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Guy Upset After Spouse Discourages Him From Trying Out Standup Since He’s ‘Not Very Funny’


The world of comedy is a minefield.

It seems to be in a transition period where everyone is learning what funny is; and what was never funny to begin with.

And in the end some learn, you’re just not at all funny.

Comedy is an art, not meant for everyone.

Case in point…

Redditor unfunnyhusband wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for telling my husband he isn’t very funny and shouldn’t do standup at an open mic night?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband has, for a while now, wanted to do stand up comedy.”

“My husband is good at a million and one things but stand up comedy isn’t one of them.”

“All his jokes are in very poor taste and are outdated.”

“Think 2000s internet humor.”

“He says he just has a very dark sense of humor but it’s just really, really cringe.”

“He has put me in awkward positions where he will tell these jokes to my friends and coworkers even when I beg him not to and he thinks he is doing great.”

“However, he’s not the greatest at reading social queues he doesn’t pick up that they are just trying to be polite and are very uncomfortable.”

“There’s a comedy club near here that has open mic nights and gives people 5 min sets.”

“”He doesn’t have enough jokes to fill this time and I have told him he should consider writing out a full set and practicing it with a timer.”

“Then practice in front of people you trust to give you honest feedback.”

“I have suggested we at least visit one open mic night just to observe and get a feel for the audience.”

“He says he doesn’t need to practice he has it all in his head and 5 mins is only enough for maybe two jokes.”

“I have given many public presentations before and I know that 5 mins of just you speaking to an audience can be a whole lot longer than you’d think; especially if you are a novice.”

“After telling him the same things over and over again he finally said ‘You really have no faith in me.'”

“My response was that I love him but he’s just not very funny in a stand-up kind of way.”

“He was pretty upset by this.”

“I wasn’t trying to be cruel but sometimes people need honesty a lot more than empty kindness.”

“My line of thinking is that it would be far crueler to tell him he should just go ahead and then let him humiliate himself than it would be to spare him that.”

“Like it would be cruel to tell someone that thinks they can sing but sound like a cat in heat they should totally do that American Idol thing.”

“Maybe I should just let him and he can find out all on his own.”

“He doesn’t listen to me anyways.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“To Be Honest, why are you stopping him?”

“Yes, maybe his feelings will get hurt, or he will be humiliated.”

“But since he isn’t listening to anyone, ‘let it go.'”

“Just like the singer who sounds like a cat in heat, let him learn the hard way.”

“By the way, if he goes through with this and gets the expected humiliation, don’t be surprised if he blames it on a bad audience. ETA: NTA.”  ~I llustrious-Tour-247

“NAH. You are trying to protect your husband out of your love for him.”

“It might be better to let him try and see for himself.” ~ OrcEight

“NTA, but let him do it.”

“You’ve given him fair warning and opportunity to practice.”

“Now it’s time to let him crash and burn.”

“And as difficult as it will be (at least for me it would be lol), do not say ‘I told you so.'”  ~ Livint225

“NAH. But there was no ‘winning’ in this.”

“If you didn’t tell him and he does fall flat he’d be upset you didn’t warn him but warning him will also upset him because no one likes hearing we aren’t very good at what we want to do.”

“I don’t think you’re in the wrong but he does have a right to be a bit miffed.”

“But it’s not like this is the first time you’ve told him not to tell his jokes.” ~ Octopie1107

“NTA. He’d be way more crushed by going up there than by you.”

“But if he’s serious and this is a real dream and not a phase offer to help.”

“Maybe make him record his act at home and review so he has the timing down.”

“Because you’re right, 5 minutes is a loooong time.”  ~ Morrisonbran

OP came back with deets…

“I offered just tonight to record and time him and he refused.”

“I want to help him but he doesn’t think he needs it.”

“I mean practice is a good thing, everyone one with a talent or skill has to practice.”

“He says he doesn’t want to cause he is a more ‘go with flow kinda of guy.'”

“For clarifications sake I couldn’t put the kind of jokes he likes to make in the original post without it being auto removed.”

“The word phonetically sounds like ‘play doh file.'”

“The punch line to most of his jokes is in one way or the other ‘I was the play doh file the whole time.'”

“He is not that, but again I think it’s the missing social cues things and he thinks shocking is the same as funny.”

“As stated by someone else this kind of humor has an audience somewhere (his favorite comedian is Anthony Jeselnik) but open mic ain’t it.”  

Reddit continued…

“OP you tried and now what happens is what happens.”

“This is one of those hard times where if you are honest.”

“You can be seen by a partner as not supportive or told, you don’t understand his style of funny.”

“But if you say nothing and it turns into a train wreak and others tell him he isn’t funny you’ll hear ‘why didn’t you tell me.'”

“It’s his ‘dream’ or thought that he is funny and can do comedy which is just as much about timing as the story/joke being delivered.”

“Just be there no matter the outcome and no ‘I told you so’. NTA.”  ~ YogurtclosetTop1056

“Real comedians write out their acts.”

“Real comedians practice their jokes.”

“Vocal cadence and timing are just as important as content.”

“Real comedians bomb a lot before they find their rhythm.”

“Source: like every professional comic who does an interview ever.”

“He shows little respect for what comedians actually do. Let him bomb.”

“But that doesn’t seem to be the real problem for you.”

“The real problem is that you find his jokes ‘cringe.'”

“I couldn’t be married to someone who I constantly feel embarrassed by and feel I have to apologize to others for his words.”

“If you are the company you keep, you are even more the company you marry.”

“If you find him to be constantly offensive, why are you married to him?”  ~ trytothrowaway135789

“You’ve done all you can here – he needs to get this out of his system himself.”

“And echoing other comments it’s likely he’ll blame the audience and it will take a few goes before he accepts it not being right.”

“Or he may just keep going.”

“NTA – and maybe offer to record on the night?”  ~ SlothLordMcMarekat

“NAH. You are trying to be a good partner.”

“But I’m with the let him humiliate himself side.”

“You warned him, you told him to practice, you told him to go view it first.”

“He’s ignoring all good advice so let him go and crash and burn.”

“Then chuck a cheeseburger his way and say better luck next time.” ~ Status-Pattern7539

“NTA. You’re trying to help, and it seems like you were giving gentle suggestions/advice until only the most recent exchange.”

“Especially if you have public speaking experience (even if it’s not stand-up), that is actually relevant if he has no one.”

“That said, he clearly doesn’t want to hear what you’re saying; he hasn’t even given you the courtesy of listening/considering.”

“He’s just dismissing your suggestions out of hand.”

“At this point, I think you need to just let him try and experience the consequences.”

“And then you need to decide if you care enough about your relationship to NOT say ‘I told you so.'”  ~ katreddita

“NTA. I don’t think there is any right way to approach this.”

“He’s going to be hurt if you tell him he’s not funny.”

“But he’s also going to be upset if he goes in blind and the crowd confirms what you’re saying.”

“He’s going to ask why you didn’t warn him.”

“Partners are supposed to be supportive, but only if it does no harm.”

“Him getting humiliated may be 100x worse than you saying that he’s not funny.”

“One is extremely embarrassing, while the other might just sting a bit.”

“If he wants to go ahead with it even though you’ve told him, let him.”

“Unfortunately you tried to warn him, but he will have to find out the hard way.” ~ onedayatatime08

Well OP, Reddit understands your predicament.

In the end he’ll do what he decides to do, as is his right.

You told your truth, as is yours.

Now just wait and see.