Archive for March, 2012

Excellent Events

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Invest In Yourself.
  – Have Fun
  – Advance Your Career
  – Expand Your Network

Here are some great professional development conventions I’d recommend:

AATH’s 25th Annual Conference
Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
April 19-22
Chicago, Illinois

Humor Project Conference
The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity
June 1-3
Silver Bay, New York

Alexander Technique Workshops
Move naturally with greater ease for impact and
connection on the platform.  Highly recommended.
July 10-15, Sweet Briar, Virginia
August 29-September 3, Hawaii
December 27-January 1, 2013, Malibu, California

National Speakers Association
The Business of Professional Speaking
July 14-17
Indianapolis, Indiana

Toastmasters International Convention
Communication and Leadership Development
August 15-18
Orlando, Florida

World Laughter Tour
Laughter programs and training.  Become a Certified
Laughter Leader (CLL).  Upcoming programs in USA and Canada.
The link will take you to their current schedule.

Amazing Performance on Talent Show

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Another Susan Boyle moment on Britain’s Got Talent.  Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli amaze the judges and the audience.  Once again we learn the lesson:  Never Judge a Book by its Cover!

Cartoon Caption Contest Results — Witch Brew

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Here are the results of the March Cartoon Caption Contest–Witch Brew.  The top lines were selected by our panel of ten judges (speakers and improv players).  We feature 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 April 1, 2012.

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


Sure, I could have put in some flies…but you said you’re a vegetarian.
     Sol Morrison, Santa Barbara, California


You must have misunderstood.  We call it green energy because it turns you into a frog.
     Terry Wall, Washington Township, New Jersey


If you can swallow the entire cauldron, Newt, I guarantee the primary voters will swallow anything.
     Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

  – Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from my coven!
  – You should have paid attention when your friend got turned into a little horse.
  – If you think you can fix a better soup, jump right in.
  – Listen, Newt, I don’t care if it’s an iPhone, an iPad, or an iBall.  The recipe calls for an eye of Newt.  So hand it over!
  – Now I can’t go anywhere without being recognized.
  – Well, that didn’t go well at all!
  – I can make you a better looking toad, that’s about it.
  – You didn’t read the job description, did ya, hon?
  – Lets work on finding the princess, shall we?
  – What did you expect when you went to an unlicensed witch who graduated from a fly-by-night school?
  – You should have known better that to use a witch with no malpractice insurance.
  – But, I really AM a princess.  Kissing you was supposed to turn YOU into a PRINCE.
  – Yes, it makes you ugly, but it’s low in saturated fat.
  – I’ll make you a potion, Newt, but are you really sure you want to be president?
  – Have your lawyer call my lawyer.
  – Bubble bubble boil and bubble
    Ear of rat and eye of Newt
    Get into the cauldon frog in a suit.

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

One Hundred Contests

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

We quietly passed a milestone a couple of months ago.  In March, 2012, we featured Contest Number 103.  Contests would be rather dull without the participation of our readers.  Many thanks to the thousands of readers who have submitted joke lines and cartoon captions over the years.

Participating in the contests is like going to the gym.  Writing funny lines helps strengthen your creativity and makes it more likely you’ll be able to uncover a humor gem in your next speech.

Congratulations to our contest leaders.

WIN — Those with the most First-Place recognitions (NINE each):
Gary Bachman
Marty Bernstein

WIN PLACE SHOW — Those who have Placed either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd:

PLACED TWENTY or more times:
Les Harden
Nancy Lininger (our leader who has placed 25 times)
Tom Nee

PLACED FIVE or more times:
Gary Bachman
Marty Bernstein
Gerald Fleischmann
Sol Morrison
Arun Ramkumar
Jim Spero
Cindy Tebo
Darin Thompson
Terry Wall

110 Readers from eleven countries

Thanks to all for spreading laughter around the world.  Your participation is what makes the contest a winner for everyone!

Steve Bridges — Gifted Impersonator

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Steve Bridges, an exceptionally talented Presidential impersonator, died Saturday.  He was 48.  It was amazing to see him speak as George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Barack Obama.  He had the gift, wit, and insight which made him unforgettable.  Steve Bridges shared laughter with millions.  He will be missed.

Related Articles:  Presidential Humor, Satire and Parody and Presidential Impersonations

Observational Humor — Case Study #78

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Here’s another Observational Humor Monologue with an analysis of what makes the humor tick.

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

1.  The emcee of the evening was introduced by the club President.  His opening remark was “Thank You Mr President” in a very resonating and distinguished tone of voice.  He brought attention to it by saying: “I’ve always wanted to say that…Thank You Mr President!”  This repetition strengthened the set-up because of the repeat of the phrase and because it got a laugh.

