Archive for June, 2011

Observational Humor — Case Study #71

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Here’s 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.  Our General Evaluator said that all of our speech evaluators happened to be cute guys.

2.   An evaluator gave a general suggestion.  He followed that advice with, “I’m not sure how you’ll be able to do that.”

3.  Two of our younger club members (early 20s) are Ryan and David.  A speaker referred to them as his sons.

4.  A speaker talked about turning forty.  He implied that it was a large number.

5.  A speaker talked about people over 100 years old and how Japanese culture treats older people better than we do in the USA.

6.  One of our members is named Bill Parker.

7.  A speaker said that people fear speaking in public more than they fear death.

8.  As part of the impromptu speaking assignments, a member was required to sing a song.


As you’ve probably noticed…we’ve run out of cute guys.
(Self-deprecation.  Huge laugh.  A perfect opener.)

The floor is open to humorous observations.  Your challenge is to come up with observations which are funny.  I’m not sure how to do that…but it’ll be great if you’re able to.
(I wasn’t sure how well this would work, thinking that the set-up might not be strong enough.  But it received a very good laugh.)

I’d like to introduce you to my two grandsons…Ryan and David.
(Self-deprecation.  Good laugh.)

I have a correction to make.  Forty is not a big number.
(I felt this was a good line, but it received almost no laughter.  It may have needed a better set-up to link it to the mention of FORTY during the meeting.  It may also not have been clear that I was implying that 40 is a small number compared to my age.  It was intended to be self-deprecation.)

They announced today that congress has solved the Social Security funding problem.  When seniors turn 65, they will be given a one-way ticket to Japan.
(Best laugh of the monologue.)

What do you call a person who carefully puts a one dollar bill between a five and a ten dollar bill?  A bill parker.
(This line was not in the planned monologue, but Bill made a comment near the end of the Observational Humor session, and I chose to include it.  The humor trigger is name-play.  I look for first and last names which happen to be nouns and verbs.)

We were told that people feared speaking in public more than they feared death.  That’s not accurate.  The number one fear is to die on stage while singing.
(Good laugh by taking a different twist on an old speaking cliche.)

Joke Contest Results — Crime and Punishment

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Here are the results of this month’s joke contest–Crime and Punishment.  Our panel of ten judges picked our top lines.

New Joke Contests are announced on the first of the month (alternating months).

New Cartoon Caption Contests are announced on the first of the month (alternating months).  The next caption contest is July 1, 2011.


If a person is caught stealing from a library, the judge will throw the book at him.
     Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois


An electrician who continually wired short circuits would be grounded.
     Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California.


A person wearing their pants too low would be sentenced to 90 days in a crack house.
     Darin Thompson, Smithfield, Utah

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)
  – If you are a mobile phone addict, you are confined to a cell.
  – Stockbrokers giving bad advice need the stockade.
  – If you can’t do the hokey, you spend time in the pokey.
  – A cook who burnt the Thanksgiving turkey would have to eat crow.
  – An unconvincing mime would have to serve time in a real box.
  – A chef whose souffle fell would have egg on his face.
  – A curmudgeonly chiropractor would get an attitude adjustment.
  – A lousy chess player would lose his mate.
  – A songwriter who never had a hit was forced to decompose.
  – A hungry scuba diver would have to sink for his supper.
  – Bad record-keepers will defiled.
  – Clumsy ballet dancers will be disgraced.
  – Small minded thinkers will be belittled.
  – Anyone caught stowing away on an airplane would be given a parachute and sent down.
  – A person disparaging the talents of a mixologist would serve time behind bars.
  – Politicians convicted of misconduct would be sent to the big house.
  – People who make fun of professional wrestlers would spend time on The Rock.
  – A teen caught wearing his pants so low that his underwear shows would be remanded into the custody of the fashion police.
  – A bully who gives others a hard time would serve hard time.
  – A person who behaves like a pig would spend time in the pen.
  – Those convicted of marijuana possession would serve time in the joint.
  – A person caught polluting would be sent up the river.
  – Teens who do not clean up their rooms would be put away.
  – Anyone who shuts a door too loudly will be thrown into the slammer.
  – A football player was accused of using stolen wig for football, and convicted of tress-passing.
  – The driver convicted of a u-turn had his conviction reversed by an appeals court.
  – A crooked real estate agent spent time in the big house.
  – A one-armed bandit in Las Vegas was convicted of taking money from gamblers. It was sentenced to community service of cleaning craps tables until it was 21.
  – In one case, the lawbreaker spread grease and dirt where he broke the law.   The judge cautioned the jury to make sure the punishment fit the grime.
  – A bad vocalist was sentenced to time in Sing Sing.
  – A pie thief was sentenced for disturbing the piece. He had previous convictions:  He ruined a garden and was convicted of disturbing the peas, and in Georgia, he drove through a farm and was accused of disturbing the peach.  He was also known to make his own pies and dropped them off unannounced at friends’ houses. He had a conviction for baking and entering because of this.
  – A crooked barge operator was sent up the river.
  – When the Mount Rushmore sculptor chipped away too much rock from one of the faces, he faced monumental charges.
  – John Kinde’s contest panel was sentenced to judging bad jokes.
The Air Force pilot with a wig was accused of carpet bombing.
  – A butcher convicted of stabbing someone was able to present evidence that he did not commit the crime. His sentence was cut.
  – A drug addict convicted of stealing narcotic tablets was placed in a pillory.
  – An actor who couldn’t remember his dialogue was sentenced to wear a uniform with lines on it.
  – An impersonator was sentenced to double time.
  – In court, the juvenile delinquent claimed he was just kidding.
  – A man opened his flashlight and flung the power cells at a victim. He was convicted of assault with battery.
  – A nylon thief was caught. He went to confession and was instructed to pray the hosiery 25 times.
  – A college student found guilty of unintentional poisoning with plant material and was sentenced to horticulture class at an Ivy League school.
  – A bowler was accused of striking another bowler.  He was convicted and sentenced to spare time, to be split between two jails.

