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. Title of one of the prepared speeches was “Breakfast for champions”.
2. All table topics were about dreams. The table-topics master said, “Keep calm. And live your dreams.”
3. We call Floris ‘The Apple Guy’ because he mostly uses Apple products. He introduced the word of the day ‘imagination’. Usually we write the word of the day on the white board at the back of the room, but today we didn’t.
4. Shane said a story. A woman loses her mom. From that point of time, the woman’s aunt starts visiting her (to console) every week. Eventually, the woman’s husband has had enough with the aunt. And he posts about this to a forum, where he gets mixed responses. Some say that the aunt should shut the fuck up and stop visiting. Some say that aunt is the only one from the family history and she should keep visiting.
5. Bogdan said that he had a dream of becoming fireman.
6. It was raining heavily throughout the meeting. It normally rains quite often in the Netherlands.
7. Bogdan told a story of some hikers. One person walks slowly because of which all others were behind their schedule. He enacted a play with Winslow where he made him the boss and he acted as an employee and because of whom the hike in the mountain is behind the schedule. Winslow asked the audience as to what to do with Bogdan “Whether to take Bogdan for the next hiking trip? Or let him make dinner for everyone in the camp?”
8. Rens talked about perceptions. He told a story where a girl throws food at his date and walks out of the restaurant. He also told another story where a guy in the subway was letting his 3 kids do whatever they wanted and he took his eyes off them for a loooong time. The kids were annoying others and he didn’t mind at all. Later he revealed that the guy’s wife died that morning and that’s why he was like that. “Now your perception about the guy changes, right?” he asked.
9. All the prepared speakers talked over time.
The Humor Monologue
1. My speech title is “Lunch for Losers”.
(Reversal of the title Breakfast for Champions. Excellent response.)
2. Don’t keep calm. And laugh at my jokes.
(180 degree twist. Unexpected punchline.)
3. How many of you like dreams? I have good news. In the next few minutes, you’re going to dream a lot. Because my monologues are well known for putting the audience to sleep.
(Self deprecation. This is a line from my old contest speech. I used it since the table-topics theme was dream.)
4. Those who didn’t laugh, they’re already sleeping.
(Self deprecation. Topper to the last joke. This is also a line from the same speech.)
5. Floris is an Apple guy – iPhone, iPad, iPod. No wonder he chose the word of the day ‘iMagination’.
(Silly reasoning. Linking Floris’ Apple craze with the word of the day he chose.)
6. I have good news and bad news. Good news is that my aunt is dead. Bad news is that she still keeps visiting me… in my dreams.
(Best line of the monologue. The joke – good news – got huge laughter, and it sustained for a while. The joke is based on absurdity – being happy that a person is dead. The topper – bad news – got even more laughter. Topper is based on superiority theory.)
7. Bogdan couldn’t become a fireman. Why? Why would we need a fireman when it’s raining all the time.
(Truth and bit exaggeration – that there’s no job for firemen in the Netherlands and the rain does all the job.)
8. If he were a fireman, he would be splashing water at the house that’s 3 blocks behind the house that’s on fire.
(Linking Bogdan’s slow nature to fireman job)
9. In the restaurant, my wife overreacted. I only said to her, “You look fat in this dress.”
(Drop into someone else’s story)
10. The guy in the subway – he was not worried that his wife died. He was worried because his aunt would start visiting him.
(Superiority theory. Audience feel superior to the subway guy)
11. Why don’t you just IMAGINE that the word of the day is written on the board?
(Using the word of the day to come up with a reason for not writing the word of the day on the board. Good response)
12. Because of YOU PREPARED SPEAKERS, we are behind our schedule.
(Callback to the boss + hiking story. Delivered this line in a boss tone)
13. How many of you vote for “Don’t let them attend the future Toastmaster meetings. And make them cook dinner.”
(Again a call back to boss making Bogdan cook dinner)
14. Dinner for Distinguished Toastmasters.
(Bookmark ending. Started with lunch, ended with dinner)