Observational Humor — Case Study #108

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.)