2.  The theme of the meeting was Scuba Diving.

3.  The emcee talked about the physics of pressure on divers and the need for decompression.

4.  Scott Prichard, Third Place winner in the International Speech contest at last year’s convention in Las Vegas, was introduced as the American Idol of PowerHouse Pros Toastmasters Club.

5.  While talking about Scuba sign language, emcee Daniel demonstrated the many ways of signing OK.  From just using the hands and fingers, to using both arms to make a large circle, or using one free arm to make a circle with the hand touching the head.

6.  Wiring rolled up in an electrical box caught my eye for the first time at our club’s new permanent location. 

7.  Daniel talked about the history of Scuba Diving.  The first recorded dive was about 300 years ago.  The depth of the dive was not recorded.

8.  Describing breathing tanks for scuba diving, it was said that “breathing is over-rated anyway.”

9.  A speaker said that her goal when going boating is to not leave the boat.  She does not like to swim.

10.  The emcee said that the odds of having a malfunction of scuba equipment was “the square root of one percent.”  One of our members, an engineer, pointed out that the square root of .01 is .1 or TEN PERCENT.  He received a big laugh pointing out the fact that a 10% failure rate was not a good thing.

11.  Scott talked about a film featuring, among others, him and his friend Dink.  He joked about who was cast as his character.

12.  A speaker joked about chicken nuggets.

13.  Bill Parker told a story of losing his keys in a foul-smelling dumpster and climbing in to find them.


Thank you Master Evaluator…and thank you Mr President.
(Delivering Thank You Mr President in a deep voice.  A big laugh.  A perfect opener.)

We have had so much motivation tonight that we need to decompress.  We will do that by opening the floor to anyone with an Observational Humor remark.
(Light laughter.  But it didn’t matter because the line was serving as a transition point as we moved to member remarks.)

My name is John Kinde.  I lost to Scott Prichard in the International Speech Contest at the District level last year.  You could say I’m known as the Biggest Loser of PowerHouse Pros.
(When the American Idol of PowerHouse Pros was mentioned, I immediately thought “I am the BLANK of PowerHouse Pros” and went searching for the right title.  The Biggest Loser was perfect because it had a self-deprecation edge to it.  And it had the element of truth.  I DID lose to Scott.  Very good laugh.)

You may have noticed that I’m walking with a bit of a limp.  My hip is bothering me tonight.  But I’m OK.
(I delivered I’m OK in a whisper, mouthing the words, and gestured a large O with my free right arm.  A very big laugh.)

If this is your first meeting you’ll probably notice that we have been successful in eliminating verbal pauses, like AHS, from our talks.  We’ve discovered creative ways to do that.  I’m pleased to point out that they have installed the electrical wiring for our electric chair.
(I’ve used a similar line before, but I don’t believe it was at this location.  A good laugh.)

In the year 9050 BC, the first joke was told.  Back then they didn’t measure the length of the laughter.  But that doesn’t matter, because laughter is overrated anyway.
(Length of the laughter received almost no laughs.  Fortunately the topper, OVERRATED, saved the day and got a good laugh.)

My favorite sport is sky diving.  The chance of having a successful skydive is the square root of one percent.  My goal is to never leave the plane.
(Square root of one percent got a very big laugh.  Never leave the plane was a call back and a topper.)

If you were at the recent Sundance Film Festival, you may have seen a movie made about me and my friend…Dunk.  I was played by the first runner up of the Mr Rogers Look Alike Contest.
(The first laugh was at DUNK.  A funny play on sounds with DINK.  I needed a slight pause in front of DUNK to bring attention to the word.  The topper was Mr Rogers, a good self-deprecation joke.  Since Mr Rogers is no longer living, I created the look-alike contest to bring his character into the joke.)

Last week I stopped at a Burger King for some chicken nuggets and parked in the back.  I walked by the dumpster and ran into Bill.  “Hey John, could you loan me $20.  I can pay you back next week.”  So I gave Bill $20.  He wadded it up and threw it into the dumpster.  “Bill.  What are you doing?”  He told me that he had bought his dinner and received one dollar change.  When he was done eating he accidently threw the one dollar away with his trash.  “And there’s no way I’m going into that smelly dumpster for only one dollar!”
(This is a recycled old joke about accidentally dropping one dollar into an industrial portable toilet: “There is no way I’m going down there for just one dollar.”  A good laugh.  A good closer.)

New Cartoon Caption Contest — Witch

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

It’s time for our Cartoon Caption Contest for the month of March.  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 April 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 March 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.