Archive for September, 2013

Contest Results — Super Hero

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

It’s time for results of our September humor contest:  Super Hero.  Our readers submitted modern-day Super Hero characters they’d like to see.

New Joke Contests are announced at the start of the month.  The next contest will be announced on October 1.

Here are the top lines from the September contest:

** FIRST PLACE **

Carlos Danger:  Worshipped by late night comedians for improving their monologues.
     Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois

** SECOND PLACE **

The Back-of-the-line Chief:  Transports every line jumper at an amusement park to the back of the line, every time they find themselves next-in-line.
     David Cummings, Cincinnati, Ohio

** THIRD PLACE (TIE) **

Blooperman:  Has the ability to go back in time to correct stupid political mistakes.
     Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois, a SUPER town

Incomplete Man:  Able to leap tall.
     Jim Spero, Denver, Colorado

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

  – Humor Power Rangers:  Aids potential public speakers to increase the funny content of their speeches.
  – Mr. Dr. Spock:  Assists parents in raising their children using love, common sense and Vulcan logic.
  – The Tweeting Twerker: Satisfies all your vices.
  – Auntie Lipo:  She appears in Spring to evaporate those unsightly “spare tires” and excess hips, to make your bod bikini ready for Summer.
  – Cholesteroff:  Removes all that bad cholesterol and saturated fat from your favorite foods, enabling guilt-free gluttony.

  – Souper Mom:  Okay, you two, stop this fighting; put the guns away.  Here’s a nice, hot bowl of chicken noodle soup for you both. Now, go Wash your hands and eat. Afterwards, we’ll discuss your problem like gentlemen, IF you both finish all your soup.
  – Traffic Flo:  She blows away slow pokes from the fast lane, and cages the eyeballs of looky-loo-ers to speed everyone’s commute.
  – Spin-Out:  With his gaping mouth, swallows even Katrina-sized hurricanes at a moment’s notice.  Eats Tornados for breakfast.
  – The Time Traveler:  A real super hero, but he’s most often used by students who just need an extra day to finish their term papers.
  – The Ductaper:  Shuts up those blabbermouths in a nanosecond with his duct tape ray gun.

  – Avenger of the Nerves:  Causes paralyzing anxiety attacks in anyone seriously contemplating the use of nerve gas.
  – SuperNatural Killer:  Locates and kills all cells in the body that are about to undergo malignant change, leaving healthy cells intact.  Note to non-scientists: Natural Killer cells are present in humans and kill some cancer cells despite having never seen them before (innate immunity).
  – Coyote-Buster:  Keeps drugs from crossing international borders into the United States.
  – Super Scam Squelcher:  Sends a warning message to your brain when you are about to be scammed.
  – I Wonder Woman:  Uses her super powers to tell if your new friend is a man or a woman.

  – The Human Consequence: Uses mental powers to persuade politicians to tell the truth.
  – PC Man:  Helps the President and other politicians by using his mental powers to explain “what they meant to say is…”
  – Rubberman:  Can change any metal instantly to rubber, especially bullets.
  – The Incredible Bulk:  Alternates between The Biggest Loser and Survivor.
  – Superman with X-Ray Vision:  Coming soon to a TSA checkpoint near you.

  – Michelleorama:  Comes to the rescue of weak arms.
  – Hy Fructose.  Guardian of corn farmers’ crops.
  – States-Man:  Shows the executive, legislative and judicial branches how to act.
  – Missile Man:  Steps in when people shoot off their mouth.
  – Teleyoutubbies:  Super heroes for parents as they amuse young children for hours.

  – Ottoman:  This super hero fixes sore and tired legs with special chairs.
  – Scuba Doo:  Big, shaggy rescuer of people in danger in water sports.
  – Plumbero:  Rescues failed Drano attempts.
  – Super Mario:  This super hero fixes games gone bad.
  – Duckman:  Cheers up people who are down in the mouth.
  – Trash Gordon:  Found super hero success working for Waste Management.

