joke about how she replies to simple questions with Snapchat pictures of her dog, I get off stage, she tells me she doesn't think the joke is funny and is going home alone. The next day she Snapchats me a picture of her doing a peace sign and I never hear from her again. It taught me you can never tell what is going to offend or upset someone.
This is what having a brother is all about.
My brother is a stand-up comedian, he isn't a big name (yet), but as far as I know, he hasn't made a joke about me. He often asks me for advice for jokes or editing when he tweets jokes. He makes plenty of jokes about my parents, but they think it's funny.
However, if I am at one of his shows, he'll tell the other comics that I'm there and encourage them to heckle me, which is always entertaining.
Getting a random weighted blanket in the mail might not fix that anxiety right away...
My sister does stand up. She has a bit about the time I gave her a weighted blanket for Christmas a month early. I had just heard about them--they're designed as a coping tool for anxiety. She was having a tough time, so I was seized by the belief that she needed a weighted blanket ASAP.
So basically, she got this random package and was like "WTF is a weighted blanket and why am I receiving one in the mail???"
She didn't ask permission about the bit but did warn me ahead of time. I watched her perform it and it was well received. I was mildly embarrassed, perhaps, but mostly thought it was funny. As far as sister material she could use for comedy, it's pretty harmless. She does have sets that make other family members come off comically badly, and I just sound like an eccentric gift-giver. So I think I've gotten off easy so far and am very proud to have a badass comedian sister.
And yes, she has warmed up to the blanket!
At least give a shout out to your source of material...
A friend of mine once told me he used my exact jokes or just told stories about me when he was doing stand up. I don't think I have the ability to get the delivery right as I'm usually a horrific mess when speaking in front of anyone, so I don't mind too much. Don't hang out with that guy anymore for various unrelated reasons but I'm sure if he still does stand up he's probably still using my jokes.
Yelling at your kid after a show isn't a good way of showing you're not trashy...
I'm a drag queen / stand up comic. I do jokes about growing up white trash and realizing it later in life. My mom has no problem with me being gay or a queen (any longer), but after one show she came up to me and yelled at me that we were not W/T!!! ??? :/ We were... and still definitively are.
Being immortalized in jokes? Worth it.
I have been dating a stand-up comedian for about 4 years now. He does ask permission and is considerate of my feelings (especially when he bends the truth more than a little). I wouldn't really say our relationship has been impacted by it. He was already doing stand up long before we got together so I knew a bit more what I was getting into. The few jokes that do feature me I consider to be a small nugget of immortality.
"My dad, everyone... I told you so."
My dad is an unpredictable homeless looking mentally ill alcoholic so it was always gonna be dicey having him ever see a gig. He did once and I did a joke that mentioned him -not a bad one but he stormed the stage and was doing like bows and stuff. Ugh. I was mortified but tried to make it part of the show.
Supportive? Check. Not getting offended by jokes at her own expense? She's a keeper.
So, I was a standup comic for 8 years. Dated one woman who hated when I told jokes involving her, even though 99% of the time they were completely fictional and I just needed a subject for the joke (it's much funnier if it happened to me than to someone else). She had zero ability to laugh at herself but was more than happy to laugh at other people. She wasn't a good person.
My wife started dating me while I was already doing standup. The first time she heard a joke about her I think she was a little shocked, but she thought it was funny so she didn't care, and she liked the fact I was a comic and figured it would come with the territory. I never had to "get permission" on any jokes, though I told her that if she came to a show and there was one about her that made her uncomfortable to let me know and I would pull it (unless it was a DAMN good joke, then she'd have to live with it). She never took me up on that offer though.
There's a reason I married her. :-)
A situation that will never not be funny.
One of my buddies from college is constantly doing stand-up to try to either make it big in that realm or get a writing job somewhere.
One of his best bits involves this time where I shat my pants during class, and anyone that knows me would be able to piece two and two together and figure out it's about me.
