Dean Wormer, Animal House (1978)

My Husband, Dean of Comedy

My husband’s job can be serious. Over the last 20 years my husband has come face to face (figuratively and literally) with anorexia, hazing, suicide attempts, fatal car accidents, alcoholism, drug use, mental illness, racial injustice, and sexual assault. Police have called him/us at 2:56 AM because of some of these things.

My husband has had to make difficult decisions that greatly affect the lives of those with whom he comes in contact. And at times, his rulings have resulted in questions from the media and intense meetings with the president(s) and board of his institution.

My spouse is a student conduct officer in higher education. At some places, you’d call him Dean (or Assistant Dean) of Students. He’s like the school principal but with more pressing issues than overbearing parents (though he’s seen some of those too) and the coordination of custodial and cafeteria services.

That said, when he’s not making critical decisions, my husband is silly. Very silly. He is interested in comedy. He has read books on comedy, attended several stand-up acts, watched countless comedy specials, and has even taken a class on comedy and its history.

Whether performing impromptu karaoke at an office event, posing ridiculously for pictures, or supplying fodder for my Twitter feed, he makes others laugh — sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.


We recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.

Did we celebrate with cards, roses, and a fancy dinner? (Nope.) We were holed up in our den — donning sweatpants, eating pizza, and seeing who can make the other laugh first.

I’ll bet you a slice of deep-dish who won…

A couple of kids, 16 years ago. (Feb. 1999)

The Husband in Soundbites