Observational Humor — Case Study #26

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue from a Toastmasters meeting. 

The Set-Up (What happened and what was said during the meeting before the monologue was delivered.)

1.  Steve mentioned in his speech that some speakers at a conference he had attended took the stage with no introduction.  Often they said something like:  “Well, OK.  I guess it’s time to get started.”

2.  Roselyn gave a speech about her experience as a race car driver going 180 mph.  Another member, Bill Lusk, is also an avid race car driver.

3.  Pam and Bryant hosted a club officer installation party at their new home in the North part of Las Vegas.  It was a very long drive to get to their home.

4.  Roselyn, in her Race Car speech, told of a near-crash experience.  She said her incident wasn’t headline material but that she made the centerfold.

5.  Roselyn had been given the advice to attach yourself to the rear end of the car in front of you.

6. In Steve’s speech he said that when speaking he likes to focus on smiling and friendly faces.

The Monologue

Well OK.  I guess it’s time to get started.  (I thought this was a simple, cute opener.  It surprised me by getting a very big laugh.  My analysis of the response, in the moment, was that the audience interpreted the line differently than I had intended.  I had only meant to use a “trite” opening for my monologue.  But I believe the audience thought I was implying, “OK we’ve heard Observational Humor from several people.  Now it’s time for the REAL Observational Humor.”  That interpretation never occurred to me before I used the line.  But I welcome laughs even when they are stumbled upon.  And I pretended that the interpertation of the audience is what I intended right from the start.)

Who would have guessed that Roselyn was a female Bill Lusk!  (A big laugh from a fairly obvious comparison which had not been stated before.)

Last Monday, I went to our club party at Pam and Bryant’s home in the North part of Las Vegas.  For those of you who haven’t been to their new home…when you go…take your passport.  (A very big laugh.  I think many people felt as I did, “Wow, this place is way out of town.”  A common experience is a good source of humor.)

It was interesting that Roselyn’s speech was on FOCUS.  Because when she said she was the centerfold…I lost my focus.  And I had just regained my focus because I had lost it earlier when she said she had attached herself to someone’s rear end.  (Two huge laughs with a joke and a topper.)

Steve mentioned that when he’s speaking he likes to focus on friendly smiling people.  That explains why he never looks at me.  (Self deprecation.  I’m a nice guy, but would never be accused of being Mr Smiley Face.)