Observational Humor — Case Study #103

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.


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.)