District 60 Humorous Speech Contest

November 23rd, 2016

Kenneth Cheung, DTM, posted an insightful article about the creativity of the nine contestants of the District 60 Humorous Speech Contest.  The finalists reflect on how they turned ordinary experiences unto extraordinarily funny speeches.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/humorously-speaking-toastmasters-club/how-9-district-contestants-would-turn-personal-experiences-into-laughter/1591342894507411

Observational Humor — Case Study #153

November 15th, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We will provide you with the set-up, the joke, and a comment on what made the joke work.

THE SET-UP (To help you understand the context of the jokes, we will share with you what happened and what was said during the meeting, before the monologue was delivered.)

1. Our NSA Chapter President gave a speech introducing himself to the chapter while also sharing an inspirational message. He said the title of his talk was, “Let’s talk about John Getter.”

2. The President’s speech included photographs from his childhood. “I started out as a child.” He told us he played the violin, but that did not qualify him to be in the marching band.

3. Our featured speaker was Mike Staver. He suggested when we try to catch fish we go fishing…so when we try to catch a cow, why don’t we go cowing?

4. A speaker noted that the meeting room was set up nicely. He pointed out that there were several speakers hanging from the ceiling.

5. Members were reminded to check in with Rocky first thing in the morning.

6. We had a guest from Switzerland. He was introduced as the “person who came the furthest.”

7. Laura gave a workshop-style program. Half-way through the program she said it was time to debrief.

8. Our featured speaker told of being on a weightlessness-training aircraft. When they went into wrightless mode, most trainees either giggled or they lost their lunch.

THE MONOLOGUE

We were concerned about whether we would have time to do my meeting wrap up. Next month I will be sitting in the front row instead of the back row. That should save us about 10 minutes.

And now…let’s talk about John Kinde.

I started out as a child. (I showed a drawing of a stick figure character. I always have three types of pens; ball point, magic marker, and a heavier felt marker. That allows me to create visuals and speaking notes.)

In middle-school I played the violin (Drawing of a stick-figure orchestra.)

Then I joined the marching band. (stick figure marching band with one person playing the violin.)

On weekends we went cowing. (Stick figure of man with fishing pole with a cow on the hook.)

I’m moving slow today. Part of that is due to the walker. However, most of it is me.

But being slow opens new career opportunities to me. I go a job at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. I was Mr Rogers. They told me I was almost life like. (Self-deprecation.)

But enough about me.

(Call-back phrase,)

I know that an audience at a stimulating meeting like this will have some questions.

I’ll give you the answer first and then share the question. (This is a set up for using the answer-man or Carnack format as a vehicle for humor.)

The answer is: Sneaking past Rocky before the meeting starts.

And the question is: How do you become a speaker hanging from the ceiling?

***

The answer is: Visit the NSA chapter in Geneva Switzerland.

The question is: How do you get recognized as the person who came the furthest?

***

The answer is: I thought… I’m glad I didn’t wear boxers today.

The question is: What crossed your mind when Laura said, We are now going to debrief.

(Playing with double-word meaning.)

***

The answer is: It’s when you are watching John Kinde’s humor.

The question is: What are you doing when half the people around you are giggling. And the other half are throwing up. (Self-deprecation.)

Happy Birthday Hillary Clinton

October 26th, 2016

Today is Hillary’s birthday, October 26.   Bala and I have written some thoughts about the birthday event.  Bala recently competed at his Division Humor Speech Contest and took home the third-place trophy.  Bala is a talented Observational Humorist.  He regularly  presents observations at the end of his Toastmaster meetings, and he publishes them on his Blog.  Check out his educational, humor-skills Blog  at https://www.indianhumorblog.wordpress.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HILLARY

As Hillary Clinton turns 69, Donald Trump is thrilled to be leading Hillary by 1.

Happy Birthday, Hillary Clinton. May you always keep smiling…or rather keep fake smiling.

Today is the birthday of Hillary Cinton. She completed 69. Meanwhile Bill, who is one year older, celebrated privately,

It’s Hillary Clinton’s birthday. She received 33,000  birthday emails.  Fortunately she had just enough room on her computer.

It’s Hillary Cinton’s Birthday today. She can have her cake and eat it too…because she splits the calories with  her body double Teresa Barnwell

At 69 Hillary is getting more concerned  with her health since she’s covered by Obamacare.

Hillary Clinton made her birthday wish, blew out the candles, opened her eyes, but still had pneumonia.

