Humor Monologue delivered at Toastmasters meeting – November 30, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll tell you what was said and what happened during the meeting before the monologue was presented.

THE SET-UP. We will give you enough background to help you understand the jokes.
1. The theme of the meeting was “Now or never”.

2. One of the guests was Chinese. He said that in Chinese, his name means hero.

3. Erin talked about her passion for mountain climbing. In the Netherlands, there is no mountain. She said she is mountainsick (like being homesick).

4. Shripad was the ah counter. He said that he counted ah’s in everyone’s speech except his own speech.

5. Nikos gave a speech about self-help books. He talked about four books
a) The 7 habits of highly effective people
b) The 6 pillars of self esteem
c) The power of now
d) Eat Move Sleep

6. Tobias talked about near death experience. For one person, when experiencing that, his family members flashed in front of his eye.

7. Floris gave a speech about Kanban cycle, Lean and Agile methodologies.
He said two quotes, “If everything is under control, then you are not moving fast enough.” and “Act small, think big, and fail cheap.

8. Justina advised the evaluators not to just look at the person whose speech they are evaluating, but to look at everyone.

9. The meeting was running over by 15 minutes. It was already 8:55 pm when I went to stage for delivering observational humor.

The Humor Monologue
[I turned my back to the audience and started looking at the wall clock]
1. Good evening Toastmasters, guests, and especially wall clock.
(Do something that someone asks you not to do. I assumed wall clock as a person and started giving a speech to that.)

2. I am Bala. In Indian language, Bala means ‘zero’.
(Self deprecation. Callback to ‘hero’)

3. I am the author of the bestselling motivational book “The Power of Never”.
(Alliteration. Self deprecation. Replacing the word ‘Now’ with the other word of the theme of the meeting ‘Never’ – perfectly fit.)

4. Every time, I start giving a speech, the audience immediately walk out of the room. I just assume that they are homesick.
(Self deprecation. Silly. Unexpected twist.)

5. In the Netherlands, it’s a bad idea to implement Kanban cycle, lean cycle, agile cycle. It will get stolen.
(Truth. In the Netherlands, every day, 100s of bikes get stolen.)

6. Make your problems seem really really small. Erin does that. She climbs a mountain as high as she can, then the problem on earth will look very small.
(Not a joke. But just a silly way to make your problems seem very small.)

7. Shripad. I counted the number of ah’s you said. You said 16 ah’s. Especially to point out someone said ah’s, like “Chris, you said 6 ah’s.. you said 10 ah’s, and you said 20 ah’s”.
(Silly. Absurd. Actually Shripad didn’t say any ah. But he had to say the word ‘ah’ to point out that others said ah’s. I made use of that opportunity to create the absurdity.)

8. Eat Sleep Move. But not at the same time.
(Paints a funny picture)

9. Have you read the self help book written for marijuana addicts? The 7 habits of effectively HIGH people.
(Word play. Switching 2 words and twisting them.)

10. But the problem is that the readers of the book tear the pages and make marijuana joints.
(Irony. Paints a funny picture.)

11. Erin, you will love Niko’s home. He has so many books stacked on top of each other, like a mountain.
(Callback to Erin loving mountains and Nikos reading lots of books and linking them together.)

12. Nikos has so many books arranged in the shelf too. He needs one more book – The 6 pillars of shelf esteem.
(Silly wordplay)

13. I had a near-death experience once. I was exchanging rings.
(Implied punch line that my wedding was my near-death experience)

14. My wife flashed in front of my eye. No, she WAS in front of my eye.
(Topper to the last joke)

15. If everything is under my control, then my wife is not home.
(Following on the last two jokes on wife. Self deprecation that I have control only when my wife is not around.)

16. Act small, think big, leave before 9 [looking at the clock]
(Bookmark ending. Perfect closer.)

Humor Monologue delivered at Toastmasters meeting – November 16, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll tell you what was said and what happened during the meeting before the monologue was presented.

THE SET-UP. We will give you enough background to help you understand the jokes.
1. Marcelina gave a speech titled ASMR. She showed us a 2-min ASMR video – a video in which a girl named Maria was whispering some positive thoughts. Marcelina said she would listen to this ASMR to fall asleep every day.

2. I was wearing casuals – t-shirt and jean for the first time at a TM meeting.

3. One of the table topics was “30-day challenge”. Tobias said that his 30-day challenge is to talk to one stranger a day. He asked us not to talk personal things with a stranger, like, “My mother died yesterday.” Also he asked us to use open-ended questions to develop the conversation, like – why, what, how etc.

