Tag Archives: observational humor

Humor Monologue delivered at Toastmasters meeting – May 17, 2017

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 table topics were about wedding.

2. One of the table topics speakers said that she got 7 beautiful elephants as gift from her husband on her wedding day. Wooden ones.

3. One of the table topics speakers said that in their culture, they freeze a cake for 2 years since wedding and cut later on. The outer part will be very hard, and inside, very soft. They would need an electric knife to cut it.

4. Rens, the emcee, said an inspirational quote, “Whenever you think you’ve reached your limit, you have only put 40% effort. Go an extra mile.”

5. Ana said that her wedding dress was so long.

6. Herman, one of the speakers, talked about Frankenstein, bicycles etc. He mentioned years like 1869, 1875 etc.

7. Shane was referred as the oldest person who is married for a long time (by the Tabletopics master).

8. We had a guest named May.

9. This week was too hot. 27 degrees. Until last week, it was too cold.

10. Most speakers forgot to shake hands with the emcee or the table topics master.

11. I was the last speaker (Obs Humorous Master) and I concluded the meeting.

12. Ana, a speaker, used too many filler words, like “so”, “well”.

The Humor Monologue
1. Good evening Married Toastmasters and Happy Toastmasters.
(Good opener. Universal joke about married people)

2. I proposed to a girl 3 years ago. I was happy when she said, “I do”. Then only I realized that she said “Adieu”.
(Wordplay. Self deprecation. I didn’t say the punchline. I wrote it on the whiteboard to have more effect.)

3. I was caught drunk driving last week. I blame Rens for that. Because he said, “Whenever you think you’ve reached your limit, you’ve only put 40% effort.”
(One of the best lines of the monologue. Fitting an inspirational line in a different context to create absurdity.)

4. The next day, I got a ticket for speeding.
(Continuing on the same theme – going above the limit.)

5. The man who stitched Ana’s wedding gown literally went an extra mile.
(Same theme. Asked myself the question why. Why was her dress long? Punchline: Because the tailor went an extra mile.)

6. Herman mentioned some years during his speech – 1869, 1875… during which Shane was a kid.
(Exaggeration. When the table topics master referred to Shane as the oldest, it got huge laughter. So this line turned out to be one of the best lines of the monologue.)

7. My wife is like that cake in the freezer. She’s a hard person on the outside. But on the inside, she is very soft. Tomorrow, I’m buying an electric knife.
(Mislead the audience. First start by praising and then turn it into a ridicule. Implied punchline that I’m going to cut my wife into pieces. Best line of the monologue.)

8. On my wedding day, I gifted my wife seven… beautiful… cockroaches. Real ones. Not in wood.
(Rule of three. Seven… beautiful… cockroaches. The audience would least expect the third one. Because women are afraid of cockroaches. The topper is the exact opposite of what the speaker said.)

9. I love May. Er, I mean the month. I love May. Because May is hot.
(Another best line of the Monologue. Both the joke and the topper are wordplay. Shock and release technique too. When I said, “I love May (the guest)”, the audience were shocked. I released it by saying “I mean the month”. I followed on that and used another wordplay “May is hot”. It perfectly fit because today was the hottest day of the year.)

10. Ana, you are using the filler words so well.
(Wordplay. This line has two meanings. She indeed used the filler words “so”, “well”. And she used them so well.)

11. I’m happy that I’m the one who’s closing the meeting. Because I don’t have to shake hands.
(Perfect closer. Because “not shaking hands” became a running gag.)

Humor Monologue delivered at Toastmasters meeting – December 14, 2016

Dear Readers,

This is our last observational humor of the year. Our next TM meeting is only in Jan 2017. Looking back, We’ve done 26 monologues this year… and 98 in total. Two more to reach that big milestone.

Here is the Observational Humor monologue that was presented at the end of tonight’s 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 emcee asked “Who likes networking?” for which everyone raised hands.

2. One of the table-topics was “Whose life would you like to borrow?” for which the emcee said he would like to borrow Santa’s because he works only one day a year.

3. A speaker talked about a chess game that was won by computer named ‘Deep Blue’ against the champion Gary Kasparov.

4. Our meeting happened at a different place, at an office of one of the toastmasters. He arranged beer, wine, tea for everyone. Since it was a new place, we didn’t have the timer’s signal lights. The timer used his mobile to show green, yellow, and red lights.

5. One of the table-topics was “Who was your first crush?”

6. Chris gave a speech today. The last time he gave a speech was 3 years ago.

7. Chris’ speech was about small talk. He did strike a small talk with a stranger and said that he’s from Limburg and he doesn’t like that place. His speech evaluator said that he didn’t say hello to the stranger.

8. The table-topics master mentioned the lyrics of a romantic song “You look like a movie. You sound like a song”.

9. I was called on to talk on a table topic – “What if you were a Christmas present?” I gave a humorous speech with a funny twist. I took the literal meaning of “What if you were a Christmas present?” and presented myself as a present to a kid.

10. Alex said that 74% have fear of public speaking. He said that the main reason for the fear is 3 parts of the brain – old brain, mid brain, new brain. He said that google search on “Fear of public speaking” results in 19 million hits and the first page doesn’t talk about the reasons why we have the fear of public speaking.

11. Maha. the grammarian, while giving her report, said that she couldn’t read her own hand writing.

The Humor Monologue
1. [tries to read what’s on my paper… pauses for 3 seconds]
(Audience already started laughing, assuming that I was mimicking Maha.)
Oh sorry, this is your notes, Maha.
(A line that was not needed. The audience understood what my line was going to be from my act itself)

2. Everyone likes networking. Santa likes “not working”.
(Play on words. Good response.)

3. We didn’t have the timer’s signal lights. And Floris was kind enough to arrange drinks. The timer could’ve used “Green” tea, “Yellow” beer, “Red” wine.
(Good observation. Coming up with an innovative idea for signaling the time.)