If he ends up making it big I might ask him to at least change up the details a bit, but it's a funny story so if it helps him reach his goals, I'm all for it.
I'd be honored if this happened tbqfh...
The husband of a friend is a professional comedian. They had me over for dinner one night with a couple of other friends who are comedy writers. The next night I found out that they had me over for dinner because the writers were basing a character off of me and wanted to meet me in person. I've never asked for any details. I have no idea what my friend's husband had been telling them about me. I never asked if it was for a show they were currently working on or one in development. She told me it was nothing bad, they just thought I was interesting. Not sure I want to know how a comedian sees my life. This was years ago, we've never talked about it. I used to be mentioned in a bit her husband did about his wife's friend's, but it wasn't really about me.
Of course, keeping the wife happy has it's advantages too.
Oh man am I late to this, but what the hell. I'm a comic and married. It's pretty rare that I discuss my wife in my act, but on the rare occasions I do, she's always the hero and I'm the idiot. Just like in real life.
Of course, if you can't come up with original material, maybe comedy isn't for you?
My brother had this notebook he carries all the time. Every time we all get together, he listens and laughs at jokes then pulls it out and writes in his notebook asking people to help him develop the joke further.
He basically no longer live in the moment and turns every joke into an assignment. Can someone be less funny when they become a comedian? Yes, they can.
It's important to keep in mind that stories in comedy acts are greatly embellished.
My boyfriend used to do stand up. Some of the material about me was true or partly true and some of it was completely made up or about a different person and he would just say "my girlfriend" for brevity/relatability. I didn't care at all, for the most part, people understand it's not all true.
Religion may be "low-hanging fruit" but there's certainly no shortage of material.
My brother is a stand-up comedian. I grew very up religious and he... chose a different path.
In his act, he says terrible things about our mother, makes claims about the religion and his role in it that are false and basically takes everything I hold dear and stomps on it in order to get laughs out of people.
He's funnier than that. He's smarter than that. He doesn't have to try for the lowest denominator but he often does.
No permission was ever asked nor even contemplated. Sometimes he will tell me not to attend a show if he knows the material he will use that night would ruffle my feathers. So he at least tries.
Our relationship has been strained for a long time. He's long since mocked me and all I hold dear in public and private so I've gotten desensitized to it.
I do wish him success.
In closing, though, asking forgiveness is probably the way to go.
Stand up comic here.
I never ask for permission. I just tell what I think is funny, and if it works. It works. I might have a time where I'm with family and I go, "Oh, by the way, that one thing you did/said is in my act now."
They're mostly cool with it because they know it's in good fun.
There's no shortage of excellent horror fiction out there. Recently I read The Terror by Dan Simmons and can't remember the last time I felt that claustrophobic and nervous. But I am also a fan of quite a few classics. Are there any other horror books that capture grief as effectively as Stephen King's Pet Sematary? What other book evokes folk horror as beautifully as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home? Let's not forget this wonderful classic: The Haunting of Hill House. I could rave about that one (and Shirley Jackson) for days. All of these books left their mark on me and yes, I'd include them on a list (if I were to make one) of some of the scariest books I've read.
People had their own opinions to share––and books to recommend––after Redditor Tylerisdumber asked the online community,
"What's the scariest book you've ever read?"
"Gerald's Game. I've read lots of Stephen King and this one scared me the most. Slept with the lights on for several nights."
Everything about this book is creepy. Don't even get me started on the... degloving. I'm sorry I even typed that word out.
"It's not a long story..."
"The Yellow Wallpaper.
It's not a long story and I'd highly recommend going in knowing little to nothing about it. It's brilliant and terrifying. Published in 1892 as well if that's any interest!"
Few stories make you feel this sad. A pretty stunning piece of work––and yes, unnerving. Can really get under your skin.
"I think it was mainly..."
"For some reason, Salem's Lot by Stephen King.
