Archive for January, 2012

Observational Humor — Case Study #76

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.  Ten other club members presented a total of 20 observational lines before I presented my monologue.  They came up with observations that never occurred to me, yet they didn’t duplicate any of the lines planned for my monologue.  The lesson is that the supply of humorous observations is almost limitless…you only have to be looking for them.

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

1.  Scott suggested that Dana was looking for someone to dance with.

2.  Dana gave a humorous speech about kissing.

3.  The emcee for the evening introduced “Nancy Grace” as a theme for the meeting.  He referred to her Wardrobe Malfunction on Dancing With The Stars.

4.  The word of the evening was STRIDENT.

5.  A guest said that he came to Toastmasters to work on his social skills.

6.  A guest said he came to Toastmasters because his boss encouraged him to come.

7.  In his kissing speech, Dana said that when you kiss a woman you want to make the hair on the back of her neck stand up.

8.  A speaker talked about getting rid of bees.  He said that after the bees are gone, the honey which remains in the walls of a house can cause over $10,000 damage.

9.  Talking about ladder safety, a speaker described ladder mittens which are used to prevent damage to the walls.

10.  A speaker talked about restaurant inspections and mentioned a restaurant named Heart Attack Grill.

11.  A speaker said that health inspectors have found restaurant kitchens with live roaches and mice.


I went dancing Saturday night.  I had a great time Dana…and Scott.
(A call back, dropping myself into someone else’s story.  Used SCOTT as a topper.)

Dana…we enjoyed your speech.  50% of the women were hoping for free samples.  And 25% of the men.
(A humorous suggestion of free samples, followed by a topper, 25% of the men.)

To the average man, a kiss from Dana would be as welcome as a wardrobe malfunction from Nancy Grace.
(A joke driven by a comparison.)

If you want to improve your social skills…chew Strident gum.
(Using the word of the day for a sound-alike chewing gum joke.)

Like our guest, I also came to Toastmasters because of my boss.  That was 39 years ago.  If this is your first meeting, in forty years THIS is what you have to look forward to.
(Self deprecation.)

When you’re over 60 you learn that when you kiss a woman, you want to make the hairs stand up in her nose and ears.
(Using a standard joke of “old age comes with hair in your nose and ears.”)

And you learn that when you divorce…your honey can cause over $10,000 damage.
(Connecting divorce with bee eradication by using the double meaning of HONEY.)

After tonight’s program, I’ll be leading a Multi-Level-Marketing program on selling Ladder Mittens at inflated prices to friends and family.
(I used this line because I thought that Ladder Mittens was a funny sounding word.)

Then we’ll be having dinner at the Heart Attack Grill, which is located in the Palm Mortuary.  When you arrive there the Host will ask you, “Plot or Crypt?”
(I used this joke because other restaurants mentioned in a speech were identified by location, but Heart Attack Grill was not.)

Tonight we learned that when eating in a restaurant, and you find live roaches and mice in your food, you should notify the Health Department.  If you find DEAD roaches and mice in your food…you should use chopsticks.
(I thought that it was interesting that the speaker on health inspections only identified inspection problems with LIVE roaches and mice.  I decided to ask “what if” DEAD roaches and mice were found, and twist it with the use of chopsticks to solve the problem.)

Cartoon Caption Contest Results

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

It’s time for the results of our January 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 February 1, 2012.

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


Perhaps you should have saved the 500 page novel you just finished writing before turning off the computer.

     Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois


Allow me:  !@#%  &&%#  !!?!  *#@!  There, feel better?

     Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois


Now you can tell your friends in construction that you also do back-breaking work.

     David Novick, Dayton, Ohio

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

  – I said retweet, not retreat!
  – Parrot and owner attacked by a Google of Geese.
  – Repeat after me: Excessive tweeting may cause dizziness, requiring medical tweetment.
  – I said nice life…not it’s your wife!
  – This is only a test of the national Life Alert system.
  – What are the Kardashians up to now?
  – I told you that you should have voted.
  – Uh-oh. His boss just located his Facebook site.
  – Your parole officer friended you on Facebook?
  – Polly is a hacker!
  – Oh!……I can’t wait!
  – Yawk!  I said I wanted a cracker not a hacker.
  – Oh no! A dear Polly letter!

