Observational Humor — Case Study #107

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?”