Humor Monologue delivered at Toastmasters meeting – March 23, 2016

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. Word of the day was ‘Propensity’.

2. One of the table topics was given to me. The topic was “You have to cook chicken curry for your wife. How are you going to cook?”

3. I work for a client named ASML.

4. There were 4 prepared speeches tonight. All four of them were Ice Breaker speeches. Given by Marcelina, Shane, Anna, and Leyla.

5. Marcelina started her speech by saying, “I am nervous, but I’m leaving all my nervousness here.” After saying that, she moved to her right and continued speaking.

6. Rens was called for Table topic. His topic was, “What would you do if I gave you $10,000,” for which he said, “I’ll invest,” and finished his speech. The table topics master said he would go to Vegas.

7. Chris was mistakenly called for a table topic. Then the Table topic master called the right person. To make up for that, the next table topic was given to Chris. But Chris offered that to a person who didn’t have any role.

8. One of the evaluators said, “The speaker said an ambiguous word. Super Natural or Super-natural.” The evaluator said the stress was on the wrong word making the meaning different.

9. Leyla finished her icebreaker speech in 3 minutes. She said, “I don’t see green light ON. So, ask me questions if you have any.” Two questions were asked. a) Whether she has a boyfriend, for which she said NO. b) Why doesn’t she shake hands, for which she said, not every Turkish Muslim doesn’t shake hands, but some do.

The Humor Monologue
1. Thank you Chris, for this opportunity.
(Implied punchline. Chris gave opportunity for many. So I implied that I got this opportunity because of him too. Good laughter)

2. I’m here to tell jokes. Keep laughing until the green light flashes.
(Silly suggestion. Silly is funny)

3. I come from ASML… to listen to the speeches from ASML. A-Anna, S-Shane, M-Marcelina, L-Leyla.
(Very nice wordplay. Audience Wow’ed for this line.)

4. Congratulations to all four of you for surpassing me in the number of speeches.
(Self deprecation. Implying that I have never given a speech at Toastmasters.)

5. OK, just kidding. I’ve given my first speech. When I gave it, I was nervous, I had notes, and a person to read from that notes.
(Self deprecation. Also paints a funny picture – another person reading and talking my speech instead of me.)

6. Leyla, you don’t have a boyfriend. If only you shook hands.
(Paints a funny picture. Implied punchline. i.e. She was on several dates, but nothing was a success since the meeting didn’t even start because she didn’t shake hands. Initially, I wrote this as a very big line
Leyla was on date several times. But none of the dates went beyond ONE DAY. Why? Because she didn’t shake hands.
But then this was too long. I shortened it, and made the punchline as implied, and believed that the audience will be clever enough to link the dots. And it worked. Good laughter.)

7. Marcelina, you forgot to take your nervousness back with you [points the place where Marcelina said she left it]
(Absurdity. Normally when a speaker leaves something on stage, it’ll be given back to the speaker.)

8. There is a popular saying, “If you’re nervous, imagine the audience to be naked.” All of you, please leave your dresses here [points to the same place where Marcelina left her nervousness]
(Silly suggestion. Blue joke. Not good to have a blue joke in the monologue. But I covered it up using the next joke)

9. Normally, I wouldn’t use blue jokes. But today, I did. Because my mind is full of things I did last week in Vegas… with the 10,000 dollars Winslow gave me.
(Not that funny. But to make the blue joke look like NOT-THAT-BLUE, I inserted this line in the monologue.)

10. Rens invests money. I’m sure he makes quick returns. I am sure.. because today I saw him making quick return [back to his seat].
(Wordplay. Good laughter)

11. My wife tasted the chicken curry I made. She said, “Super curry”. I said, “Thank you.” She said, “You dumbo. I asked you whether it’s ‘Soup or curry'”.
(Self-deprecation. Wordplay. The first line, though it’s not a joke, itself got good laughter. The wordplay that followed got even more laughter)

12. I didn’t use the word-of-the day ‘Propensity’. Because I’m Anti-pensity.
(Wordplay. Silly)

13. Oh… the green light is still not ON. Okay. Ask some questions… to Leyla.
(My favorite joke of this monologue. Using my favorite and easy technique. If event E happens to person A and the outcome is O. If the same event E happens to person B, don’t modify the outcome O to suit B, but rather use the same outcome O without modifying.
Here, the event E was “Green light not flashing.”
Person A – Leyla. Person B – I.
Outcome O was “Asking questions to Leyla.”
Outcome O modified to suit person B would have been “Asking questions to me.”
But for absurdity, I used outcome O without modifying.)

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