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

Gervais Humor at Golden Globes

Monday, January 16th, 2012

When a comedian hosts an awards show, you can expect some roast-style humor.  That’s why they hire the comic.  A roast structure creates a vehicle to ensure the success of the jokes which follow.  Before you start firing jokes at people in the audience, you need permission.  This is usually received by making fun of yourself, which gives you permission to make fun of the boss or authority figures, which gives you permission to make fun of the honored guests.

Last night Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globe Awards for the third year.  Some people were surprised he was chosen as this year’s emcee because many thought he was over-the-top offensive last year.  But in his pre-show appearances, he made it clear that he was going to do some sharply-pointed humor this year, too.  The anticipation of what he was going to say helped build the tension, which is an important trigger for humor.

Here are some bits from his monologue (not the whole monologue) and some observations:

So where was I?
(A transition from last year’s performance to this year’s.  Sets the stage for “more of the same.”)

Nervous? Don’t be. This isn’t about you.
(He will start primarily with jokes about the sponsor of the event and himself.)

Hello, I’m Ricky Gervais and welcome to the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.  Voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
(His formal opening lines establish the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was an authority figure, a fact which may not have been well-known to the television viewing audience.)

Tonight you get Britain’s biggest comedian, hosting the world’s second biggest awards show on America’s third biggest network.
(Uses the rule of three.  Pokes fun at the host network.)

Sorry, is it? Fourth. It’s fourth.
(A topper.  And another joke poking fun at the host network, an authority figure.)

For any of you who don’t know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem.
(Uses humor to compare the Golden Globes to the Oscars.  Again poking fun at the “boss.”)

The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton.
(Uses pop culture to make a comparison.)

Now the Hollywood Foreign Press have warned me that if I insult any of you or any of them or offend any viewers or cause any controversy whatsoever, they’ll definitely invite me back next year as well.
(The technique of extrapolation.  Was offensive last year.  Will be offensive again this year.  Will be back next year for more of the same.)

They actually gave me a list of rules. I’m going to ignore them, but I thought it would be good to read them out.
(Using a list is a good way to say something funny while pretending they’re not your words.)

No profanity. That’s fine. I’ve got a huge vocabulary. No nudity. See, that’s a shame. Because I’ve got a huge…vocabulary. But a tiny….
(Self deprecation.)

Homeland…It’s about a load of immigrants who came to America about 100 years ago and they got involved in bribing and corruption and they worked their way up into high society. But enough about the Hollywood Foreign Press.
(More humor at the expense of the “boss.”)

I’m joking. I love them and they’re good sports for inviting me back. What I didn’t know is they do an awful lot for charity and their non-profit organization. Just like NBC.
(A softener, which is the equivalent to saying, “I’m just joking.”  Which he then follows up with another jab at the authority figures.)

(Gervais has poked fun at NBC, the Hollywood Foreign Press, and himself.  He’s ready to start the show.)
Should we get on with it?

A Positive Perpective

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Seven years ago I was bothered by barking dogs.  My neighbors on BOTH sides had dogs that barked every time I stepped into my own backyard.  They barked if a car pulled up in front of the house.  They barked for almost any reason.

It took some time, but I eventually came up with a perspective which allowed me to overlook the barking:  If prowlers were checking out my backyard, the dogs would bark.  The last thing prowlers would want is something announcing their presence.  At night, if the dogs were not barking, my backyard was secure.  Free guard dogs!  They were part of my security system…and I didn’t have to feed them, care for them, or take them on walks.  With my new perspective, I was rarely bothered by the barking.

Now I’m looking for a positive perspective on the neighbor’s cat that poops in my garden.  The thought of free fertalizer doesn’t do the trick.

New Cartoon Caption Contest

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

It’s time for our Cartoon Caption Contest for the month of January.  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 February 1, 2012.

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 January  15, 2012, 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.