Observational Humor — Case Study #31

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at a Toastmasters meeting.  Everyone can learn skills from studying a Toastmasters monologue.  Just as you can learn by watching a Jay Leno or David Letterman monologue, even though you don’t want to be a talk show host.  You can also learn from watching what successful politicians do, even though you’ll never run for office.  And you could learn from examining what stand-up comics do, even though you’ll never perform in a comedy club.  It’s all relevant.  Being a Toastmaster has little to do with learning good techniques from an Observational Humor Case Study.

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

1.  The General Evaluator (who evaluates the overall conduct of the meeting) complimented the club on the smooth flow of the meeting and the “snappy transitions.”

2. The theme was the Christmas Season.  The emcee of the meeting joked about bringing in camels and wise men.  He suggested we should relax with a “cup of cheer.”

3.  The Crystal Cathedral in Southern California stages two large productions each year:  The Glory of Christmas and The Glory of Easter.

4.  It was mentioned twice that a Timer would be timing all parts of the meeting.

5.  A reference to New Year’s Resolutions:  The emcee asked, “It’s 2009.  Do you know where your life is?”

6.  Anita went to the front of the room to deliver an impromptu speech.  Her husband Jim reminded her to shake the hand of the emcee.  Then Anita took a long pause before speaking, when Jim said:  “Now you talk.”  A big laugh.

7.  Frank gave a speech and mentioned that he was from a very large family.  He also recited a clever holiday poem which did not rhyme.  Frank is a bigger than life guy in every way.

8.  Bryant talked about being ticklish and that his wife was especially ticklish.  Pam, his wife, heckled him from the audience.  Bryant held up his index finger, “Don’t make me go there!”

9.  Speakers John and Clayton did a great job delivering two very long poems.

10.  Steve and Erin Pavlina attend alternate meetings while the other stays home with the kids.  A couple of weeks earlier I suggested that maybe Erin doesn’t really exist and that on alternate meeting dates Steve comes dressed as Erin.  Then at last week’s club holiday party, they both showed up together at the party.

11. Steve Pavlina mentioned his new book, “Personal Development for Smart People.

12.  Our club has a special meeting on the second Monday of the month to orient new club members.  We call it the Power-Up meeting.

13.  A speaker said he’d step out of is comfort zone by going out in public in a pink wig.


Mr Snappy Transition…that’s me.
(Self deprecation.  A reference to my low-key style.)

Welcome to the Glory of Toastmasters.
(Linking the emcee’s remarks to South West USA pop culture.)

Last night, I was sitting at home…ready to do my laundry…with a cup of Cheer.
(Playing with alternate word meaning.)

We’ll be timing our Observational Humor remarks tonight.  They’ll be between 10 seconds and 10 minutes…plus or minus 30 seconds.
(We have no time limits for Observational Humor remarks.  This was a funny way of saying that.)

This is 2009…do you know where your wife is.
(Playing with rhyme and similar sounding words.  This line was delivered primarily as a set-up for the next line.)

That is an especially important question for Jim since he always needs to know where Anita is so he can tell her what to do.
(A topper for the previous line.)

Why does it come as no surprise to me that Frank comes from a very big family?
(A good line directed at an over-the-top speaker and performer.)

(Pam made a humorous observational comment)  Pam…don’t make me go there (holding up my index finger).

What a treat, John and Clayton treated us to poetry that rhymes.
(A simple observation.  A good laugh.)

A couple of weeks ago I had suggested that when Erin Pavlina comes to the meeting it’s really Steve Pavlina in drag.  People at the holiday party who saw both Steve and Erin attending the party said:  “That blows your theory.  There IS an Erin Pavlina.”  Actually my theory still stands.  At the party, I watched very closely and noticed that I never saw Erin talking while Steve was drinking water!
(Suggesting that Steve was a ventriloquist.)

Steve inspired me to write a humor book:  Observational Humor for Smart People.  Only people from MENSA will be able to buy it.  There is a MENSA club which meets on the first and third Tuesdays.  But if you’re not a member, on the second Tuesday you can attend MENSA-UP.
(Tied together a reference from Steve’s book with our Power-Up meeting reference.)

Tomorrow I’m going to step outside my comfort zone.  I’m going to take off my wig and let people see my pink hair.
(A reversal.)