Observational Humor — Case Study #59

I presented a Humor Workshop at a Las Vegas Toastmasters club.  The format of the meeting was a regular TM meeting (business session, impromptu speeches, prepared speeches, and evaluations).  Following the normal meeting, I presented an Observational Humor monologue and then a Humor Workshop.

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

1.  The meeting was advertised as a Humor Workshop.

2.  During the business meeting, there was an extended discussion about the purchase of a portable lectern for the club.

3.  Club meetings often begin with the Pledge of Allegiance.

4.  Diane Hunter was dressed with Red-White-and-Blue accents.

5.  A speaker said that the greatest fear was speaking in public.

6.  Someone mentioned the cliche of people “laughing their pants off.”

7.  A quote from Darren LaCroix:  If we improved our speaking skills one percent every day, after seventy days we’d be twice as good a speaker as we are today.

8.  I was presenting a humor workshop for the Lunatics Toastmasters club.

9.  S Frank Stringham is one of the club members.  He is a bigger-than-life, comedic entertainer.

10.  S Frank Stringham, presented some humor thoughts while sharing some printed comic strips with the audience.


Welcome to the Portable Lectern Workshop.
(Implied that the main purpose of the meeting was to talk about Portable Lecterns, not to present a humor workshop.)

If we’re ever missing an American flag…we can pledge allegiance to Dianne Hunter.
(I asked Dianne to stand before I delivered the line.  Her standing was part of the setup to the joke, making sure people knew how she was dressed.)

Speaking in public is said to be one of life’s greatest fears.  That’s not true.  The greatest fear is actually trying to be funny and having people just stare at you.  Or trying to be serious and having people laugh at you.
(A simple observational twist.)

My greatest fear is when I present my humor, that people will laugh their pants off.  Please don’t!
(This is a topper, riding on the coat tails of the previous joke.)

If you become one percent funnier each day for 70 days, you’ll become twice as funny.  Of course if you aren’t funny at all…you still won’t be funny.
(Stating a not-so-obvious truth.)

Many people, when they come to a Toastmasters meeting for the first time, expect to see us presenting toasts.  When people come to Lunatics for the first time, they expect to get mooned.  When I found out that S Frank was a member, I was expecting a full moon.  That would be like watching a comic strip!
(I set up the joke series by stating a common misconception about Toastmasters clubs, that we do toasts.  I then used the root from Lunatics, Lunar, Moon to set up the first joke.  The first topper linked S Frank to the Lunatics club name.  The second topper played with the double meaning of “comic strip.”)