Observational Humor — Case Study #67

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a Toastmasters meeting.

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

1.  It was a tough night for Observational Humor.  Some nights the gems come easy.  Some nights they don’t.  We always start the Observational Humor portion of the meeting by opening the floor for Observational Humor comments from our members.  On a typical night we will have ten members share observations; and four of them will present short monologues of several lines each.  On this night, only one member did a monologue, and it was hit-and-miss.  Three other members who almost always have multiple lines to share had nothing.  That was it.  No other members had anything to share.  It was one of those nights when the humor didn’t come easy.

2.  A speaker opened with several hand-raising questions.  “Raise your hand if you wish you had more money.”

3.  A speaker referred to someone who had “more money than God.”

4.  A member who raised his hand was jokingly referred to as someone who was “flailing.”

5.  I mistakenly called on one of our more humorous members to share Observational Humor.  I thought his hand was raised, but it apparently wasn’t.  He chose to stand and attempted to come up with a line on the spot, without much success.

6.  The person assigning impromptu speech topics said:  “As they say in contests…let the Table Topics begin!”

7.  The person assigning impromptu speech topics asked the guests if they wanted to participate in Table Topics, after they had seen our members model a couple of strong demonstrations of how it’s done right.  No guests volunteered.

8.  A speaker was given a rain poncho and required to speak about the object.  He said that is was part of his wardrobe as a stand-up comic.  “You know what happens to bad comics.”

9.  Beverly gave a speech about her vacation to Jamaica.  On vacation with her mother, a tour guide who gave them a “free..no-charge” tour, told her at the end of the tour that he’d take her mother back to the ship and take her to his hotel.

10.  The theme of the meeting was Mardi Gras.

11.  We took a break half way through the meeting to celebrate the announcement of our Toastmaster of the year.  Cookies were served.

12.  Barbel gave a speech and made a joke about Bernie Madoff.  Her speech evaluator mistakenly made reference to her “Merdoff Joke.”

THE MONOLOGUE

Raise your hand if you wish you had more humor than God.
(A double-call-back.  Simple.  Got a surprisingly good laugh.)

(The member I called on, who I mistakenly thought raised his hand to share some Observational Humor, responded:  “But I wasn’t flailing.” )
No, actually, you didn’t start flailing until after I called on you.
(I was planning on using the line “I see you flailing” when calling on the person who was the target of the flailing joke earlier in the evening.  As it turned out he never volunteered any humor.  Then the member I mistakenly called on made the flailing reference, which allowed me to respond with my “you didn’t start flailing until after I called on you.”  A very big laugh.)

Now that we’ve seen how Observational Humor is NOT done…would any of our guests like to present some humorous observations?
(I modified my planned line “Now that we’ve seen how Observational Humor is done…would any of our guests like to present some humorous observations?”  A very big laugh.)

As they say in contests…let the Observational Humor begin.
(Weak laugh.)

Excuse me while I put on my Observational Humor poncho.
(An Observational Humor saver line came in handy, implying that my joke bombed.)

For Beverly, the Observational Humor is free.  No charge.
(Earlier, a speech evaluator reviewing Beverly’s speech said that “the evaluation was Free.”  Since the observational line was used by someone else, I chose to drop it from my monologue.)

Today is Cookie Monday.
Which is followed by Fat Tuesday.
And that is followed by Diet Wednesday.
(This was an interesting sequence.  Joke.  Topper.  Topper.  But the lines got progressively weaker.  Cookie Monday surprised me with a big response.  That may have been, in part, because the set-up [Fat Tuesday] was firmly set [a hard set-up] by multiple repetitions during the meeting.  Also, the word COOKIE is a funny word with two K sounds in it.  What ever the reason, the laugh was much bigger than I expected.  The Fat Tuesday line was a mini-topper, but mostly intended as a set-up line for the Diet Wednesday line.  Those lines received just moderate laughs.  The Diet Wednesday line was recycled from our New Holidays joke contest, submitted by a reader in February.  Although the lines went from strong to medium and medium response, they didn’t bomb and I would have used them again if I had it to do over.)

Did you notice that Barbel’s Merdoff joke MADE OFF with the laughs?
(This was a time-release, word-play joke.  I didn’t expect a big laugh, but slipped it in to see how many people would catch it.  It got a small laugh.   One person said out loud, “I get it.”  I guess you could say, I did the joke for me.)

Beverly, after the meeting, I’ll be providing your ride to the hotel…where we’ll be meeting your mother.
(Great closing line.  Huge laugh.  Joke.  Topper.  I softened the implied joke by twisting the mother line.  In the set-up, the mother was not invited to the hotel.  In my joke, she might be considered a chaperone.)