Created By: jatay3 on February 25, 2012 Last Edited By: jatay3 on August 8, 2012

Bigamy is Funny

Victim is a bigamist. This is funny.

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A common plot on crime and punishment shows. The victim turns out to have been married to several wives without the knowledge of any. Not only does this provide an obvious motive if it is found out it is treated in a comic manner.

I can't remember any gender-reversed examples.

Live-Action TV

  • A joke in Thirty Rock involves having to contact a dead NBC executive's family, as well as their "secret family in Canada".

  • Played for laughs in the Remington Steele episode "Altared Steele" when an amnesiac with five wives (and five identities) turns to Laura for help in learning who is trying to kill him.

  • This is the premise of Goodnight Sweetheart; a comedy with the character Gary Sparrow, who is a time traveller having affairs in two different time periods.

  • In an episode of Quantum Leap Sam leaps into a bigamist. His job is to make both of his wives leave him, which makes both of their lives better. Then in The Stinger just before he leaps out he discovers the man has a third wife.

  • Done in The In the Heat of the Night serial. A bigamist preacher incarcerated in the Sparta Jail dies suddenly, and it's discovered he was poisoned. It turns out he died after eating a plate of poisoned baked goods belonging to another prisoner. It seems the other fellow was only supposed to eat one at a time, so the poisoning would be slow, but the preacher ate the job lot in a single sitting. His own greedy appetite was his downfall.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • February 25, 2012
    jatay3
    One gender-reversed example played with on Castle. It turns out that a man who had a wife and a fiance had a fiance who was also playing him.
  • February 25, 2012
    nman
    Is this only for murder victims? If any deaths count, then:
    • A joke in Thirty Rock involves having to contact a dead NBC executive's family, as well as their "secret family in Canada".
  • February 25, 2012
    abk0100

  • February 26, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Played for laughs in the Remington Steele episode "Altared Steele" when an amnesiac with five wives (and five identities) turns to Laura for help in learning who is trying to kill him.
  • February 26, 2012
    CrypticMirror
    This is the premise of Goodnight Sweetheart; a comedy with the character Gary Sparrow, who is a time traveller having affairs in two different time periods.
  • February 26, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Expect awkwardness when each of the spouses learns of the others, and even more if/when they meet each other. Said awkwardness is often the source of the humour.
  • February 26, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Quantum Leap Sam leaps into a bigamist. His job is to make both of his wives leave him, which makes both of their lives better. Then in The Stinger just before he leaps out he discovers the man has a third wife.
  • February 26, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Done in The In The Heat Of The Night serial. A bigamist preacher incarcerated in the Sparta Jail dies suddenly, and it's discovered he was poisoned. It turns out he died after eating a plate of poisoned baked goods belonging to another prisoner. It seems the other fellow was only supposed to eat one at a time, so the poisoning would be slow, but the preacher ate the job lot in a single sitting. His own greedy appetite was his downfall.
  • February 26, 2012
    Chabal2
    The punishment for bigamy is two mother-in-laws. - Old joke.
  • February 27, 2012
    jatay3
    Hey jatay3, if you click the pencil next to people's posts, and then copy and paste that source text, you can also copy over the appropriate wikiwords so that all the examples in the main YKTTW are linking to the works.

    Thanks.
  • August 6, 2012
    jatay3
    bump
  • August 7, 2012
    Astaroth
    In one episode of Futurama, Leela finds another cyclops like herself named Alcazar and feels obliged to marry him because he's the only other known member of her race. He turns out to be a shapeshifter who's courting multiple females from several species.
  • August 7, 2012
    TonyG
    On Tiny Toon Adventures How I Spent My Vacation, Buster is captured by a Southern Gentleman alligator who plans to marry him off to his three daughters.
    Buster: But that's bigamy!
    Gator: No, that's bigga me!
  • August 7, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    These examples don't really claim the bigamy is funny, just that it can lead to comical situations.
  • August 7, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Journeyman: Dan discovers that his fiancee Livia, who had died in a plane crash shortly before they were to get married, is actually a fellow Time Traveller who had travelled forward from 1948 where she has a life, including a fiancee: in one episode she forward travels on her wedding day in her wedding dress. (She's also not dead.)
  • August 7, 2012
    JoeG
    • Night Court: A bigamist named Herb dies of natural causes, and his two widows learn of each other's existence at the funeral. They get into a fight over his cremated ashes and are arrested for assault and disturbing the peace. Once they calm down they decide he wasn't worth it and abandon his cremains at court, where Herb is mistaken for herb tea.
  • August 7, 2012
    Chabal2
    Old joke (seen on a late 19th-century newspaper, so likely older than that): What's the punishment for bigamy? Two mothers-in-law.
  • August 7, 2012
    Goldfritha
    "The inquisitor, in his more than morbid curiosity, had then written down, 'Are you a polygamist?' "The answer to this is, 'No such luck' or 'Not such a fool,' according to our experience of the other sex. But perhaps a better answer would be that given to W. T. Stead when he circulated the rhetorical question, 'Shall I slay my brother Boer?'---the answer that ran, 'Never interfere in family matters.'" -- GK Chesterton
  • August 7, 2012
    KyleJacobs
  • August 7, 2012
    randomsurfer
    See also Marry Them All.

    • Bones: The Victim Of The Week was a bigamist with a rare brittle bone condition, which is how his two wives meet each other: their children inherited the trait and they both go to a special safe playground. They're both involved in the coverup but not the murder: that was another fiancee who he had knocked up without telling her of his other two wives.
    • From Animal Crackers (whence came the Tiny Toons example mentioned above), Groucho proposes to two women simultaneously:
      Spaulding: Well, what do you say, girls? What do you say? Are we all gonna get married?
      Mrs. Rittenhouse: All of us?
      Spaulding: All of us!
      Mrs. Rittenhouse: But that's bigamy!
      Spaulding: Yes, and that's big-a-me, too...It's big of all of us. Let's be big for a change. I'm sick of these conventional marriages! One woman and one man was good enough for your grandmother, but who wants to marry your grandmother? Nobody, not even your grandfather. Think, think of the honeymoon, strictly private. I wouldn't let another woman in on this. Well, maybe one or two but no men. I may not go myself.
  • August 8, 2012
    Omeganian
    There is an old joke:
    What is the punishment for bigamy?
    Two mothers in law.
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