Two-Hour Humor Workshop

April 17th, 2014

Learn Humor Skills the Easy Way From Someone Who Learned Them the Hard
Way. A two-hour Humor Workshop presented by John Kinde. This program is
part of an NSA Academy event on Monday, April 21, 6:00 pm until 9:30. John’s
presentation is open to non-Academy members and will be approximately 7:15 pm to 9:15. The location is: 6655 W Sahara Suite B-100 just East of Rainbow, in Las Vegas.  It is easiest to enter the complex on Redwood St, which is a small street running between the complex and CarMax. Turn into the office complex and down a short driveway, and then turn right immediately. Building B, Suite B-100, will be on the ground level about 100 ft ahead on the left, just past the staircase. Anita Johnston is the registrar,, phone 702-683-9993.

Observational Humor — Case Study #118

April 15th, 2014

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We will look at the setup for the jokes, then we’ll review the jokes, and finally we’ll discuss what made the jokes work.

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

1. I was using my walker when I approached the speaking platform.

2. An evaluator complimented a speaker on a “smile that draws people

3. The Observational Humor Master typically opens with one joke, and
then calls for humorous comments from the floor. The OH Master then
presents a humor monologue.

4. An evaluator complimented a speaker on the variety in his speech,
taking people up and down, emotionally. He gestured the motion of a
roller coaster, highs and lows.

5. Jesse Oakley III told the story of his name. He is widely known for
his iii suffix.

6. A speaker used a joke format, “If you’re not paying for X…

7. A speaker shared data that shows we are all being snooped on.

8. A speaker commented on how competitive our club is.

9. We have several new, young members. We also had two parents and a son visiting from California. The son was young looking, and the parents still did not look old enough to be his parents.


My nickname is Johnny Walker.
(Jokes about the obvious. Also a joke using name play.)

Now that my smile has drawn you in.
(Self-deprecation. I’m not an expressive person.)

Are there any Observational Humor comments from floor?
(Members shared some Observational Humor lines. My monologue

As you noticed, the humor is like a roller coaster…up…and down.
(gesturing a roller coaster path.)
(Very good laugh, in spite of the fact that all the lines given by club
members were good. In other words there weren’t any “down” or bad
lines, and the joke still got laughs.)

Ladies and gentlemen…and especially our Past-District Gov who had a farm…JESS E I E I O.
(A perfect play on I-I-I using the Old MacDonald jingle.)

If you’re not paying for this monologue…you’ll be in this monologue.
(Big laugh. A call back twisted to fit the monologue theme.)

I couldn’t resist the “walker” line. I like to find humor in name-play.  For example if Ethan Nguyen married Woody Allen…he would be Ethan Allen.
(Good laugh.)

I heard on the news today that Las Vegas was suing Chicago. It seems that Chicago is claiming to be a windy city.
(Timely comment related to windy weather in Las Vegas.)

You may have noticed that in the men’s room, the urinals have a sign which says, “Aim for back of urinal.” Melanie, that gives me an idea for our club banner slogan. “Power House Pros–We Aim to Please.”
(A recycled joke similar to one I used many months ago.)

Nobody snoops on me. I communicate by telegraph, smoke signals and stone tablets.
(Weakest line of the monologue.)

I agree with the comment that our club has stiff competition. This is because half of our members are very competitive. And the other half look like they should be in a coffin.
(The truth is funny, albeit an exaggerated truth. A good laugh.)

But aren’t you impressed with how young our three speakers were
tonight? And our guests are so young, even the parent’s of our guests are young!
(A good line to close with because it is funny, because it’s true. And it
compliments our guests.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #116

April 6th, 2014

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

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

1. The Sgt At Arms opened the meeting saying “Please find your seat.”

2. A speaker shared a riddle to which the answer was NOTHING.

3. The meeting was our club’s annual speech contest. We had a mix of VERY experienced speakers and one brand new speaker.

4. A speaker who was born in Vietnam gave a Tall Tales speech in which he made up “scars” of his life experiences.

5. I was raised in North Dakota.

6. A speaker mentioned being “bald as a pickle.”

7. A speaker told about wanting to fly as a boy and taking an umbrella and jumping off a porch. He also talked about racine a Porsche as a senior citizen.

