Gaither and Clean Comedy

I love comedy. I have a strange sense of humor (thanks Mom and Dad). I go around sampling Christian comedians all the time. Others have their particular favorites, but I always have trouble picking a favorite because I can appreciate each comedian’s unique style. There’s nothing I love better than a truly  hilarious joke told well. Unless… it’s off-color. Those kinds of jokes turn me off. I simply don’t find them funny or appealing. If you’re on a good clean roll, but you stop to drop a dirty joke, it takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

By and large, the jokes you’ll hear at a Gaither event are family-friendly. Even though Mark Lowry will occasionally come out with something a little crude-sounding (e.g. “He’s little but fertile”), Bill makes a big show of looking embarrassed and disassociating himself from it all, which tends to mitigate any awkward effects and just make it a cute “There goes Mark again” moment.

But just occasionally, something slips in there that makes my eyebrows go up a little. For instance, there’s one joke Bill sometimes tells about himself and Gloria that I’m not so sure about. It’s the one where he says “The other day I asked Gloria, ‘Honey, did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine that we’d be able to go out and work with all this talent and do this for a living?’ ” To which Gloria replies “You were never in my wildest dreams, honey.”

It took a while for that to hit me. Then when it did, I kinda went, “Hm.” Then, “Meh.” Sure, nothing’s stated outright, but what do you suppose Gloria is dreaming wild dreams about in the joke? Playing Boggle with her ideal man? I don’t think so either.

I hesitated about posting this, but I think it’s a conversation worth having. It makes sense to hold people we respect to even higher standards than those to which we’d hold the rest of the world.

Where do you draw the line?

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Gaither and Clean Comedy

  1. Billy bob

    He is talking of wild dreams about singing. That’s wild to him. Wild to her might be jewelry, sushi…….doesn’t have to be dirty. I don’t go there on that one.

  2. Lydia

    No, that’s strained–jewelry and sushi. The way that Bill Gaither delivers the joke confirms the interpretation applied in the main post. And, really, the interpretation isn’t in much question to begin with. It’s meant to be a kind of humorous insult to Bill, but no insult is implied in her dreaming about jewelry and sushi without him. And why wouldn’t he be in such dreams anyway? The last time I heard him deliver it, he deliberately paused after the punchline and said, “I’m going to wait for that one to make it all the way to the back row,” or words to that effect. He was _emphasizing_ the questionable nature of the joke by standing around waiting for more people to get it. It really wasn’t good.

  3. They weren’t meant to be comedians.
    It’s a dumb joke.
    It’s not even funny.
    You can just leave it at that.

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  5. Grigsby

    You know that wild dreams do not always involve sex. I’ve had wild dreams involving Freddy Krueger chasing me and my brothers around a southern plantation among other things. I’m not even in some of my dreams; it’s like I’m watching a movie or something. For all we know, Gloria’s wildest dream might involve her going over a waterfall in the Gaither bus.

  6. Ril

    It’s a funny joke. Classic misdirecting with self deprecation. And there us nothing wrong with two married people having (or not having) their spouse in their wildest dreams. In fact, if more did the divorce rate would plummet. Good post!

  7. Amy Herrera

    It must be in the delivery, because it would never have occurred to me that one might be offensive. I have heard some offensive ones though. Must have put a mental block on them cause they’re not coming to me right now.

  8. Interesting stuff, got me roaring with laughter! Speaking of dirty jokes, I’ve heard plenty from Lowry. One such joke is when Bill mentions that Guy has 5 kids on the I Do Believe video, Mark says, “He’s been busy……..Thats why he hasn’t had time to get a haircut!” Bill and Gloria’s joke falls short of dirtyness compared to Lowry’s.

    • “He’s been busy” could refer simply to the burden of raising five kids, as opposed to the business of conceiving them in the first place.

      Lowry occasionally pushes the envelope a little, but overall his comedy actually doesn’t concern me as much as other things like his association with Tony Campolo.

      • Lydia

        Even if Lowry’s joke were about Guy’s being busy conceiving children, though that would be quite tacky, we cd. be thankful that it had something to do with, y’know, a man and wife. As opposed to being a joke about a woman’s “wildest dreams” about someone other than her husband.

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