Archive for November, 2013

Physical Comedy

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Here is a link to a great comedy routine sent to me by my cousin Beth in Florida.  The peformers don’t say a word.  The act is totally physical comedy featuring Di Maiers: Yogi Mohr and Sabine Maier from Berlin, Germany.  Their background and training is in Circus comedy.  What makes this comedy-trapeze act funny is their development of strong characters thru the use of costumes and their facial expressions.  Also watch their timing and subtle use of the pause to drive home the laughs.  Click here to watch the video.

Joke Contest Results — Food Films

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Thanks to Sol Morrison’s suggstion for our November Contest theme, we had a popular contest with hundreds of entries.  Because of the mix of humor lines, I felt it would be difficult to pick a first, second and third.  Instead, you will find the results presented in a different format, with the contributors recognized at the end.  Enjoy our November contest results:  FOOD FILMS.

 Now Playing at the FOOD FILM THEATER

  – The Gizzard of Oz

  – From Here to Eaternity

  – 12 Hungry Men

  – The French Toast Connection

  – Silence of the Spam

  – The Ten Condiments

  – Pulp Chicken

  – Double Feature: Supersize Me & The Year of Eating Dangerously

 After your movie, join us at the FOOD FILM RESTAURANT


Now Your Choice of A La Carte or the Full Monty

The Thin Man Doesn’t Eat Here


  – Last Tempura in Paris

  – One Flew Over the Bird’s Nest Soup

  – Forrest Gumbo

  – Appetizer Blue Plate:

      Lord of the Onion Rings

      Fellowship of the Buffalo Wings

      The Two Flours

      The Return of the King Crab


  – Clark Gobble’s Turkey Club–Frankly We Don’t Serve a Ham

  – Dr Suess Just Green Spam and Lettuce  (Saving Private Rye, I am)

  – The Yellow Submarine

  – The Last American Gyro

Early Bird:

  – Good Buy–Mister Fish & Chips

  – Frank & Stein

  – Fried Chicken–Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

  – Spaghetti with Chance of Meatballs–Chef’s Surprise

House Specials:

  – The Prime Rib of our Life

  – Prawn with the Wind

  – Blade Ruiner NY Steak–So Thick You Can’t Cut it With a Knife

  – Sophie’s Choice Sirloin with My Own Private Idaho Potato

  – Mocking Bird–We Kill, Cook and Serve them with Field of Cream Sauce and M.A.S.H.ed potatos

Healthy Choice by Calorie Harper:

  – The SecretGarden Vegetables served with 40-Year-Old Virgin Olive Oil. Prepared with no trans Fat Albert.

Child’s Menu:

  – Country Fried Steak (No Country Fried Steak for Old Men)

  – Honey I Cooked the Kids

Desserts by a Sweet Cart Named Desire:

  – Life of Pie

  – Charlie’s Angels Food Cake

  – Planet of the Crepes


  – Glassa Blanca

  – Leonardo de Cappuccino

  – Clockwork Orange Julius

  – Columbian Roast with Creamer vs Creamer

Join Us Thanksgiving Day

  – A few good meals served with the right stuffing.


C Allen

David Novick

Debbie Harbeson

Erin C

Gerald Fleischmann

Jim Spero

Marty Bernstein

Nancy Lininger

Sandy Kampner

Scott Tredwell

Sol Morrison

Tom Nee

Observational Humor — Case Study #108

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of ameeting.  We’ll look at the set-up, the joke, and what made the joke work.

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

1.  Ryan, the nomination chair, said that filling the list of officers for the upcoming election was like pulling teeth.

2.  The daily high temperature hit 105.  Many of the people attending the meeting were wearing shorts.  A speaker joked about whether or not some of the men had shaved their legs. 

3.  Al presented a humor program titled “A Square Yard of Humor.”  He was wearing a loud-print shirt.  Many speakers joked about his shirt.

4.  A speaker told us that audiences want us to succeed.

5.  Part of Al’s humor talk focused on the use of exaggeration to create funny lines.

6.  Al used the word Hyperbole when discussing exaggeration, and intentionally mis-pronounced it as Hyper-Bowl.

7.  Daniel told a story of someone living in a disaster area keeping a quart of milk fresh by burning $50 of diesel fuel to keep a generator running.


(Speaking so it looked as though I had no teeth)  I was talking with Ryan before the meeting and he explained to me the benefits of running for club office.
(A visual gag implying that Ryan had pulled my teeth.  A good laugh.)

I haven’t shaved my legs.  But I did have a bikini wax.
(Combining absurdity with funny words.  Very big laugh.)

Next week I’m giving a speech about Al’s shirt.  It will be titled, “A Square Yard of Material.”
(A shirt call-back coupled with a twist of speech title.  A big laugh.)

