Joke Contest Results — Drugs You Can’t Live Without

January 25th, 2015

Here are the results of our January Joke Contest.  This month’s contest theme was suggested by long-time blog contributor, and funny guy,  Gerald Fleischmann.

The theme is Drugs You Can’t Live Without.  Submissions create a fictional drug, and make up a description of the properties of that drug.

New Joke contests are announced on the first of the month.  The next contest comes out on February 1, 2015.

** FIRST PLACE **

Jerkoset:  This mood altering drug will give an edge to your tennis game.  Turns timid players into obnoxious, racket-throwing competitors.

Terry Wall, Washington Township, New Jersey

** SECOND PLACE **

Mirror Image:  Helps you to look good no matter how bad you feel.

Sandy Kampner, Evergreen Park, Illinois

** THIRD PLACE **

I’melopinPM: Convinces your honey that tonight’s the night.  Caution:  May cause pregnancy within nine months.

Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois

** FOURTH PLACE **

Avillify:  Used by prosecutors nationwide.

Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

Tusk-A-Loosa:  For boxers.  Fixes loose or missing teeth in a jiffy.

Eaterall:  This drug dissolves all food as it enters the stomach. Benefits: You can eat what you want, when you want, and as much as you want.  Side effect: You get no nutrition from food, necessitating that one day a week you stop the drug and eat healthy food.

Liagra: This drug enables you to tell lies easily. You can even pass lie detector tests. Will not last more than 4 hours.

EXanax:  Mood altering drug for divorcees.

Dope-on-a-Rope: Your stylish new belt holds all your prescription medicines.

XOXO:  Makes you irresistible to the opposite sex.

OXOX:  Makes you irresistible to the same sex.  Recommend storing in different cabinet from XOXO.

ExpungeMySin (generic name xmycin). The wonder drug for all your misdeeds. Manufactured in heaven by God. This amazing pill guarantees forgiveness for all of your sins. Tag line: “Take two tablets, and you don’t have to call Me in the morning.” Black Box Warning: It only works on a spiritual level. It will not help you with your wife, your boss, or law enforcement.

Writer’sUnBlock. When you are stuck at a critical point, and just can’t think of anything, this miracle drug guarantees amazing insights, flashes of inspiration, and bursts of creativity. Works for writing fiction, non-fiction, or comedy. For best results, take just before driving, taking a shower, or wherever you usually come up with ideas. Side effect: Writer’s block can recur after the drug wears off. Repeated use can lead to addiction, dependency, or a Pulitzer Prize.

Bladderall:  Your shy and anti-social bladder will become the life of the party when using a public bathroom in the company of strangers.  Just one tablet a day, and you’ll be able to achieve that flow when you’re on the go!

Humorphine:  For comedians and audiences, relieves the terrible pain of both rejection and bad jokes.

Trainquilizers:  Use this before railroad delays give you a heart attack.

Percrochet:  Absolute necessity for all knit and purlers.

See-Alice:  Not a drug per se, but I’ve seen Alice and that works much better than the pill.

Abracadravir:  Essential for successful magicians.

Ascetic acid:  Vital supplement for certain orders of monks.

Brotox:  Men use this for wrinkles.

Aspenicillin:  This protects you from risks on the ski slopes.

Cleptobismol:  Cures upset stomach caused by shop lifting.

Skunk Away Nasal Spray:  Opens up your sinuses and eliminates all other odors.  Now available in striped-squeeze bottles.

SeeAlice:  This psychedelic cocktail will cure ED.  Side effect: You may become an Alice Cooper junkie.

Morefiend:  Mood altering drug that turns any Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde.

Observational Humor — Case Study #131

January 20th, 2015

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll look at the set-up. Then we’ll examine the joke and what made the joke work.

THE SET-UP (What happened and what was said during the meeting before the monologue was delivered.)

1. I joked about how it was difficult to get me to smile. It became a running gag as others started to joke about it too.

2. I ran about two minutes over my 20-minute time limit. The Timer joked that DTM means Don’t Time Me.

3. I wasn’t wearing my usual denim shirt. It was cold outside and I
wore a jacket and a sweatshirt.

4. New member Sid Maestry said his name was pronounced like Pastry.

5. A speaker said we would learn something for posterity.

6. My name was mis-spelled on the agenda: KINDY.

7. Part way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, there is a freeway exit sign
for ZZYZX Road.

8. The word-of-the-day was Esprit de l’escalier, a French phrase.

9. The Master Evaluator critiqued Jens for mis-pronouncing a member’s name.  ”If you do that again Jens, we’ll have to take you out to the parking lot and have you shot.”

