Archive for April, 2014

April Joke Contest Results — Hidden Benefits

Monday, April 28th, 2014

It’s time for the results of the April Joke Contest. The theme for this month’s challenge, Hidden Benefits, was suggested by Gerald Fleischmann.

New contests are announced on the first of the month. Look for the next contest on May 1, 2014.

Here are the top lines for April.

** FIRST PLACE **

My dry cleaner mixes up all his orders, but I get a new wardrobe every week.
Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois

** SECOND PLACE **

My smartphone was out for repair. I had so much time I actually read a book.
David Novick, Dayton, Ohio

** THIRD PLACE **

My Wife is a psychopathic maniac, but I’ve become become skilled at hostage negotiation, crime scene clean-up and weapon maintenance.
Les Harden, Brisbane, Australia

HONORABLE MENTION (In random order)

– The elevator stopped working on our high-rise, but I lost 20 pounds and won a stair climbing event.
– My neighbor’s tree dropping lemons all over my yard drove me crazy, until I opened a lemonade stand.
– The corner shop makes the worst coffee ever, but it’s buy one get one free so I can’t pass it up.
– Our local school is so bad, I was mugged taking my young daughter to her classroom. However my kid got me a better wallet and a roll of cash when she mugged the Principal’s bookie.
– I work for myself. I hate the boss but love his self deprecating humor.

– I got put on hold with the IRS for an hour, but I learned the lyrics to a dozen new songs.
– I was upset when a guy cut in front of me in the lotto line, until I realized that I bought the winning ticket.
– I was upset when gas shot up to $5.00 a gallon, until I realized that it doesn’t take as long to pump $20 worth as it used to.
– My boss is a real taskmaster, but time flies when you’re working twice as hard.
– My cable TV stopped working, but I attached wires to the neighbor’s dish and haven’t missed a show.

– I got into a fender-bender yesterday, but my cat seems to drive better without a front bumper.
– I was running late and just barely made it on time for my performance in the local theater, so I had no time for performance anxiety.
– I spent so much using credit cards that I will be in debt for years, but I got a cool flutaphone with my points.
– Lot was plunged into despair when God turned his wife into a pillar of Salt.
However, their children helped assuage his sorrow by selling her to Orville Redenbacher.
– That TV show is lousy; I can’t wait to see who their next guest host will be.

– Animated films these days use such primitive animation that all there is to appreciate is their great story lines.
– After making a mistake entering my new password, that mistake helped me avoid the latest computer virus making the rounds.
– The premium ice cream I thought would ruin my diet turned out to attract the very sexy neighbor lady.
– The thunderstorm with gale force wind blew all the obstructions out of my gutters.
– When the power went off, we had nothing to do but talk to each other, in person, face to face, in real time.

– When my hearing aids are turned off at night, I can’t hear anything, not even your snoring.
– My cell phone coverage is always dropping calls. Comes in handy for calls from my mother-in-law.
– I stopped by and saw that the renters had the house looking like a foreclosure property. But I wasn’t mad when I saw that someone else had stopped by; the tax appraiser.

Creative Cell Phone Announcement

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Here’s a creative way to ask the audience to turn off their mobile devices using a Flash Mob.   ClickHere to view video which was produced by ImprovEverywhere.

Let it stimulate your own, original way to make this otherwise routine announcement as you begin your meeting.

The link was passed to me by AllenKlein, The Jollytologist from San Francisco by way of SpeakerNetNews.

Two-Hour Humor Workshop

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Learn Humor Skills the Easy Way From Someone Who Learned Them the Hard
Way. A two-hour Humor Workshop presented by John Kinde. This program is
part of an NSA Academy event on Monday, April 21, 6:00 pm until 9:30. John’s
presentation is open to non-Academy members and will be approximately 7:15 pm to 9:15. The location is: 6655 W Sahara Suite B-100 just East of Rainbow, in Las Vegas.  It is easiest to enter the complex on Redwood St, which is a small street running between the complex and CarMax. Turn into the office complex and down a short driveway, and then turn right immediately. Building B, Suite B-100, will be on the ground level about 100 ft ahead on the left, just past the staircase. Anita Johnston is the registrar, anita@anitapaul.com, phone 702-683-9993.

