Observational Humor — Case Study #19

This an Observational Humor Monologue presented at a Las Vegas Chapter meeting, National Speakers Association, featuring Patricia Fripp and Dan Maddux.

THE SETUP (what happened and what was said during the meeting, before the monologue was presented)

1.  Dan told us of a speaker who was addressing the American Payroll Association and mistakenly referred to them as the American Plumbers Association.

2.  Fripp used the term Happy Gigsters to refer to a certain group of speakers.

3.  Judy Moreo shared a story about a car salesman, a blind speaker and herself.  Here is a condensed version.  The salesman didn’t like the way his prime rib was cooked and switched plates with the blind man without asking.  The punchline came from the blind man:  “Apparently Honest Bob didn’t like the way his food was prepared.”

4.  At the start of the meeting, Peter announced he was getting married and that he met the special person while attending a Las Vegas show with Fripp and me.  Fripp said that she wasn’t Peter’s date and it got a good laugh.

5.  Dan referred to speakers who use promotional material with old photos as “dated speakers.”

6.  While coaching a speaker, Fripp referred to the speaker’s stance as Girlie Legs and recommended a stance that gave a more stable foundation.

7.  A speaker attendee, Rique, mentioned that “Beauty is an Inside Job.”

8.  Fripp, in one of her signature stories about a man named Larry, several times used the punchline:  “Lareeeeey!”

9.  Fripp told about being in a Ladies Room and being approached by a woman who asked, “Are you British.”  And then added, “Aren’t you Patricia Fripp?”

10.  Dan Maddux told of someone who had fabricated a testimonial with his name on it.  He stumbled onto the bogus testimonial during a Google search.

11.  Dan told us of inappropriate gifts he had received.  Among them were advertising pieces with a speaker’s name on them, and a bottle of massage oil.

12.  Dan told us of a speaker who gave half a speech and then said, “If you want to hear the rest of the speech, the sponsor will have to bring me back again next year.”


It’s great to be here with the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Plumbers Association.
(An easy joke making an obvious switch of names.)

I feel so at home being in a room full of Happy Geezers.
(Again a nice switch of wording.  A little bit of self-deprecation here, implying that I am a geezer.)

We have a lot of first-timers at today’s meeting.  One thing that we learn at NSA is to never steal anyone’s material.  If we see something we like, we need to adapt it to be able to use it.  Here’s something I’m going to add to my next talk:  “Last week at a speech I was seated at the head table.  On my right was Honest Bob the car salesman.  On my left was a gorgeous motivational speaker.  It seems that Honest Bob wanted his prime rib well-done.  And the waiter gave him one that was rare.  The waiter gave me one that was well done.  I couldn’t believe it, but Honest Bob took my plate and switched it for his.  I leaned over to the gorgeous motivational speaker and said:  ‘It appears that Honest Bob thinks I’m blind!'”  I made the story mine.
(I initially had this bit near the end of the monologue, but decided to move it near the top because it was so strong.  A total of three good laughs with a huge laugh at the end.)

At the start of today’s meeting it was announced that Peter is engaged to be married to a person he met at the George Carlin show which he attended with Fripp and me.  Fripp wanted you to know that she was not Peter’s date.  And I want you to know that I was not Peter’s date.  I mention this so that Dan Maddux won’t think that Fripp and I are Dated Speakers.
(Added a topper to the Fripp line.  And then linked the whole thing to Dan’s later reference to dated-speakers.)

Coaching prepares is to be at our best.  I attended the Arnold Schwarzenegger School of Public Speaking where I learned to not use Girlie Legs.
(I chose to run a set of three call backs.  Legs, Lipstick, Larry.  The theme of “techniques I used giving a speech,” gave it structure.)

And Rique taught me that just before I begin a speech, I eat three tubes of lipstick…because beauty is an inside job.
(Taking something literally gave me the twist.)

I used those techniques the last time I gave a speech and the audience looked at me and said…Lareeeeey!
(Her frequent use of the punchline gave me the setup.)

I was in the Men’s Room during the lunch hour combing my hair.  A stranger came up behind me and said: “Are you British?”  I said, “No I’m not.”  And he replied, “For a second there I thought you were Patricia Fripp.”
(A nice reversal.  The lines worked great.)

I’m adding a testimonial to my web site tonight. “You are the funniest speaker I’ve ever heard.”  Dan Maddux.  I’m going to mis-spell Maddux so it isn’t searchable on Google.
(Simple joke based on the technique of claiming to have done something that had been identified as a no-no.)

If you’re interested, I’m selling Massage Oil with your name on it.
(Linking two unrelated things made this joke work.)

That’s the first half of my monologue.  If you want to hear the second half, you’ll have to find a sponsor to bring me back next month.
(A perfect closer.)