4. Tobias’ speech evaluator said that lighting was not proper. Upto his hips, it was dark, and below hips, he had lights. He also asked Tobias not to finish his speech by doing a hand gesture [gesture that signaled that I’m done and I have to hurry now]

5. Shashi told that it’s hard to initiate small talk with introverts.

6. One of the table topics was “Have you made anything special for someone.” Winslow talked. He said he made a painting for his mom’s 50th birthday. A few months later he found that painting at him mom’s garage. When asked why, his mom said that the painting didn’t go well with the color of paint in the room.

7. One speaker said that Mt. Everest may be the highest mountain, but [some other mountain] is the hardest to climb.

8. Irina finished her speech by saying “Hallelujah, it’s over.”

9. Bogdan announced that our club got a blue ribbon from a very famous person. He pinned that ribbon to the club banner.

The Humor Monologue
1. Good evening Toastmasters, guests, and Maria from the video.
(Since Maria talked for 2 mins in the video, I assumed her as a participant of the meeting. Addressing her was absurd. Hence funny)

2. I don’t have to whisper. If I just start speaking, people fall asleep.
(Self deprecation)

3. Couple of weeks ago, I was wearing suit. Last week, I was wearing formal shirt. Today I am wearing t-shirt. Next week, come to the meeting at your own risk.
(Implied punchline that I’ll be naked. Absurd. And paints a funny picture)

4. My 30-day challenge is to not to take any 30-day challenge.
(Irony. Not taking a 30-day challenge is a 30-day challenge)

5. Mr. Trump’s 30-day challenge is “one wife a day”.
(Callback to “one stranger a day”. Exaggeration)

6. Whenever I meet a stranger, I start small talk like this. “Hi, I am Bala. Is your mother alive?” But then, that’s close-ended question. So I rephrased that to “Why is your mother alive?”
(Joke. Topper. Topper. Best 3 lines of the monologue. Extremely huge laughter for all 3 lines)

7. I’m sorry, Bogdan. [goes and takes away the blue ribbon from the club banner] Blue doesn’t go well with the banner’s red color.
(Callback to Winslow’s mom’s story. Being silly and taking away the ribbon is funny.)

8. Why, what, how, where, when – These are the most commonly used words by… my wife.
(At every meeting, I keep making wife jokes and the tradition is continuing.)

9. Mt. Everest is the highest mountain. But the hardest to climb is the pipe at the back of my apartment when I come home very late.
(Following on the wife joke theme. Paints a funny picture – climbing the pipe to not get noticed by wife while coming home late.)

10. Marcelina’s evaluation should’ve been just for 1 minute. And the rest 2 minutes – an ASMR video.
(I asked myself the what-if question. What if her evaluation followed the same pattern.)

11. For 51st birthday, Winslow gifted his mom a bucket of paint.
(Silly. To make her hang the painting again, he gifted a matching color paint.)

12. On my dad’s 60th birthday, I made him… write the will.
(Break the audience expectation. I made him – this made the audience think that I made something nice. Then I broke their expectation by saying “write the will”)

13. My dad is not letting me inside his home anymore. No, not because I asked him to write the will. But because the wall color doesn’t match with my skin color.
(Silly – not allowing someone inside home because their skin color doesn’t match with the wall color)

14. Tobias top half was dark and the bottom half was lighted. The top part is introvert and the bottom – extrovert.
(Giving a new definition. Callback to extrovert, introvert things.)

15. Hallelujah, it’s over. [gesture that signaled that I’m done and I have to hurry now]
(Callback to Hallelujah. And do something that someone asks you not to do – that gesture)

Humor Monologue delivered at Toastmasters meeting – November 2, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We’ll tell you what was said and what happened during the meeting before the monologue was presented.

THE SET-UP. We will give you enough background to help you understand the jokes.
1. I arrived 5 mins late to the meeting. Sandy, a guest arrived 10 mins late. She said she was lost. Indeed it’s very difficult to find our meeting place within the campus.

2. Our club president announced that I was placed 3rd in the Division Contest. She showed my trophy to everyone. She also announced that in 2 weeks I’m moving to Amsterdam for a new job.

3. Floris gave a speech about PowerPoint presentation. He asked us to avoid using PowerPoint. He said that some people add porn to PowerPoint. Shashi asked him which font to use. Winslow jokingly asked if he said ‘font’ or ‘porn’ since they sounded alike. Floris asked us to add more pics, less text. And not use bullet points, but instead use numbers.

4. Theme of the meeting was Halloween. Table topics master said he chose a different theme for table topics – Literature. He gave topics on Bob Dylan.

