Archive for May, 2011

May Cartoon Caption Contest Results

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

It’s time for the results of our May Cartoon Caption Contest featuring the artwork of professional cartoonist Dan Rosandich.

New Cartoon Caption Contests are announced at the start of the month (alternating months).

New Joke Contests are announced at the start of the month (alternating months).   The next Joke Contest is June 1, 2011.

Here are the top captions for this month’s contest:


Mom said that if I keep failing I will have to be in school forever.  Is that what happened to you?
     Darin Thompson, Smithfield, Utah


Whaddya mean you’re making an exception to the “No Child Left Behind” policy?
     Al Jensen, Las Vegas, Nevada


I’m requesting asylum, going home is not an option.
     Timothy Busam, Cary, North Carolina

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

  – I’d like to start a “C” Mediocre Roll.
  – My parents would like to trade me in for a kid who makes better grades.
  – Let me just say that even though I did it, I’m not responsible.
  – Mom, are you going to lecture me again at home?
  – But if I get good grades, I might get stuck at a desk job.
  – Are you sure this is a good example of my Dad’s tax dollars at work?
  – “Everything we know we learned from someone else!” John Wooden
  – Wow, it is funny how YOUR Report Card looks exactly like mine!
  – Well, ma’am, at least my report card shows I was most improved in recess, texting, and acne.
  – It’s a letter from my mom.  She can’t spell any better than me.
  – So even if I did ransack your desk, how could my fingerprints get that big?
  – Okay, I promise never again to misspell “Joey is a doofus-head.”
  – Believe me, I didn’t cheat on that test; I just accidentally got lucky.
  – But How could I forge my dad’s signature, Miss Randolph, when I got an “F” in Penmanship?
  – It’s my investors:  They need us to take a closer look at the numbers.
  – I have been told this is not a Refrigerator-Quality document.
  – My dad’s a celebrity and he won’t autograph my report card unless I pay him.
  – Don’t I get extra credit for creative writing…and creative Algebra, and creative History?
  – There’s a direct correlation between recent teacher salary cuts and my lower GPA.
  – Do you have a paper shredder?
  – Yes I am embarrassed for walking into the girls bathroom. After all, it’s the 8th time this week.
  – Can I help it if I have dumb DNA?
  – But someone has to be the anchor.
  – Is that my acceptance letter to the military academy?
  – Let me guess:  Denied by another magnet school?
  – I can’t believe you have a security camera in the girls locker room
  – But I’m not going to college.  I’m gonna’ get a part on Jersey Shores
  – Whaddya mean I gotta have good grades to get into clown college?
  – Grade School should come with a money-back guarantee.
  – I knew it wasn’t a good idea to go to the same school as you, Mom.
  – This report will be very damaging to my father’s self esteem.
  – We have an issue. The new ink used in the report card is difficult to erase.

Visit cartoonist Dan Rosandich who has an extensive and in-depth archive of categorized cartoons and cartoon pictures available for licensing at negotiable fees.

Observational Humor — Case Study #69

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.

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

1.  Linda Evans was the emcee for the program.  The theme was FLAMBOYANT.  Woven into the flow of the meeting were facts about the life of Liberace, famous entertainer in the 1950s-1970s.  The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas had recently closed.  As a prop, she used a large ribbon with the word LIBERACE printed on it.

2.  A speaker talked about Hot Yoga where you stretch and exercise in a hot room.  She humorously referred to it as Hot, Horrible and Sweaty.

3.  Nine days before the meeting I won Third Place at the District 33 International Speech Contest.

4.  At the start of the meeting, the club President mentioned doing something “so that you’d remember my face.”  Soon after, one of the first speakers referenced the same phrase:  “So you’d remember my face.”

5.  Two speech evaluators mentioned that speaking without notes improves your presentation.

6.  In a speech evaluation, Pam said that she didn’t like it when a speaker starts a speech asking the audience to close their eyes.  She joked:  “I’m afraid someone will steal my purse!”

7.  Ryan was given an impromptu speech topic and asked to deliver it in a flamboyant, Liberace style.  His natural style is non-flammable.

8.  Ronny gave a speech where he talked about his phobias of flying and being underground in a mine.

9.  Ronny referred to STALAGTITES as STAGTITES.

10.  Linda was referring to the candelabra on Liberace’s piano and accidentally said “candelabra on his refrigerator.”

11.  A speaker talking about yoga mentioned the downward-dog pose and the corpse pose.

12.  A speaker talked about a road trip thru Utah.  She noticed a deer lying in the middle of the road.  As she passes, the deer raised its head.  It was alive.  She was afraid to move the deer, so she called 911 and waited for the Highway Patrol to arrive.  On arriving, the officer said: “I think you should be on your way.”  As they pulled away, they saw the officer take his rifle out of the patrol car.  It appeared that the officer was going to “put the deer out of it’s misery.”

13.  Linda, the program emcee, performed a magic trick to introduce the Observational Humor Master (me).  She used the Liberace ribbon which she had been displaying for the entire meeting.  Performing the torn-and-restored ribbon trick, she tore up the Liberace ribbon and then unfolded it and the restored ribbon read John Kinde…but it was upside down.  Then I was introduced.

THE MONOLOGUE (A strong monologue with 16 good to huge laugh lines.)

