Observational Humor — Case Study #79

 Here is another Observational Humor monologue.  First I’ll provide the set-ups for the jokes, and then an analysis of what makes the jokes work.

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

1.  A scheduled speaker arrived at the meeting unprepared to give his speech.   They asked him to give it anyway.  It was introduced as an off-the-cuff speech.

2.  The theme of the meeting was:  Politics As Usual.

3.  The first three speeches were touching stories that brought tears to the eye.

4.  A blonde member joked about the stereotype of blondes not being too bright.

5.  The emcee of the evening shared a list of how different political groups would handle the situation of having only two cows.  For example:  A Bureaucratic Government would take both your cows, shoot one of them, milk the other, pour half the milk down the drain, and sell the rest of it at triple the price.

6.  Ryan said that he supported Ron Paul for President.

7.  Someone suggested in jest that we need a third party, like the Pot Party.

8.  The General Evaluator (who evaluates the conduct of the entire meeting) said that he was “going to evaluate the meeting as a whole.”


I have no Observational Humor tonight.  But they insisted that I present some anyway.
(Nice opener.  Good laugh.  Switched giving an unprepared speech to giving unprepared Observational Humor; which was not true, because I had prepared a monologue.  I just claimed to be unprepared for the sake of the joke.)

This is the Observational Humor section of the meeting.  Also known as Humor-As-Usual.
(Not a strong joke.  I considered deleting it, but left it in because is tied nicely into the flow of the monologue, supporting the other jokes.)

In keeping with the flow of tonight’s meeting, you will be required to present humor that makes us cry.
(Good call back.  Very good laugh.)

For the benefit of blondes in the audience…that was a joke.
(A safe joke because a blonde had provided the set up.  Big laugh.)

If a humorist had two cows…he would buy one more.  Because 3 is a funnier number than 2.
(Good laugh after TWO COWS.  Slight pause before punchline.  Good laughter after THAN 2.)

Ryan has something in common with President Obama.  They’re both hoping that the Republican nomination goes to Ron Paul.
(First sentence builds anticipation, a form of tension, which magnifies the humor.   The punchline links two different reasons for wanting Ron Paul to receive the nomination.  One reason is to make him President.  The other reason is to give Obama a second term.  The reasons are implied, letting the listener connect the dots.)

If we had a Pot Party…that would lead to the Crack Party…which would lead to the Crack-Pot Party.  And we come full circle.
(Crack Party received moderate laugh.  Crack-Pot Party received bigger laugh.  Full Circle received biggest laugh.  Joke/Topper/Topper.)

If I keep talking I’m going to dig myself a hole.  But that would be in keeping with tonight’s meeting.  The General Evaluator said that he evaluated the meeting as a whole.
(Joke/Topper.  Very good laugh.  Plays with the sound-a-likes hole/whole.  A good closer.)