8. A speaker told a story where someone referred to him as “Dear.”

9. A speaker made fun of his own singing of Over the Rainbow. And he told of asking someone “who originally sang that song.” He was told, Judy Garland.

10. Bill Lusk gave a Tall Tale about his dog who spoke German.


(In an old man’s voice) I can’t find my seat!
(When the original reference was made by the Sgt At Arms, there were a couple of jokes using the double meaning of the word SEAT. It felt like it would be fun, but it turned out not to be a strong opener.)

What is worse than Observational Humor…Nothing!
(A call-back with strong audience response.)

This was a typical Toastmasters Club level speech contest. Competitors included:
- An International finalist.
- An International semi-finalist.
- A 55 year Toastmaster member.
- And a new Toastmaster giving his first speech.
(I knew this was not a strong joke, but pointed out the difference in experience of the contestants. As expected, not much laughter. I would include it again. The perspective is interesting, and Observational Humor is all about perspective.)

I was raised in North Dakota and have scars that are difficult to share with you.
(Moderate response. Used as a set up for the jokes that followed.)

I was afraid I was going to grow up to be bald as a pickle.
(Simple call back. Good response.)

And I always wanted to be like Mary Poppins. I got an umbrella and jumped off a Porsche.
(Absurdity of Mary Poppins. Call-back of umbrella. Used Porsche as a sound-alike substitute for PORCH. Very big laugh.)

My mother called me Dear…John Deere.
(The twist is John Deere. Strong response.)

I used to like to sing “Over the Rainbow”. One day I asked my mother who sings that song? She said “Over the Rainbow” is sung by Scott Pritchard.
(Very big response.)

Last week I went to lunch at Bill Lusk’s home.
(Sets up the dog lines which follow.)

His dog answered the door. “Bonjour Monsieur. Soyez le bienvenue!” I was amazed. His dog spoke French!
(Good laugh. Set-up for a series of language jokes.)

The dog then said “Mi casa es su casa!” Incredible, the dog was bilingual.
(Stronger laughter.)

By the way what are we having for lunch? The dog replied, “Wienerschnitzel und Hagen Daz.”   German? 

(Tongue-in-cheek German. Not meant to be taken seriously. A direct call back to the speech. A good laugh.)

How many languages do you speak? The dog responded: “Mot, hai…chin, muoi.” (I counted from one to ten in Vietnamese). Ten languages. Amazing!
(Very good response. I included Vietnamese because one of the speakers had a theme of Vietnam for his speech.)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was better than nothing.
(A good closer, book-ending the speech.)

Special Humor Workshop Sponsored by NSA Las Vegas

April 3rd, 2014

Special Humor Evening Presented by the NSA Speakers Academy, Featuring John Kinde, DTM, Accredited Speaker,  Monday, April 21, 2014, 6 pm

They Laughed…Until I Started Giving my Humorous Speech

Come learn humor skills the easy way from someone who learned them the hard way.
- Learn triggers which set your humor in motion.
- Understand why something is funny to help you create and deliver original humor.
- Tune your humor radar to find the everyday humor around you.
- Add advanced humor techniques to your speaker tool box.
- Become a more memorable speaker and have more impact every time you step before an audience.

Our presenter is John Kinde, a 30 year member of NSA. John worked for 17 years with nuclear weapons. He is the founder of improv troupes in Las Vegas in California. John has presented over 1000 hours of improv workshops. He is a comedy magician. Join us for an enjoyable program. It might even be funny.

Space is limited, seating for only twenty-five people. RSVP to Anita Johnston at,  (702) 240-8455,  (702) 683-9993.

When: Monday, April 21, 2014. 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Where: 6655 W Sahara, Bldg B, Suite B-100
Ask if you would like detailed directions.

New Joke Contest — Hidden Benefits

April 1st, 2014

This month’s theme, Hidden Benefits, was suggested by Gerald Fleischmann, long-time contributor to our contests.

