Observational Humor — Case Study #110

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue delivered at the end of a meeting.  We will look at the set-up, 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.  Our club President gave a short “Educational Moment” speech which summarized how club dues income can and cannot be spent.

2.  A speaker acknowledged 15 women in the audience.  There were only 10 women present.

3.  A speaker said that I had told him to speak in a conversational tone.

4.  Beverly said that on a vacation she had the opportunity to visit a nude beach.

5.  The emcee introduced someone who was a Doctor.  He said he wouldn’t ask what kind of Doctor she was.

6.  A speaker said, “When I go home tonight, I’ll be met at the front door by a lovely young woman who happens to be my wife.”

7.  I have presented hundreds of Observational Humor monologues.

8.  I occasionally use a walker.  I took it with me for the first time this evening.

9.  We had a large number of guests at the meeting, perhaps half the audience.

10.  In a speech, Kevin said that he was born in 1967.

11.  A speaker told us of his first time skydiving.  Then he said he has since jumped a total of 19 times.


Tonight I found out that Club Dues Income can’t be used to compensate the Observational Humor Master.  That concludes my remarks.  Thank you. (Started to leave the speaker’s platform.)

(Call back to the mention of Club Dues.  Implied punchline.  Suggested that I would only speak if I were paid.)

Madam General Evaluator, Fellow Toastmasters, and especially the ten women and the five women dressed as men.

(Any mistake, yours or someone else’s, should be examined for humor possibilities.  After I realized there weren’t 15 women present, I asked the question: “How do the numbers add up?”)

Speak in a conversational tone.  (In an announcer’s voice)  I can do that!

(Implies do as I say, not as I do.)

This has been a fun meeting tonight.  I haven’t had this much fun since I saw Beverly at the beach.  THAT was fun!

(Call back to the nude beach with a topper.)

I’m not a Doctor…but I played one on the improv stage.

(The trigger was something repeated multiple times.  The introducer mentioned “Doctor” three or four times.  Anything repeated an unusual number of times should trigger a search for humor possibilities.  I took the cliche “but I played one on TV,” and twisted it.)

Tonight when I go home, I’ll be met at the front door by a lovely young woman who happens to be someone else’s wife.

(Starts as a call back.  Then I twist the ending.)

This is my first time doing this.  Which explains the training wheels.

(Someone else had mentioned his role and explained that it was his first time doing it.  Although it was widely known that I do the Observational Humor role nearly every meeting, I suggested that it was my first time.  Moderate laughter.  It set up my walker joke.)

For the first time guests, if you were counting the number of guest introductions, you’ll realize that our club has only two members.

(A recycled joke.  I already knew it was a strong line.)

Kevin was born in 1967.  That was the year that I turned 20.  And that’s not funny.

(Self-deprecation.  The truth is funny.  But not THAT funny.  Weakest line of the monologue.)

If you go skydiving it proves that you have courage.  If you go skydiving 19 times, it proves that you lack common sense.

(Very big laugh.  Good closer.)