You’ll recognize the name of Marty Bernstein. He is a frequent contest submitter and winner. One of his secrets that “quality comes from quantity.” Rarely does a winner write only one joke. Often, a winner has written MANY jokes. That’s a key to remember as a humorous speaker. If you want to open a talk with one observational humor line, your best bet is to write ten or twenty lines. Or better yet…thirty or more. Then when you pick the best line, odds are pretty good that it’s a great line.
Entries for the joke contests are manually processed through four iterations. Occasionally I lose some lines in the process…not just one or two or a person’s lines…but all the lines submitted by a single person. I suffer from Pressbyopia…being so close to the jokes that I can’t see them as press time nears. That happened this month with Marty’s Disease Definition lines. My apologies. He is an example of someone who submits QUANTITY and QUALITY. Here’s a peek into the funny mind of Marty Bernstein. My comments are in parenthesis.
– Oughtism: An irresistible desire to tell people what they should do. He uses the vehicle of twisting a real disease into a new, sound-alike disease. This was one of my favorite lines.)
– Coalitis: Severe pain in the derriere caused by paying electric bills.
– Humoralgia: Formal name for the pain caused by puns. (One of our Honorable Mentions this month was Groans Disease, also a pun disease.)
– Republodemocratism: Main symptom–American politics inaction.
– Nursissism: A really beautiful medical caregiver…just ask her.
– Chronic Fatigues Syndrome: Soldiers get this from wearing their uniforms after their third or more tour of duty. (The trigger is the double meaning of fatigue.)
– Warps: Skin bumps caused by extreme starship acceleration.
– Whoopie Cough: Caught from a romantic partner with an upper respiratory infection. (Best prevented by coughing into a cushion.)
– Veryclose Veins: A condition in which a person’s blood vessels are next to each other.
– Ulsters: Irritation of the intestinal tract caused by the environment in Northern Ireland. Found in the British Isles.
– Atomic Ache: Caused by eating too much irradiated food.
– Toastmaster Traumatic Stress Disorder (TTSD): What a new Toastmaster feels before a first speech.
– A. Christieitus: Addiction to murder mysteries
– Y’alzheimer’s: Forgetting everyone you know south of the Mason-Dixon Line. (Great line.)
– Autotransmissia: A total inability to to learn how to drive a stick shift vehicle.
– Midrift: A disease characterized by belly fat hanging below the waist.
– Harryreidism: A politician holding his breath until the rest of the country turns blue, usually occurs with:
– Johnboehneritis: A politician holding the country’s breath until everyone gets red with rage. (Political jokes run the risk of missing the target. Joking about both sides can help reduce that risk. I’d shorten the Diseases to Reidism and Boehneritis, and let the reader get the joke with less information.)
– Curbism: A disorder that causes people to park their cars half on the side walk, and to believe that it is art. (Love the line. Includes a topper.)
– Blue Light Bankruptcy: Caused by too much layaway at K-Mart.
– Politicks: An irritating condition consisting of politicians getting under one’s skin. Also puts one at risk for Lyin disease. (Excellent topper.)
– Rudeitis: Prevents victims from recognizing their own impoliteness, lack of culture and uncouthness.
– Badpassive-aggression: Anger resulting from throwing interceptions.
– Polar Disorder: Fear of extreme cold.
– Platonic Schizophrenia: Being in non-sexual love with your other self.
– Alamoan: People exhibiting grief about the famous 1846 Texas siege.
– Scancer: Frequent disease of x-ray machine operators.
– Kinde-Heartedness: An affliction best described as having internal organs similar to a funny public speaking expert.
– Synchronicity: A Sting operation by the Police.
– Megalophonic: A big talker.
– Demontia: A condition in which you grow horns and lose cognition, and probably tell bad jokes).
– Old Yeller Fever: Disease caught from ill dogs.