Reba McEntire Admits ‘Horrible Joke’ Once Got Her Booed Off Stage in 2019 Interview

by Emily Morgan

During an interview from 2019, country queen Reba McEntire opened up a moment in her career that left her stunned. While promoting her new album at the time, Stronger Than The Truth, she was also promoting the ACM Awards, which she hosted for the 16th time. 

During an interview with Stephen Colbert, McEntire dropped a bomb when she revealed an audience once booed her off the stage. “Not many things have gone bad that I will admit to,” she said during the appearance. “Except, one time years ago they came to us and said, ‘We can’t find Keith Urban’s guitar…’ so Dick Clark says, ‘Reba get out there and stall!'”

According to the “Fancy” singer, McEntire had no idea what to say to the audience, so she thought to herself, “Well, I can tell a joke, I did get booed off stage one time in 1978 for telling a horrible joke, so…probably not a good idea to do that.”

However, McEntire went ahead with the joke despite her worries about how the crowd would react to her comedic stylings. “So I went out there and said, ‘Are y’all having a good time?’ And it was just crickets,” she recalled about the moment in 1978.

“Pretty soon here comes Dick Clark out there and put his arm around me and said, ‘All right, folks, we’re going to tell you what’s going on.’ He was just honest with the audience, and I said, ‘Hmmm, lesson learned from the professional.'”

Reba Mcentire: Stand up Comedian & Country Superstar

When Colbert asked McEntire to recount the joke, McEntire didn’t hold back. “Do you know the difference between unlawful and illegal?” she asked. “Unlawful means it’s against the law, and illegal is a sick bird.” 

Impressed with her comedic skills, Colbert shook her hand as the studio audience reacted with a laugh. “After that, Mama said, ‘Reba, you’re real cute. Sing, don’t talk,'” McEntire hilariously added.

Afterward, Colbert asked if there were any surprises among the 2019 ACM nominees, and McEntire gave her honest opinion. 

“There weren’t any women in the Entertainer of the Year category, which I was very disappointed about that,” she said at the time. “They’re great, but I wanted to hear some women in there.”

However, all that would change the following year when Carrie Underwood won the ACM Award for “Entertainer of the Year.” Sadly, for this year’s ACM Awards, it’s another all-male lineup for the award. The nominees for “Entertainer of the Year” include Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, and Chris Stapleton. 

The 56th annual ACM Awards will broadcast on CBS on Sunday, April 18th, at 7 p.m. CST. As with last year’s ceremony, this year’s show will be held across three different iconic venues in Nashville, including the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Cafe.