Observational Humor — Case Study #118

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We will look at the setup for the jokes, then we’ll review the jokes, and finally we’ll discuss what made the jokes work.

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

1. I was using my walker when I approached the speaking platform.

2. An evaluator complimented a speaker on a “smile that draws people
in.”

3. The Observational Humor Master typically opens with one joke, and
then calls for humorous comments from the floor. The OH Master then
presents a humor monologue.

4. An evaluator complimented a speaker on the variety in his speech,
taking people up and down, emotionally. He gestured the motion of a
roller coaster, highs and lows.

5. Jesse Oakley III told the story of his name. He is widely known for
his iii suffix.

6. A speaker used a joke format, “If you’re not paying for X…
Punchline.”

7. A speaker shared data that shows we are all being snooped on.

8. A speaker commented on how competitive our club is.

9. We have several new, young members. We also had two parents and a son visiting from California. The son was young looking, and the parents still did not look old enough to be his parents.

THE MONOLOGUE

My nickname is Johnny Walker.
(Jokes about the obvious. Also a joke using name play.)

Now that my smile has drawn you in.
(Self-deprecation. I’m not an expressive person.)

Are there any Observational Humor comments from floor?
(Members shared some Observational Humor lines. My monologue
continues.)

As you noticed, the humor is like a roller coaster…up…and down.
(gesturing a roller coaster path.)
(Very good laugh, in spite of the fact that all the lines given by club
members were good. In other words there weren’t any “down” or bad
lines, and the joke still got laughs.)

Ladies and gentlemen…and especially our Past-District Gov who had a farm…JESS E I E I O.
(A perfect play on I-I-I using the Old MacDonald jingle.)

If you’re not paying for this monologue…you’ll be in this monologue.
(Big laugh. A call back twisted to fit the monologue theme.)

I couldn’t resist the “walker” line. I like to find humor in name-play.  For example if Ethan Nguyen married Woody Allen…he would be Ethan Allen.
(Good laugh.)

I heard on the news today that Las Vegas was suing Chicago. It seems that Chicago is claiming to be a windy city.
(Timely comment related to windy weather in Las Vegas.)

You may have noticed that in the men’s room, the urinals have a sign which says, “Aim for back of urinal.” Melanie, that gives me an idea for our club banner slogan. “Power House Pros–We Aim to Please.”
(A recycled joke similar to one I used many months ago.)

Nobody snoops on me. I communicate by telegraph, smoke signals and stone tablets.
(Weakest line of the monologue.)

I agree with the comment that our club has stiff competition. This is because half of our members are very competitive. And the other half look like they should be in a coffin.
(The truth is funny, albeit an exaggerated truth. A good laugh.)

But aren’t you impressed with how young our three speakers were
tonight? And our guests are so young, even the parent’s of our guests are young!
(A good line to close with because it is funny, because it’s true. And it
compliments our guests.)

Observational Humor — Case Study #116

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll look at the set-up for the joke. Then we’ll examine the joke and what makes it tick.

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

1. The Sgt At Arms opened the meeting saying “Please find your seat.”

2. A speaker shared a riddle to which the answer was NOTHING.

3. The meeting was our club’s annual speech contest. We had a mix of VERY experienced speakers and one brand new speaker.

4. A speaker who was born in Vietnam gave a Tall Tales speech in which he made up “scars” of his life experiences.

5. I was raised in North Dakota.

6. A speaker mentioned being “bald as a pickle.”

7. A speaker told about wanting to fly as a boy and taking an umbrella and jumping off a porch. He also talked about racine a Porsche as a senior citizen.

8. A speaker told a story where someone referred to him as “Dear.”

9. A speaker made fun of his own singing of Over the Rainbow. And he told of asking someone “who originally sang that song.” He was told, Judy Garland.

10. Bill Lusk gave a Tall Tale about his dog who spoke German.

THE MONOLOGUE

(In an old man’s voice) I can’t find my seat!
(When the original reference was made by the Sgt At Arms, there were a couple of jokes using the double meaning of the word SEAT. It felt like it would be fun, but it turned out not to be a strong opener.)

What is worse than Observational Humor…Nothing!
(A call-back with strong audience response.)

