Observational Humor — Case Study #77

Here is another Observational Humor monologue and an analysis of what makes the humor work.

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

1.  The theme for the meeting was Political Caucus.

2.  A member presented an impromptu speech loaded with innuendo.  He played with the word CAUCUS making sexual innuendo links.  Although he received good laughs, I normally recommend staying away from sexual innuendo when speaking in business or professional situations.

3.  Gordon is bi-lingual.  He gave a speech and included one sentence in Chinese.

4.  It was guest night and the attendance was larger than normal.  We had about 30 people at the meeting.

5.  The meeting got off to a rough start.  Several people failed to show up and there were many changes to the agenda.  This resulted in a less-than-smooth flow to the meeting.

6.  A speaker talked about NLP Anchoring.  She gave an example of reinforcing a behavior by touching your elbow and linking that action to a desired behavior.

7.  A speaker talked about air refueling and how the receiving aircraft would “tickle the tail” of the tanker aircraft.


Welcome to the PowerHouse Pros Humor Caucus.  We considered having a Humor Primary…but a Caucus is funnier.
(A call back to the speech playing with the funny-sounding word.  Part of what makes CAUCUS a funny word is the double K sound.  Part of the trigger is the link to current events and the several caucus events being held across the country.)

We’re having a special Humor Retreat next weekend at Lake Titicaca.
(Decided to throw in another funny-sounding word just for the fun of it.)

At our club, 95% of our humor is politically correct.
(Acknowledging the fact that some of the sound-alike humor and innuendo was borderline when it comes to keeping it clean.)

Gordon stole my thunder.  I was going to do my first joke in Chinese.
(As though I spoke Chinese.  The humor trigger is absurdity.)

We have a big crowd tonight since it’s guest night.  At a normal meeting we have three people.
(The trigger is exaggeration, suggesting that nearly everyone present was a guest, when 70 percent of those attending were members of the club.)

If this is your first time attending our meeting, you probably noticed we have lots of humor.  To be honest, other clubs have a lot more humor than our club.  So if you visit other clubs…go with that expectation.
(Setting up a humorous expectation which would lead to disappointment with another club, and ensuring that the guest would come back to our club and possibly join it.  Said in fun.  The truth is we have many strong clubs in our city which our guests would find impressive.)

And if this is your first meeting, you need to know that we’re normally not this organized.
(Acknowledging the obvious.  Exaggerating the jerky flow of the meeting by saying “we’re normally more-so.”  Very big laugh.)

Tonight, club members will present humorous observations.  And you will laugh (touching Ryan’s elbow).
(The call back got a good laugh.)

That’s an effective humor technique.  Either touch Ryan’s elbow…or tickle his tail.
(A topper which was triggered by the alternate word meaning of TAIL.  A good laugh.)