HomeEntertainmentMusicReba McEntire Revealed the Joke That Got Her Booed Off Stage in 1978

Reba McEntire Revealed the Joke That Got Her Booed Off Stage in 1978

by Quentin Blount
Photo via Getty Images

Reba McEntire may very well be The Queen of Country. But she is most definitely not the queen of stand-up comedy.

Prior to hosting the ACM Awards on CBS in 2019, McEntire sat down for an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It was there Colbert asked the Grammy Award-winning artist if things had ever gone south for Reba during a live performance.

“Not many things have gone bad….that I will admit to,” McEntire says with a smirk.

And she is most definitely right about that. Reba McEntire is a country singer, songwriter, and actress who has had an insanely successful career.

With 33 studio albums, 24 number-one singles, 16 number-one albums, and 28 albums that have been certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum, it’s safe to say that she is one of the most successful artists in country music history. She is often referred to by her loyal fans as “The Queen of Country,” having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Reba McEntire Once Had to Stall an Audience for Keith Urban

The country singer says that there was one time, years ago, when she had to improvise out on stage while Keith Urban looked for his guitar. It was at that moment that Reba McEntire thought about telling a joke but ultimately decided against it.

“They came to us and said, ‘We can’t find Keith Urban’s guitar. And he can’t go on stage without his guitar.,'” Reba recalled. “And so Dick Clark says, ‘Reba, get out there and stall.’ And I’m like, ‘What?!’ And then I thought, well, I can tell a joke. But I did get booed off the stage one time in 1978 for telling a horrible joke. So, I thought, probably not a good idea to do that.”

Since telling a joke was out the cards, McEntire had to go in a different direction.

“So I went out there and I said, ‘Are y’all having a good time?’ And it was just crickets,” she said. “And pretty soon here comes Dick Clark out here and he put his arm around me and he said, ‘Alright, folks. We’re gonna tell y’all what’s going on.’ And he was just honest with the audience. I thought, ‘Hmm. Lesson learned from the professional.”

But as for the joke that got her booed off stage? Reba McEntire still remembers it to this day.

“Do you know the difference between unlawful and illegal? Unlawful means it’s against the law and illegal is a sick bird.”

Talk about a knee slapper.