Write a line which starts in a style that appears to be a putdown for a person, product, or service, then end it with something that turns it upside down by turning a negative into a positive. This is the opposite of a previous contest where we started with a positive and then delivered a backhanded, faint-praise compliment. Your challenge is not to submit reworks of previous jokes, but to create new ones. Here are some examples:

- That restaurant serves the world’s worst food, but I eat there every day because when I’m not satisfied, my next meal is free.

- The barking from my new neighbor’s dogs is so annoying that I hadn’t noticed that there have been no prowlers in my back yard since they moved in.

- My husband is a horrible cook, but now I realize how many wonderful friends I’ve made who work as health department inspectors.

Your challenge is to write as many lines as you can. Then submit your
three best three lines for recognition in our Top Three. You can submit
more than three lines. The extra lines will be eligible for Honorable
Mention.   Send your entries to
not later than April 15, 2014.

New joke contests are announced on the first of each month. The next
contest is published on May 1, 2014.

Florida Vs Las Vegas

March 28th, 2014

23 Reasons Florida (Yes, Florida) Is Quite Possibly The Best State in
America (Huffington Post)

23 Reasons Las Vegas (Yes, Las Vegas) Is Quite Possibly the Best City
in America

(This will make more sense if you read the Huffington Post article first.)

1. Everyone loves Las Vegas weather. You can relax in the sauna, or
you can come inside and enjoy the air conditioning.
2. Las Vegas may be the only American city whose first Postmaster was
a woman.
3. In Las Vegas you can spend a three day weekend and never know for
sure if it’s day or night.
4. There are abandoned mine shafts where former mob bosses live.
5. Have dinner at the Stratosphere Tower and watch spacecraft fly by
your window.
6. Las Vegas serves 60,000 pounds of shrimp every day. Or would you
rather have a Publix Sub?
7. If you want the Miami Heat, go to Florida. But go to Las Vegas if
you want heat without the humidity.
8. Las Vegas has more visitors than any other adult amusement
destination in the country.
9. Las Vegas is the best place in the country to get a free $50 beer.
10. In Las Vegas, you can get oranges, cherries and plums for only a
11. Rainstorms rarely last more than two minutes a year in Las Vegas.
But watch for flash flooding.
12. If you want to make a new Croatian-Somalian friend, Las Vegas is
the place.
13. Thank Florida the next time you’re on a commercial flight to Las
14. If you want to get crabs and get stoned, vacation in another state.
15. In Las Vegas you won’t need sunscreen. It’s too hot to go outside.
16. In Las Vegas the wild life will blow your mind.
17. The Elvis Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich is a Las Vegas
Iconic Classic.
18. In Las Vegas our Limes, Kiwis, and Berries are calorie free, even if
the spin is not.
19. If you can’t go to Venice, go to Las Vegas and ride a gondola at The
20. When in Las Vegas, visit Japanese culture at the Morikami
Museum in Florida. It’s closer than flying to Japan.
21. You can find sharks teeth at the Mandalay Bay Aquarium. They
are still in the shark’s mouth.
22. Casual dress is popular in Las Vegas. And you’ll find a man-in-a-T
is a very gentle creature.
23. In Las Vegas you’ll be so busy winning money, you won’t have time
to read the newspaper.

Observational Humor — Case Study #115

March 26th, 2014

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue.   We will look at the set-up, the joke, and what makes the joke work.

Observational Humor case studies are provided to help us become better at recognizing, writing, and delivering a joke when speaking from the platform.  The best kind of humor is that which is designed specifically for the audience.  Often it is a one-time-use joke which, if told later, may get weak laughter and the excuse, “You had to be there.”  When you create Observational Humor you and the audience ARE there, and the joke is often stronger than you would have expected.

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

1.  The grammarian opened his report with “John Kinde didn’t have anything,” meaning he didn’t have any errors or suggestions to report.

2.  Guest Billie Wilson was surprised to be called on to introduce herself as a guest at the meeting.  It was her first time to visit a TM club.

3.  Bobby Williams joked about how I always introduce him as the funniest person in District 33.  He said it was hard to be a funny speaker following such an introduction.  Then he suggested that I was the funniest person in the District.

