Home | News | Contact Us | Subscribe | Advertise | Classifieds
Subscription Home The Times of Noblesville, IN | Noblesville, in
Riverwalk Commons

Subscription Login


Opinion Page
• Columnists
• Paula Dunn
• Betsy Reason
• Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson
• City of Noblesville
• Joy in the Journey
• Dick Wolfsie
• Dr John Roberts
• Guest Columnist
Photo Galleries
Traffic Cams
Newspapers In Education
2017 Readers' Choice

home : columnists : columnists November 18, 2017

How come you're not funny at home?

By Dick Wolfsie
Funny Bone

Mary Ellen was kind enough to pass along a comment she had heard about me at her book club. "Kathy says your newspaper column makes her laugh."

"Gee, thanks for sharing that, Mary Ellen."

"Yes, and, Cara, the organizer of the group, told me she thinks you're quite amusing on TV."

"Wow, I sure appreciate the compliments."

"But Dick, I have to ask you this: How come you're not so funny at home?"


"Well, people keep telling me how humorous you are. They say it must be so much fun to live with you, but I simply don't see it. Maybe you leave it all in the basement where you write your column, or at the remote locations where you do your TV segments?"

"How dull has it been for you the last 38 years?"

"Oh, don't get me wrong. We've had a great marriage and I've been perfectly happy. It's just not been the laugh riot everyone else assumes it is."

It was a startling observation-and not an unfair one. When we are out with other couples, we all laugh. Waiters love to trade jabs with me. The UPS guy and I always yuck it up on my front porch. I never leave the dry cleaners without exchanging a few jokes with the clerk. But apparently, I save nothing for my relationship with my wife. I guess I give too much at the office.

I mounted a feeble defense. "Mary Ellen, in some ways, this is your fault."

"Excuse me?"

"I can't kid about your cooking: it's outstanding. You dress impeccably, your hair is always perfect, and you are very intelligent. I need some material to work with."

"I must admit, Dick, you are making a convincing argument, but still, my friends assume that the way you are in public carries over at home. Am I missing something?"

That evening I was determined to make things right. We sat across from each other at the dinner table. She was staring at me and shaking her head. "Dick, maybe I shouldn't have said anything. Now you're trying way too hard. A red foam clown nose is not what I had in mind. And you keep kicking me with those giant, floppy shoes.

At that moment, I had to really bring out my best material. "Mary Ellen, maybe you'd like for me to be more like Harry, the accountant who lives next door?"

"Is he a funny guy?"

"No. In fact, his wife Sue says he can be very calculating. I could be like Jake, the comforter manufacturer across the street-always down on life. Or there's Hugh, our exterminator friend-antsy the minute he walks in our door.

When a slight grin appeared on my wife's face, I knew I had made some progress. "Well, I guess I do have the ability to amuse you after all," I said. "How about if I try to bring this same snappy repartee to the dinner table every single night? That would make me as funny at home as I am at work."

"Please," said Mary Ellen, as she gave me a big hug. "Don't make me laugh."

Dick Wolfsie has written 12 books and has been a television personality for 30 years. His humor column appears Saturdays in The Times.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to send us your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Home | News | Contact Us | Subscribe | Advertise | Classifieds

© 2017
The Times
a division of Sagamore News Media
920 S. Logan St, Suite 101 Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 770-7777

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved