Observational Humor — Case Study #9

Here is some observational humor from an actual Toastmasters meeting.   After taking notes during the meeting I wrote a monologue which I presented at the end of the meeting.

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

1.  The Toastmaster of the Evening (MC) announced that the theme for the meeting was “New York, New York.”

2.  The Toastmaster of the Evening played part of Sinatra’s song, New York, New York.

3.  The Toastmaster of the Evening (who is a mime and body language expert) said he would refrain from mime and crazy dancing during the song.

4.  TM Bill is well known for racing his Porsche.

5.  TM Mary gave a speech where she told of volunteering to sell beer at the race track to raise money for charity.

6.  TM Tim gave a speech where he talked about the High-Ropes and Low-Ropes teambuilding exercises.

7.  TM Tim talked about climbing a telephone pole and jumping for a trapeze.  The title of his talk was Leap Of Faith.

8.  TM Tim said that when he was on top of the pole it was shaking.  Then he said “wait a minute…poles don’t shake!”

9.  TM Tim talked about skydiving for the first time with an instructor strapped to his back.

10.  TM Ron, during his evaluation of the meeting, said that the Table Topics Master (the member who assigns the impromptu speech topics for the evening) sometimes calls only on the funniest members of the club, and he specifically named three people who often get called on.  He commented that that the Table Topics Master for that evening called on a good cross section of members, which he said was “the high-class way to do it.”

11.  TM Bryant gave a speech on the power of mentorship.

12.  TM Bill has been a Toastmaster member for 45 years.  He is the only member of the club who has been a member longer than my 34 years.

**THE MONOLOGUE**

The theme for tonight’s Observational Humor is “Pahrump…Pahrump.”  If you can make it there…you can make it anywhere.
(This was an obvious set up allowing me to pick the name of a local town with a funny name.)

And the good news is that I won’t do any crazy dancing.
(A good line because I’d be the last person in the room that would be expected to do any crazy dancing.)

I went to the race track this past Saturday and ran into some of our club members.
Racing around the track in his Porsche was TM Bill.
The up the aisle came “Beer!  Cold beer!  Getcha beer here!”  It was TM Mary!

(Bill racing his Porsche was a set up line to disguise the real punch line with Mary selling beer.  The Mary as a barker selling beer was a funny line because it would have been totally out of character for her.  She matches the classic definition of a lady.)

On Sunday I was involved with a Ropes Course.  Not the low ropes.  Not the high ropes.  It was the “Soap On A Rope.”
(A crazy line that popped into my head.  It got a good laugh.)

It did include the exercise to climb the telephone pole. 
I’ll tell you about the experience later, in my speech “Leak of faith.”
(A nice play on words using a similar-sounding word.)

My hand is shaking.  I guess that proves that I’m not Polish.  Poles don’t shake.
(I initially thought this might be an obvious joke.  But it got a great response.  It plays with the relationship of Poles to Polish changing the meaning from WOOD to NATIONALITY.  Then I worked it in reverse to construct the joke.)

And a point of advice for members presenting Table Topics in the future.  If you call on S, George or John…that’s the Low-Class way of doing it.
(Very simple line.  Excellent response.)

We had great speeches tonight on sky diving and mentoring.  We can all learn some valuable lessons by being mentored by members who are more experienced.  At the next meeting I’ll be giving a speech with TM Bill strapped to my back.

(This line combines elements of two speeches, skydiving and mentoring, with an absurd visual image.)