Observational Humor — Case Study #87

Here is an analysis of another Observational Humor monologue.

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

1.  A speaker told us about The Secret Society of Happy People.

2.  A speaker told the group that I had wondered if people were getting tired of hearing my Observational Humor monologues.

3.  The emcee said that this year celebrated the 30th Olympic games.  Some one added “of the modern era.”

4.  Dr Peter Pizor arrived at the meeting 20 minutes late. 

5.  Dr Pizor gave an impromptu speech about wearing an Olympic swimsuit.

6.  The emcee shared parts of the Olympic creed…to participate, to struggle.

7.  The emcee said that before 1912, gold medals were made of real gold.

8.  Scott, who was a guest, gave an impromptu speech about a saber.  He said, “I promise not to cut off your heads.”

9.  The Ah counter reported on Ahs, Ums, Buts, and But-Ahs, a made-up word.

10.  Beverly told us about her gold fish having babies.  She said, “I didn’t even know that gold fish fooled around.”


Welcome to the Secret Society of Funny People.
(This line was primarily used as a set up for the line to follow.)

The Society is so secret that even our members didn’t know we were meeting tonight.
(The first line suggests that those who were present are funny people.  The second line provides the twist…that the funny people weren’t at the meeting because they didn’t know about it.  A good laugh.)

Oh No!  Not another John Kinde observational monologue.
(Self-deprecation.  A big laugh.)

This is my 117th monologue…of the modern era.
(The punchline was unexpected.  A good call back.)

Fellow Toastmasters, Guests, and the late Dr Pizor. 
(Plays with the double meaning of the word LATE.  A good laugh.)

I heard that Pete will be in the upcoming Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. 
(A silly connection.  A good laugh.)

Well not exactly.  He’ll be in the Mad Magazine parody of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
(A second joke on a theme.)

Your goal tonight is not to be funny…but to participate.
(First line in a triplet.)

Your goal is not to have spoken…but to have struggled.
(Second line.  Also a call back.)

And you have succeeded.
(The punchline.  You have tried to be funny and struggled.)

You get a gold star tonight.  If it were 1912 your star would have been made of real gold.
(A call back which softens the implication of struggling.)

Scott, we love having a guest who promises not to cut off our heads.  Last year we had a guest who cut off a head.  It ruined the humor for the rest of the meeting.
(A call back.  Followed by an absurd statement.  Followed by an understatement.)

Next week the word of the day will be BUT-UM.
(The trigger was “something funny.”  A call back simply repeating the funny word.)

After the meeting, we’re going to Beverly’s house to watch her fish do happy things.
(Good closer using something that had received a lot of attention during the meeting.)