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I Write For ‘The Onion’ And The Only Person I Can’t Make Laugh Is My Son

Flickr / Family O'Abe

The following was syndicated from Medium for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

I can’t make my son laugh.

There. I said it.

Why is that a big deal? Well because I’ve always been considered the “funny one” in our relationship.

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I’m the comedian. I’ve performed on stage. I work at The Onion. The number one thing my wife says she loves about me is my sense of humor. My son appears to not agree with this sentiment.

My wife on the other hand, he loves! She gets him to laugh constantly. She’ll be feeding him breakfast and I hear him howling with laughter. I come running in to join in on the fun and he stops laughing and gives me one of those “Oh. Hi.” looks. The kind a co-worker you see everyday but never really talk to gives when you see each other at a shared connection’s party.

I’ve tried everything in the book. Silly voices. Replacing lyrics in songs with the word “poo.” Even my great bit on the problem with menus today. Nothing. Bupkis.

Trying to get other people to laugh is pretty much my only purpose for the last 10 years.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve resorted to the lowest form of comedy just to get a laugh from him. Tickling.

I’m like a user looking for his next fix. I love his laugh. And I’ll do what I have to to get it. I’m a comedian for god’s sake. Trying to get other people to laugh is pretty much my only purpose for the last 10 years.

There is one other thing that gets him to laugh. If I lift up my shirt and let him poke my belly button and I giggle like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, he laughs along. At the time of this writing my belly button is red and raw from being poked all the time. I TOLD YOU I NEED THESE LAUGHS.


Wait. Now that I think about this, maybe this is a good thing. He’s my toughest critic, forcing me to step my game up. I’m gonna make my son laugh and I’m going to have earned it.

I knew he liked me.

Eric Munn is the Social Media Lead for @OnionLabs and a contributor to @TheOnion. Check out his website and twitter.