The scrap pile: wedding etiquette

Welcome to the scrap pile! Hopefully you know the drill by now but if not, here’s what happens.

I look at a joke that I’ve written and try to work out how to improve it. Sometimes this will be a joke I’ve said on stage that hasn’t worked, sometimes it will be a joke I’ve written and not been brave enough to say on stage.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

“Dave, isn’t this blog supposed to be weekly?”

Yes. I was inundated with fan mail and people up in arms that I missed a week last week.

In all seriousness though, I try and write these a little bit ahead of time but I’ve fallen behind and last week I was too ill to bring myself to catch up.

I’m still ill this week which is unlike me but I’m making a real effort for you. You’re welcome.

Anyway, excuses made, here’s this week’s scrap pile.

The joke

“What’s the etiquette with weddings? If I’ve not been given a plus one, can I still bring a date? My fiancee says that would spoil our big day”

The reaction

This is one of those oddities that did well enough over on Twitter to make me think that there was something to it.

Then I said it on stage and it got nothing.

Seriously, nothing, not even a titter of recognition. Just blank faces looking at me like I’d dropped the mic to do a shit on the floor.

Surely this joke’s not that bad?

The problem

Well, big problem, audiences did not like this joke.

Is it too obvious where it’s going? Or not obvious enough?

Maybe phrasing it as a question is confusing to people?

Using etiquette might be a little unnecessary as well, there’s definitely a simpler way to phrase this.

If I’m giving the joke the benefit of the doubt and saying that it still has something to it, then I think the big issue is the way it comes across when said out loud. I think there’s a lot of information up front and the rhythm to the punch line is wrong.

It’s too many words in the punchline I think and that’s throwing it off.

The fix

So, the fix in this case would be to simplify the language, make the set up clearer and tweak the punch line to make it sharper.


Maybe something like;

“I’m the kind of guy who thinks it’s okay to bring a plus one regardless of what it says on my invite. Ruined my own wedding”

That’s neater, but is it better?

I don’t know, I’m not sure I like this joke. Still, got to be worth another try just to make sure right?

The scrap pile should be back to weekly from now and there will be an inspiration list out tomorrow 🙂

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