I think it was mainly because I was on a week-long hiking trip in the Australian bush and it got dark and scary at night. But damn, I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights. Then the friend I was hiking with read it, and he couldn't sleep either."
This is probably my favorite early King––and for good reason. The sense of atmosphere is impeccable. Those characters are loveable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Then the book veers from horror into tragedy. It's quite moving.
"Just the knowledge..."
"On The Beach.
It's the most soul-crushing book I've ever read, and there's really nothing scary in it.
Just the knowledge of impending death for everyone that feels so awfully heavy."
This is one of those books that makes you feel hopeless.
It's impeccably written but wow... it's a truly heavy read.
"You never knew..."
It's a classic. I found it to be immensely chilling. You never knew what would happen and the writing instilled a sort of dread. I read it in the dark before I went to bed until I finished it."
A book I can read and re-read over and over again. It's a beautiful horror novel. It's also a really fascinating window into the era and manages to say a lot about social and class mores.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Very creepy and unnerving, definitely scared me reading it at night."
I wanted to really like this one––unfortunately, I did not––but there's no denying that the first third or so (especially once the two protagonists get to the house) is pretty unnerving. Shame the payoff wasn't all that.
"It was disturbing and horrifying..."
"Helter Skelter. It's about the Manson murders and goes into quite a bit of detail. It was disturbing and horrifying because, unlike the King novels also mentioned, it's true. What they did to Sharon Tate is so absolutely devastating. Pure evil."
This book is gruesome and not for the faint of heart. The level of detail we dive into learning about the Tate-LaBianca murders is remarkable and also rather nauseating.
"So the book's characters..."
"Bird Box by Josh Malerman.
Forget the Netflix movie. The book's monsters are terrifying, in that you simply just don't know what they are or what they look like. They could be anything. What they are is enough to drive people insane by just being looked at.
So, the book's characters have to navigate a world mostly without one of our most used senses, and what's more terrifying than something you can't see?
This leads to some utterly scary scenes in the book that sent my heart racing and I had to put down for a breather."
It's a shame that movie wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips.
"It's a different kind of scary..."
"It's a different kind of scary, but The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's dystopian nation feels not that far from reality sometimes, and it absolutely terrifies me."
We're going to go there.
Yes, this book is terrifying.
"I feel like the movie..."
"The Ruins, by Scott Smith, messed me up pretty good. My favorite kind of horror is psychological, and while there is a physical "entity" the real horror is the helplessness of this stranded group trapped by something they don't understand. Their desperate struggle to hold on to their sanity and the slow descent into hopeless desperation just really hit hard.
I feel like the movie was a fairly faithful adaptation, although it's been a while since I've seen it."
I love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It's slow-going... and then the final one-hundred pages are just horrifying.
Well, if you haven't read any of these... What are you waiting for? Get on that. You won't regret it.
But also... the world is pretty scary right now, so we understand if you need to take a step back.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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Have you ever traveled to a city you've always heard good things about, only to be totally let down upon arrival?
When a friend insists we travel to certain cities because we would "just love it," they're setting the bar pretty high.
And a city can also boast a rich history or an attraction that makes us curious enough to find out what makes it so appealing.
But, alas, when we finally reach the destination, it's never exactly what we thought it would be.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor tshirtguy2000 asked:
"What city is overrated?"
These are not officially real cities but they do have a rotating population.
It's Always A Party There
"As a former
slave associate at party city. I 100% agree."
"Lego City. There always has to be someone falling into the river."
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world."
"Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
Neighbor To Springfield
Shelbyville. Those f'kers steal trees from neighboring cities.
These were once considered destination cities but their popularity eventually took a nose dive.
"Atlantic City. Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Lots Of Water
"Niagara Falls, Canada. I grew up there. Mayor pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"Myrtle Beach. I'm not even saying that it has a good reputation, I'm just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
Where A Creek Is An Exciting Attraction
"Lamb's Grove, Iowa. It's not the paradise on earth that people always say it is. Don't get me wrong, it's got great Chinese food but the motel 6 is meh at best."