Presidential Impersonations

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Steve Bridges is a terrific Presidential  impersonator.  Here’s a link of Bridges as President Obama.

Things to note and look for.

1.  Vocal patterns and signature gestures.
2.  Makeup and hairstyle go a long way in creating an illusion.
3.  Twist of cliches (It’s the economy stupid, etc).
4.  Jokes on a theme (National debt, immigration, the Vice President, etc).

Bridges also impersonates Clinton, Bush and Schwarzenegger.  My favorite performance was one of George W. Bush persented with the help of the former President.  Brilliant.  And it reminds me of the saying:  They can’t laugh at you when they’re laughing with you!

Steve Bridges web site.

Observational Humor — Case Study #70

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Here is an Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of Monday’s Toastmasters meeting.

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

1.  I missed the previous meeting where Al Jensen served as the Observational Humor Master.  Before the meeting started, Al told me that he had done an impression of me, the week before, by imitating my body language.

2.  A speaker shared a quote (I paraphrase):  “If only I could say something…I could be a speaker.”

3.  A theme for the evening was “word play.”  Pam, our emcee for the program, shared the joke…A bus stops at a bus station.  A train stops at a train station.  In my home I have a work station.

4.  Pam had told her partner:  If I agreed with you, we would both be wrong.

5.  Pam shared a joke:  The early bird may get the worm…but the second mouse gets the cheese.  Pam said she had a difficult time explaining the joke to her partner.

6.  A speaker referred to the safety announcement on a plane:  Put on your own mask first, before helping put on your child’s mask.

7.  A speaker asked:  If someone volunteers…is he selfish?

8.  A speaker shared the joke:  I have a wonderful time coming to our club meetings…but tonight wasn’t one of those times.


As I present my Observational Humor tonight…I’ll be doing an impression of Al Jensen doing me.
(This joke would be funniest to members who had been at the previous week’s meeting.  But I knew it would still work well for those who had missed the meeting because, first, Al is a very funny guy and one could easily imagine him doing an impression of me.  And second, he was the General Evaluator and introduced me as the Observational Humor Master.  Since he was center-stage before I started my session, he was a logical person to be the target of a joke.)

If I could say something funny…I could be a humorous speaker.
(This starts a sequence of four jokes which recalls quotes from the meeting which are twisted to fit my role as Observational Humor Master.)

I am the Observational Humorist.  This is my work station.
(Implied punchline, that when my monologue starts the laughs stop.  Self-deprecation.)

If you used the same Observational Humor as me…we’d both be funny.
(Nice twist of a phrase revisited.)

The first speaker may say a joke.  But it’s the second mouse that gets the laughs.
If you don’t understand that joke…Pam will explain it to you later.
(A nonsense joke with a strong topper.)

If you’re robbing a bank with your child…put on your own mask first.
(Good wordplay twist on a previous quote.)

If a shrimp volunteers…is he shellfish?
(Sound alike words are the humor trigger.)

I have a wonderful time presenting my Observational Humor at our meetings…but not tonight.
(An excellent closer.)

New Joke Contest — Crime and Punishment

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The theme for this month’s contest is:  Crime and Punishment.

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

New Cartoon Caption Contests are announced at the start of the month (alternating months).  The next Cartoon Caption Contest will be announced July 1, 2011.

Your challenge is to come up with an activity, which may or may not be a crime and then determine what the punishment would be.

For example:

  – An employee guilty of inflating his expense account would serve time in a padded cell.
  – A person caught playing solitare at work would be placed in solitary confinement.
  – A bad comedian would serve time in a funny farm.

See what you can come up with.  Submit your top three lines to by June 15, 2011.  To be eligible for our top three recognition, also submit your Name, City and State.