joking aside

(all) joking aside

In all seriousness; being frank for a moment. Just flew in from Denver, huh? Your arms must be tired! Joking aside, how was your trip out here? I give my brother a hard time for the gangly way he runs, but all joking aside, he's quite a remarkable athlete.
See also: aside, joke
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(all) joking aside

 and (all) kidding aside
being serious for a moment; in all seriousness. I know I laugh at him but, joking aside, he's a very clever scientist. I know I threatened to leave and go round the world, but, joking aside, I do need a vacation.
See also: aside, joke
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ˌjoking aˈpart/aˈside

(British English) used to show that you are now being serious after you have said something funny: No, but joking apart, do you think we should go and see if she’s OK?
See also: apart, aside, joke
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
But joking aside, though; do you know, Rose-bud, that it's all nonsense trying to get any oil out of such whales?
Joking aside, Action Fraud responded: "Report fraudulent Twitter accounts to Twitter.
Joking aside, Cabagnot said he's 'gonna miss that spidey dunk.'
'Relaunching our comedy careers.' Joking aside, ticket proceeds are raising funds for The Prince's Trust, the charity that was started by Charles with the PS7,400 severance pay he received when he retired from the Navy in 1976.
Joking aside, Richard confirmed that he was definitely not involved in the crime Warwickshire Police were publicising.
Joking aside, North East jobs could be at stake as a result of this crass decision.
Joking aside, I'd encourage everyone to don their thinking caps and submit their suggestions to: SaintsStreets
So that they can have a go at him before they have a go at me!" Joking aside, Bruce knows Agbonlahor can make a difference on the day even if he's not fit to play.
All joking aside though, Bowman is desperate to see Moult extend his stay at Fir Park so they can continue to work on their blossoming partnership - even if it means Moult remains the club's man for penalties.
Another said: "Fairy tail - sure you didn't mean 'Furry Tail?'" One fan said: "All joking aside, you would think that any decent tattooist would check his spelling."
"Joking aside, it'll be ideal for searching for missing people."
Surely, all feeble joking aside, Cheryl Fernandez-Lipsynchy should have won.
Joking aside, I did read some other GDN letters pointing out issues that have been overlooked and not addressed and I would like to point out one of these issues.
Joking aside, I'm hoping to see plenty of the youngsters blooded against Krasnodar, people like Tyias Browning, Luke Garbutt, Chris Long and Conor McAleny.