THE MONOLOGUE

(Looking at notes, then looking up) Smile!
(I flashed a big phony smile. It good response from the audience.)

Don’t time me.
(I said it slowly, while looking at the Timer. Good response.)

I’m not wearing my denim shirt tonight. I’ve been placed in the witness protection program.
(A good target of humor since I almost always wore my denim shirt. Big
laugh.)

And Sid Maestry is our newest member. Sounds like Pastry. Our club is finally getting its just desserts.  (Good laugh.)

We’ve had several good speeches tonight. I’m sure you’ve picked up a thing or two for your posterior.
(Playing with a sound-alike word for posterity.)

My name was mis-spelled on the agenda. It’s not Kindy…it’s Kindzzyzx.  The Zs and Xs are silent.

(This spelling mistake was made a couple of months earlier, so I
recycled the joke which had worked well before adding a new topper
about the silent letters. It got a good response, but not as big as the first time I used it.)

Humor tip for the day. Do your humor with esprit de l’escalier. It will give it that certain je ne sais quoi.
(We had pronunciation challenges with the word-of-the-day earlier in
the meeting. It provided a good target for a joke.)

Jens. I’ve been designated as the person to take you out to the parking lot.
(Playing the role of the bouncer, it got a good laugh and provided a nice closer.)

Negative Feedback

January 6th, 2015

A newsletter subscriber cancelled their subscription today. That’s not unusual. Every week I get several cancellations and usually about the same number of new subscribers. His/her note was simply the comment: “You’re NOT funny!” That’s not unusual. I’ve received comments like that before. What was unusual was that it’s been about three years since I’ve received a comment like that. It’s not that other subscribers haven’t thought the same thing in the past three years. It’s just that most people are too nice to be so blunt. Of those who cancel their subscriptions, about 90 percent make no comments. Of the 10 percent who leave a comment 99 percent of them usually say something positive or neutral, like: “Don’t have time to read all my mail,” or “changed jobs, newsletter no longer relevant.”

There have been times in the past when a negative comment may have bothered me. But now I’m comfortable with people having their own opinions. And negative feedback is offset by the many fans and followers who appreciate what I do.

Not everyone agrees with my all of my opinions. I don’t like much of modern “music” which in my opinion does not meet the definition of music. But the creators of that “music” live in extravagant mansions. Obviously, millions of people disagree with me. And the music I like, they probably hate. It would be a boring world if everyone were cookie-cutter clones of me.

It’s even more rare that I get blunt feedback after a live presentation. But 15 years ago a member of the audience shared after the program: “I didn’t think you were funny. I didn’t think one thing you said was the least bit funny.” Fortunately most of the audience laughed in all the right spots. My interaction with that audience member has become one of my signature stories.

And the comment I received today is right now becoming a blog post. When life gives you lemons…well, you know what to do.

New Joke Contest — Drugs You Can’t Live Without

January 1st, 2015

The theme of the January Joke Contest was suggested by Gerald Fleischmann: Drugs You Can’t Live Without.

Your challenge this month is to come up with a new pharmaceutical drug. You could use some of these to descibe your new product:
- Genric Name
- Trade Name
- What it’s made of
- Prescription or OTC
- Recommended dose
- Benefits
- Side effects
- Cost
- Or other relevant information

Here are some examples:

Freelandia. Enjoy the retirement you’ve always dreamed of. The miracle memory drug costs you nothing until you die. At that time your heirs pay for thedrug with the deed to your home.

BoldLangZine: Works with traditional anti-depression drugs to make you the good old fellow you used to be, which nobody can deny. Sold Over the Counter in the alcoholic beverage department. Don’t forget the party hats and noise makers.

PrimalsKreeem: This amazing cream melts your tension away. Side effect: You may be mistaken for a painting by Edvard Munch.

Scamtastic: The 21st Century cure all. Made from organic free radicals of the Nile Valley Golden Asp. Formerly sold only by salesmen from the back of their van. Now available on the internet.

DawnSurprise (balsalmic tri-phosphorus sulfide). Supercharges your elimintion system overnight.

