Observational Humor — Case Study #28

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 presented.)

1.  At a Toastmasters meeting, members often open their remarks with a formal “Mr Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests…”

2.  During his speech, member JD included a dramatic segment where he played a Dr Evil type character, including the facial expressions and a sinister laugh.

3.  S Frank Stringham introduces himself as S.  He cups his hands (like making a letter C), right hand above the left hand, to form the letter S on his chest (like Superman).  People are making a mistake when the left hand is placed above the right hand, he explained, because it forms the letter Z.

4.  A speaker sang a warm and cuddly children’s song in Spanish.

5.  While evaluating that speech, Bill suggested that the speaker sing just part of the song.  By singing the whole song, the speaker lost his attention.

6.  A speaker told us that he speaks three languages.

7.  JD told us that he is a practicing dentist.

8.  The club voted to accept two new members.

9.  At the start of the meeting, two members struggled with the table in the front of the room to fix a defective table leg.

10.  A speaker explained that the Autumnal Equinox was when the night was the same length as the day.

11.  A speaker said she was once so hungry she ate her fist.

12.  Our Ah Counter included in her report the number of times speakers used the unnecessary filler word “well.”

13.  One of our members is named Clark Wells.


Mr Toastmaster, ladies and gentlemen, and especially Doctor JD and Mr Hyde.
(I gestured toward JD.)

Our Toastmaster of the Evening is known as S (doing the hand gestures)…except in France where he is known as Zee Frank Stringham.
(I said Zee Frank Stringham in a French accent.)

Since we had a song in Spanish tonight, I think it’s only right that we have one in French.  (I sang two lines of Alouette).  I know the rest of the song, but won’t sing it…I don’t want to risk losing Bill.  So instead I’ll just tell you what the song is about.  It’s about a cute little chicken…that tasted really good.
(The Alouette song contrasted with the warm-fuzzy Spanish song.)

I speak five languages.  Only one of them can be understood by other people.
(Notice the logical flow of observational remarks.  The letter S.  The letter Z.  The French accent.  The French Song.  Five languages.  Note that I looked for the logical sequence for the sake of the flow.  The events did not happen in that order.  I listed the items 1 to 13 in the sequence which would match the flow of the monologue, not the order in which they happened.)

I’m a practicing humorist.  And I’ll keep practicing until I get it right.
(A simple call-back to the word PRACTICING.  Also self-deprecation.)

We had a motion to accept two new members into the club tonight.  Considering the shape of the furniture, I’m glad we didn’t table the motion.
(Connected two independent events with a term from parliamentary procedure and the double meaning of the word TABLE.)

The Toastmaster Equinox is when exactly half of your audience is sleeping.
(An alternate definition.  It worked well.)

I was really hungry, so I stopped at a buffet before the meeting.  I cut in front of this huge body builder.  He got really mad.  So I ate his fist.
(I’m not sure how obvious the punchline was.  It seemed to be disguised well enough because it got a good laugh.)

I have one addition to the Ah Counter’s report.  Clark had one Well.
(Connecting part of the Ah Counter’s Report with the name of a member.)