Observational Humor — Case Study #125

This was a strong monologue. Part of the credit for the big response was the
larger-than-usual audience size.

We will look at the set-up.  Next we’ll review the joke.  And then we’ll examine what made the joke work.

The SETUP (what happened and what was said during the meeting before he monologue was presented.

1. We had twenty-five people attending our meeting. The attendance was higher than average because we had nine speakers.

2. All nine speakers were past District Contest winners. I had won 8 district contests.

3. Bill Lusk is a race car driver. Paul Newman also races cars.

4. A speaker was going to share three tips for contest success, each tip would start with the letter P. She then gave us four tips. The speakers which followed added five, six, seven tips starting with the letter P.

5. a speaker said you could re-use a contest speech if you had not won with it in the last 12 years. Someone corrected the speaker, saying that th rule was “within the last 12 months.”

6. A speaker talked about the importance of being well dressed for a contest. He told us of a woman speaker who wore the same outfit as another woman.

7. Bobby told us of a humor contest where he used a purse and dressed in drag.

8. Scott shared a joke about a woman banging on his door and waking him up 2:30 in the morning when he was sleeping in a hotel room. He said he finally got up and let her out.


Do you remember when our Fifth-Monday events used to attract 50 peoeple? I figured out how we can make that happen for our next Fifth-Monday event. I’m going to schedule 40 speakers.
(The joke pointed out that we had a large attendance thanks to the large number of speakers on the agenda. I used the trigger of exaggeration to suggest the solution for having a big crowd attend our next special event.)

I bring you good news. I’ve on 8 first-place trophies at District Contests. How hard can it be?
(Self-deprecation. Suggesting the “he doesn’t look like a funny and an excellent speaker.”)

Bill Lusk is the Paul Newman of Toastmasters. I love his salad dressing.
(A call-back with the twist of salad dressing.)

Here are some observations on the eight district contests I won. 
(Set-up for a series of jokes.)

I was nervous each time I competed and won. Every one of my 8 speeches started with P.
(Continuing the running gag with the letter P, turning it into a bodily function joke.  I would advise caution using this type of joke.)

Each contest speech I delivered had not won within the previous 12 minutes. (12 years had been changed to 12 months. I took the liberty of changing it to 12 minutes.)

At one contest, another contestant was wearing the same dress.

(Did a switch so that I was wearing one of the dresses.)

For one contest I borrowed Bobby’s purse and used his makeup kit to freshen up.  And at 2:30 in the morning I was banging on the door until Scott opened it and let me out.
(Call-back on Bobby’s purse. Dropped my self into Scott’s story. Part of the trigger was SOMETHNG FUNNY. I used Scott’s funny line to get a laugh of my own. A huge laugh.)

I lost one contest because of the title of my speech. Let me take you to the contest to show you what happened: “Ladies and Gentlemen. Speaker number four. John Kinde. The judges are idiots. The judges are idiots. John Kinde.”
(A very simple joke with an absurd contest speech title.)