Here is another Observational Humor monologue which was presented at the end of a Toastmasters meeting. First you’ll be able to read the set-up for each joke. Then I’ll share the joke. Next I’ll briefly comment on what made the joke work. Although the examples of Observational Humor are in the context of a Toastmasters meeting, the skills apply just the same to any meeting you might be attending. It’s a useful skill to develop. When you can drop in an observational line into any presentation it makes the content of your whole talk feel fresh and original.
THE SET-UP (What happened and what was said during the meeting before the monologue was presented)
1. Our normal meeting venue was booked by someone else. So, we held our meeting in a conf. room named after Sir C.V. Raman.
2. Fabi, one of the speakers, gave her icebreaker speech. She said she was born on the way to hospital in a taxi. She is a physicist.
3. Rens arrived late to the meeting. He told a real story during his speech. He met a drunkard and a tall man who dug a hole up to knee level, took a box full of gold. They were later fighting and slit their throats.
4. Justina, whenever she was walking towards the stage to speak, said “Awkward silence… followed by my speech”.
5. Bogdan gave a speech about networking and meeting new people. He said if A and B meet, how A can attract B by his elevator pitch. He asked one of the audience “Would you welcome A with open hands and hug him if he’s from 30,000 yrs ago?”
6. Rens gave feedback to Bogdan’s speech. He said “When you give elevator pitch, don’t start by introducing yourself right away. First, give a compliment”.
7. Wilhelm was the only Dutch guy in the room. Everyone else is from other countries. Someone mentioned this in the beginning of meeting.
8. Wilhelm said that in the winter, a lot of people feel depressed and kill themselves.
9. I gave a speech about bike theft in the Netherlands.
The Humor Monologue
1. Dear Toastmasters, guests, and one Dutch man.
(Call-back to Dutchman)
2. I was born when my mother was riding a bike.
(It took 3 secs for the audience to get this. I paused intentionally for the laughter to come. Excellent response. Funny picture – someone giving birth while riding a bike. It wouldn’t have worked if I said that I was born in a train or an airplane. Since bike was mentioned a lot of times during the meeting, it worked. Moreover, giving birth while riding a bike paints a funny picture)
3. Rens arrived late. I was worried. I thought he killed himself.
(Winter has already started. Just asked myself the question: Why was Rens late? And linked it to the fact – people kill themselves in winter. Mild laughter)
4. When Justina walks to the stage, it’s awkward silence. The same after I tell a joke.
(Self deprecation. Decent response).
5. Fabiola, a physicist, can’t get a better place than THIS to give her icebreaker speech. This room is Sir C.V. Raman room.
(No laughter. But it’s my favorite, since it was a good observation… even though it wasn’t funny)
6. A, B, C, and D are talking with each other. B and C are from 30,000 years ago. BC talking with AD.
(Excellent response. Play on words. Before Christ, Anno Domini)
7. Would I hug a guy who’s from 30,000 years ago? Definitely NO. He’s not wearing any dress.
(Good laughter. Imagine how a guy from 30,000 yrs ago would look like. Of course, naked. Hugging a naked guy is absurd, making it funny)
8. What is annoying while driving a car? Kids in the backseat. The taxi driver was having a great time until Fabiola was born.
(Truth. Best line of the monologue. When I asked the question “What’s more annoying?”, few people themselves said, “Kids in the backseat”. And when I said “until Fabiola was born”, huge laughter. Just asked myself the question, “How would it be in a taxi with a kid in the backseat? And how would it be before?”)
9. Rens, I only drank 3 beers that day. I was not THAT drunk.
(Drop into someone’s story)
10. I’m Balakumar Shanmugam. Nice to meet you.
(Exaggeration. Rens advised Bogdan not to introduce yourself immediately. I asked myself the question “What does NOT IMMEDIATELY mean? If I exaggerate it, it’s at the end of the talk. When I said this, the audience didn’t get it. So, I had to add this too “Like Rens suggested, not introducing myself immediately.”)