Take My Wife

523 Jokes, Riddles, Quips, Quotes, and Wisecracks About Love, Marriage, and the Battle of the Sexes


Illustrated by Martha Gradisher

By Hugh Payne

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 20, 2011. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The comical compiler of Yo’ Mama Is So . . . brings us yet another irresistibly hilarious collection of jokes, quotes, and wisecracks, this time on the funniest subject of all: marriage.

When it comes to marriage, you might as well laugh. This little crowd-pleaser is chock full of more than 500 of the funniest jokes on the subject, along with the sassiest, most quotable comments ever uttered by comedians, writers, and other smart alecks. Divided into such topics as the wedding (“I Do”), newlyweds (“I Did”), and kids (“Married with Children”), and wittily illustrated by Martha Gradisher, Take My Wife . . . makes the perfect shower gift or anniversary offering? For not much more than the cost of a card.

“My wife and I were happy for 20 years? then we met.” — Rodney Dangerfield

“You know what I did before I married? Anything I wanted.” — Henny Youngman

“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.” — Rita Rudner


p. cm.

1. Marriage—Humor. I. Title.

PN6231.M3P39 2008





Wedding wit in one line, more or less


A guy and a gal walk down the aisle…


Over the threshold and into the fray


And baby makes three… four… five…


Notta lotta whoopee


Please pass the Viagra


Good while it lasted… sorta



a woman rolling her eyes.
—Jim Carrey

What counts in making a happy marriage
is not so much how compatible you are,
but how you deal with incompatibility.
—Leo Tolstoy

Am I dating myself by titling this book after Henny Youngman’s oft-invoked plea? How many of you reading this even remember the King of the One-Liners, who died in 1998 at the ripe old age of ninety-one? Henny set out to be a violinist and stumbled upon his classic line, “Take my wife … please!” quite by accident. He went on to make a pretty good living as a comedian, poking fun at his wife, Sadie, and their marriage, among other things, with brilliant one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Truth is, he loved his wife deeply and she in turn appreciated his hard work. They were happily married for nearly sixty years, and Henny outlived her by more than a decade. On her deathbed, Sadie implored Henny to continue poking fun at wives and marriage in his act. And, though he felt he’d lost his muse, he did so.

The irony in Henny’s story—that he mocked marriage, yet was happily married himself—goes right to the point of this book (if there is one). Marriages evolve as the years go on. The jokes, wisecracks, and smart remarks collected here are organized by the various phases through which every marriage must pass, from the idealistic young love (and lust) of the newlywed to the more earthbound forms of affection that take over as the stork arrives, and then the wrinkles and sags. If you see yourself in any of these jokes, don’t be offended. Have a laugh and move on, knowing that you aren’t alone.

I can hear a few of you squawking right now, “Hang on there, Hugh. Flossie and I have been married more than thirty years and we’re still like newlyweds, sexy and full of love!” To that I say, good for you, Morty. The fact is, while the divorce rate hovers at around 50 percent, gazillions of people are still getting married. There are days when even the most happily married couple can’t stand to look at each other, and other days when there’s nowhere they’d rather be than sitting side by side on a loveseat, watching The Apprentice. That, folks, is marriage.

I dedicate this book to Henny and Sadie, to Flossie and Morty, and to all of you other folks out there (myself included), who are making a go of this rather peculiar institution. Good luck. You’ll need it!

Love always,

chapter one

Wedding wit in one line, more or less

She’s always flying around the house
harping about something.

First guy (proudly): My wife’s an angel.
Second guy: You’re lucky. Mine’s still alive.

Marriage is like a violin.
Even after the sweet music is over,
there are strings attached.

To heck with marrying a girl
who makes biscuits like her mother.
I want to marry one who makes dough
like her father.


A man in love is incomplete
until he has married.
Then he’s finished.

It doesn’t matter how often
a married man changes jobs;
he still ends up with the same boss.

The three stages of sex in marriage:
tri-weekly, try-weekly, try-weakly.

My wife and I were happy
for twenty years. Then we met.
—Rodney Dangerfield


A marriage certificate is just another word
for a work permit.

Why do men want to marry virgins?
They can’t stand criticism.

How do you keep your husband
from reading your e-mail?
Name the mail folder “Directions to Mom’s.”

Marriage is an institution where two people
come together to solve the problems
they never had before they got married.

Marriage is love. Love is blind.
Therefore, marriage is an institution for the blind.


Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

“I do” is the longest sentence
in the English language.

What should you give a man
who has everything?
A wife to show him how to work it.

Marriage is an institution
in which the man loses his bachelor’s degree
and the woman gets her master’s.

