Observational Humor — Case Study #124

Here’s another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting.   We will look at the set-up, the joke, and the triggers that made the joke work.

SETUP (What was said and what happened during the meeting before the monologue was presented.)

1. A speaker said, “I’ll now deliver my yet-to-be organized contest speech.”

2. A speaker defined and discussed GROUP THINK.

3. The printed agenda for the meeting accidentally had a very large font size selected for my name and for the Observational Humor part of the program.

4. In setting up the word of the day, the gramarian used the word
conundrum. Later in the meeting a speaker used the word conundrum,
even though it was not the word of the evening.

5. Out going President Dianne requested an audit of the club’s treasury.

6. A speaker was advised to speak up so he could be better heard.

7. A speaker said she went to California where the most logical thing to do was to GO SURFING. She had been instructed to get on the board, do a push-up, and jump to her feet.

8. Carolyn gave a speeeh in which she sang.


My name is John Kinde, and I’ll now be delivering my yet-to-be funny monologue.

(I used parallel construction to let the YET-TO-BE phrase link to my monologue.  Self-deprecation.)

I will be practing humor. And YOU will be practicing group laughter.

(Good response.  I asked the question “what other activity acould be group-oriented besides GROUP THINK.)

You may have noticed that the Observational Humor segment listed on the program was printed in a very large font. That’s not a reflection on the quality of my humor…it’s a reflection on the quality of my eye sight.
(Self deprecation. Poking fun at a sign of aging.)

We need to have more guests and we can do that by telling them about how great our club is. We need to beat our own conundrums.
(Implying that a conundrum is a type of drum.)

Actually the definition of conundrum is what you have after a
(Poking fun at clunky, rarely-used words.)

Sherri is counting laughs in my monologue. Dianne has requested an audit.

(A call-back on Dianne’s request for an audit, linking it to my

Last week, someone in the back of the room said he couldn’t hear me. Awoman in the front of the room said:  “I’ll trade places with you.”

(Self-deprecation. This is an old joke. I don’t know the original source.
Having a list of generic jokes in your tool kit comes in handy.)

I’m from North Dakota where he most logical thing for a humorist to do is GO SURFING. So I hopped on my surfboard, did a push-up, grabbed my walker, and jumped to my feet.

(The trigger is something that would not be a logical activity for
someone in North Dakota. It also paints a funny picture of someone on
a surf board with a walker.)

I learned not to be drinking water while Carolyn is speaking. When she started singing, my glass shattered.

(This links Carolyn’s singing with the cliche of an opera singer breaking
a wine glass when she hits a high note.)