4.  A speaker was praised for his use of colorful language, meaning his vibrant, descriptive language.

5.  I presented the Educational moment on the subject of copyright law. JD Smith added a lot of valuable information.  The segment was supposed to be two minutes in length and ran overtime.

6.  Jon is a new member.

7.  To locate the restrooms, the emcee suggested we should ask someone over the age of 60.

8.  A speaker was critiqued for not speaking clearly.  She said “gonna” instead of “going to.”

9.  Another speaker was critiqued for using the expression “try to.”  The evaluator said, “You never TRY you just DO.”

10. A speaker told about an armed robbery of two people, one younger and one older.  The younger person being robbed was told to get on the ground and put his hands behind his head.  The robbers knew that the younger man would have been capable of hurting them.

11.  Bill Lusk has a full head of hair at age 80.  He was introduced as having good hair genes.

12.  I was dressed in blue jeans and a denim shirt.

13.  Bill told us that he inherited a Porsche when he was young.  He eventually became a race car driver.

14.  Bill said that he and his car “became one.”

15.  My first car was a VW Bug.  It was a sporty car which I took to the drag strip.

16.  Bill said that when he completes a race, he feels like a young man.

17.  Bill was giving an inpirational speech and closed with “your life can be as full as mine.”

18.  Bobby used the expression “there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for John Kinde.”

19.  Bobby used the expression “for what it’s worth” three times.


I don’t have anything.  (I start to leave the speaking platform).
(A call back.  A good opener, one which I’ve used before.  Used as a current call-back, it freshens the joke.)

To start our humor session, Billie Wilson will now present some humorous observations.  Just kidding!
(This joke had pros and cons.  A trigger was the techniaque of building tension.  Putting a guest on the spot could be a negative.  You need to remove the pressure in a timely manner, not waiting too long to deliver the Just-Kidding line.)

The only thing worse than to be introduced as the funniest person in the district…is to be introduced as the person who is funnier than the funniest person in the district.
(The truth is funny.  And it added a layer to the onion by exaggerating the original humorous line that Bobby had delivered.)

It made me want to use some colorful language.
(Played with the double meening of the word colorful.)

I have a correction to the timer’s report.  It was noted that I spoke earlier for six and a half minutes.  The correct time for the Educational Moment was that I spoke for two minutes.  And JD Smith spoke for four and a half minutes.
(The first sentence builds tension.  The final punchline runs the danger of appearing that I was belittling JD’s excellent contributions.  I had the line written into the monologue, and I think it would have received a big laugh, but I chose not to deliver it.)

Jon (pointing to him), John (pointing to me), and John (pointing to the restrooms).

I’m gonna try some Observational Humor.
(Often, when I hear advice of something NOT to do, I look for a place to do it.)

Before I start I’m going to have Ryan and Jon get down on the floor and put their hands behind their heads.  They could both hurt me.
(The first joke got a good laugh.  The topper got a weak laugh.  I feel it was a good line, but got smothered in my delivery.)

I’m proud to say I have a lot in common with Bill Lusk. 
(Sets the scene for a series of jokes.)

Hair Genes.  Blue Jeans.
(Play with rhyme.  Simple joke.  Very good laugh.)

When he was young he got a Porsche.  When I was young I got a VW Bug.
(Just a set-up.  Not intended to be a joke, although could appear as one as I go from BIG to LITTLE.)

My VW Bug and I became two.
(Silly, perhaps whimsical.  Excellent laugh.)

My bug had headers, a tachometer, and mag wheels.
I raced it at the Ontario Motor Speedway.  Bill, you probably raced there. (Bill replied, “No that race track was closed before I got down there.”)

Now that REALLY makes me feel old!
(A funny line which came to me in the moment.  The truth is funny.)

When I was done racing, I felt like I was 60 years old.
(A reversal.)

Your life can be as full as mine.  And I am full of it.

There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for Bobby Williams.  And for what it’s worth, I’d like to thank Bobby for nothing.
(A call-back on Bobby’s remarks.  Good and funny closer.)

Humor Contest Results — It Was So Windy

March 20th, 2014

It’s time for the March Joke Contest. The theme comes from the popular “How Windy Was It” Johnny Carson routine. We had the challenge to come up with lines for:

- How hungry were you?
- How hot were you
- How rich were you?
- How funny were you?