Impressions for these cities fell far below expectation.
"Dubai. It's the clickbait of the world. 'We have the biggest/tallest/most expensive YOU WON'T BELIEVE when you see THIS...' It's hot as f*k, everything's a man-made tourist trap; labor exploitation and racism are rampant, and they try so hard to prove to the world how modern and Westernized they are. Really, it's just government propaganda."
"Miami. Horrible place filled with horrible people."
Truth be told, many cities can be overrated.
It just depends on a person's experience, or a resident's perspective about what it is about the location they live in that is nothing worth writing home about.
If I had to choose, I would say Las Vegas is overrated, but that's because there is nothing in Sin City that is of personal interest to me.
I may be severely judged for my opinion, but that is a gamble I'm willing to take.
The opposite sex can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. Our brains work differently just like our bodies and this can lead to certain sensitive questions. Guys tend to be a little less open but today it's time for the ladies to ask away. Even wondered what they really think or feel about their body, yours? Today's the day to get the answers you didn't know you needed.
Redditor William84000 asked:
“Women of reddit, what question do you have of men that you'd really like an answer to?"
His question started an informative thread for women to ask men the questions they've been wondering and receive honest, real-life answers.
“How long does it take to recover if you've been hit in the balls?” Snowy-avocado
“Anywhere from 5 minutes to literally turning to dust like we were Thanos snapped.” secondhand_organsdust whirls GIFGiphy
“The Big Dumb Object...”
“I've always wanted to know: why do you like loud machinery so much? For older men it's mowers, leaf blowers and such. For younger men, it's modified cars and motorbikes. What's the deal with the loud machines?” marshmellow_bunnyx
“Power and tools. Tools are a thing that gets stuff done, and they are loud because they contain the
natural essence power of violent explosions and fire. Most men like powerful things, instead of powerful people.”
“In sci-fi, this is called 'The Big Dumb Object', and is pretty much a trademark of sci fi books written by men” Connect-Zebra7173
To shave or not to shave?
“Does body hair on a woman bother you that much?" reillydean28
“Leg/arm hair? Don't even notice. Armpit hair? Not my thing but not my choice/decision. Pubic hair? I'd prefer not, but it's not going to stop me from getting the job done." wHUT_fun
It’s a power and control thing...
“Why send a d*ck pic?" stavinlawrence
“I think for most men it's a power dynamic thing. Either it gets them off or it just makes them feel in control."
“Then I assume there's the added bonus of if she likes it she might send a nude back. But these losers have a greater chance of buying a "get bigger penis pills" that actually work before a girl appreciates an unsolicited nude." InertialEclipse
"Do you notice the little things?”
“Do you notice the little things about women like a new hair cut, when they wear makeup or a nice outfit?” xforeverlove22
“I can't speak for everyone but for me, nope. Not at all. My uncle had a moustache for like 20 years and one day decided to shave it off. I didn't notice it. I noticed there was a weird atmosphere around me like ‘come on, say something’, so I small talked with him.”
“A few hours later after he left they asked me if I seriously didn't notice that his moustache was gone. My answer was ‘What moustache?‘ And makeup would definitly fly over my head.” PleaseTakeThisName
Lets just not touch people without permission...
“What things have women done that make you uncomfortable?" charloget
“Had a few grab my junk at random. Even had a couple that just forced a kiss on me. I don't usually experience women trying to pick me up, but the few times I did was never great. It was either negging, overly sexually aggressive and always in a group." bahamabanana
On today's episode of sink of float...
“Do penis' float like a buoy? I heard they do but have never been able to verify it.” TheFantasticV
“I mean it's buoyant but it can't really do much besides lazily sorta half float there. Still amused the f**k out of my wife to learn.” secondhand_organsGiphy
Everyone just wants to be loved...
