Observational Humor Case Study #5

Here is another case study of an observational humor monologue presented at our Toastmasters Meeting last night.  Observational humor is a formal part of our meeting where everyone in the room can share their humorous observations from the meeting.  It’s led by the Observational Humor Master who wraps up that part of the meeting with a monologue:

Things that happened during the meeting (the setup):

1.  Our Toastmasters club has experienced a lot of growth recently.  We had 25 people in the room instead of the usual dozen.

2.  Bryant gave a glowing report on how we were exceeding our membership goals to achieve distinguished club status.

3.  Our Area Governor, Brandi, was attending the meeting.

4.  During our guest introductions, Randy introduced his wife, “This is my wife Susan, and she isn’t anybody’s girlfriend.” This was a callback to a joke at an earlier meeting where I had said that club President S Frank’s wife was my girlfriend. Randy got a laugh by weaving this into his introduction comments.

5.  One of the other clubs in town that someone mentioned during the meeting is called the “I’ll Drink To That Toastmasters Club.”

6.  The acoustics in the room are not good.  It’s a challenge to project so that the members in the back of the room can hear you.

7.  It was mentioned that it was hard to hear almost all the speakers except for S Frank and Steve who always loud enough to be heard from the back of the room.

8.  Brandy, in her impromptu table topic speech, had a role-play conversation with another person, saying: “I’m not looking for brains, but something more than a rock would be nice.”

9.  Gretchen gave an ice-breaker speech introducing herself to the club.  She mentioned the population size of a small town she was from, saying that it was so small they counted the cows.

10.  In Gretchen’s speech she talked about her French Background.

11.  In Mario’s speech he talked about his Spanish background.

12.  In Steve’s speech he talked about jumping so high, when he was younger, that could almost hit his head on the rim of the basketball hoop.  He mentioned that he once lost his two front teeth when they got caught in the net.

13.  Pam mentioned that it appeared that I had a puzzled look on my face.

14.  Ron was the last one to make his humorous observations before I presented my monologue.  His joke was a funny but very long story.

Here’s the monologue:

Opening remark:  Before I start my comments, I’ll call on Steve to evaluate Ron’s speech.

A.  What a great crowd tonight!  Bryant has been so excited about our growth in membership.  Now he can fill in the Distinguished Club Report without having to count the cows. 

B.  This is a great club.  We may not have the name of “I’ll Drink to That,” but we have the Brandy.  This is Brandi’s favorite club…she’s not looking for a lot of brains.

C.  As you’ve noticed, the acoustics are bad in this room.  Which is a good thing, considering the quality of most of my jokes.

D.  I was sitting in the back row.  During most of the speeches, people in the back were saying, “Huh?”  When S Frank and Steve finished their speeches, the people in the back row removed their ear plugs.

E.  I was amazed at how much I had in common with our speakers tonight.  Like Mario, I speech some Spanish.  Like Gretchen, I speak some French.  Like Steve, I’ve played some basketball.

F.  In fact we were playing one-on-one two weeks ago.  I jumped so high I hit my head on the bottom of Steve’s shoe.

G.  Pam mentioned that I had a puzzled look on my face.  I was delighted that I had SOME look on my face.  (I tend to have a non-expressive face).

H.  Before I close my remarks tonight, I’d like for you to know that I have the most wonderful boyfriend.  Randy would you please stand up.

Notes on the monologue:

a.  I turned on my humor radar during the meeting.  I usually bring a clipboard for taking notes and also to use during the presentation of the monologue.  By taking notes, it helps me to focus on my task of seeing the humor and writing the monologue by the end of the meeting.

b.  I don’t include all of my observations in the monologue.  I select what I feel are the best lines.  I noted six observations which I did not include in the final script.  You’re almost always better off using only the best lines and not forcing all your observations on the audience.

c.  Self-deprecation works well.  That was part of the trigger element in items B, C, F, G.  Those are jokes that poke fun at either me or our club.

d.  The girlfriend/boyfriend has been a running gag since S Frank introduced “his wonderful, beautiful, fabulous wife.”  And in my observational humor, a year ago, I introduced “my wonderful, beautiful, fabulous girlfriend.  Would Lynnea please stand up.”  Last night, Randy went along with the gag and stood and waved to the group.

e.  I thought of using the line “I jumped so high that I lost my front teeth in Steve’s shoe laces.”  But decided that that the direction I chose was cleaner, more direct, and therefore funnier. 

f.  Look at the connections that made the jokes work:
     Joke     Connections
     A         1 and 2
     B         3 and 5
     D         6 and 7
     E         Used the rule-of-three to include all the speakers AND set up the basketball joke
     G         Puzzled Look connected to my reputation as being rather poker faced
     H         The running gag from a previous meeting

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