Here are the top lines submitted by our readers:


- I’m so hungry, I’ll swallow anything that political pundits are saying.
Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois

- I’m so hot, I can’t eat humble pie until it’s cold.
Kaye Newton, Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia

- I’m so rich, I go cow tipping with hundred dollar bills.
Ethan Nguyen, Las Vegas, Nevada

- I’m so funny, when I view the Mona Lisa, she smirks.
Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California


- I’m so hungry, I could eat a vegetarian.
Les Harden, Brisbane, Australia

- I’m so hot, I can’t get within three feet of my curtains.
Ardelle Bellman, Las Vegas, Nevada

- I’m so rich, when the old woman in a shoe asked for help to get a bigger place, I bought her Italy.
Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois

- I’m so un-funny, my joke got Horrible Mention.
Pete Ward


- I’m so hot, I moonlight as sunshine.
- I’m so rich, I vacation in Silicon Valley to see how poor people live.
- I’m so rich, my Hip Hop CDs come with a rapper.
- I’m so rich, I make my stock brokers look like broke stalkers.
- I’m so hungry, I could eat a vegetarian.
- I’m so funny, I made John Kinde smile. Of course he was standing on his head.
- I’m so hot, I am Victoria’s Secret.
- I’m so hungry, my stomach growls at 66 decibels.
- I’m so funny, my wife laughs at all my old jokes every time I tell them.
- I’m so funny, bloggers ask for my joke contest ideas.
- I’m so funny, I drive a clown car.
- I’m so rich, I had the Bentley windshield ground to my glasses prescription.
- I’m so hot, I’m required by law to carry ice cubes at all times.
- I’m so hot, my dates wear fireproof suits.
- I’m so rich, my wife had to divorce me twice.
- I’m so hungry, when I walk into a fast food restaurant, its stock price rises.
- I’m so rich, if I’m losing at the casino, I buy the casino.
- I’m so funny, people laugh at me even before I get to the punchline.
- I’m so hungry, when they see me coming, “all you can eat” restaurants hang “out of business” signs on their door.
- I’m so hot, they call me Mr. Habañero.
- I’m so rich, I hired someone to write the rest of this joke for me.
- I’m so rich, I raise people’s cholesterol just walking past them.
- I’m so funny, the judges of these contests are jealous.
- I’m so funny, my wife laughed at one of my jokes.
- I’m so funny, all the other contestants hired me to write their jokes.

Observational Humor — Case Study #117

March 19th, 2014

We had another excellent meeting. Two guests. Four speakers preparing for their Area Contests. We’ll look at Observational Humor, starting with the set-ups, the jokes, and a brief examination of what made the jokes funny.

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

1. It was one of the most windy nights we’ve seen in a long time. The wind was so strong it kept blowing the front door open.

2. The awards for Toastmaster of the Year and Spark Plug of the Year for the club were presented. Members were recognized for contributions to the club, including being a “Cheer Leader” for Toastmasters.

3. Before the meeting started, Bobby joked that he loved seeing guests because he likes seeing people he doesn’t owe money to.

4. Our Gramarian looks for filler words: So, Ah, and other meaningless filler words. She said that Ethan had a BUT and a WELL.

5. We have been having younger members join our club. They are talented and bring good energy to the meetings.

6. Guest Nick said he was born and raised in Las Vegas.

7. A speaker told about visiting a sperm bank and seeing their donor books categorized by descriptions of the donors: Height, Ethnicity, Education, etc.


We have an announcement. If you drove to the meeting tonight…your car is now in Kansas.
(We were having the biggest wind storm I had seen in years. The first
thought I had was “You’re not in Kansas anymore.” I used that line to
arrive at the line I actually used.)

Give me a T. Give me an O. Give me a M-A-S-T-E-R. What does it
spell? Toastmaster! Yea!
(I played the role of an un-talented cheer leader. I was well cast in that role.)

After the presentation of Toastmaster of the Year and Sparkplug of the Year earlier this evening, I realized I need to be more of a cheer leader.
(The line got a bigger laugh than I expected.)