Today is Hillary Clinton’s birthday. Bill’s slogan for the day is “Make our relationship great again.”

Today is Hillary Clinton’s birthday. She ordered an orange-color cake and cut it into little pieces which could be eaten by someone with  tiny hands.

Today Hillary celebrated her 69th birthday by preparing invitations to her 70th birthday party at the White House,  She was happy that Donald Trump said he would host it.

Observational Humor — Case Study #151

September 25th, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.

First, we will share the set-up to each joke, what happened and what was said before the monologue was presented.
We will then share the jokes and give a brief comment on why the joke was funny.

THE SET-UPS

1. The meeting featured our annual Humorous Speech contest and evaluation contest.

2. Rebecca, a guest speaker, was incorrectly introduced as
Rachel.

3. Rebecca told us about her “Elvis” wedding.

4. Don Rickles is a famous insult-style comedian.

5. The wedding program included a dancing girl wearing
coconuts.

6. The wedding limo refused to take 12 people.  Their
limit was 10.

7. The photos from the wedding were stamped “Do Not Copy.”

8. A member introduced himself as Bond—James Bond.

9. Bond paper us a high-quality paper often used for letterheads.
It is heavier than lower-quality paper, and it could contain
cotton fiber to give it a crisp texture and feel.

10. A member said that Bill, a humor contestant, was her
husband’s favorite comic speaker.  Then as an after-thought
she added “After John Kinde, of course.”

THE MONOLOGUE

It was great having Rebecca join us this evening.  In the
Witness Protection Program she is known as Rachel.

(The mis-introduction of her name  had gotten a good laugh.
That made it a good trigger for a joke later in the meeting.)

The Elvis Wedding sounds like fun. Did you know that they
also have a “Don Rickles divorce package.”

(I asked myself, “What is the opposite of a feel-good Elvis
wedding?”  I provided the answer, a divorce ceremony themed
after an insult comic.)

If I had known Rebecca was speaking tonight I would have
worn my coconuts.

( A silly comment and picture for the mind.)

We had 12 people show up for tonight’s meeting.  The Fire
Marshal sent two of them home.

(A joke structure which paralleled the limo experience.)

Rebecca, I’ll give you a copy of my speech evaluation notes.
But notice that they are stamped “Do Not Copy.”

(A call-back on the silly side, but effective.  A good laugh.)

We don’t have any trophies tonight, but we do have nice
Certificates of Participation printed on Bond—24 lb cotton
content Bond.

(Name play linking to the thought of Bond paper.)

This would have been joke 007, but it was classified .

(Pretended the censor was at work again.)

I have the reputation for being funny, but only funny enough to
be a footnote.

(Self-Deprecation.  Being a complimentary afterthought was funny.)

I’ve already shared 10 observations with you.  The censors are shutting me down.

(A call back to the limit of 10.  Implies that 11 – 12 hitting the cutting-room floor.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #150

September 18th, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.

First, we will look at the set-up to give you
a sense of being there.  Then I will share the joke and why it
was funny.

Are you making Observational Humor a part of your club meeting?
If so write me a note to tell me what the experience is like,
and I’ll share your use of Observational Humor with our readers.

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

1. The Word-of-the-Day was temerity.

2. Georgia uses a walker and we often joke about racing each other.

3. Sherri said that she printed the agenda on whatever paper she
could find

4. Georgia was our timer and while expaining her function to the
guests, she said “We time everything.”

5. We have more than one body builder in the club. They turn any
shirt into a “muscle shirt.”

6. A speaker talked about buying stock and entering he bond market.

7. A speaker said you become successful in business by making good
choices.  And you learn to make good choices by making bad choices.

8. A speaker said that she wrote a country song: I’m not feeling
funny when my nose is runny.

THE MONOLOGUE

Tonight I had the temerity to wear shorts to a Toastmasters meeting .

(Many Toastmaster clubs are somewhat formal and would frown on
wearing shorts to a meeting.  However it’s hot in Las Vegas during
the summer and some people wear shorts.)

Another Olympics has passed and once again I have not beaten Georgia in the 100 meter dash.

(The Olympics had just ended.  It tied in with our walker running-gag
joke.)

Sherri didn’t tell you how close she came to printing the agenda on toilet paper.

(Using the principle of extrapolation.  One odd paper choice leads
to another more unusual choice.)

Georgia said that we time everything.  You know that’s true if you
visited the restroom.  Because of that, for efficiency, we sometimes DO print the agenda on toilet paper.

