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Colorado Livin' / Humor

Battling it Out at Denver’s Marriage Ref Auditions

On Saturday, my husband Jamie and I were invited to audition for the Marriage Ref, Jerry Seinfield’s brainchild on NBC.

No, Mom. We’re not on the brink of divorce but we need a comedic mediator for our ongoing dispute:

Jamie’s all-consuming obsession with growing The Great Pumpkin.

The whole thing unfolded almost by accident. When I was driving to my daughter’s Halloween Party on Friday, the hosts of Alice 105.9 were talking about the Marriage Ref’s auditions in Denver that weekend. Casting directors were looking for humorous squabbles that could be resolved by their celebrity panel.

I listened with moderate interest but then something clicked. The inordinate amount of time Jamie spends nurturing The Great Pumpkin is a kooky dispute, on par with past Marriage Ref episodes that included Fonzie the stuffed dog and a stripper pole in a bedroom.

I am not proud of this.

The show had open-call auditions at a few different locations. I did not want to stand in line for hours so tracked down a few different emails of casting agents who were scheduling auditions. Though they assuredly had a flood of emails, I figured I would hear back if it was meant to be.

And I did. Later that day, a casting agent contacted me and then the actual casting director emailed later that night. They scheduled us for Saturday afternoon and instructed us to bring props so we compiled every insane picture and newspaper article we could find.

Turns out we didn’t need them. One picture of The Great Pumpkin testifies to our insanity.

I thought I had this argument in the bag with well-rehearsed talking points and humorous anecdotes but my beloved James had some great rebuttals of his own, resulting in a fun and thought-provoking debate.

The woman doing the interview loved our quirky topic. She said we nailed the audition and made it past the first round. So now we wait. Our main challenges for being chosen:

1) Pumpkin season is over so getting video of the soon-to-be destroyed pumpkin is a challenge. They asked us to film some footage of it on our Flip camera and send it to them.

2) Somebody else is growing The Great Pumpkin and has our same issues with an even greater degree of hilarity.

If chosen to appear on the Marriage Ref, we would receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to be on the show and a generous prize package (last season was a second honeymoon/week-long cruise). Four different couples appear in each episode and the couple the audience deems the “most right” wins $25,000.

Fingers are crossed that will be me.

If you were to appear on the Marriage Ref, what ongoing squabble with your spouse would you discuss?

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.


  1. Amber, you slay me. I’ve never known anyone to do more quirky, exciting things than you. First it was the Olympics, then Woman’s Day. I really hope you get this. You and Jamie would be a hoot. The Great Pumpkin would be perfect for the show.

  2. How fun–you guys would be so cute.

    Good luck.

  3. Thanks guys. Of course it’s a long shot but fingers are crossed. It was fun to just audition!

  4. COOL !!!!

  5. How cool would that be!

    I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

  6. You DID???!!!! LOL!

  7. Hey, your comments are back! How nice! I think you would be GREAT on that show, and the money and prizes would be a nice bonus! I wish my husband and I had something weird or funny that we argue about so we could audition, but alas, our arguments are more about boring things like clogging the toilet and not telling, and leaving cupboard doors open. Oh, and money.

  8. I think most couple’s argument aren’t very fun so that’s probably what makes casting this show a bit of a challenge. It’s a comedy and no one wants to air serious dirty laundry.

    Comments are still closed on my personal blog (continued problems with Asian spammers). But I always keep them open here!

  9. Oh this is way cool!! Please keep us posted on how this is going. lol I am keeping my fingers crossed that you guys make it onto the show.

  10. I cannot imagine another couple more ripe for amusement.

    I mean that in a good way 😉

  11. I have only watched the show once & your topic is so much better than that one. It was about a guy who labels his socks with #s & R & L so that they’ll never be paired with the wrong one. Can’t wait to hear the good news about you being on the show!

  12. Did you show them the photo of Jamie giving The Great Pumpkin a full-body hug? Oh wait. That may be a little too risque for family TV. 😉


  13. So cool, love that show! Hope you make it, the pumpkin is a great topic!

  14. Thanks, ladies. And JoAnn–definitely can’t use that picture with his pumpkin. Very telling but too suggestive. 🙂

  15. Hilarious. All of our arguments are one sided. They end when I get tired of being upset about something. I’m so excited for y’all, I hope you get on the show!

  16. Amber, I hope you make it on! I love that show and it is worth winning the trip! Best of luck to you!

  17. I so hope you guys get on! You’d be perfect! Too much fun!!!

  18. Awesome Sauce! This is so fun – I hope you do win! ALL of it!

  19. This would be the coolest thing ever but you realize, if Jamie wins it’s Pumpkin season for eternity! Let us know when it airs-I know you’re gonna make it!

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