Write as many lines as you can and then submit your three best lines for top-three recognition by our judges. Send your lines to HumorPowerTips@HumorPower.com not later than January 15, 2015. If you submit more than three lines, the extra lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention.

Joke Contest Results — Comedy Across the Globe

December 25th, 2014

It’s time for the results of our December Joke Contest.  The theme is Comedy Across the Globe.  It’s not factual.  It’s just intended to be funny.

Our entries were evaluated by a panel of 12 judges (speakers and improv players).

Exercise your humor skills in next month’s contest which will be announced on January 1 , 2015.

Past contests.

Here are the top lines for this month.

** FIRST PLACE **

British Comedy:  It’s considered impolite to laugh, but occasionally an
upper lip may quiver.

Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois

** SECOND PLACE **

Tel Aviv Comedy: The humor Israeli funny.

Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois

** THIRD PLACE **

Kentucky Comedy: The jokes get funnier with each shot of bourbon.

Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California

HONORABLE MENTION (In random order.)

Wisconsin Comedy: If you want to hear a gouda joke, they tell the
cheesiest ones.

Kansas Comedy: Rest-stop comedians tell jokes to keep drivers awake
until they reach the Colorado state line.

Russian comedy: Take my Comrade…Please!

Kitty Hawk comedy: The comedians always use props.

New Jersey comedy: I’m from Jersey, are you from Jersey?

Belgium Comedy: They call a politician who doesn’t vote a Belgian
Waffler.

Death Valley Comedy: The humor is funny but very dry.

California earthquake humor: It often results in a rumble of laughter.

Las Vegas Comedy: It’s Kinde of fun.

North/South of the Border Comedy: The funniest area of Canada is the
Yuck-on Territory while Mexico has the Yuck-atan Peninsula.

Italian Comedy: When something is funny, you laugh with your hands.

North Pole Comedy: Every joke gets a response of “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

Chicago Comedy: No need to wait for the punch line; laugh early and
often.

Interplanetary Comedy: Comics are from Mars, comediennes are from
Venus.

Canadian Comedy: Takes longer, because it has to be delivered in both
English and French.

Chinese Comedy: It’s funny, but you’ll be wanting more in an hour.

Swiss Comedy: Constructed and delivered so as not to offend anybody.

Observational Humor — Case Study #130

December 18th, 2014

It’s time for another Observational Humor Monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We will look at the set-up for the joke. Then we will look at the joke and what makes it funny.

THE SET-UP (What was said and what happened during the meeting
before the monologue was presented.)

1. A speaker said that giving free speeches is a good way to build your
speaking business. People will hear you and then will want to hire you.

2. A speaker said that if an agent wanted you to do a free speech, you
should do so if the agent or a member of their staff would be present at
the speech. Then the speech would serve as a showcase and encourage
the agent to book you in the future, because they would see how good
you were.

3. A market pricing strategy is to let the client “pay what they want.”

4. A speaker said that being a professional speaker isn’t about doing
the speech, it’s about getting the speech.

5. A speaker used the word PLETHORA.

6. A speaker said she had been married for 16 years…but not in a row.

7. A speaker said she can go long periods of time without drinking
water. She said she was like a camel.

8. A speaker said he was racing on a motorcycle behind a flying bat.
And some raising hit him in the face, “I hope they were raisins.”

THE MONOLOGUE

I used to do free speeches but the Word of Mouth was killing me.
(Self-deprecation and an implied punchline that I would NOT get a
referral or repeat speech because someone had heard me…not true, but
funny.)

I had an agent who asked if I could help her with a client who had a
small budget. I said I would do it for free…on the condition that she
didn’t attend.
(Self-deprecation. Not true, but funny.)

My humor style is called Laugh As You Want.
(A good twist of a callback.)

Humor is not doing a joke…it’s the audience getting the joke.
(Interesting twist of a callback. Not intended to be funny.)

I have a plethora of humor tips.   (I like making fun of clunky 25-cent words.)

I’ve been married one year…in a row.
(A funny pairing of phrases. Big laugh.)

I’d walk a mile for a camel.
(Call back of the word CAMEL. A good laugh.

Frank…Those weren’t raisins.
(Simple call back and an implied punch line.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #129

December 10th, 2014

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of  a meeting. In the text that follows, we will look at the set-up for the jokes.

The  monologue is provided with a short comment on what made each joke tick.