(Used exaggeration and absurdity to link the timing of all functions
to include restroom activities.  And then did a call-back providing
a topper which linked to the printing of the agenda. Nice structure.)

My function tonight is to show you what a muscle shirt looks like
without the muscles.

(Self-deprecation and the obvious is funny.)

If you do stock humor, you run the risk of entering the bomb market.

(A call-back and the use of a sound-alike word.)

Speaking of bombing.  You learn humor skills by making bad choices.

(Not very funny but a nice call-back.)

Your country song reminds me of the one: If my nose was running
money…I’d blow it all on you.

(One joke reminded me of another.  A good closer.)

Humor and Music

September 5th, 2016

Brass band multiplier.  A blend of music and humor.  This fun video clip was sent to me by my friend Loren Ekroth.  Slapstick, deadpan humor which I think you’ll enjoy.

Observational Humor — Case Study #149

August 27th, 2016

The punch lines from Observational Humor often fall into the category of “you had to be there.” We will give you information on what was said and done during the meeting, to give you a sense of being there.

THE SET-UP

  1. An evaluator critiqued a speaker’s enunciation. To the evaluator it sounded like the speaker said “Panty Raid” when he actually had said something else.
  2. An audience member wanted to demonstrate something and asked the speaker’s “Permission to join you on stage?”
  3. Ed and Darren were speaking at our meeting. They brought their notes and props in suitcases with wheels, like a carry-on bag you would take on a plane.
  4. Ed told us to turn to our neighbor and tell him/her “This speaker is really good!”
  5. A speaker said she was working on a speech project titled “Leave ‘em Laughing.”

THE MONOLOGUE

Permission to stay in my seat?

(A reversal. Or what I sometimes call 180 degrees.)

My favorite part of your speech was the panty raid.

(A call back which turned into a very strong line.)

I was excited to see that Ed and Darren brought their suitcases. I thought they were moving in.

(Absurdity.)

Wake up your neighbor and say: “This speaker is pretty funny.”

{Implies that my humor is putting people to sleep.)

In closing…a humor tip: To be a successful speaker, Leave ‘em Laughing. If you can’t do that, just leave ‘em.

(Good closing line using a fragment of the speech project title.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #148

August 4th, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll tell you what was said and what happened during the meeting before the monologue was presented.

TH SET-UP. We will give you enough background to help you understand the jokes.

  1. The emcee said that her three speakers tonight had not been drinking.
  2. The emcee also said that she had a crack team of evaluators.
  3. JR mentioned Pole Dancers.
  4. First-time guest Frank was given the choice of participating in the impromptu speech part if the meeting.
  5. A speaker told us that when he was born, the doctor told his mother that he would never walk. Today, he walks normally.
  6. A speaker gave a speech introducing himself to the club. He titled his speech: “It’s all about me.”
  7. A speaker was late and he said he sneaked into the meeting.

THE MONOLOGUE

I haven’t been drinking. I always speak like this.

(Absurdity, I don’t sound drunk. Self-deprecation.)

The evaluators have not been drinking. They are a crack team.

(Double meaning of the word CRACK.)

JR didn’t tell us that Wilson is a Polish name. He comes from a long line of Pole dancers.

(Wilson isn’t a Polish name, but I made that up to support a call-back to his mention of pole dancers.)

Frank, we always ask our guests if they would like to participate in the impromptu speaking part of the meeting. We do that not to test their courage but to test their judgment.

(Implied is that impromptu speeches make us nervous.)

When I was born, the Doctor told my Mother, “John will never be funny.”

(Implies that the doctor was wrong once again.)

These jokes are all about me.

(Good call back.)

One of our members said he sneaked into the meeting. The proper conjugation of the verb sneak is: SNEAK, SNUCK, SNAKED.

(For some reason, this silly string of words popped into my head,)

Observational Humor — Case Study #147

July 15th, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.

THE SETUP What happened or what was said during the meeting before the monologue was delivered.

1. A member said that speaking at a Toastmasters Club is not about perfection, it’s about growth.

2. Jesse Oakley, a well-known, popular Toastmaster arrived at the meeting 20 minutes late. He is Jesse Oakley the third and tags iii onto his name (Jessie Oakley eye eye eye)

3.  I evaluated Stan’s speech.

4. Stan works out at the gym and has huge muscles. He was wearing a tight fitting muscle shirt.

5. A speaker was introduced as Mr Dependability

6. Bobby commented that President Obama was ranking high in popularity at the end of his term. He noted that as his term ended for club President, he was also expecting to be popular.