4. I sang this song to my wife. [in a romantic voice] “You look like a movie… you sound like a song… why waste 50 bucks on the movie ticket?”
(Rule of three. Unexpected twist. Shift the focus. The focus was on the words “look like” – i.e. metaphor to describe her. Then the punchline shifts the focus to the word “You” and the audience realize that the actual stress was on the word “YOU”. YOU look like a movie.. YOU sound like a song… why waste 50 bucks on the ticket?

Some TMs, after the meeting was over, said to me that they are eager to meet my wife because they know a lot about her since I make jokes about her at every meeting. They asked if she knows that I make jokes about her and if she likes that. I’ve been doing marriage jokes ever since I got engaged almost at every TM meeting.)

5. I can’t win a chess game against a computer. If only I can make them drink alcohol. I know this technique works. If you don’t trust me, go ask those 3 kids against whom I won.
(Joke and a topper. Joke was mild self deprecation. And the topper was extreme self deprecation – i.e. I can win against kids too only by making them drunk.)

6. I don’t remember my first crush. But I remember… my 300th crush… after my wedding.
(Joke and a topper. 300th crush – exaggeration. And the topper “after the wedding” was extreme exaggeration that I keep having more crushes even after the wedding.)

7. For tonight, I would have liked to borrow table-topics master’s life. That way, I wouldn’t have been picked for a table topic.
(Self deprecation. General truth at Toastmasters – that people don’t like to be picked for speaking on a table topic.)

8. Chris last gave a speech 3 years ago. Looking forward to his next speech… in 2020.
(Exaggeration. And follow the formula – if x=y and y=z, then x=z. If Chris gave his last speech 3 years ago, then when will his next speech be? That’s Z.)

9. Chris actually said hello. He ended his sentence like this, “Limburg is hell”. And the stranger said, “Oh”. “Hell” “Oh”. “Hello”.
(Silly. Come up with silly ways to prove someone wrong and it’ll be funny. I wanted to prove Chris’ speech evaluator wrong and I came up with this silly idea. If the idea isn’t silly, it would sound so serious and it would sound like you’re taking revenge on that person for something he or she did.)

10. 74% have fear of public speaking. It used to be 78%. 4% died on stage.
(Truth. Best line of the monologue which got huge laughter.)

11. 19 million hits on Google for the search on “the fear of public speaking”. Seems nobody has the fear of public writing. 19 million people wrote about it.
(I thought the audience would understand when I end with “fear of public writing”, but they didn’t. So I had to add an extra line on the fly – 19 million people wrote about it. Decent response.)

12. I don’t know how I have the fear of public speaking. I don’t have any brain at all.
(Self deprecation. Absurdity. Since a speaker said that 3 parts of the brain are the reason for the fear of public speaking.)

13. If anyone would like to have me as a Christmas present, that would be 300 bucks please.
(When I started this line, huge laughter erupted because my actual table topic speech got huge laughter for the twist. So just recalling it was enough to get the laughter. I added 300 bucks to end the year 2016. Festive season starts…)

Be a star of Toastmasters contestant interviews

Contestant interview is one of the fun parts of a Toastmasters contest. Always try to be a star of contestant interviews. One of the ways to be a star is to add few observational humor lines to your answers. You can learn observational humor here. The other way is to be spontaneous and having presence of mind.

Last week, I participated in Division C of District 59 Humorous Speech Contest. One week before the contest, the contest master asked all the participants to fill in our profiles so that he could prepare questions for the interview. I filled in “Writing jokes” as my hobby. I should have prepared for the interview based on the info I gave in my profile. For example, possible questions on writing jokes as hobby could be

1. Who is your favorite comedian and why?
2. What is the secret to writing great jokes?
3. What is the best joke you’ve ever written?
4. What makes people laugh?

But I hadn’t prepared for the contestant interview. I planned to add few observational humor lines. And this is how my interview went

Contest Master: You’ve written in your profile that writing jokes is your hobby. So, tell us, Bala. What makes people laugh?
I: What makes people laugh?! [repeats his question and acts like thinking] [huge laughter from the audience]

(The reason why there was huge laughter for this line was that the audience were already warmed up after listening to 8 humorous speeches. Anything you say is going to get a laugh. And if your are repeating something someone says, it triggers the superiority theory. i.e. a person whose hobby is writing jokes, who is skilled at writing jokes, has to think a lot about answering the question “What makes people laugh?”)

I: Just repeat what someone says. [huge laughter again]

(I had my presence of mind there. For the first line I said, the audience laughed. And what made them laugh? A: Just repeating contest master’s question. So I stated the obvious. This was spontaneous and made it look like a clever answer. Stating the obvious is another formula for jokes.)

I: Here is one more. Get married. There’s plenty of material.

(This was observational humor. When I gave my humorous speech, I made a joke about my wife. So, I made a callback.)

My interview stopped there. But John Kinde suggested me a topper after the conference was over. That would have made a perfect closure. Here it is.

I: And have some kids.

(Universal humor – jokes about wife, kids, in-laws etc. Since I joked about wife, joking about kids would have made a great topper. I missed out on that chance.)

Always drop in few observational humor lines at contestant interviews. And have presence of mind. And be a star. And be a star. In other words, just repeat what someone says.

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