Observational Humor — Case Study #120

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.)