7. Bill Parker said he felt like he was being forced to ride in the back of the bus.

8. Bobby said that he likes Bill, because when Bill says something, he means it.

9. Bill and Sherri attend the meeting with Sheri’s Mother, Georgia.

THE MONOLOGUE

Mr Toastmaster.   Fellow Toastmasters. And the Late Jesse Oakley, iii

(I used the formal opening often used by Toastmasters, a triplet ending with Jesse’s name. I have used the “Late” gag before, but not with this group. Good response.)

And now it’s time for perfection.

(Self-Aggrandizement works well in moderation and if the audience knows you well)

I enjoyed evaluating Stan’s speech tonight. We have something in common. We both are wearing muscle shirts. And one of us has muscles.

(Self deprecation. Big laugh.)

I’ve never been called Mr Dependability. Although I was once voted to be Miss Congeniality.

(Self deprecation. Absurdity. Good response.)

This club is known for its large number of dependable members. The majority of its members wear depends.

(Absurdity. Funny connection)

Bobby is one of my few friends who have the popularity of Donald Trump.

(Bobby is a universally well-liked guy. The absurd switch to Trump received a good laugh.)

I was excited when Bill said that he liked me. Because I knew that tonight he meant it.

(Combined two observations from the meeting.)

Bill said that felt that he was riding in the back of the bus tonight. That’s why his nickname is Rosa Parker.

(The line occurred to me because of the similarity of his last name, Parker, to Rosa Parks.)

Bill and Sherri Parker Attend Toasmasters meetings with Sherri’s Mother, Georgia. When a club is fortunate to have them as guests it’s like giving a three-for-one coupon.

(Two-fer coupons are common and popular in Las Vegas.)

Many of you probably don’t realize that Georgia is in the witness protection program where her last name is Hippie. Depending on how well you know her, you can refer to her as Georgia or as Mrs Hippie (Mississippi). ii ii

(I’ve known Georgia for over ten years and the connection between Georgia and Mississippi had never occurred to me until that night. It also allowed me to bookend the monologue, opening with iii and closing with ii ii. A strong closing.)

Observational Humor — Case study #146

July 10th, 2016

OBSERVATIONAL HUMOR – CASE STUDY #146

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue delivered at the end of a meeing. I wrote the jokes as the meeting unfolded.

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

  1. A speaker quoted a Bible verse.
  2. A speaker wrote a book with the title: Why Not Today?
  3. A speaker said she speaks on organizing for dis-organized people.
  4. A speaker said, “You’re a great audience, and I don’t say that to every audience.”
  5. A speaker said that he had a part-time job not related to speaking.
  6. Speaker said his alarm goes off at 5:00 am, seven days a week.
  7. I was using a walker.
  8. A speaker listed what women find attractive in a man.
  9. David, the man in charge of our audio equipment, had started growing a goatee.
  10. A speaker shared tips about being successful in the speaking business.
  11. – Not marketing is being invisible.
  12. – Experienced speakers aren’t cheap and cheap speakers aren’t experienced.

THE MONOLOGUE

The Bible refers to the quick and the dead. I am neither.

(Self-deprecation.)

I speak on procrastination. I have a book titled “Why Not Tomorrow?”

(Instead off curing it, I was supposedly encouraging it.)

I do humor for people who don’t like laughing.

(A call-back substituting my theme, humor.)

As a group you have the best sense of humor. And I don’t say that to every group.

(Another call-back again substituting a humor theme.)

I’m now working nights at Madam Tsuaads Wax Museum. I’m performing as a sculpture of Mr Rogers. Tourists say I’m almost life like.

(A call-back on a part-time job and self-deprecation.)

Every day my alarm goes off at 5:00…pm…after my afternoon nap.

(Self-deprecation by flipping am to pm.)

Women like men who are funny. Women like men who are tall. Women like men who use walkers. I made that up.

(Rule of three and self-deprecation.)

I’m pleased to see that David received his Abraham Lincoln starter kit.

(David is a young person and “starter kit” was a funny and appropriate description.)

We have a special guest today. Would you please stand, Hillary Clinton.

(Politics was big in the news and a member looks like Hillary.)

To wrap things up: Two tips to help you understand the speaking business: 

Not being funny is being invisible.

Know that funny speeches aren’t cheap…and cheap speeches aren’t funny.

(Twisting previous advice and again dropping in the humor theme.)