Archive for July, 2011

Cartoon Caption Contest Results

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

It’s time for the results of our July 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 August 1, 2011.

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

** FIRST PLACE **

The music is so bad there it will make you want to cut off your ear.
     Scott Knight, Las Vegas, Nevada

**SECOND PLACE **

Next week they’re doing a musical–Hello Dali.
    Terry Wall, Washington Township, New Jersey

** THIRD PLACE **

This place brings back a lot of memories, doesn’t it Edith?  Let’s walk home the other way next time, okay?
     Sol Morrison, Santa Barbara, California

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

  – This is another reason why Vincent cut off his ear.
  – I heard that their party wagon is broken–no van go.
  – I understand it is an ears-optional club.
  – Chucky cheese should have thought of this!
  – The only song they play in there is “Starry Starry Night” by Don Mclean.
  – He must have created this club to help get through his blue period.
  – My friend Vincent runs it.  He doesn’t mind the loud music–he just listens with one ear.
  – Great drinks, but the decor is impressionistic.
  – Gogh Gogh, Lady Gaga…sounds like the world is being run by babies.
  – These vibrant colors are from Van Gogh’s psychedelic period.
  – That reminds me, Edith.  I have a chiropractic exam tomorrow, and your hearing aid needs a new battery.
  – They say you can hear music in his paintings.
  – Let’s go in and paint the town pastel.
  – Do you still have that star studded tube top?
  – I can’t believe they rebuilt it after that horrible Disco Inferno.
  – Didn’t that used to be a restaurant from “Kitchen Nightmares?
  – It may be hip, but I’d have to replace mine if we went in there.
  – Let’s see what’s in the window.  Maybe we can figure out what those letters mean.
  – They probably think Beethoven’s Fifth is a German whiskey.
  – You know the economy’s tough when an art museum has to merge with a disco.
  – Another reason to get rid of the National Endowment for the Arts
  – What’s next? The Dali Deli?
  – Looks like a place where you can really paint the town red and dance yours ears off!
  – Just what we needed–another post-impressionist nightclub!

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 #72

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

We installed our new club officers at our PowerHouse Pros meeting this week.  Our Area Governor, Valerie Harper, led the installation.  It was a lengthy meeting with four speakers.  Two of the speakers gave longer, advanced-manual speeches.  The installation ceremony was scheduled at the end of the meeting, which meant that the meeting ran 30 minutes past our normal closing time.  The Area Governor did a thorough job recognizing each incoming officer, providing a detailed description of each position’s responsibilities from her script.  Everyone knew the meeting was running long.  A couple of people, with prior commitments, slipped out the side door before the installation was complete.  After installing the first six officers, she was ready to install the President, the last officer.  “And finally we have Ryan Mulligan…”  Ryan interrupted with, “I agree to do all the things you have written on that sheet of paper!”  A huge laugh.  It was the perfect observational humor line to relieve the tension created by running late.  It was the funniest line of the night.

Humor Articles

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

If you get the Toastmaster magazine, don’t miss the five humor-skills articles in the August 2011 issue.

  – How To Win an Audience with Bombproof Humor

  – How to Add Humor to Club Meetings

  – Building Bridges Across Cultures

  – Make ’em Laugh

  – Funny You Should Say That:  I’m Sorry, Were You Being Funny?

Humor That Hurts

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Have you ever told a joke and hurt someone’s feelings?  It’s easy to do.  And we usually don’t know until it’s too late.  When this happens, the target of your joke is not likely to be a stranger.  The closer your relationship to the person, the more likely that the humor will mis-fire.

Sometimes, the most dangerous joke will be that which targets your spouse, a brother or sister, a best friend.  Here are some factors that come into play:

1.  What is the history of your relationship with the person who is the target of the joke?  Does the person know you as someone who frequently uses humor as a tool?  Or does your joke-making come as a surprise.  The closer your joke comes as a surprise to the person, the more likely that offense may be taken.

2.  Who is the audience?  Is it an audience of one?  Or an audience of one hundred?  The larger the group, and the louder they laugh, the more likely the subject may take offense.  Coming into play is the principle of praise in public, criticize in private.  A joke is often seen as a negative attack.  How dare you be critical in front of so many people?

3.  What is the hidden message?  A joke often includes an unspoken, implied punchline.  It’s often what you don’t say that will get you in trouble.  This comes back to history again.  What baggage does the punchline carry?

4.  What is the truth?  One of the key humor triggers is THE TRUTH.  If something doesn’t ring true, it’s normally less funny.  There can be a sense of if they laugh a lot, they’re laughing AT me and not WITH me.  A joke based on extreme exaggeration which is not true is often safer than a joke which is totally true.

5.  Ask them.  Are you wondering if you offended someone?  In private, directly ask them.  And, if necessary, apologize.  You won’t always get a straight answer, people will often hesitate to admit they were offended.  But just the fact that you asked shows you care, and that you had good intentions.

Let’s look at a joke that could have an unintended result.  First, the setup:  A previous speaker, talking about creativity, gave the advice:  “Find out what everyone else is doing…and don’t do it.”  Later Ed, your friend, told a joke to the audience.  Here’s a possible Observational Humor joke.

Ed loves the advice:  “Find out what others are doing and don’t do it.”  He noticed that everyone was funny tonight…so he wasn’t.

The joke could sting.  It implies that your friend bombed.  How could you switch the joke to make it safer?  How about:

I loved the advice:  “Find out what others are doing and don’t do it.”  I noticed that everyone else was funny tonight…so I haven’t been.

The joke switched the target to YOU and has self-deprecation working as a trigger.  A joke aimed at the teller is almost always safer than one told at someone else’s expense.

When it comes to avoiding hurting someone with a joke, awareness of the possibility is a good first step to keep you out of the danger zone.  When in doubt, take the safe road.

New Cartoon Caption Contest

Friday, July 1st, 2011

It’s time for our Cartoon Caption Contest for the month of July.  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 August 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 July 15, 2011, to HumorPowerTips@HumorPower.com

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