  – I forget his name but he is Super hero for people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  – Giant Man:  Does good deeds for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
  – Sour dough:  Goes after car dealers selling bad cars or “Lemons”. Every dollar made by a car dealer selling a lemon for a car, his money turns into lemonade.
  – The Bully Weeper:  Every day a bully pick on a student at school, the bully weeper will use his power to make the bully wear nothing but a diaper at school for that amount of days.
  – Super Eraser:  When you have apologized for what you shouldn’t have said, the words are erased from the recipient’s mind.

Saying the Unexpected

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

The guest of honor at a roast opens with:  “There are nights which turn out magical.  This was not one of those nights.”

The audience is expecting to hear:  “This WAS one of those nights.”   By saying the opposite, he uses the trigger of surprise.  The line is a sure laugh and most people will realize that it’s said in jest.

A speaker receiving an award used the opening line:  “I deserve this.”  A very funny line.  She was saying the opposite of what would be expected.   One would normally hear something like, “With such a distinguished list of nominees, it’s such an honor to receive this award.”  People would be expecting the recipient to be somewhat humble.  Instead she used self-aggrandizement to trigger the humor, saying something totally unexpected.

When I left California to move to Las Vegas, the community held a Roast in my honor.  My mother flew in from Arizona to be part of the roast.  One of her lines was:  “When John was born…he was such an ugly baby.”  The line was totally unexpected.  It was the last thing you’d expect a mother to say about her first-born.  It was a perfect roast line and got a huge response from the audience.  Who would have thought that a farm girl from Kansas would be the hit of the roast?

When you’re preparing your script for a speaking event…look for the opportunity to say the exact opposite of what people would be expecting.  You will want to be selective.  Be careful not to insult someone.   Self-deprecation works well.  Most of the time, tongue-in-cheek humor works best because it’s usually clear that you aren’t serious.

Obsservational Humor — Case Study #104

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.

We’ll look at the set-up for the jokes, the punchlines, and a quick look at what made the jokes work.

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

1.  Melanie provided a flow-chart handout with colorful pictures supporting her networking speech.

2.  Scott spoke on the topic “Expose Yourself.”  Melanie said that if she a dime for every time someone asked her to expose herself, that she would have ten cents.  A good laugh.

3.  Darren led a humor exercise in the form of:  Professionally I’m half BLANK and half BLANK.  Which means that PUNCH LINE

4.  Melanie asked two audience members (Bobby and Carolyn) to role play a “closed conversation” (the opposite of an “open conversation”).

5.  In his role play, Bobby excused himself from a conversation with, “Excuse me, I have to go tinkle.”

6.  Bobby asked his conversation partner, “Do you have an inheritance?”

7.  Rachel, a guest at the meeting, left the program about twelve minutes before it ended, just before the Observational Humor program began.

THE MONOLOGUE

Tonight I’m going to share the secret of Observational Humor.  Just follow this simple flow-chart (I held up Melanie’s networking flow-chart).
(Linking Melanie’s handout with Observational Humor was a simple and effective way to get an opening laugh.  Good response.)

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me to expose myself, I’d owe thirty cents.
(Playing off something funny that had happened earlier.  Piggybacked on Melanie’s joke.  Very good laugh.)

I’m half magician and half humorist.  Which means that people laugh at my magic.  And they’re mystified by my jokes.
(I Pulled this from my comedy magic act.  A tested line dropped into an Observational Humor monologue.  Sometimes spontaneous lines are recycled.  Big laugh.)

I was going to ask Bobby and Carolyn to role play a “clothed conversation.”  Then they would follow-up with an unclothed conversation.  But we’re short on time, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
(Good twist on the role play using a sound-alike word.  First laugh followed by a topper “use your imagination.”)

You probably don’t know it, but Bobby’s favorite song is Tinkle Tinkle Little Star.
(Tinkle is a funny sounding word with a touch of onomatopoeia.  A call back.  Got a good response.)