THE SET-UP (What happened and what was said during the meeting,
before the monologue was delivered.)

1. My name on the agenda was misspelled Kindy instead of Kinde.

2. There is a freeway exit sign between Las Vegas and Los Angeles
named ZZYZX Road.

3. Bill gave a speech on what he learned from three marriages.

4. A speaker talked about right/left brain, saying he was lucky to be
using half his brain.

5. A speaker told us his first crush on a girl was when he was three
years old.

6. I have a long history with three Toastmasters in the audience; Bobby,
Jens, and Bill.

7. Jens told us of a club that met four Mondays a month, but he
mis-spoke and said four Mondays a week.

8. Our club meets at Pololu Robotics.

9. Bill shared family photos with us from his first and second marriage.
The first marriage photo was in Black and White. The second marriage
photo was in color.

10. Bobby told a story about giving advice to someone with pesonal
problems. He told him, “Get a job.”

THE MONOLOGUE

You’ll notice on the agenda my name is misspelled. It’s actually
spelled Kindzzyzx.
(Like most customized humor, this would be funny to someone who had
frequently driven past the ZZYZX Road sign. To someone who had not,
the joke would not be funny. Also, note that the response is quite large
for a small audience of only nine people.)

Bill, I’d like to refer you to a book I’ve written. Everything I know
about Women. It’s a blank book. I don’t know everything about
anything.
(This comes from a blank-book title that I saw on the internet, topped
with the common knowledge that nobody knows everything about
anything.)

In fact a lot of people think I know a lot about humor. The truth is I’m a half wit.
(Combined the half-brain comment with half wit. Self-deprecation.)

My first crush on a girl I was ten years old. Imagine that.
(The truth. Funny by comparison to three years old.)

I go way back with Jens. Some of my longest acquaintances are here tonight; Bobby, Jens, and Bill.
(A set up for jokes about three specific people.)

I knew Jens when we belonged to a club in Omaha. And we met four Mondays a week.
(Applied a mis-statement to a specific club.)

Bill, you realize we are meeting at Pololu Robotics. They can make you the perfect wife. Have you noticed Ryan just got married recently to Andrea. She’s a perfect wife. There is a reason for that.
(Absurdity.)

The company used to be called Stepford Robotics.
(Adding a joke to the theme. An efficient way to build humor. The
set-up is already provided.)

We learned, thanks to Bill, that color film was invented between his first
and second marriage.
(A great connection between two photographs. I assumed that the
audience would remember that the first photo was B&W and the second photo was in color. A strong line.)

Years ago Bobby said, “I try to use humor but nobody laughs at me. It just isn’t working. What can you suggest?” I looked at him and said, “Get a job.”
(A good call back. Not a huge response, but got a laugh.)

New Joke Contest — Comedy Across the Globe

December 1st, 2014

The theme for December’s joke contest is Comedy Across the Globe.

Pick a country, a state, or a city and tell us what makes its comedy unique. It’s all for fun and isn’t meant to be a factual research study. Just put on your creative hat and make something up!

Here are five examples:

North Korean Comedy. For every joke told, the comic gets one year in a re-education camp.

Canadian Comedy. The set ups are in English. The punch lines are in French. Nobody gets the jokes but they laugh anyway because they are polite.

Japanese Comedy. The night clubs are packed because audiences have a Yen for comedy.

Russian Comedy. Putin wins Last Comic Standing. The biggest laugh comes when he takes his shirt off.

Las Vegas Comedy.  Take my money…please!  Hey, give me my money back.  I was just joking!

Your challenge is to write as many lines as you can. Then select your three best lines and submit them for our Top Three recognition. If you submit more than three lines, the extra submissions will be eligible for Honorable Mention recognition. Submit your entries to HumorPowerTips@HumorPower.com by December 14, 2014.

The Many Vehicles of Pippin

November 30th, 2014

Last night, I attended the performance of Pippin at The Smith Center in Las Vegas. The subtitle for the musical could have been Son of Charlemagne meets Cirque du Soleil. I attended with my occasional show buddy, Patricia Fripp. Enjoying the show with a friend gave us the opportunity to share our feelings of, “What was that all about?”  We talked about the show “over coffee,” or more accurately, over a seafood dinner.

As the curtain dropped, it left the audience to explore hidden meanings. It was the sort of musical which is perfect for a theater-appreciation class. Was it about the meaning of life, coming of age, breaking the rules, happiness, or other philosophical questions left disguised as the lights went out?

