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Old 12-06-2017, 11:20 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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For no good reason, I"m doing three minutes of open mic stand up in about a month

A friend of mine has been doing it and it looks fun. I don't think of myself as a really funny guy, but I tried for the past several weeks to take note of amusing moments and thoughts and see if I could make them into something. Here is what I have at the moment. What do you think?

Quote:
I have a PhD in philosophy. That is my first joke. On my wife.

I'm bisexual. That means I'm attracted to ladies--but only in pairs.

I prefer being okay to being happy. Because when you are happy, there's so much you haven't thought through.

My wife is a seven and I am a three. I know what you're thinking. "He must have a huge 'personality'." But you're wrong. It's my penis.

People walk up to me on the street and ask, "what's your favorite sexy time music?" They do!

My favorite sexy time music is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence.

Who here is in an open relationship that they know of?

I have very paternal instincts. I love children. When I grow up, I hope to have three of them. One for the food stamps. One to run to the store and get daddy his cigarrettes. But first, I will need one very mature eldest child to raise the other two after mommy finally runs off.

I tend to forget things--little things like switching the laundry, picking my wife up from work. This has caused her some consternation over the years. We've had to learn some life lessons about love and forgetfulness. She has learned from me, for example, that my forgetfulness doesn't make my love any less real. And I have learned from her, that my love is worthless.

I did bring a series of racially offensive jokes. Which way do you think I should go with those?

There's a street corner where several hispanic people often wait just hoping for an honest day's work. Then the other day I saw a young white millenial hipster standing there with them. What a comment on our society today. Gentrification rears its ugly head again.

If I could go back in time, I would visit my dad's house, and I would ask him "don't you recognize me pa?" and he would say no, because I wouldn't have been born yet. Then he would shoot me, because I am making love to his wife.
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Last edited by Frylock; 12-06-2017 at 11:20 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:58 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Honestly? They're horrible. Most of them don't even make sense.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:10 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
Honestly? They're horrible. Most of them don't even make sense.
I can see the humor, or at least the potential for humor, in them, but a lot would depend on the delivery.

And if it's intended to be a complete routine, well, in my totally inexpert opinion, it doesn't flow very well.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:16 AM
Buttercup Smith Buttercup Smith is offline
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Especially that last one makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:17 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I can see the humor, or at least the potential for humor, in them, but a lot would depend on the delivery.

And if it's intended to be a complete routine, well, in my totally inexpert opinion, it doesn't flow very well.
Definitely a lot will depend on the delivery. As to flow, it should be thought of as a series of disconnected one-liners, if that makes sense. (Each of them is almost completely it's own thing, though I tried to arrange them with different intended intensities of humor in mind, like a chuckle followed by a big laugh followed by a couple more chuckles etc. Just kind of spitbaling on that.)

How will I deliver it? For my first attempt, assuming there are any more after that, it's going to be almost like a deadpan recitation. I have a lot of public speaking experience though so while the appearance will be of a deadpan recitation, I'll actually of course be taking into account what's actually happening, and throwing out winks and nods as appropriate, etc. Hope that makes sense. The proof will be in the doing.

The vibe I'm going for I guess is like a Mitch Hedberg and Steven Wright style.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:19 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Especially that last one makes absolutely no sense.
Yeah that one... It's the one that's most likely to be just cut out from this set. It's also why I put it last, last one in the list is most likely to be cut for time.