This was a typical Toastmasters Club level speech contest. Competitors included:
– An International finalist.
– An International semi-finalist.
– A 55 year Toastmaster member.
– And a new Toastmaster giving his first speech.
(I knew this was not a strong joke, but pointed out the difference in experience of the contestants. As expected, not much laughter. I would include it again. The perspective is interesting, and Observational Humor is all about perspective.)

I was raised in North Dakota and have scars that are difficult to share with you.
(Moderate response. Used as a set up for the jokes that followed.)

I was afraid I was going to grow up to be bald as a pickle.
(Simple call back. Good response.)

And I always wanted to be like Mary Poppins. I got an umbrella and jumped off a Porsche.
(Absurdity of Mary Poppins. Call-back of umbrella. Used Porsche as a sound-alike substitute for PORCH. Very big laugh.)

My mother called me Dear…John Deere.
(The twist is John Deere. Strong response.)

I used to like to sing “Over the Rainbow”. One day I asked my mother who sings that song? She said “Over the Rainbow” is sung by Scott Pritchard.
(Very big response.)

Last week I went to lunch at Bill Lusk’s home.
(Sets up the dog lines which follow.)

His dog answered the door. “Bonjour Monsieur. Soyez le bienvenue!” I was amazed. His dog spoke French!
(Good laugh. Set-up for a series of language jokes.)

The dog then said “Mi casa es su casa!” Incredible, the dog was bilingual.
(Stronger laughter.)

By the way what are we having for lunch? The dog replied, “Wienerschnitzel und Hagen Daz.”   German? 

(Tongue-in-cheek German. Not meant to be taken seriously. A direct call back to the speech. A good laugh.)

How many languages do you speak? The dog responded: “Mot, hai…chin, muoi.” (I counted from one to ten in Vietnamese). Ten languages. Amazing!
(Very good response. I included Vietnamese because one of the speakers had a theme of Vietnam for his speech.)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was better than nothing.
(A good closer, book-ending the speech.)

Special Humor Workshop Sponsored by NSA Las Vegas

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Special Humor Evening Presented by the NSA Speakers Academy, Featuring John Kinde, DTM, Accredited Speaker,  Monday, April 21, 2014, 6 pm

They Laughed…Until I Started Giving my Humorous Speech

Come learn humor skills the easy way from someone who learned them the hard way.
– Learn triggers which set your humor in motion.
– Understand why something is funny to help you create and deliver original humor.
– Tune your humor radar to find the everyday humor around you.
– Add advanced humor techniques to your speaker tool box.
– Become a more memorable speaker and have more impact every time you step before an audience.

Our presenter is John Kinde, a 30 year member of NSA. John worked for 17 years with nuclear weapons. He is the founder of improv troupes in Las Vegas in California. John has presented over 1000 hours of improv workshops. He is a comedy magician. Join us for an enjoyable program. It might even be funny.

Space is limited, seating for only twenty-five people. RSVP to Anita Johnston at anita@anitapaul.com,  (702) 240-8455,  (702) 683-9993.

When: Monday, April 21, 2014. 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Where: 6655 W Sahara, Bldg B, Suite B-100
Ask if you would like detailed directions.

New Joke Contest — Hidden Benefits

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

This month’s theme, Hidden Benefits, was suggested by Gerald Fleischmann, long-time contributor to our contests.

Write a line which starts in a style that appears to be a putdown for a person, product, or service, then end it with something that turns it upside down by turning a negative into a positive. This is the opposite of a previous contest where we started with a positive and then delivered a backhanded, faint-praise compliment. Your challenge is not to submit reworks of previous jokes, but to create new ones. Here are some examples:

– That restaurant serves the world’s worst food, but I eat there every day because when I’m not satisfied, my next meal is free.

– The barking from my new neighbor’s dogs is so annoying that I hadn’t noticed that there have been no prowlers in my back yard since they moved in.

– My husband is a horrible cook, but now I realize how many wonderful friends I’ve made who work as health department inspectors.

Your challenge is to write as many lines as you can. Then submit your
three best three lines for recognition in our Top Three. You can submit
more than three lines. The extra lines will be eligible for Honorable
Mention.   Send your entries to HumorPowerTips@HumorPower.com
not later than April 15, 2014.

New joke contests are announced on the first of each month. The next
contest is published on May 1, 2014.