“What makes you feel loved?” linedizzy
“A compliment, a hug or a kiss we don't have to initiate.” Nuitari8
“Do guys care if women get cosmetic procedures done?” dookieconductor
“I don't necessarily care about the work itself, I'd be more concerned about understanding why she felt like she wanted to get it done and help her feel body positive for whatever work has been done or if she feels like she needs work.” -notjosh-
Math will kill a mood everytime...
“What does it feel like when you're having sex and you're trying not to 'get there'? Is it frustrating? What do you do/think about to keep it from happening?" uhohoreolas
“I sometimes do math like 333*3... But often I am fine with just controlling things to focus mostly on her pleasure instead of mine. Tho sometimes she is excited and ends up moving in unaccounted ways while I am a hair away and there is no stopping it. I definitely don't find it frustrating. It is still very enjoyable." Fkire
Some of these Q&A's were unexpected but now we know! This important thing here though is knowing it's ok to ask questions sometimes.
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Everyone's got their own favorite food.
What are two foods that actually taste great together......even though most people don't eat them that way?
Breakfast is the most wonderful meal of the day. As the wise Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?" So mixing it up can feel blasphemous, but what if it's tasty?
Jam It On
"When I was growing up, it was standard procedure for us to put grape jelly on scrambled eggs. I did it when I went to college and everyone at the table stared at me. I still like it."
"That sounds gross af, but not too gross that I don't still want to try it. Haha"
Bringing People Together
"Peanut butter and maple syrup."
"My husband and I both grew up eating PB and syrup on our waffles. We took that as a sign it was meant to be."
"Peanut butter and syrup on waffles is one of the single best things I have ever had, also growing up with it"
Mustard?! Don't Let's Be Silly.
"Mustard with scrambled eggs. Actually I haven't had it in a while but from what I remember its really good"
"Mustard with eggs period"
Sauces and dips are critical to enjoying some foods. Mess with it too much and you risk ruining the delicacy. So that's why it's reassuring to see these people offering up their new spins on dip combinations.
Only For The Elegant Dining Experience
"Hummus and salsa mixed together with tortilla chips."
"Fancy bean dip."
Peanut Butter With Everything!
"Peanut butter and cheddar cheese (like the proper brick kind, not kraft cheese slices). When I was a kid I sometimes made myself pb and cheese sandwiches. They're very filling but delicious!"
"Toasted English muffin, butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam and marble cheddar on top. Lord have mercy on me."
"Add a litte hot sauce on the peanut butter."
Better Than Garlic Sauce?
"I already posted but I'm eating pizza with my friend right now and he likes his pizza with hummus."
"Hummus is good with so many things."
"So I make spaghetti noodles, but break up the raw noodles into smaller pieces. Once they're done I put in a an egg or two (mix it around) and let it cook. I swear it's not that bad. My Nonna always makes it for me when I go back to the Midwest to visit. It's good with parmesan cheese too."
And then there's these taste combinations. Mixtures so strange, you might just be willing to walk away from your phone or computer and try one now.
Sweet And Savory?
"Watermelon and feta cheese."
"With red onion and balsamic vinegar."
"Thats like the most basic summer thing in Greece, Balkans, Turkey together with some Uzo or Raki"
Who Lives In A Cheddar Under The Sea?
"Pineapple and cheddar."
"A guy at work introduced me to dipping a peanut butter and honey sandwich into chili. That was surprisingly great."
A Creative Spin On An Old Favorite
"Root beer float except with cherry Coke and chocolate ice cream. I was in middle school on a field trip, last in line at the cream shop, and ordered this after everyone else had done the standard root beer and vanilla. One of the cool girls who had never spoken my name before gave me this piercing look and asked if I would switch with her. I instinctively knew I would get zero benefit from this deal, so I said "Nope, ya gotta just remember it next time." That felt good."
Keep an open mind. Don't do this for every meal, sure, but always be ready to try something new.
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