It's _supposed_ to be just an absurd thing where the audience suddenly realizes this comedian has buried the lede, that he's having sex with his own mom, and treating this as normal and just a "by the way" kind of thing.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:22 AM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
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Definitely a lot will depend on the delivery. ...
I would suggest being naked and farting peas at the moon as part of your delivery. That'd be a reality show for sure.
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Last edited by Morgenstern; 12-07-2017 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:26 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by Morgenstern View Post
I would suggest being naked and farting peas at the moon as part of your delivery. That'd be a reality show for sure.
Seems unwise but I will give it a try!
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2017, 12:32 AM
snfaulkner snfaulkner is online now
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While yes, they aren't great at all, they are still MILES ahead of some of the "jokes" I've heard at many an open mic night I've accidentally been to. You'd be the funniest one there.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:37 AM
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In all seriousness, don't give up the day job.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:39 AM
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Yea, that last one, at first it kind of hung out there in the air. But, I thought about it, like you were there with your supposed Mom, but she's not your Mom cause you're not born yet and in walks Dad with a gun, but he's not your Dad. In other words you are your own Dad, oh..wait, that doesnt work. It's like this..no that won't do either. Oh, forget it. NM. It is not funny, at all.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 12-07-2017 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:40 AM
Penfeather Penfeather is online now
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I tend to forget things--little things like switching the laundry, picking my wife up from work. This has caused her some consternation over the years. We've had to learn some life lessons about love and forgetfulness. She has learned from me, for example, that my forgetfulness doesn't make my love any less real. And I have learned from her, that my love is worthless.
Good evening, Earth revellers. Have you ever noticed that in a typical human monogamous heterosexual relationship the male partner frequently acts in ways that differ from the behaviours of his female opposite, causing a verbal tension which often escalates into a long-standing rancor? I mean, what is up with that?
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:46 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by Penfeather View Post
Good evening, Earth revellers. Have you ever noticed that in a typical human monogamous heterosexual relationship the male partner frequently acts in ways that differ from the behaviours of his female opposite, causing a verbal tension which often escalates into a long-standing rancor? I mean, what is up with that?
No, I don't think your way is as funny.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Yea, that last one, at first it kind of hung out there in the air. But, I thought about it, like you were there with your supposed Mom, but she's not your Mom cause you're not born yet and in walks Dad with a gun, but he's not your Dad. In other words you are your own Dad, oh..wait, that doesnt work. It's like this..no that won't do either. Oh, forget it. NM. It is not funny, at all.
It worked for Philip J. Fry. He slept with his grandmother and became his own grandfather.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:05 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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So, about your mom....
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:38 AM
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I thought the Open Relationship gag, and the Gentrification one, were fairly good.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:52 AM
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Oddly enough, I did like the last one. Needs a little tighter editing though. Like, "...I'd say, 'Do you recognize me?' And he'll say, 'You're the guy screwing my wife! Get the hell outta my bed!'"

Also keep the open relationship one.

The rest, weeellll, it's up to you.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 12-07-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:08 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Who are you? Where do you come from? What makes you say those things? That's missing from your OP, the audience needs a context to find those lines funny. Jokes aren't just words, they're part of a story, told by a character with a background and motive, leading to a conclusion. A comic needs to be a complete character.

Otherwise, keep your day job for now.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:18 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Honestly, they seem a little sterile, but it's hard to tell without the props.

Protip: use a bicycle horn or duck call to cue the audience on when to laugh.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:28 AM
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What do you think is (or will be) your greater strength: developing your own material, or the delivery?
I tend to think you'd be further ahead if your monologue were to focus on jokes built around two or three loosely defined 'themes' (e.g. relationships, sex, job, family, etc.) as opposed to a series of disjointed one-offs.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:53 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
What do you think is (or will be) your greater strength: developing your own material, or the delivery?
I tend to think you'd be further ahead if your monologue were to focus on jokes built around two or three loosely defined 'themes' (e.g. relationships, sex, job, family, etc.) as opposed to a series of disjointed one-offs.
I think this is very delivery-reliant. They're almost all "slow burn" jokes--like it will take a second for the audience to get it, if it's funny and they get it. And the one about how people come up to me and ask me about my sexy times music--they do!--is basically _only_ funny in the delivery. It won't matter how the audience responds to the first part. The joke will be in my pause, which will have to be timed right, and then appearing to think _for whatever reason_ (audience reaction or just "my" own insecurity) people might assume no one asks "me" about "my" sexy time music.

So yes, delivery-heavy.

Fwiw I do a lot of small-crowd public speaking so I have a greater expectation that I can understand how to control delivery and respond to audience reactions than others here might assume!
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:32 AM
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Strange, but I thought the last one was the only funny one. Sounded like an Anthony Jeselnik joke.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I think this is very delivery-reliant. They're almost all "slow burn" jokes--like it will take a second for the audience to get it, if it's funny and they get it. And the one about how people come up to me and ask me about my sexy times music--they do!--is basically _only_ funny in the delivery. It won't matter how the audience responds to the first part. The joke will be in my pause, which will have to be timed right, and then appearing to think _for whatever reason_ (audience reaction or just "my" own insecurity) people might assume no one asks "me" about "my" sexy time music.

