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The Blue & Gray Press | August 18, 2019

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Teacher’s jokes don’t add up



Comedian John Betz Jr. may claim to be “the funniest math teacher in America,” but some attendees at his show in the Underground on Friday, March 15, might recommend he stick to math and keep his jokes to himself.

Betz, who tours parts of the East Coast doing stand-up comedy, is a former math teacher from the Northern Virginia area. Now a comedian, Betz gets a lot of his material from his personal experiences and people he has met.

Betz started off the night talking about himself and his background, focusing heavily on his experiences as a high school teacher. While some of his routine received laughs from the audience, much of it focused on ridiculing former students. At times these jokes were funny, but at other times, they hit a little too close to home for University of Mary Washington students who were only a few years out of high school.

“To be honest, I found him borderline offensive,” said Julianne Kuhn, a sophomore psychology major. “But he definitely wasn’t the worst I’ve heard,” she added.

Another section of Betz’s routine involved talking about his relationship with his wife. Once again, Betz would deliver one-liners that were met with great appreciation, but when in doubt, he often reverted to sexual humor. Unfortunately for Betz, who is older than some UMW professors, his jokes involving his wife in some way left many students feeling awkward, like when a parent refers to their sex life.

However, not all students felt this way. There was a sizeable group of students in the Underground who laughed continuously throughout the night.

“I thought he was pretty good,” said freshman biology major Kevin Speray. “I’ve been really impressed with all the comedians lately. Giant’s been doing great this semester.”

Betz’s website, in addition to advertising him as “the funniest math teacher in America,” claims that he is so funny that the audience will be wetting their pants through his entire act.
Luckily, not all Betz’s claims are true.


  1. Everlong

    It would’ve been cool to get a couple specific jokes as examples and for the article to feel a little more personal in some of the opinions expressed, like about how the comedian’s age affected Hope’s enjoyment of his material.