The Joke That Bombed


I don’t know how you comics do it. Night after night you haul your bums up on random stages in even more random towns and make people laugh. Or at least try to make people laugh.
Often you succeed. Often you don’t.
Always you comics go back for more!

You have much stronger innards than I!

Last night, in a not so quaint restaurant in the bustling outskirts of Cancun (Mayan Riviera) I miscalculated the crowd.
Well actually I didn’t miscalculate the crowd. I miscalculated the people at the table next to us who had engaged us in some innocuous conversation. Or maybe we engaged them?!
It’s unclear.

But what I do know is I made a joke. And It fell flat.
The dad at THEIR table hates me.

My joke was actually more a sarcastic tongue in cheek comment- my delivery has always been my strength or my delivery HAD always been my strength… Ugh.

I’m very free with my issues- my weight, dead mother, kids, husband, wrinkles, sags, pms, aging.
‘m not super sensitive really about any of it.
And on the occasion that I am sensitive- usually I will cop to that- admit my insecure moment- and move on.
Clearly, my expectation that all are ok with THEIR stuff is wrong.

What Happened:
Are you from Long Island?!
Us: YES!
Them: Where?
US: North Shore
Them: Us too..
US: What year did you graduate high school?
HIM-the dad: ’77
ME: oh. You’re old! (Said with deadpan makes my radio fans laugh not really meaning he was old- he’s just 11 years older than me!)
HIM: ……..
He was silent. And angry. I hurt his feelings. I wasn’t funny.
Ouch. Ugh. Oops.

The conversation continued a little bit-
Until it ended. Somewhat abruptly.

We paid our check and as we were leaving I went over to the man and apologized.

ME: I’m sorry for upsetting you.
I was just kidding making as joke!
HIM: What was the joke?
ME: ….
I was flustered and couldn’t respond.

My joke made him feel bad.
What explanation would make it ok?

No explanation.

So now I’m combing the beach looking for this man- to say I’m sorry again-
I gotta get over it.
If my intent was to make all laugh and I failed- isn’t that punishment enough?

My sarcasm is going to be tabled for a while. At least for today. Or an hour.

What would you do?

Merry Everything Everyone!!!



  1. Lori says

    Oh Please. You did nothing wrong. He’s been out of high school for 36 years. HE IS OLD!!! LOL
    Don’t give it another thought.

  2. Hannah says

    I’m not big on saying “he can’t take a joke” but clearly, he can’t take a joke. He totally could’ve gone along and made a, let’s say, sad face but he chose to essentially, be a jerk.

    He totally used my method tho when confronted with a controversial or possible insulting situation – “What was the joke?” He put you in your place – the place HE thought you should be. Uncomfortable. Oh well. Such is life. I luv you and luv your show etc and, I graduated in ’78!!!!! xoxo have fun!

  3. Adam says

    Yikes! Been there, done that. I definitely think people have hang ups about certain issues. Perhaps his age is one of those things. I have tried to be funny before and ended up having to apologize as well. They couldn’t even take the apology and it just made it more awkward. You said your peace and its one of those awkward things that happens in life. :) Try not to worry about it too much. I think your funny! :)

  4. karyn says

    Oh brother, what a big baby he is! You didn’t say anything wrong, that was funny and I would have laughed. You apologized, he has a huge ego, take a deep breath and let it go – that’s his issue!

  5. Donna says

    What a fuddy duddy. I graduated in 77 and yes I’m old. Had we met and you said that to me I would have laughed and agreed. He needs to get over his self and enjoy life. You did nothing wrong. Stop looking for him! Hey I know what pretend he works at the Apple Store! Then when you see him you won’t mind you telling him what you think! Ha ha. Forget it and have a Merry Christmas!! The guy must not have much of a life!

  6. Bobby says

    Next time make sure to ask everyone within earshot of their particular sensitivities before you speak, therefore avoiding gaffs of this nature in the future.

  7. says

    You are open and funny! Sadly, the recipient of your joke appears to be a bit of a crabapple! When all is said and done, apologizing was nice but only once. Remember~his opinion of you has nothing to do with you. You wouldn’t carry his bags through the airport so don’t carry his negativity around after making a harmless joke. Enjoy the season. I just saw your photo on Instagram wth your kiddos. Lovely!

  8. Cynthia says

    I won’t tell you not to beat yourself up about it because I do the same thing. But, you could be kinder to yourself & remember that not everyone is as accepting of their own issues & worse, not everyone can take a joke! What a dud he is…and on vacation no less!

  9. says

    I graduated in 77 by my own admission Im old. People have become super sensitive. Ur right u need to move on. U apologized. Enjoy ur vacation,

  10. Marcee ... ILLINOIS says

    When I turned 30 I was old. Then 35, 40, 45, etc. Another added year, always …. o-l-d + o-l-d-e-r. So what?
    “They” say re age ….. it’s just a number. The 77 year old young man should lighten up a bit. Yeah, we all have sensitive fellings. I get it. You did apologize Jenny, and said “sorry” to him. To me, that deserved a hug.

    Keep telling jokes. Phunnnny or not.

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