So yes, delivery-heavy.

Fwiw I do a lot of small-crowd public speaking so I have a greater expectation that I can understand how to control delivery and respond to audience reactions than others here might assume!
You mentioned going with a Steven Wright/Mitch Hedberg style deadpan delivery, and I could see that working. Some of your material seems fairly good, and other stuff less so. Any jokes that bomb will the result of the audience having to work too hard to figure them out. You can always refine your material but I suspect the timing is going to be the critical factor.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:58 AM
edwards_beard edwards_beard is offline
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I don't think small crowd public speaking is going to help you do comedy like you think it will. Unless you do a lot of public speaking in front of a drunk crowd.

The joke about wanting three kids needs to go. It is awful. It doesn't fit in with the rest of the set. You have at least three jokes that mention your wife, but this one talks about when you grow up. Plus its just too wordy. "But first I need a mature eldest child" You need to tighten up your wording.

I've never heard the phrase "sexy time music" and random people asking you what yours is, seems like something that most people can't relate to. It sounds like a phrase you'd use to get sixth graders to giggle.

In music, a lot of one hit wonders play their hit song multiple times throughout the set. Perhaps you could throw the crowd off and just repeat the two or three best jokes for the whole three minutes. You did mention about delivery, so each time you can use a different delivery.

I've heard a lot of comedians talk about jokes that kill in one set for one crowd, and just bomb in front a different crowd with the same wording, so don't expect to know what the crowd will react to. Can you do the set if they just stare at you blankly with zero reaction?

Are you going to film this? A trainwreck is always fun to watch.

Last edited by edwards_beard; 12-07-2017 at 10:02 AM.
  #25  
Old 12-07-2017, 10:03 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
Strange, but I thought the last one was the only funny one. Sounded like an Anthony Jeselnik joke.
Had not heard of this fellow, I just watched a couple of videos though and yes, exactly!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:04 AM
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I actually liked a majority of the jokes. I didn't like the last one mostly because I don't find much humor in porking my own mom. I read them in a very dry, one-liner approach in my head and I think that helped them land in my mind.

The other one that didn't sit well with me was the "I want 3 kids one" because it was long and confusing and had too many aspects to it. Shorten that up: I want 3 kids when I grow up: 1 for the food stamps, 1 to get me cigarettes and 1 to take care of the other two when my wife leaves me. Hopefully that one's the oldest".

Other than that, yeah I would have laughed at most of them.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:08 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Credit where credit is due— I hate public speaking and have never done standup or open mic; the stage fright would be fatal. So, props to you for getting up there. That said, if you deliver that set as-is, I predict you're going to hear some groans by about the third joke in. Some of them sound more like throwaway tweets than jokes (and there is a difference, somehow).
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:24 AM
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Your material is original and good. Unfortunately, the parts that are original are not good, and the parts that are good are not original.

Just kidding. Good luck!

Last edited by gnoitall; 12-07-2017 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:57 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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I want to say Good Luck also. I like you Fry, I can see that you could turn this into something. It's quite difficult to convey a comedy act in writing. I do hope you do well.
  #30  
Old 12-07-2017, 11:28 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is online now
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I give you props for doing this, but man...I hope you have a thick skin.

If this is your routine I predict even the crickets will be silent.


mmm

ETA: Feel free to use that line. "...Then he would shoot me, because I am making love to his wife." [silence] "Wow, even the crickets are quiet".

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 12-07-2017 at 11:31 AM.
  #31  
Old 12-07-2017, 11:34 AM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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Especially that last one makes absolutely no sense.
Kinda a half inverted oedipus story.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:38 AM
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is offline
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I could see most of these working with a very deadpan delivery, but lordie, you're going to have to be spot on. Practice, practice, practice.

Even with great delivery, I don't think some of your jokes work at all. That John Cage joke is going to whoosh 99% of the people in the room (and it's not very funny anyway). The gentrification one isn't very funny. The 'paternal instincts' one goes on for too long.

Somebody already mentioned tightening up your wording. Take that to heart.

