The Funniest Guys in South Louisiana (Part II)
artwork courtesy of tammy matthews, west monroe, la.
Picking up where I left off in the past issue of Acadiana Profile, I’d like to introduce two more of the funniest guys who ever cracked a joke in South Louisiana.
Dave Petitjean of Crowley is the epitome of the Cajun humorist. Like several others who have entertained professionally, Dave has a knack for laughing with his fellow Cajuns, not at us.
And I’ve never heard him say a curse word while entertaining. He’s proud of that. He believes the old saying: Profanity is the attempt of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.
Dave has been a strong performer for decades and is probably the best-known Cajun humorist alive today. He doesn’t have to cuss; he doesn’t have to get raunchy to make people laugh. You can tell his stuff is funny by the way some people in the audience fall off their chairs!
His routine is built largely around some pretty zany characters that he just made up out of thin air. These are people with, shall I say, unusual names, such as Clesma, Clebert, Sosthene and Onezime. For example:
“My old friend Onezime says success is relative. The more success you have, the more relatives show up!”
Here are a few more of Dave’s little tales:
The Furniture Disease
People see my wife and wonder why a good-looking girl like that married a fellow like me.
Well, I want you to know, when I was courting Audrey, I was a good-looking fellow. I had hair, my own teeth and muscles like you wouldn’t believe. But that was before I got the furniture disease.
The furniture disease – that’s when your chest falls into your drawers.
Coming Clean With The IRS
I’m not going to tell you this fellow’s name, but this guy wrote a letter to the IRS, and he said:
“Dear IRS: Enclosed is a thousand dollars. I cheated on my income tax last year, and I can’t sleep.
“P. S. If I still can’t sleep, I’m gonna send you the rest.”
A Real Shopping Adventure
My friend Clebert went one day to buy some things for his wife. She needed one of them new corsets, you know, and he had never bought one, but he said, “I’ll go try.”
So he went to one of those lingerie counters and said, “Lady, I want a new corset for my wife.”
“Short or long?”
“Long,” he said.
“Oh,” Clebert said, “it didn’t bust; it just wore out!”
I love Texans, and I met one yesterday. He was from Texas A&M. This big Texas Aggie had a cowboy hat on, and he had some fancy boots. And on the toe of his boot there was “TGIF.” So I asked him, “What does that mean?”
He said, “That means, ‘Toes go in first.’ ”
Another Cajun comedian who is a joy to listen to is Murray Conque of Carencro. Some years back, he was one of the busiest people you’d ever want to meet. He was into everything: He was a baseball scout for the Cincinnati Reds, an independent insurance agent, executive vice president of American Motor Club and a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association. Today, he focuses on one thing – performing for the crowds.
Here are a couple of his jokes that always make me laugh:
Pistache Babineaux, Big Shot Lawyer
Just last week there was a fellow on Death Row at Angola. It was all over the news and on The Phil Domingue Show and everything. He needed a lawyer bad, so he called up Pistache.
“Mr. Babineaux, I’m calling you from Angola State Prison. I’m on Death Row, and in one hour they’re going to execute me in the electric chair. You got some advice for me?”
“Yeah. Don’t sit down!”
My Friend Ralph
Ralph Boudreaux is a good friend of mine. In fact, he’s such a good friend he told me that whenever I was near Maurice, La., day or night, to come by and see him.
Well, two weeks ago, about 2 o’clock in the morning, I left the Maurice City Bar and went to see my buddy Ralph. I found his house. I knocked on the door, and his wife answered.
“Ma’am,” I said. “I know it’s kind of late, but is this where the great Ralph Boudreaux lives?”
“Yeah,” she said. “Just bring him on in and lay him on the couch.”