Observational Humor — Case Study #65

This post features an analysis of another monologue delivered at the end of a Toastmasters meeting.

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

1.  The meeting was held on the Martin Luther King holiday.  The emcee of the program quoted large parts of King’s I Have A Dream speech.

2.  Frank, the emcee of the evening, had interviewed every speaker for the evening and asked them what was their dream.  He then introduced every speaker on the program and shared their dream.

3.  Normally the Observational Humor Master (me) is introduced by the Master Evaluator.  That evening the Master Evaluator passed control of the meeting back to the emcee without introducing me.  The emcee (Frank) kept the meeting moving by doing my introduction.  He wasn’t planning on doing that introduction, so he didn’t have “a dream” to share for me.

4.  Frank is an over-the-top funny person and a professional entertainer.

5.  Frank is one of my disc golf partners.  He almost always beats me.

6.  A speaker said his dream was to be a porn star.

7.  The word of the day for the meeting was CREED.  The grammarian shared the definition of the word and jokingly suggested that using the word of the day could make us sound more intelligent.

8.  A speaker said that her dream was to be taller.

9.  A speaker talked about future security, and suggested investing in silver.  And getting a gun.

10.  An evaluator noted that a speaker’s manual project suggested using a Rhetorical Device.  He jokingly admitted he didn’t know what that was.

11.  A speaker told of a place, Paragapolis Island, where all the inhabitants were men.  Her dream was to vacation there.

12.  The same speaker mentioned that she had a friend who easily attracted men.  She referred to her as a “boy magnet.”

13.  A speaker told us about a cabbage soup diet.  A negative feature about the diet was that it gave you gas.


Did you notice that I’m the only speaker on the program tonight who does not have a dream?
(At the last minute we realized that the Master Evaluator passed control of the meeting to the Emcee without introducing the Observational Humor Master.  I knew that the Emcee had not asked me what my dream was, and suspected that he might just make something up.  That he was going to introduce me took him by surprise and he did a great introduction but left out the part of telling people what my dream was.  I felt that the audience would “get” the fact that I wasn’t introduced with a “dream”…and they did.  Very good laugh.)

I actually do have a dream.  One day I’ll beat Frank in disc golf.
(Self-deprecation, admitting I usually lose when playing Frank in disc golf.)

And Frank has a dream…that one day he’ll be a CORN star.  Dreams do come true.
(Frank is a master of many forms of humor, including corny jokes.  Dreams do come true is a topper.)

Last week I joined a multi-level marketing program for a miracle wrinkle remover.  I have a cream!
(I played with a number of rhyme/sound-alikes for the word dream.  I considered using a LIST as a vehicle for creating the humor, but chose instead to use just the one item for CREAM.  Big laugh.)

The program is seriously about helping people.  We are not motivated by creed.
(Plays with a similar sounding word.  Also provides the setup for the next joke.)

I said that word so I’d sound intelligent.

How to be funny.
1.  Be tall.
2.  Get a gun.
3.  Use a rhetorical device.
(A list of three, each one being a call-back to a different part of the evening.  Good laughs for each item.)

For the women in the audience, before you rush out and buy your plane tickets to Paragapolis Island…realize that there is a reason why only men live there.  Boy magnets.
(Small laugh after Paragapolis Island as they anticipate the punchline.  Boy magnets line provides a strong topper.  Huge laugh.)

And finally, I need to point out a myth.  People have come to believe I sit in the back of the room to help me create humor.  The real reason I sit in the back of the room…cabbage soup.
(A long pause before delivering the punch words.  A huge laugh.)