Observational Humor — Case Study #60

Here is another Observational Humor Monologue.

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

1.  A speaker told a story of locking her keys in the car.  She had recently made a new friend, Beverly, at a Toastmasters meeting.  She rode her bicycle to Beverly’s house to get help with her lock-out situation.

2.  The word of the day was PHLEGMATIC, meaning sluggish, calm, un-flappable, or causing phlegm.

3.  The emcee was dressed in the same colored suit as Frank.  He introduced Frank as “my brother…from another mother.”

4.  A speaker said that she finally opened her Toastmasters Manual after looking at it for months.

5.  Dana used the Question-Man vehicle to present some of his Observational Humor.  He provided the answer first and then announced the question.

6.  A speaker said that his air conditioner broke and he fixed it for thirty-one cents.

7.  The person critiquing proper grammar for the meeting, referred to her job as looking for “grammical errors.”

8.  A speaker described her back yard which was used for the pool, sun bathing, trampolining and swinging on a swing set.  She mentioned that the man next door could watch her sun bathe.

9.  A speaker gave an impromptu speech about being a Thunder From Down Under dancer.  That’s a male exotic dance troupe from Australia similar to the Chippendales.


I want everyone to say “Hi Beverly!”
Beverly is our friend.

(looking at Beverly)  Where do you live?
(This uses the Drop-Yourself-Into-The-Story technique.  In this case I’m dropping the entire audience into the story.  My intent was for the audience to say “Hi Beverly.”  They surprised me by also repeating “Beverly is our friend.”  I thought “Oh, Oh.”  I didn’t want them to repeat the punchline of “Where do you live?”  After the punchline I wanted laughter…not another repeat-after-me line.  So I paused.  I made solid eye contact with Beverly.  And I clearly asked the question: “Where do you live?”  It is an implied punchline, suggesting that we would show up at her home when we needed help.  It worked perfectly and received a huge laugh.)

If you look up PHLEGMATIC in the dictionary, you’ll find my picture.  Whenever I tell a joke…people go…ahem (lightly clearing my throat).
(A bit of self-deprecation in two ways.  It possibly implies I’m slow moving.  It also implies that audiences might question the appropriateness of my humor.  A very big laugh.)

My personalized license plate says:  PHLEGM
(Another link to the Word Of The Day.)

Frank is my brother…from another dimension.  That’s why we don’t dress alike.
(Frank is a good friend.   Except for both being funny, we are very different people.  A call-back provided the opportunity to refer to our attire.  He was nicely dressed in a suit and tie.  I was very casual, wearing a denim shirt and tennis shoes.)

Two days ago I opened my Toastmasters Manual for the first time.  I figured after 37 years…it was about time.
(Linking my long-time in Toastmasters to “finally” opening my manual.)

Since Dana presented some Question-Man Answers, I thought it would be appropriate that I closed with some of them.
(I was planning on doing the Question-Man format bits before I heard Dana do his.  But saying this gave the appearance that I decided to do them on the spur of the moment…the illusion of spontaneity.)

The Answer is:  A temporary fix.
The Question is:  What do you call a thirty-one-cent air conditioner repair?
(A perfect joke based on “you get what you pay for.”  A very big laugh.)

The Answer is:  A mistake made by a grandmother.
The Question is:  What is a grammical error.
(When she mis-pronounced the word, I heard an audible reaction from the audience.  Since I knew that the audience had noticed the error, it made it a target for humor.)

The Answer is:  Something you do in a house with a pool.
The Question is:  What is swinging.
(Plays with the double meaning of the word SWINGING.)

The Answer is Gas-Ex.
The Question is:  What will prevent Thunder from Down Under?

(A funny call back which got a huge laugh.  Use a joke like this with caution.  It’s a bodily-function joke which I’d never use for a corporate audience.  With an audience of friends, and delivering it as an implied joke, I felt it was safe.  But if you’re ever in doubt about a joke, leave it out.)