Observational Humor — Case Study #119

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.)