I know what you’re thinking, “I hope his jokes totally fail.” Well, I won’t disappoint you.  That was an exaggeration.
(This was a joke, topper, topper series. The first part was a call back reversing the suggestion that audiences are on our side.  I then used self-deprecation, suggesting that my jokes would not be funny.  And then I indicated that I was just kidding by using a callback referring to the technique of exaggeration.  The sequence worked well and received good laughs.)

Added to Al’s long list of credentials is that he was once a professional football player.  Twenty years ago he played in the Hyper Bowl.
(A call back making a link with an imaginary bowl game.)

Daniel’s family discovered that a quart of milk cost $50.  That’s not as bad as it sounds.  It’s was only $20 a glass. 
(Suggests that $20 a glass is not expensive.)

I happen to know that Bobby’s favorite singers are the Sirens of the Iliad.
(Implying that Bobby is old.)

And I’d like to correct the grammarian.  Bobby did use the word of the day, he just used the form of the word from ancient Greek.
(Adding a second joke implying that Bobby is old.)

Al told us that Dawn as really funny.  What he didn’t tell you was that she is also HOT.  But she’s a dry heat.
(Saying that Dawn is hot got a big laugh, because it’s the truth.  The topper of Dry Heat got a huge laugh, suggesting that it was a “good” hot.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #107

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue.  We’ll look at the set-up, see the joke, and then briefly examine what made the joke work.

The Set-up (What happened and what was said during the meeting before the monologue was delivered.)

1.  We had a couple of last minute role assignments.  Two speakers joked about having their “arm twisted” to take the role.

2.  The Word-of-the-Day was Garrulous.

3.  The Grammarian reported that I had used one clutter word, “So.”

4.  The Grammarian reported that at the end of the meeting nobody had used the Word-of-the-Day.  It was corrected that four people had used it.

5.  Beverly told us she once examined a cat to determine its sex.  She was mistaken.

6.  The Table Topics Master presented topics related to Heat and Hot, which was the theme of the meeting.  One of the impromptu topics was “why an attractive person is considered HOT.”  The speaker explained it was because an attractive person took your breath away.

7.  We don’t normally assign Table Topics to members who have significant roles in the meeting.  The Table Topics Master assigned topics to several members who had significant roles, include members who presented speeches.  We were short on people and on the agenda I was assigned three roles.

8.  Melanie announced that we were looking for a tag-line, or sub-title for the name of the club, Power House Pros.

9.  When introducing guests, someone mentioned a Roach Motel and suggested that when guests come they can’t leave.

10.  Bill joked that he was a geriatric Toastmaster.  He is our club’s most senior Toastmaster.

11.  Bill joked about being short and said people look down to speak to him.

12.  Bill joked about out-running a cop to avoid a speeding ticket.

13.  Bill said that after a dinner honoring him, two people came up to him and said:  “Bill Lusk, you changed my life.”


I’m the Observational Humor Master tonight.  They twisted my arm.
(Funny because I enjoy the role and am always signing up for the position.)

I’m so garrulous.  So so garrulous.  I can say that word because nobody will notice.
(A call-back to the Grammarian missing that I had used the Word of the Day.  And threw in some SOs since I had been guilty of using them earlier in the evening.)

Next week Beverly will be giving a speech on how to tell men from women.
(The line got a good laugh.  Principle of extrapolation, taking the exam one step beyond the examination of cats.)

Tom, your Table Topics tonight were HOT.  They took my breath away.
(A call-back.)

We normally don’t assign Table Topics to someone who has a main role in the meeting.  But tonight we could call on anyone unless they had more roles than I did.
(Since it had been joked about the fact that I had three roles that evening, it was a perfect set up for a joke.)

We finally found a tag line for the club.  Power House Pros — The Roach Motel.
(A call back linked a comment to the search of a new tag line.)

Bill Lusk’s speakers manuals are carved in stone tablets.
(Piggy backed on Bill’s joking about his being old.  I used exaggeration.)

Bill is my mentor as I become a geriatric Toastmaster.  I had to ask him to be my mentor.  I said (looking straight down to the floor) “Bill, would you be my mentor?”

New Joke Contest — Food Films

Friday, November 1st, 2013

November joke contest:  Food Films

What if your local theater opened a restaurant and they featured only famous food films and famous food stars.  What films would play in their theater? What would be the items on their menu?  This contest theme was suggested by Sol Morrison from Santa Barbara.  Thanks Sol for stimulating our creativity.

Your lines could be:
“Coming Soon to a Theater Near You” (film titles)
“Menu Specials” (featured menu specialties)

  – Sugar Cane Mutiny
  – Seshuan Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest
  – The Corn Legacy
  – The Big Chili, Starring  Lana Turnip,  Joan Crawfish,  Marilyn Merlo.
  – Golden Globe Artichokes

A single line could apply to Film Titles and also to Menu Items.  Write as many as you can and then submit your best lines, with your name/city/state, to by November 15, 2013.  Your first three submissions will be entered for Top Three recognition.   Additional lines may appear as Honorable Mention.

New joke contests appear on the first of the month.  Our next contest will be announced on December 1, 2013.