Observational Humor — Case Study #131

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll look at the set-up. Then we’ll examine the joke and what made the joke work.

THE SET-UP (What happened and what was said during the meeting before the monologue was delivered.)

1. I joked about how it was difficult to get me to smile. It became a running gag as others started to joke about it too.

2. I ran about two minutes over my 20-minute time limit. The Timer joked that DTM means Don’t Time Me.

3. I wasn’t wearing my usual denim shirt. It was cold outside and I
wore a jacket and a sweatshirt.

4. New member Sid Maestry said his name was pronounced like Pastry.

5. A speaker said we would learn something for posterity.

6. My name was mis-spelled on the agenda: KINDY.

7. Part way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, there is a freeway exit sign
for ZZYZX Road.

8. The word-of-the-day was Esprit de l’escalier, a French phrase.

9. The Master Evaluator critiqued Jens for mis-pronouncing a member’s name.  “If you do that again Jens, we’ll have to take you out to the parking lot and have you shot.”


(Looking at notes, then looking up) Smile!
(I flashed a big phony smile. It good response from the audience.)

Don’t time me.
(I said it slowly, while looking at the Timer. Good response.)

I’m not wearing my denim shirt tonight. I’ve been placed in the witness protection program.
(A good target of humor since I almost always wore my denim shirt. Big

And Sid Maestry is our newest member. Sounds like Pastry. Our club is finally getting its just desserts.  (Good laugh.)

We’ve had several good speeches tonight. I’m sure you’ve picked up a thing or two for your posterior.
(Playing with a sound-alike word for posterity.)

My name was mis-spelled on the agenda. It’s not Kindy…it’s Kindzzyzx.  The Zs and Xs are silent.

(This spelling mistake was made a couple of months earlier, so I
recycled the joke which had worked well before adding a new topper
about the silent letters. It got a good response, but not as big as the first time I used it.)

Humor tip for the day. Do your humor with esprit de l’escalier. It will give it that certain je ne sais quoi.
(We had pronunciation challenges with the word-of-the-day earlier in
the meeting. It provided a good target for a joke.)

Jens. I’ve been designated as the person to take you out to the parking lot.
(Playing the role of the bouncer, it got a good laugh and provided a nice closer.)