Archive for May, 2014

Joke Contest Results — Naked Person

Monday, May 26th, 2014

It’s time for the results of the May Joke Contest:  What To Say to a Naked Person.

Joke Contests are announced on the first of the month. Our next contest is June 1, 2014.

Here are the top lines and Honorable Mention entries from this month’s contest, selected by our panel of judges (speakers and improv players).


I can give you clothes, but no cigar.
Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinios


Golly, Pat, I thought you were a guy.
Sandy Kampner, Evergreen Park, Illinois


Sorry. Most of the group wants to keep the air conditioning on.
David Novick, Dayton, Ohio

HONORABLE MENTION (In random order)

– You look more naked in person.
– You look good in that birthday suit.
– We can’t serve you unless you’re wearing shoes and a shirt.
– I’m trying to imagine you with your clothes on.
– President Truman, is it true that the buck naked stops here?

– Great monologue, John, but why such a large lectern?
– I’m from Missouri, the Show ME state.
– You must be the Emperor.
– I hear nude is the new black.
– That’s a great way to save money at the health club. You don’t need
to rent a locker.

– You’ve been taken to the cleaners again.
– The doctor will see you now. Literally.
– Yes, this is a nudist camp, but we usually dress for dinner.
– You’re dressed appropriately, but the Medical Examiner only sees
dead people.
– You obviously don’t know the meaning of a strip mall.

– I can’t wait to see your magic act – what do you do for sleeves?
– That outfit looks better on you than it would on me.
– Are you the Streaker of the House?
– You’re right.  It is cold in here.

– Barry?
– I think the striped tie.
– That’s what this country needs, more transparency.
– They told me this town had some nice sights. They were right.

Observational Humor — Case Study #119

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

More Observational Humor from an excellent meeting.  We’ll look at the humor, starting with the set-ups, the jokes, and a brief examination of what made the jokes funny.

THE SET-UP (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 of the building open.

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

3. Guest speaker Ken reflected on the meaning of FINE. It means something is good. And it means a financial penalty for something you should not do.

4. Dawn presented a mini-humor workshop. She joked that people shouldn’t watch me during her workshop because they might see my lips moving while she was speaking.

5. Guest Steven told us he has been a member of Toastmasters for 18 years.

6. Bill Lusk is a 55 year TM member.

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

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

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

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

11. 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. The magic is in the re-write.)

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.)

Ken that was a fine speech.
(A very big laugh.  Bigger than I was expecting.  Played with a double word meaning.)

The secret is out. Now you know why you never see Dawn speaking while I’m drinking water.
(A good line which I occasionally recycle when it fits.)

We’re hoping that Steven will join our club. When we add his TM experience to that of the rest of the club, our combined experience will finally exceed the singular experience of Bill Lusk.
(Exaggeration. Honors Bill for his experience, and pokes fun at him for
his age.)

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)

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 looking.)

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 might be 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, and for SENSE OF HUMOR.
(A call back. Good job tying me into the donor books. Good laugh.)

Shopping Rules

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

1.  No sale is big enough to justify buying something you don’t need.  2.  Don’t buy anything you can’t sell at a garage sale.  3.  Don’t buy anything you’d be embarrassed to give as a gift.  4.  Don’t buy food when you’re hungry. 5.  Don’t buy from a TV infomercial if you’re bored.  6.  Don’t buy a time-share vacation if you’re mathematically challenged.  7.  Buy with caution when you’re lonely.  8.  Don’t buy if you can’t pay cash.  9.  Don’t buy a book if you have over 100 waiting to be read.  10.  Don’t buy something if you have nowhere to put it.  11. Don’t buy anything you’ll spend more time dusting it than you’ll spend enjoying it.  12.  Don’t buy an impulse purchase on any day that ends in Y. 14.  Don’t buy anything if you’re feeling superstitious.

Family Feud Funny Failure

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Why is a dumb answer on a game show funny? There are lots of examples on YouTube: Family Fued, Newlywed Game, Wheel of Fortune, Pyramid, PassWord.
– Superiority. The viewer feels superior.
– Tension. Release caused by the embarassment of the victim.
– Relationships. The disconnect of the given answer from a good answer. The further the disconnect from a right answer the funnier.
– Surprise. Amazement at how far off-base a contestant could be.
– Self-deprecation. The realization of the It-Could-Have-Been-Me factor.
– The Topper. The comic disconnect of the family saying “good
answer” even when it’s not. One punch line leads to another. The first
punch line is the bad answer. The topper is the family laying a “good
answer” on top of the bad answer.

White House Correspondents Dinner — Implied Punch Line

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

President Obama showcased his comedy skills at the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner.  In addition to using good comic timing and self-deprecation, the President also made good use of the Implied Punch Line.  A joke is usually funnier when the speaker allows the listener toconnect the dots and complete the joke, rather than completely providing the punchline. Allowing the audience to figure out the joke on their own helps them to take ownership of the funny line.  The superiority factor kicks in as the audience feels good about “getting the joke.”

Here are some Obama jokes using the implied punch line.

“Let’s face it, Fox, you will miss me when I’m gone. It will be harder to
convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”
(Implying that HE was born in Kenya.)

“Yes, I am happy to be here, even though I am a little jet-lagged from
my trip to Malaysia. The lengths we have to go to get CNN coverage
these days!” (Implying that CNN’s coverage has been mostly on the
missing airliner.)

“I think they are (CNN) still searching for their table.”
(Implying that the network was not given a table at he dinner.)

“(CNBC) I think they’re a little overwhelmed. They’ve never seen an
audience this big before.” (Implying that CNBC is doing poorly in the

“These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a
harder time than they give me. Which means orange really is the new
black.” (Implying that Boehner continues to take tanning treatments.)

“(On the rollout of, he said that he replaced his
campaign slogan) “Yes We Can with control-alt-delete.” (Implying that
the rollout was a mess.)

“At one point, things got so bad, the 47 percent called Mitt Romney to
apologize.” (Implying that voters were having buyers remorse.)

“I did notice, Sasha needed a speaker at Career Day.  She invited Bill
Clinton.” (Impling that he was unpopular even with his daughter.)

“I haven’t seen somebody pull a 180 that fast (as an Olympic Gold
Medalist) since Rand Paul dis-invited that Nevada rancher from this
dinner.” (Implying that there had been a relationship between Paul and Bundy.)

“Gridlock has gotten so bad, you’ve got to wonder, what did we do to
piss off Chris Christie so bad?” (Implying that Christie was still up to
his bridge closure tricks.)

“If you want to get paid while not working you should have to run for
Congress just like everyone else.” (Implying that Congress does no

New Joke Contest — May 2014

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

It’s time for our May Joke Contest. Our theme this month is:   What to Say to a Naked Person.  Some of your lines might be “good” things to say, and some may be “bad” things to say. They will most likely be funny. And the challenge is to keep the lines in good taste.

Here are some sample lines, based on the theme, to get you started.

An alligator bag would compliment your outfit.
What a brilliant disguise for the witness protection program.
The restaurant requires a tie.
It must be casual day at work.
Thank you for reminding me…your eyes ARE up there.

Write as many lines as you can. Then submit your best three lines for
our Top Three recognition. If you send more than three lines, the
additional lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention. Submit your
entries by May 15, 2014 to

New contests are announced on the first of the month. The next contest will be posted on June 1, 2014.