Observational Humor — Case Study #82

Here is the analysis of 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. Impromptu speech topics were based on the titles of several books. One of the members assigned a topic, opened his comments with: “Thank you Oprah.” A reference to Oprah’s book club.

2. One speaker acknowledged the audience as, “club members…pretty and otherwise.”

3. In an impromptu speech, Greg suggested that someone might give him a kiss.

4. Our emcee for the evening’s program was Al Jensen. He was introduced three times by: “Let’s welcome Al Jensen to the floor.”

5. Al was wearing a loud floral-print shirt.

6. The carpet in the room had a bold-print pattern.

7. Bill Lusk, our most senior member, gave a speech on racing cars. He said that because of racing, he was actually getting younger.

8. We were celebrating the presentation of our Member of the Year Award with refreshments.

9. A speaker talked about prescription medications.


Fellow Toastmasters, Guests, and Oprah. (A call-back and the rule-of-three.)

It’s time for your Observations. Here’s the opportunity to present your humor…funny and otherwise. (PRETTY AND OTHERWISE provided a fill-in-the-blank call-back. The fill-in becomes BLANK AND OTHERWISE. When we change MEMBERS into HUMOR, it provides a strong punchline FUNNY AND OTHERWISE. Good structure. Excellent response.)

I’m now going to present my Observational Humor, unless someone is willing to give Greg a kiss…I didn’t think so. (A call-back. Another missed chance to give Greg a kiss. Also, it also sounded like delivering my monologue was a threat. Then a topper: “I didn’t think so.”)

We welcomed Al Jensen to the floor more than once tonight. When Al is on the floor, it’s important to point it out…because with the shirt he’s wearing, he blends in with the carpet.   (Poking fun at the stuffy language of “welcoming to the floor” and linking the loud shirt with the carpet.)

Bill is getting younger. That’s good news. By my calculations, in five more years, I’ll be the senior member of this club. (Stating the fact that next to Bill, I’m one of the most senior members in our club. Implies that I’m excitedly waiting to move up the ladder.)

Good attendance tonight. Our attendance secret…it’s a piece of cake…or a cookie. (Implying that people came to the meeting just for the cake and cookies.)

Is your poor sense of humor getting you down? The solution is the magic pill…John Kinde’s HUMORISHA. It will change your life. Side effects include: Weight Loss, Depression, Bleeding from the Lungs, and Brain Seizures. If you’re funny for more than four hours…see your doctor. If you are having problems paying for your medication… Get a Job. (An ad parody provided a surprisingly substantial and strong closer. The last line, while not PC, was a twist on the typical script for a pharmaceutical ad. It got a HUGE laugh.)