Observational Humor — Case Study #117

We had another excellent meeting. Two guests. Four speakers preparing for their Area Contests. We’ll look at Observational Humor, starting with the set-ups, the jokes, and a brief examination of what made the jokes funny.

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

1. It was one of the most windy nights we’ve seen in a long time. The wind was so strong it kept blowing the front door open.

2. The awards for Toastmaster of the Year and Spark Plug of the Year for the club were presented. Members were recognized for contributions to the club, including being a “Cheer Leader” for Toastmasters.

3. Before the meeting started, Bobby joked that he loved seeing guests because he likes seeing people he doesn’t owe money to.

4. Our Gramarian looks for filler words: So, Ah, and other meaningless filler words. She said that Ethan had a BUT and a WELL.

5. We have been having younger members join our club. They are talented and bring good energy to the meetings.

6. Guest Nick said he was born and raised in Las Vegas.

7. A speaker told about visiting a sperm bank and seeing their donor books categorized by descriptions of the donors: Height, Ethnicity, Education, etc.


We have an announcement. If you drove to the meeting tonight…your car is now in Kansas.
(We were having the biggest wind storm I had seen in years. The first
thought I had was “You’re not in Kansas anymore.” I used that line to
arrive at the line I actually used.)

Give me a T. Give me an O. Give me a M-A-S-T-E-R. What does it
spell? Toastmaster! Yea!
(I played the role of an un-talented cheer leader. I was well cast in that role.)

After the presentation of Toastmaster of the Year and Sparkplug of the Year earlier this evening, I realized I need to be more of a cheer leader.
(The line got a bigger laugh than I expected.)

Bobby says he loves seeing guests at the meeting because he likes to see people to whom he doesn’t owe money. What Bobby doesn’t know is that Dustin and Nick are both undercover agents for the IRS.
(I asked myself, how could Bobby owe the guests money?)

I’m not sure, but I think the gramarian said that Ethan had “a butt in the well.”

(I twisted a call back using a sound-alike phrase.)

I’ve noticed that recently our new members and our guests are young, talented and good looking. They are making us old-timers look bad. In fact one of our new members referred to us as “you older speakers.”
(The truth is funny. The new members ARE young, talented, good

All I have to say is that one day, you younger speakers are going to look like me.
(Self deprecation. Very big laugh.)

Nick said something that surprised me. You said that you were born here. (Nick agreed.) That amazes me, because I didn’t think the building was that old.
(I took a literal statement to the extreme. I thought that Nick would
confirm that he had said HERE, but he obviously he didn’t mean THIS
BUILDING. A big laugh.)

Often times, a guest will tell me that they’ve seen me before. That mightbe because I’m in the National Speakers Association Directory. Or it might be because of my web site. Or it might be because I’m in the donor books for TALL, for SCANDANAVIAN,  
(A call back. Good job tying me into the donor books. I was using the “drop myself into their story” technique.  Good laugh.)