Bobby says he loves seeing guests at the meeting because he likes to see people to whom he doesn’t owe money. What Bobby doesn’t know is that Dustin and Nick are both undercover agents for the IRS.
(I asked myself, how could Bobby owe the guests money?)

I’m not sure, but I think the gramarian said that Ethan had “a butt in the well.”

(I twisted a call back using a sound-alike phrase.)

I’ve noticed that recently our new members and our guests are young, talented and good looking. They are making us old-timers look bad. In fact one of our new members referred to us as “you older speakers.”
(The truth is funny. The new members ARE young, talented, good

All I have to say is that one day, you younger speakers are going to look like me.
(Self deprecation. Very big laugh.)

Nick said something that surprised me. You said that you were born here. (Nick agreed.) That amazes me, because I didn’t think the building was that old.
(I took a literal statement to the extreme. I thought that Nick would
confirm that he had said HERE, but he obviously he didn’t mean THIS
BUILDING. A big laugh.)

Often times, a guest will tell me that they’ve seen me before. That mightbe because I’m in the National Speakers Association Directory. Or it might be because of my web site. Or it might be because I’m in the donor books for TALL, for SCANDANAVIAN,  
(A call back. Good job tying me into the donor books. I was using the “drop myself into their story” technique.  Good laugh.)

Observational Humor — Case Study # 114

March 13th, 2014

Here is another look at an Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.  We’ll look at what set up the jokes, then we’ll look at the jokes themselves, and finally we’ll take a brief look at what made the jokes work.

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

1.  An evaluator commented on a speaker’s high-energy entrance to open his speech.

2.  A member giving an impromptu speech said his favorite kind of humor was that which “slaps you in the face.”

3.  Three people had to leave the meeting early.  One was a guest speaker, and two were people who had come to hear the guest speaker.  To accommodate their schedules they had requested that the guest speaker present early in the program.  The agenda showed the guest speaker as the third speaker, and he was moved to the number one speaking slot.

4.  A speaker gave us three tips for being funny.

5.  A speaker said that a coach gave him three tips for dealing with a heckler and then charged him $40.

6.  A speaker told us not to bluff when playing video poker.

7.  A speaker told a story about being asked to be someone’s bowling partner.

8.  A speaker told about a skilled stand-up comic who was Asian, Gay and very funny.  He connected with the audience because he was authentic.

9.  A speaker talked about doing comedy and dying on stage.


(I was introduced and made my usual slow-motion entrance using my walker)  Another high-energy entrance.
(Self-deprecation.  Also a good way to set aside the issue of my slower than normal pace.)

And another monologue of humor that slaps you in the face.
(Self-deprecationAnd good call-back which worked with my contrasting style.)

You probably noticed that three people left the meeting early.  All three of them specifically asked if I could speak last.
(A reversalAnd another self-deprecation line.)

My secret to being funny:
1.  Think funny
2.  Look funny
3.  Smell funny
(Playing with alternate word meaningFunny doesn’t always mean generating-laughter.)

And the secret to handling hecklersPay them $40.
(A twist.  Using the $40 to pay the heckler for his silence.)

We were told that to handle hecklers:
Comment on what they are wearing.
Comment on who they’re with.
Comment on what they said.

It was just my luck.  Last weekend I had a heckler:
He was naked.
He was alone.
 And he didn’t speak English.
(I used the drop-myself-into-their-story technique and used an absurd triplett.)

Another tip.  Don’t bluff when you’re taking a breathalyzer.
(A call back.  I asked myself the question, where else would be a dumb place to bluff? Although I didn’t do it, this would have been a good place to use a triplett, three places where it would be stupid to bluff.)

I was at a night club Saturday night.  I saw a hot babe.  She came over, and whispered in my ear:  Will you be my bowling partner?
(Absurd.  Good call back.)

We were told that to make the big-time we should:
Be Asian
Be Funny
And be gay.
(sigh) If only I were Asian.
(Absurd response to the advice.)

I’ve never died while on stage.  But to be on the safe side, it would be a good idea to stop talking.
(Suggesting that the longer I talk, the less funny I’ll be.)