For Three Comedians, Valentine's Day Makes For One Big Joke Whether they find Valentine's Day "icky," or the "Christmas of love," stand-up comics Jim Gaffigan, Marina Franklin and Ted Alexandro all find plenty of funny material in romance — or the lack of it.
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For Three Comedians, Valentine's Day Makes For One Big Joke

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For Three Comedians, Valentine's Day Makes For One Big Joke

For Three Comedians, Valentine's Day Makes For One Big Joke

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Love and relationships have long been at the heart of comedies, so to mark this Valentine's Day, NPR's Elizabeth Blair spoke with a few comedians about why romance, or the lack thereof, can be so funny.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Comedian Marina Franklin finds humor in the different nationalities and races of the guys she's dated. She's African-American.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY PERFORMANCE)

MARINA FRANKLIN: Whenever I date a white guy I always lose weight. Like, the last white guy I dated would do little subtle things to make sure I stayed thin - like, he would throw his napkin in my dish before I was done.

(LAUGHTER)

FRANKLIN: Think about that - I was eating. He was like you're finished [expletive] and just threw it right in my plate.

BLAIR: Marina Franklin jokes about the Haitians and Latinos she's dated.

FRANKLIN: My last guy was Puerto Rican. And I actually gained weight because Puerto Rican men, they feed you so nobody else wants you.

(LAUGHTER)

BLAIR: Is it cathartic to write jokes about some heartache?

FRANKLIN: Of course it's cathartic. Who else gets to do that except for - you could journal, but there's nothing like getting this immediate response from an audience that we agree.

BLAIR: So Valentine's Day is like nirvana for Franklin. Tonight she's performing at Stand Up New York.

FRANKLIN: It's sort of like the Christmas of love.

BLAIR: But not for everybody.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY PERFORMANCE)

TED ALEXANDRO: Like, my grandparents were married for 62 years - no, not happily.

(LAUGHTER)

BLAIR: Ted Alexandro is doing shows at Michael Moore's comedy Festival in Traverse City, Mich., this weekend. He speaks a funny truth about how real love is old love.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY PERFORMANCE)

ALEXANDRO: Do you ever see, like, old love? Do you ever see, like, where they bring out the couple that's been married the longest at a wedding? They look like war veterans. They just come out like [expletive] shock on their face. That's real love - that look. Like, real love is no eye contact, just ehh.

(LAUGHTER)

BLAIR: Of all the subjects a comedian can write jokes about, Alexandro says love is so universal; it's an easy way to win over a room.

ALEXANDRO: You know, if I do a bit about police brutality, that's going to polarize a room way more than talking about old love or relationships you know? So it doesn't take as much massaging.

BLAIR: Alexandro often jokes about the fact that he's 46 years old and never married.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY PERFORMANCE)

ALEXANDRO: But it's a good life. You make money. You get to keep it.

(LAUGHTER)

ALEXANDRO: You make plans. You can just break them.

(LAUGHTER)

ALEXANDRO: You can even overrule yourself. Like, oh, I got to go do that thing today. No, you don't. Oh, yeah, no I don't.

(LAUGHTER)

BLAIR: But holidays that seem made for couples are not Alexandro's favorites - same goes for comedian Jim Gaffigan.

JIM GAFFIGAN: Valentine's Day is so icky and weird.

BLAIR: Gaffigan says Valentine's Day is a drag for both single people and couples.

GAFFIGAN: If Valentine's Day is this reminder of love, it's, like - if you need the reminder it's too late.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "OBSESSED")

GAFFIGAN: I was eating a pint of ice cream in sweatpants like a man.

BLAIR: This is from Jim Gaffigan's comedy special "Obsessed."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "OBSESSED")

GAFFIGAN: My wife came in the room and she was like, Jim, are you going to eat an entire pint of ice cream by yourself? I was like hopefully.

(LAUGHTER)

GAFFIGAN: Unless you selfishly want a bite.

BLAIR: Jim's wife, Jeannie Gaffigan, is always in on the joke. They write together. They're currently working on a new TV series for TV Land and Comedy Central. The Gaffigans also have five kids together.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "OBSESSED")

GAFFIGAN: But 10 years ago I couldn't get a date. And now my apartment's literally crawling with babies. It's like I left peanut butter out or something.

(LAUGHTER)

BLAIR: This Valentine's Day, Jim Gaffigan says he and his wife will be hanging out with their kids. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOVE, YOU FUNNY THING")

LOUIS ARMSTRONG: (Singing) My love, you funny thing. Look at what you did to me.

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