Observational humour and solo improv play

Check out this humour specialist’s observational humor monologues based on real-life events at his Toastmasters Club.

It sounds like the kind of thing you could do to practice improv comedy on your own, although I’m sure it takes a lot of practice to come up with things as quickly as he does!

  • Strangely enough, I don’t see anything close to humour in this monologue. It sounds like boring babble to me. Is there something wrong with me?

  • Victor Calvert

    @Tania: I’d have to agree; it’s not all that amusing. A couple of the parts could have been good in person, but aren’t at all amusing when written.

    On the other hand, the “Unlikely Quotes” joke contest, posted today, plays off of things we should all recognize; I didn’t get nine of the 26, and most of the rest were quite amusing.

  • Tania and Victor,
    You are both absolutely right. The observational humor monologues, in writing, are not normally very funny. In the moment, in front of a live audience, they play very strongly. It’s the \you had to be there\ factor. A great observational humor joke, told at work the next day around the water cooler, is likely to get only a polite smile! The case studies are presented for speakers who want to sharpen their skill of opening a speech with an original piece of observational humor. It’s powerful. But in writing, it will never fill the pages of a best selling humor book! The joke contests are something else. What they have taught me is the subjective nature of humor. There is so much diversity in what the judges think are the top three entries in any joke contest. My personal favorite joke is rarely the winner of a contest. Sometimes, my favorite is not even in the top three. Humor is an art and not a science.
    John Kinde

  • That’s precisely why I like it. =) In-jokes strengthen group relationships because they create an “in” group versus an “out” group and reinforce people’s belonging. Callbacks are funny that way, too – they’re funnier than stand-alone lines because getting them makes you feel special.

  • Exactly. Valuable insights. The superiority theory of humor doesn’t help us to see things in a funny way as much as it helps us to understand WHY people laugh. Understanding the theory of humor doen’t necessarily help us to laugh more, but it does help us to hear, appreciate, and create the music of humor. And that can make us funnier to other people.