Observational Humor — Case Study #73

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.  The theme for the meeting was Speech Evaluation Contest.

2.  A speaker, talking on Image, referred to what you wear as your Style Statement.

3.  I was wearing basketball shorts and a denim shirt with cartoon characters.

4.  Speaker Cheyenna Burns was asked if she was related to George Burns.

5.  A speech evaluator referred to Cheyenna’s body…he meant speech organization.  Everyone laughed at the unintended double meaning of BODY.

6.  During the Speech Evaluation Contest, it was said that the target speaker (who all the contestants would evaluate) was wearing a big red X on her shirt…a target for feedback.

7.   A member made a motion that guests, who were dues-paid Toastmasters, should be allowed to serve as judges during our evaluation contest.

8.  A guest named John said that the meeting was convenient because we met right across the street from where he lived.

9.  I give directions to our meetings telling people that we meet at the US Bank building on Sahara across the street from Palace Station Casino.

10.  A guest suggested that member Bill Lusk looked like Bob Barker, former host of The Price is Right.

11.  A speaker used the cliche:  I’ll quit while I’m ahead.


Pay no attention to my style statement.
(Self-deprecation.  As I delivered the line I had in mind the delivery of the Wizard of Oz:  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  Huge laugh.  Great opening line.)

My name is John Kinde.  And I am related to George Burns.
(A simple call back.  Worked great.)

Cheyenna…I thought your structure and organization were OK.  I thought your body was great.
(Worked well to imply that I meant PHYSICAL body.)

I’m presenting Observational Humor.  You can tell by the big red X on my shirt.
(Suggests that by presenting humor, I set myself up with a target on my chest.  This was the weakest line of the monologue.)

I move that all guests, who are dues paying Toastmasters, have permission to laugh at my jokes.
(Twisted the previous motion.  Good laugh.)

John, I’m glad you’re a guest tonight.  I’ve always wanted to meet someone who lived at Palace Station.
(Simple link.  Big laugh.)

You may be wondering how I got my name.  A genie said, I’m going to read a list of names.  Stop me when I get to the name you want.  BILL.  (Well, I never did want to look like Bob Barker.)  MIKE. (I am a speaker and use a microphone.)  JOHN.  (What?  Named after a bathroom?  Oh all right…I’ll quit while I’m a head.)
(Call-back of a cliche.  Self-deprecation, making fun of my own name.  Big laugh.)

Let me give you a quick tip for those who will compete in next year’s speech evaluation contest.   Make sure every evaluation includes something critical and something complimentary.  For example:  “That was one of the worst speeches I’ve ever heard…but it was a big improvement over the last time I heard you speak.”
(Plays on superiority theory.  Lets audience figure out that previous speech was even worse than “one of the worst.”  It’s a safe put-down because it’s targeted at an imaginary speaker, not at a specific person.  Huge laugh.  Perfect closer.  This is a recycled line used several years earlier.)