Humor Wisdom From Gerald Fleischmann

Gerald Fleischmann visited Las Vegas recently and shared humor tips with members of the Power House Pros Toastmasters club.  We’re always excited to learn tips from an avid student of humor.  Here are some of the ideas he presented and comments by PHP members:
1.  Humor is fun.  Gerald shared the excitement of an Observational Humor monologue that got big laughs.
2.  Humor is work.  You have to apply yourself to the task.
“I was impressed with Gerald’s desire to pay the price for his success.”
      Bobby Williams
“We all know funny people and assume that they’re just born that way.  I was fascinated by how hard Gerald worked for his one-liners!   Frankly, it was inspiring.  It means that even the un-funniest person can get laughs if you are willing to put in the creative time.  Eventually, you’ll have everyone believing that you’re naturally funny all the time, like Gerald.”
      Melanie Hope
3.  Do research.  Gerald tackles a humor writing task by doing extensive research, mostly on the Internet.  He builds lists on a theme.  For example, if a humor contest is about MOVIES, he’ll work on the Internet to build lists of Movie Titles.  He brought research lists from his files to share with us.
4.  Look for connections.  Gerald will use his lists to search for humorous connections and from those connections he will build his jokes.
“The best idea that I got from Gerald was to remember to put things together that don’t go together and it’ll usually be funny!”
      Judi Moreo
5.  The Test Drive.  He evaluates his jokes by presenting them to family and friends to see where the laughs are.  That gives him a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
6.  Quantity leads to quality.  Although he often submits 40 or 50 jokes for a contest, he usually writes double that total.  He then screens them for what he considers the best jokes and submits them.  He shared some excellent jokes that ended up on his own cutting room floor.   And he presented some funny lines that he submitted but which never made it to Honorable Mention.  On the recent Food Films contest, a few of his lines which never saw print were:  Snacks On A Plane; My Favorite Yogurt; Saving Private Rye Bread; A Taste of Honey Mustard; How the West was Wonton; Crepes of Wrath; Adam’s Barbecued Rib.
7.  Expose yourself.  Stimulate your humor creativity by being open to stimulating, diverse activities.  He has many outside interests:  Toastmasters, Barbershop singing, The Burning Man Festival, Photography, Parodying songs for musical plays, and Scripting those plays with a large humor component, Building Mobiles from recycled items, and Poetry, to name a few.
8.  Volunteer to create humor.  Gerald filled in as a Riddle/Joke person at his exercise class when the regular person missed a class.  He eventually became the permanent guy to share Riddles/Jokes during the break.  This had him researching and writing humor on a regular basis.

9.  Magical humor experiences.  Gerald has learned that not every presentation experience is magical, but has had magical experiences and keeps doing what it takes to ensure that they will happen again in the future.