I regret that Rachel left early. I was going to ask her if she had an inheritance
(A call back to the inheritance line.  Funnier because I’m implying that I would be forward enough to ask that question of a guest.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #103

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue.  I’ll provide you with the set-up that supports the punch line.  Then we will look at the joke and some comments on what makes the joke work.

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

1.  At recent meetings we have not had large numbers of women attending, sometimes just one.  At this meeting we had 18 people and 9 of them were women.

2.  A speaker talked about networking and discussed the “gift of gab.”

3.  A speaker referred to the appetizer “crab dip” more than once.

4.  A speaker said you should not ask a person if they have any tattoos.

5.  Bill races cars.  He refers to himself as the oldest fast man and the fastest old man.

6.  Bill is a retired Lt Colonel. 

7.  A speaker referred to Bill as cute.

THE MONOLOGUE

Sometimes we have only one woman attending the meeting.  Tonight we have a large crowd and half the audience is women.  It’s great networking.  We were able to practice the “gift of grab.”
(The joke plays with the sound-alike gab/grab.  It’s a call back to the networking speech.  This joke should be used with caution depending on the audience.  It’s on the edge of being a joke about sexual harassment, although not way over the edge, a speaker needs to be aware of this issue when selecting humor.  Very big laugh.)

And Carolyn, you appear to be looking for the Crab Dip.  It over there…next to the flea dip.
(Crab Dip is a funny word.  It also has a double meaning:  Appetizer and an Anti-Crab Solution.  The topper “Flea Dip” helps clarify the alternate word meaning of Crab Dip which is implied.)

Hi Barbell.  I’m not supposed to ask you if you have any Tattoos…do you have any piercings?
(Answers the question, “If you can’t ask about Tattoos, what would be even worse to ask?”  It’s similar to “Don’t ask a woman how old she is.  So you ask her how much she weighs.”   Notice that I named Carolyn and Barbell in he last two jokes.  They are both well known members who often push the edge themselves.  When it comes to humor they can give it and take it. I would not have used a person who never jokes, nor picked a guest as the target of the jokes.)

I’m often mistaken for Bill.  The biggest difference between us is that I’m the slowest old man…and the oldest slow man.
(First of all, I’m never mistaken for Bill.  I’m just using comic license to provide a set up.  This is a call back to Bill’s signature phrase being Fast Man.  Very big laugh.)

Billl and I are both retired Lt Colonels.  He’s the cute version.  I’m the supersized version.
(A bit of self-deprecation, implying that he’s cute and I’m not.  The second part of the joke based on me being almost a foot taller than Bill.)

New Joke Contest — Super Hero

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

The theme for the September Joke Contest is “Super Hero.”  Your challenge is to develop a Super Hero that we really need.  Give the new Super Hero a name and then give a brief description of the Super Hero special powers.

Here are three examples:

Super Defecit Buster
Turns wastful government spending into failed re-election campaigns.

The Omniscient Health Nut
Uses super vision to turn junk food into fruits and vegetables.

The World Peace Maker
Enforces Kindergarten rules on all adults.

See how many Super-Hero Characters you can create.  Then submit your three best to HumorPowerTips@HumorPower.com by September 15, 2013.  Your three best lines will be judged for Top Three recognition by our panel of judges.  You can submit more than three lines.  The additional lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention. Our next joke contest will be announced October 1, 2013.

Contest Results — Time Savers

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Our Blog has been down for a few days.  We’re back up and publishing once again.

I’m reposting the results of our August Joke Contest.  The theme is TIME SAVERS, a not-so-serious look at time management.

The top lines were selected by our panel of eight judges (speakers and improv players).

New Joke Contests are announced at the start of the month.  The next contest will be announced on September 1.

Here are the top lines for the August contest:

** FIRST PLACE **

Cat owners can save time by pre-shredding curtains, couches, clothes, etc before bringing them into the house.

     Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois

** SECOND PLACE ** (3-WAY TIE)

Brush your teeth three times a day all at once. You won’t have to  worry about finding time later.
     Pat Foley, Homer Glen, Illinois

Put chocolate mousse on your steak so you can have dinner and dessert at once.
     Kaye Newton, Raymond Terrace, NSW, Australia

Get drunk at home every night before walking down to the corner bar.
     Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

  – Stay home this year. Watch reruns of Hawaii Five-O, Miami Vice, etc.
  – Feel like you’re vacationing without wasting time traveling.
  – Buy a horse. You won’t waste time filling up at gas stations. You might experience a different kind of gas problem, however.
  – New product let’s you eat dinner while you’re showering for an early theatre date. It’s called, “Soup on a Rope.”
  – Keep your clothes washer full of hot water at all times to save time washing clothes.

  – Save time in rush hour traffic by getting out of the car and walking to work.
  – Buy an industrial 100,000 watt microwave oven that cooks in 2 seconds.
  – Pay the newspaper boy to read the news to you as you are getting ready for wok.
  – Keep your car running all the time so you don’t waste time starting it.
  – Wear the same clothes a week at a time without changing.

  – Install a fireman’s pole outside your second-story window to save time running down the stairs and opening the front door.
  – Make a 20 gallon pot of coffee on Monday and microwave it the rest of the week.
  – Save time by entering fewer joke contests.
  – Wash your dishes, car, and laundry together, and use the same rinse water for all.
  – Get there faster by following behind a speeding ambulance.

  – To save time in filling out my tax returns, I have just redirected all my paychecks to the IRS.
  – My old car so often needs repairs, that to save time, instead of parking it in my garage, I arranged with my mechanic to just park it in one of his stalls.
  – If you’re going to Burning Man this year you can save a lot of time by ordering a pound of desert dust online, and then mixing it in with all your clothes in your dryer.
  – Never handle a piece of paper more than 27 times, and you’ll save the time you’d have spent by handling it 28 or more times.
  – Don’t work and you don’t have to plan vacations.

  – Take all medicines when you are not sick.  Your body will proactively fight the illness and save the doctor visiting time.
  – Skip the tedium of getting dressed–sleep in your clothes.
  – Cut down on ATM visits–Use a duffel bag to carry all of your cash.  Of course time saved will be offset by having to take firearms training.
  – Lug around one of those gigantic bottles of water, so you won’t waste time with drinking fountains, trips to the water cooler.
  – Use a hands free bicycle so you can do your emails on your phone, get where you are going and exercise all at once.

  – Put your dog and cat in the bath together (after your bath) to save water and time.  It also washes the floor and walls.
  – Don’t wear a parachute when sky diving. You’ll get home faster.
  – When doing your work, do mine too.
  – Learn to be ambidextrous, that way you can write 2 jokes at a time for Humor Power contests.
  – When shopping at a home center for a plumbing project, buy one of every plumbing item in the store.

  – Never handle a piece of paper more than once a year.
  – Reuse the same presentation repeatedly, like the bankers testifying before Congress do.
  – Wear your parka all summer so you don’t have to waste time donning it in the winter.
  – Get your marriage certificate and divorce decree at the same time.
  – Pregnant women can give birth to 18 year olds and skip the time and expense of child rearing.

  – Get all your joints replaced at the same time.
  – When telling jokes, just tell the punchline.
  – When hiring new employees, immediately put them on probation.
  – Telling jokes, I find it saves time if I also do the laughing.

  – Using technology in common use for over 20 years, you have a simple endoscopic procedure by which a feeding tube is placed into the stomach and out through the skin. It is then connected to an infusion pump which pumps in liquid nutrition such as Ensure or Boost while you are sleeping.  When you go out, just disconnect the tube, clamp it, and tuck it in under your shirt. So, you get your most of your nutrition during sleep and don’t have bother eating or drinking most of the day, except when you choose to.