I’m not going to stand on my head.
(Good response primarily because the set-up happened immediately before I delivered the line.  Keep your eyes and ears open until just before you begin your remarks.)

It was hot.  It was horrible.  It was sweaty.  And I still managed to take third place.
(The punchline was based on a call-back and switch.  I picked up my third-place award and held it up.  I created the awful place and it turned out to be the District contest.  All in fun, for the sake of the joke.  It wasn’t horrible at all.)

(I opened the floor to Observational Humor from the members.  Ryan volunteered first and told a joke that didn’t immediately connect with the audience.)
Ryan told you that joke so that you’d remember his face.
(I had a variation of this line in the monologue:  “People always ask me why I volunteer to be the Observational Humor Master.  It’s so you’ll remember my face.”  After Ryan’s joke, I reworded the line applying it to him.  It worked perfectly, and appeared to be more spontaneous used that way, than as a planned, scripted line.)

I considered delivering this monologue without notes…but I decided that I’d rather be funny.
(The truth is funny.  I’d rather remember the lines than count on an unreliable memory.  A bit of self-deprecation, implying that I’m not capable of memorizing my own monologue.)

One of the speakers at the District Speech Contest had the audience close their eyes.  That’s when I stole Pam’s purse.
(I dropped myself into Pam’s story/phobia.)

I remember auditioning for a part in a play about 12 years ago.  The director had me read some lines.  He then told me to repeat the lines and flame out.  Like Ryan…I don’t flame.
(True story.  Connected Ryan’s non-flamboyant style with my own non-flammable style.)

Next week you’ll see a new ribbon on our banner.  Liberace.  You saw it here first…tonight.
(A simple link of the Liberace ribbon, which was displayed many times by the emcee, to the many banner ribbons which were on display at the front of the room for the entire meeting.)

I’m planning a dream vacation on a two-person submarine diving to 15,000 feet.  I’m going to remind myself not to go with Ronny.
(Huge laugh.  Ronny referred to up-in-the-air and under-ground phobias, so I thought it would work to add under-water to the list.)

Ronny mis-pronounced stalagtites as staglites.  I looked up staglites in the dictionary.  It has two definitions:
  – The favorite beer of single men.
  – Illumination from a candelabra on a man’s refrigerator.
(I took the liberty of changing his STAGTITES mis-pronunciation to STAGLITES.  Then I referenced my imaginary dictionary.  In the second punchline, I revisited the candelabra reference.)

It’s time for my yoga pose demonstration. 
(Big laugh.  Stiff, old me?  Do yoga?  Right!  Self deprecation.)
I was going to do the downward dog.  But the ambulance isn’t here yet.
So instead I’ll do:
  – The Pink Flamingo
  – The Smiling Cat
  – And the dead deer…also known as the corpse pose.
(Made up two poses to set up the call back of the dead deer and reference to the corpse pose.  All my poses looked identical to the corpse pose.)

If you’re ever driving through Utah and you see me lying in the middle of the road.   When you see me raise my head…listen closely…as I’ll be saying:  “Don’t call the cops!”
(Dropped myself into someone else’s story.  Implied punchline: “I survived being hit by a car.  I don’t want to die.” Very big laugh.  Good closer.)

Humor and Pain

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Humor often comes from pain.  A bad or uncomfortable situation has the potential to offer you humorous material for your next speech.  Look at your life challenges, your embarrassing moments, your “someday I’ll laugh at this” experiences. 

One of my favorite humorists is Jeanne Robertson.  She has the gift of turning painful situations into funny stories which she shares with her audiences.  Listen to this river-rafting tale.  You’ll enjoy it.

A PHOTO Caption Contest

Monday, May 9th, 2011

A caption contest using a picture with some photo editing to customize it.  What a great idea.  It comes from Brad Montgomery’s blog, Laugh-O-Nomics.   Brad, a funny guy and humor pro,  inserts a photo of himself into the Royal Wedding.

Here is the caption I wrote for the photo.

“Why not?  The line is shorter than the one for wedding cake.”

The joke is driven by an implied punchline.  He’s waiting for a kiss (the unstated punchline).  The reader also has a choice.  “Waiting for a kiss from Princess Kate.”  OR “Waiting for a kiss from Prince William.”  They’ll pick what is funniest for them, making it a safe joke.  The superiority theory is working here.  The reader is allowed to “get the joke” by creating the punchline in their head.  If the joke doesn’t make sense to them, they still feel superior because they think the author of the joke (me) is stupid for writing a bad joke!  It’s a joke with no risk.

Cartoon Caption Contest

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

It’s time for our Cartoon Caption Contest for the month of May.  We feature the art of professional cartoonist Dan Rosandich.

New Cartoon Caption Contests are announced at the start of the month (alternating months).

New Joke Contests are announced at the start of the month (alternating months).   The next Joke Contest is June 1, 2011.

Here is the cartoon:

Write as many captions as you can.  Then select your best three captions and submit them.  You can submit more than three lines, the extra lines will be eligible for honorable mention.  Only your first three lines will be judged by our panel of judges for first, second and third place.

Select and submit your best entries, and your city/state/country, by May 15, 2011, to

Visit cartoonist Dan Rosandich who has an extensive and in-depth archive of categorized cartoons and cartoon pictures available for licensing at negotiable fees.