Erma Bombeck (1927 – 1996) was a humorist columnist whose peak years were between 1965 and 1985. Her comic commentary on suburban married life was at the heart of many books, a couple of which inspired TV movies like The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. The Family That Plays Together … Gets On Each Other’s Nerves is a public performance reading Erma Bombeck gave in 1977. If you are looking for family friendly comedy, this CD is it. This is not stand-up but it is funny.

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It is to Erma Bombeck’s credit that aside from one TV commercial reference none of her material on this comedy album feels dated more than thirty years later., ” I said, ‘You want to nibble on my ear or anything?’ He said, ‘Are we out of chip dip?'” Bombeck is not quite reading her material and more conversational but she is still a bit stiff. An annoying fact is you can hear her lightly thump either the lectern or the mic on a regular basis.

Bombeck’s humor is based on her husband’s and kids’ failings as much as on her own as a housewife, wife, and mother. Topics on this Erma Bombeck CD include marriage, divorce, one size fits all, family vacations, how a man’s cold is more severe than a wife’s, and two year olds.

Especially funny, especially to your kids, is Things My Mother Taught Me, a fun bit on parental inconsistencies and irrational observations.

There are a couple of more serious, touching moments on this Bombeck CD. One is I Loved You Enough, her answer to a kid saying “You don’t really love me.”  Another is the closer, Mike and the Grass, about a father fretting about his kids destroying his lawn and then wishing they would.

This is not stand-up but it is funny and very family friendly.

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