Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s  Lyme “Joke.” 

We had some good laughs from Andy Samberg; my son in particular really loved Hot Rod.  But it’s time to say goodbye, unless I see a big apology to the Lyme community.

Now, I’m not one to get all offended about jokes.  I have heard plenty of good Lyme disease jokes.  It is this “joke” in particular.  I wouldn’t even call it a joke.  It made Gina, one of my favorite characters, sound like a real b*itch who thought it would be A-ok to make fun of a family member with a serious disease.  Honestly?  What was supposed to be funny in what she said?  

Gina: ” Here are 5 stories about my cousin Le-Ann and her alleged Lyme disease.”

Bob: “How is that supposed to make me talk?” 

Gina “Not everything’s about you, Bob.  I just needed to vent.  God you’re such a Le-Ann!” 

So first of all, Gina doesn’t believe her cousin has a disease.  Why?  Because it’s so unbelievable?  Where has Gina been the last 4-5 years? The CDC even admitted the probable yearly diagnoses in the US alone is 300,000 or more. And they’re in New York?  Apparently the writers don’t live there since that is one of the most affected states.  

Then it’s funny that Gina associates said disease with people who need attention.  

It’s almost like whoever wrote this joke either picked the EXACT WRONG THINGS TO SAY, statistically improbable, or they personally believe in what Gina said (those diagnosed with Lyme are wrong/self-diagnosed/scammed by Lyme doctors, and/or really don’t have Lyme disease) and they are all attention whores.  And if they do think this, they probably got this idea from some article or blog that they read about Lyme, certainly not because they experienced it themselves. Or maybe the person who wrote it is just an ignorant a**hole who could write the same thing about someone with cancer but just didn’t think it would go over well.

Or maybe it was entirely innocent.  I will accept that if they say it.  And apologize.  

Either way, they have given other “joke writers” the perfect example of what NOT to do. 

Don’t make a joke about a disease that kills if you haven’t experienced it first-hand.  You simply won’t know what is funny or not funny about it. 

Case in point:  The current most common cause of death for Lyme patients is suicide.  And it’s not because they are attention whores.  It’s because they have a disease that no one is taking seriously–not their family, not their friends, not their doctors, not (most of the) research scientists, not society; on top of it, it is painful and exhausting, many times you can lose the ability to think, and thus, without the type of support they deserve–they lose hope.   

So to make a “joke” about this disease that implies the disease is fake and those who have it shouldn’t be taken seriously …man.  If there could be an award for the worst choice made in TV writing, this would be the all-time winner. 

And to make matters even worse, one of their writers on Twitter @djgoor says this: 


I suggest everyone send Dan a Lyme story.  After all, he asked for it. 
–Loon Out  

One thought on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s  Lyme “Joke.” 

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I recently saw this episode on an airplane and was incredibly hurt by the comments made by this character and condoned by the cast and crew of this show. The writing is distasteful, unamusing, offensive and, whether the writers realize it or not, going to change the way many people think about a debilitating illness that affects thousands of people. We, the media included, should be raising awareness about the dangers of lyme disease for preventative measures, not making jokes about it. Shame on Fox for airing this garbage.

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