Archive for June, 2014

Contest Results — Living on Mars

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

It’s time to share our best lines from our June Joke Contest. The theme is “I Want To Live On Mars Because…” Our readers submitted their unusual reasons why they would want to live on Mars.

Here are the results selected by our panel of six judges (speakers and improv players).

Our next contest will be announced on July 1.

And now: I Want To Live On Mars Because…


Earth has iTunes, but Mars has Neptunes.
Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois


I want to explore those eerie canals.
Sandy Kampner, Evergreen Park, Illinois


Years on Earth just go by too fast.
Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

– There is new restaurant…good food but no atmosphere.
– There are no politicians on Mars.
– I’ve always been told red brings out my freckles.
– I will make a great Martian dictator.
– Google would no longer be able find me.

– I’d go to Mercury but everyone there has to wear SPF one million sunscreen.
– It says right here in the brochure that the Martians will have us for dinner.
– We’ve been to Vegas and there’s nothing left on Earth that we want to see.
– I’ll finally get to meet My Favorite Martian.
– I want to be off planet during the next election.

– It’s Space, the final front door!
– I want to have a different answer when aliens ask “Where ya from?”
– I want to live on Mars because they have fewer lawyers.
– I want to live on Mars because maybe the IRS won’t find me there.
– I want to live on Mars because in galactic terms, it’s just like moving next door.

– I’ve always wanted to rule the world. There will be less competition on Mars.
– I’ll be safe there. I’m in the Witness Protection Program.
It gets hot, but it’s a dry heat.
– I’ll be taller than the little green men.
– I can grab market share for gondola rides on the canals.
– I think I can go to Mars if I planet well enough.

– I had a Ford Galaxy once.
– I’m so tired of winter.
– They have good libraries. It is the read planet.
– I’ll uncover the truth about Roswell.

Shaggy Dogs and Feghoots

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Here are a couple of forms of speech making which are related to humorous and entertaining speaking:

A Shaggy Dog Story. This is a long-winded, rambling story which keeps the attention of the audience, often because they recognize elements of a joke, but the payoff never comes, or it comes in the form of a pointless punch line.

A Feghoot is a type of rambling story that supports or builds to an ending which uses an atrocious pun. One of our local Clubs in Las Vegas, The Lunatics Toastmasters, is hosting their annual Feghoot Contest on Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 1:00 pm. If you are a Toastmaster you can enter the contest without being a member of their club. And if you are a non-Toastmaster you can still attend. And it’s free. Sounds like fun.

For more information about the club and the contest, visit their web site.

Observational Humor — Case Study #120

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Here is another Observational Humor Monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We will look at what was said and what happened during the meeting before the monologue was delivered. Then we’ll examine what made the joke work.


1. The outside temperature was over 100 degrees. About 75 percent of our members were attending the meeting in shorts.

2. The Word Of The Day was CONTIGUOUS.

3. Member JD told the group that he was not feeling well.

4. A member gave a speech: Goals Are On Purpose.

5. A speaker used the cliche of: Thirty year’s of experience Versus one year’s experience thirty times.

6. A speaker told about his first time going solo in a plane. His instructor said “You’re on your own!”

7. The speaker continued, “I looked to my left, to my right, behind me. I WAS on my own.”

8. The speaker continued, “It was up to me to fly the plane without crashing.”

9. A speaker told of splitting up with his first wife, “I cried for two days.”

10. A speaker told of a road trip with his cat. The cat kept getting sick and throwing up in the car.

11. A speaker told us he was in the process of moving and that he had two storage lockers full of property.


You can tell summer is here, not by the Temperature, but by the length of the pants.
(An observation of the truth. The truth is funny.)

JD is not feeling well tonight, but he is not contiguous.
(The humor technique is malapropism, the misuse of a word that almost sounds like the right word, but isn’t.)

This is Observational Humor…where the Humor is On Purpose.
(Twisted a call-back phrase.)

I’m your Observational Humor Master…because I’ve had one year’s
experience thirty times.
(Twisted a call back phrase.)

Thirty years ago my comedy coach pushed me out on the stage and said, “You’re on your own!”
(Making my story parallel the speakers.)

I looked to my left, to my right, behind me…I WAS on my own.
(Continuing a set-up with parallel construction.)

It was up to me to be funny without bombing.
(More parallel construction with needed changes in the words.)

I bombed and I cried for two days.
(Taking a call-back and applying it to my story.)

But the worst thing was, every time I told a joke…my cat threw up.
(Continuing my story, dropping in another call-back. Huge laugh.)

That was thirty years ago. And today I have two storage lockers full of jokes.
(Not true, but funny, and once again using a call-back.)

Austin Pun-Off Competition

Friday, June 6th, 2014

The Austin O.Henry Pun-Off was held on May 10. Here are a couple of links posted from the competition.

Marty Bernstein’s set. Marty is a long-time subscriber and participant in our monthly joke contests. He did a great job at the pun contest.

Winner of the competition was Alex Petri. A judge’s three-way tie was broken by audience applause-off.

The competition was also was featured on CBS News.

New Joke Contest — Living On Mars

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

The theme for our June Joke Contest is:  Living on Mars.

Mars One is offering you the opportunity to sign up for a one-way ticket to Mars. You can be selected for seven-years training to prepare you for the first team to colonize the red planet. And that leads us to the challenge for this month’s contest.  Complete this statment: “I want to live on Mars because…”

Here are some sample answers:
– After work I could relax in one of the many Mars Bars.
– That’s where men are from.
– On a clear night I could see Russia from my front door.

Write as many lines as you can. Then pick your three best lines to enter for our Top Three Contest. You can submit more than three lines and the additional lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention. Send your entries, with your name, ciy and state, to by June 15, 2014.