What impressed me about Pippin was the variety of vehicles that were used to carry the message and entertainment:

- Acting
- Dancing
- Singing
- Humor
- Gymnastics
- Acrobatics
- Juggling
- Magic
- Metaphors

Especially impressive were the talents of the lead actor playing Pippin, Kyle Dean Massey. A gifted actor, singer, dancer, and athlete with a Chippendale body.

If the production comes touring in your city, enjoy the show. And discuss it with friends over coffee after the performance.

Observational Humor — Case Study #128

November 24th, 2014

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.  It was a small audience, only nine people, but good Observational Humor plays big even with a small audience. First, we’ll take a look at the set-up for the jokes. Then we will examine the jokes and look at what made the jokes funny.

THE SET-UP.  What happened and what was said during the meeting before the monologue was delivered.

1. A speaker shared two ways of waking up in the morning: – GOOD MORNING God. – GOOD GOD it’s morning.

2. A speaker meant to say BETTER but said GOODER.

3. A speaker said we had TONS of reasons to stay in Toastmasters.

4. A frequent guest, Giget Swanson, was referred to as a repeat offender.

5. Giget announced that she was starting a new club.

6. A speaker accidentally referred to Giget as Ginger.

7. The word of the day was Dipsomaniac.

8. A speaker told the joke about a child digging thru a pile of manure saying “I know there’s a pony in here somewhere.”

9. A speaker talked about The Path to Inner Peace.

10. Bobby joked about hanging around an old friend. “And the nice thing was that he was still living.”

11. Carolyn arrived at the meeting late.

12. We had a guest named Gene.

13. Member Ryan Mulligan was present.

14. During a speaker evaluation, Jens recommended that the speaker focus on speaking more loudly.

15. A speaker joked if you had an average income, you would be richer than half the country.

THE MONOLOGUE

Good God it’s Kinde. (A call back and self-deprecation.)

They considered having someone else to do the Observational Humor, but I was the gooder choice. (A call back to a mis-use of a word.)

This is a special club. Great guests. Great members. A ton of people here. (Turning TON into a running gag.)

A frequent guest is Giget. She was defined as a repeat offender. (This was mainly a set up. But it got a laugh as a call back.)

She’s starting a new club. That’s part of what is required of you when you are a repeat offender. She is part of the witness protection program, where her name is Ginger. (Strong call back of mis-use of name. Ginger was an unexpected topper. Big laugh.)

Gidget is a great cook. She invited me for dinner and I was so excited because she is a dipsomaniac…someone who never needs Dipso Bismol. (Just saying the word of the day got a good laugh, and made the Dipso Bismol a topper. Playing with sound-alike words: Pepto and Dipso.)

I went over to her house. We sat there eating dinner, watching Jeopardy. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a Swanson’s TV Dinner. (Very big laugh. An unexpected connection.)

And what I like about Giget, when she comes to the meeting she is always saying “I know there’s a pony in here somewhere.” (Good call back of phrase. Also, it is an implied punch line. Self-deprecation of club, implied that one has to dig to find something of value at the meeting.)

As a cook, I know whenever I go to her house it’s a path to dinner peas. (A spoonerism. I wasn’t sure that this joke would work. The new words come fast, and then they’re gone. But the twist on words got a good laugh.)

And she’s comfortable in this club because as a cook she likes being around hams and turkeys. (Remember self-deprecation jokes can poke fun at you, or a group to which you belong.)

So it’s great having Giget here. It adds a lot to the meeting. We have lots of wonderful people. (Transition.)

Bobby Williams. A good guy and he’s still living. (Understatement and a call-back.)

And we have the late Carolyn Peletier. (As President of the club, it was noticed by everyone that Carolyn was late getting to the meeting.)

And we’re blessed with good genes. (Played with double meaning of name of guest. A good, positive joke honors the guest.)

And if you make a mistake we’ve got a Mulligan. (A joke revisited. A mulligan is a “do over” in golf.)

And Jens, our model of loudness. (Took an earlier suggestion and linked it to a quality posessed by the maker of the suggestion. Jens has a really full and strong voice.)

As a final motivational thought, I’d like to give you this. If you are an average humor presenter you’re funnier than half the speakers here. (Good swapping of words to make a humorous point. Using a truth to get a laugh.)