5. Shane said that if you want to be considered great, never be lucid, never state it.

6. Maha said that she doesn’t want Trump as president because then it would feel like a very long Halloween season.

7. There was a 13-yr-old kid in the audience.

8. Somebody made manager/boss/Team jokes. She said a project was started 5 years ago and still going on (which is unusual). Her speech evaluator said that she used very long sentences.

9. Someone asked how to keep your audience quiet while you speak.

10. Mike gave his 10th speech. He didn’t move at all. He said he sucked at languages, especially English. His speech evaluator asked him to practice in front of mirror to improve his body language and movement around the stage.

11. Winslow said that American sandwiches have a lot of stuff in between bread. Dutch sandwiches have only a thin slice, either cheese or meat slice. Audience laughed because it’s true.

12. Mike said that her mom advised him, “If you don’t study, you’ll end up working in the same company where his father works.”

The Humor Monologue
1. That trophy – cost me sleepless nights, hard work, and 15 euros.
(Rule of 3. Good opener)

2. Like Justina said, in 2 weeks, I’m starting my new job… at the company where Mike’s father works. If only I studied well…
(Self deprecation. Unexpected punchline. The announcement that I was moving to a new job was done at the last moment, just before calling me to the stage to present my monologue. So, this line was made in my mind, not written on my sheet. That was spontaneous. And the topper “If only I studied well” was perfect.)

3. [acts like trying to switch on a PowerPoint presentation] Wait… Floris disapproved my slides.
(Callback to Floris asking us not to use PowerPoint)

4. Meeting theme – Halloween. Table topics theme – Literature. For me, there is no difference.
(Implied punchline – Literature is horrifying. Good laughter)

5. If you want to be considered great, never be lucid, never state it, and always laugh at my jokes.
(Rule of 3. Silly.)

6. Sandy, you were lost today. Don’t worry. You are not alone. I’ve been coming to this venue for 3 years. And today, I was lost.
(Self deprecation. Exaggeration.)

7. It feels like a very long Halloween season… ever since I got married.
(Self deprecation. I’ve been making at least one wife joke at every meeting. And the trend continues.)

8. Every night, my wife would say, “Honey, come to bed.” I would say, “I am doing some office work.” “What work?” “Nothing. Just watching PowerPoint.”
(Implied punchline – that I prefer watching porn. Good laughter.)

9. There is a kid in the audience. Otherwise I’d be telling ‘font’ jokes.
(Implied punchline. font = porn)

10. Yesterday was Halloween. I was scared. A kid was at my door… dressed as my manager.
(Huge laughter. Used the joke format of this joke from “The Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon” – Hillary Clinton got quite a scare tonight. I guess a trick-or-treater came to the door dressed as a lie detector. If Hillary is scared of lie detector, who would I be scared of?)

11. When I speak, everybody keeps quiet. How? I make them fall asleep.
(Self deprecation)

12. Once, I gave a presentation full of JUST PICTURES. Nothing else. Still the audience complained that it was the most boring presentation ever. Why? Because those pictures were pictures of white board full of written lines. Moreover, the lines were bulleted, not numbered.
(I asked myself a what-if question. What if I added only pictures and no text and how can it still be boring? The answer is a pic with text. And the topper with bullets/numbers fit perfectly)

13. Mike actually practised in front of mirror. A very small mirror.
(Painted a funny picture. Gave a logical explanation to the question why Mike didn’t move at all. Huge laughter.)

14. Moreover, didn’t Mike say that he sucks at languages? Body language is a language too.
(Listing technique. I listed language and came up with languages like, English, Tamil, C, Java, Javascript, Body language. I related the fact that Mike sucks at languages to body language. Huge laughter.)

15. Jitske used very long sentence. She started it 5 years ago.
(Absurdity. Callback to project that was started 5 years ago.)

16. She keeps on continuing and never stops a sentence because a “full stop” resembles a “bullet point”.
(Silly, but funny)

17. Indian sandwiches have nothing in between. Someone stole it.
(Best line of the monologue. It took a while for the laughter to subside. I had to wait so long to say the topper “Someone stole it.” The reason why it got such a huge laughter is that this line has many elements a good joke should have
a. Theory of superiority. i.e. making fun of a country that the audience doesn’t belong to.
b. Absurdity. Imagine a sandwich with nothing in between. That’s simply called as 2 bread loaves.
c. Paints a funny picture.
d. Rule of 3. The setup was already established. i.e. American sandwich has a lot in between. Dutch sandwich only has a thin slice of meat in between. All I had to do was go even further down. i.e. more -> thin -> nothing.
e. Exaggeration. Eating two breads and calling it as a sandwich is mere exaggeration.
The topper was good too. It again uses theory of superiority.)

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