Observational Humor — Case Study #113

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.  I’ll share the set-up, the joke, and some brief comments on what made the jokes work.

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

1.  Bill Brown was a guest attending the meeting.

2.  Linda Bown is a new member.

3.  I sometimes use a cane.  Sometimes a walker.  Someone commented on my walker’s cup holder.  It was holding a small bottle of water.

4.  After being introduced, a speaker said, “Thank You for the clap.”

5.  The person introducing Bill Lusk gave him high praise.  Bill said, “It’s great having a one-person fan club.”

6.  A speaker said he was encouraged to come to Las Vegas.  His response was, “I’m married.  I’ve seen a naked woman.”

7.  A speaker told a story of how her father met her mother.  He asked a woman on a date and she set him up with her sister.

THE MONOLOGUE

I’ll open tonight with a Limerick.
It’s great to see Bill Brown.
And new member Linda Bown.
With Toastmasters like these
We have the keys
To be the best club in town.
(When I create limericks I’m not looking for perfection in the number of syllables per line, as long as it’s close.  I do insist on the AABBA rhyme pattern.  The opening limerick was not intended to be funny.  It was a way of saying thank you to our new members and their contribution to the meeting.)

I’m saving my money for a cup (I picked up the water bottle and replaced it).
(I felt that the set-up was not strong enough to support the joke by itself.  I needed to add the physical action of bringing attention to the cup holder to strengthen the joke set-up.)

Thank you for my second clap of the year.
(A call back with a different twist than the original joke.  The set-up implied an alternate word meaning, refering to a disease.  My joke implied that I was a collector of individual claps, even keeping count of them.  The truth is, people laugh at jokes for different reasons.  Having lots of reasons is good for the laughter.)

I’m striving to be like Bill Lusk.  I’m waiting for my fan club’s first member.
(A call-back with self-deprecation.  Both the set-up and my joke relied on selfdeprecation.)

I’ve never been marriedI didn’t need to get married because I’ve seen a woman naked.
(A call back taking another angle than taken by the original joke.  The set-up implied that people come to Las Vegas for the dancers.  My joke implied that people marry for physical reasons.  Again, there were probably differing reasons for audience members laughing.  That’s all good, as it generates more laughter.)

And I’ll close with a Limerick:
Pelletier’s life I won’t debate.
His choices I’d highly rate.
He did it right.
Love at first sight.
Taking someone’s sister on a date.
(Good close.  Big laugh.  I used Limerick vehicle as format bookends to tie the monologue together.  I was scheduled for double duty at the meeting.  In addition to the Observational Humor monologue, I also gave a speaker evaluation.  With my focus split, I came up with fewer monologue jokes than usual.  I used the Limericks to fill out the monologue since they were easy to create.)