Marriage is an institution—
but who wants to live in an institution?


Behind every successful man
stands a surprised mother-in-law.

I married Miss Right.
I just didn’t know her first name was Always.

May you be blessed with a wife
so healthy and strong, she can pull the plow
when your horse drops dead.

Marriage is the process of finding out what kind
of person your spouse would really have preferred.

You know what I did before I got married?
Anything I wanted to. —Henny Youngman


Why do wives outlive their husbands?
Someone has to stick around and clean up
after them.

What’s the difference between
a new husband and a new dog?
After a year, the dog is still excited to see you.

Marriage requires three types of rings:
engagement ring
wedding ring

All marriages are happy.
It’s the living together afterward
that causes the problems.

Once you get used to it, it’s not so hot.


My wife says I never listen to her.
At least I think that’s what she said.

The gods gave man fire and he invented fire engines.
They gave him love and he invented marriage.

Marriage is like a bank account.
You put it in, you take it out,
you lose interest. —Irwin Corey

How do you know when your wife is a lousy cook?
She uses the smoke detector as a timer.

Husband: How about a quickie?
Wife: As opposed to what?


Did you ever notice that when you
fall in love you sink into his arms,
but after the wedding
your arms are in his sink?

A recent survey shows that the most
common form of marriage proposal these days
consists of the words, “You’re what?!?”

A happy marriage is a matter of give-and-take:
The husband gives and the wife takes.

Getting married is very much like
going to a restaurant with friends.
You order what you want, and
when you see what the other fellow has,
you wish you had ordered that.


Marriage is when a man and woman
become as one; the trouble starts
when they try to decide WHICH one.

What’s a husband’s idea of helping
his wife with the housework?
Lifting his legs so she can vacuum.

How do most men define marriage?
A very expensive way
to get laundry done free.

I have learned that only two things
are necessary to keep one’s wife happy.
First, let her think she’s having her own way.
And second, let her have it.
—Lyndon B. Johnson


Why do husbands die before their wives?
Because they want to.

How are wives like cars?
On those cold mornings,
you just can’t get them to turn over.

What happens when a salesman
marries a saleswoman?
They become sell mates.

Words to live by: Do not argue with a spouse
who is packing your parachute.

Scientists have discovered a food that
diminishes a woman’s sex drive by 90 percent.
It’s called a wedding cake.


The husband who wants a happy marriage
should learn to keep his mouth shut and his
checkbook open. —Groucho Marx

Do you know the punishment for bigamy?
Two mothers-in-law.

What happens when a cowboy marries a cowgirl?
It’s a Western Union.

Definition of a wife:
An attachment you screw in the bed
to get the housework done.

How are tornadoes and marriage alike?
They both begin with a lot of sucking and blowing,
and in the end you lose your house.


Marriage is a rest period between romances.

A man may be a fool and not know it—
but not if he is married. —H. L. Mencken

It’s true that all men are born free and equal
—but then some of them get married!

Don’t marry for money; you can borrow it cheaper.

Love is one long, sweet dream.
Marriage is the alarm clock.

Marriage is bliss. Ignorance is bliss. Ergo …


In marriage, as in war, it is permitted
to take every advantage of the enemy.

Love thy neighbor,
but make sure her husband is away first.

Love: an obsessive delusion
cured by marriage.

Do not marry a man to reform him.
That is what reform schools are for.
—Mae West

Shotgun wedding:
a case of wife or death.


Marriage is like a mousetrap.
Those on the outside are trying to get in.
Those on the inside are trying to get out.

Don’t marry a tennis player.
Love means nothing to them.

May you be too good for the world
and not good enough for your wife.

May you never leave your marriage alive.

If variety is the spice of life,
marriage is the big can of leftover SPAM.
—Johnny Carson

Chapter 2
I DO: Hilariously Hitched

A guy and a gal walk down the aisle

is a period before a sentence.

Advice for grooms:
Whenever you have a discussion with your wife,
be sure you have the last word: “Yes, dear.”

Marriage: a ceremony in which rings
are put on the finger of the lady and
through the nose of the gentleman.
—Herbert Spencer



On Sale
May 20, 2011
Page Count
224 pages

Martha Gradisher

About the Illustrator

Martha Gradisher is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Reader’s Digest, and Funny Times. She lives in South Nyack, New York.

Hugh Payne is the author of Yo Mama is So… and Take My Wife… He lives in Northern New Jersey.

Learn more about this illustrator

Hugh Payne

About the Author

Hugh Payne is the author of Yo Mama is So… and Take My Wife… He lives in Northern New Jersey.

Learn more about this author