In his complaint — available here — Mishler says he's been using the phrase for years in his routine and obtained a trademark for it in late 2004.
The complaint says NBCU and Fabulicious LLC, a company run by New Jersey Real Housewife Teresa Giudice, pictured at right, have infringed on that trademark both during the show — where Giudice regularly utters the phrase — and through various marketing and merchandising platforms.
In addition to his trademark claim, Mishler says Giudice's use of "Happy Wife, Happy Life" is harming his standing in the comedy community and may confuse consumers about the origin of the phrase. On top of that, there's the lifestyle gap between the two entertainers.
"The defendants' goods and services are in conflict with the image Mishler associates with his comedy and his products," the suit says. "Specifically, ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey' depicts a lifestyle and behavior which are considered crude, offensive, and unsavory to a segment of the public, particularly those who seek out Christian and/or family-friendly entertainment, key consumers of Mishler's goods and services."
Curious about Mishler's family-friendly Christian comedy, Pith decided to check out his website, which prominently features the following headline on every page: "Jeff Allen is the world's funniest, most inspiring comedian!" Look out, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, David Cross, Chris Rock, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman and Dave Chappelle — y'all are kinda entertaining, but there's only room for one world's funniest comedian, and this guy is it. We decided to check out some of his video clips, and here are the very first words we heard:
"My wife has a temper — and I mean a temper. I'm not talking irritability and sarcasm. That's what attracted to me to her."
We watched the entire clip, about the highly original topic of leaving underwear in the middle of the floor. He was almost kinda funny, in a rather generic stand-up comedy sort of way. World's funniest? We're not sure he'd make the list of "World's 1,000 Funniest," but we've definitely seen worse.
What struck us most, though, was the (welcome) lack of anything we would describe as inspiring, family-friendly or Christian comedy. Of course, he didn't make any dick jokes. Maybe that's all it takes these days.