Good luck! Writing material is hard. You're doing a cool thing.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
ETA: Feel free to use that line. "...Then he would shoot me, because I am making love to his wife." [silence] "Wow, even the crickets are quiet".
The best amateur night comedian I ever saw began his set by nervously doing his first two jokes. The place was dead quiet. Then, his "real" act started, in which he talked about what a loser he was. The "real" act was hilarious, the first two jokes were intentionally bad to set him up.
  #34  
Old 12-07-2017, 11:55 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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The last joke will work if done right. The first punchline - "...because I wouldn't have been born yet." is sort of a MacGuffin, it's not the real punchline, the audience takes it as a lame joke at that point. Then the followup comes off as funnier, with a twist that will take a moment for the audience to pick up, which then invokes at least nervous laughter. It's a good way to build to a crescendo in humor, but the finale has a context shift, and that goes back to my earlier post about the character of the comic, it will work better if the audience sees this as the kind of weird and abrupt angle based on the comic's personality. Frankly, it's a tough one to pull off for a first timer.
  #35  
Old 12-07-2017, 12:07 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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I just can't see the last joke working at all. I still don't get it. And the "making love to his wife" phrasing sounds so horribly odd/awkward to me, but perhaps the OP keeps finer company than I do.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-07-2017 at 12:08 PM.
  #36  
Old 12-07-2017, 12:11 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Based on some feedback above, here are revised versions of many of them

Quote:
I have a PhD in philosophy. That is my first joke.

I'm bisexual. That means I'm attracted to ladies--but only in pairs.

I prefer being okay to being happy. Because when you are happy, there's so much you haven't thought through.

My wife is a seven and I am a three. I know what you're thinking. "He must have a huge 'personality'." But you're wrong. It's my penis.

People walk up to me on the street and ask, "what's your favorite sexy time music?" They do!

My favorite sexy time music is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence.

Who here is in an open relationship that they know of?

I love children. When I grow up, I hope to have three of them. One for the food stamps. One to run and get my cigarrettes. And I'm going to need another kid to raise the other two.

I tend to forget little things like picking up my wife after work. We've had to learn some life lessons about love and forgetfulness. She has learned from me, for example, that my forgetfulness doesn't make my love any less real. And I have learned from her, that my love is worthless.

I did bring a series of racially offensive jokes. Which way do you think I should go with those?

There's a street corner near my house where several hispanic people stand just hoping for an honest day's work. Then the other day I saw a young white millenial hipster in there with them. Gentrification rears its ugly head again.

If I could go back in time, I would visit my dad's house, and I would ask him "don't you recognize me pa?" and he would say no, because I wouldn't have been born yet. Then he would shoot me, because I am making love to his wife.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:13 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The last joke will work if done right. The first punchline - "...because I wouldn't have been born yet." is sort of a MacGuffin, it's not the real punchline, the audience takes it as a lame joke at that point. Then the followup comes off as funnier, with a twist that will take a moment for the audience to pick up, which then invokes at least nervous laughter. It's a good way to build to a crescendo in humor, but the finale has a context shift, and that goes back to my earlier post about the character of the comic, it will work better if the audience sees this as the kind of weird and abrupt angle based on the comic's personality. Frankly, it's a tough one to pull off for a first timer.
This is exactly my take on how it's supposed to work.

I do think it can very easily bomb though, exactly because as you say, the delivery has to be so perfect.

To be clear, I am absolutely and perfectly prepared to bomb. This is an experiment, not something I'm emotionally invested in. (I mean, if it works, I'll be really happy about that. But if it doesn't, I'll just be like "yeah I didn't expect it to" and I'll try again a couple of times.
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Last edited by Frylock; 12-07-2017 at 12:14 PM.
  #38  
Old 12-07-2017, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I just can't see the last joke working at all. I still don't get it. And the "making love to his wife" phrasing sounds so horribly odd/awkward to me, but perhaps the OP keeps finer company than I do.
I would have just said "fucking" to be honest but the club I'm going to be at has a strict no f-bomb policy. Not due to puritanism but due to noobies overusing the word.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
The best amateur night comedian I ever saw began his set by nervously doing his first two jokes. The place was dead quiet. Then, his "real" act started, in which he talked about what a loser he was. The "real" act was hilarious, the first two jokes were intentionally bad to set him up.
Andy Kaufman?

A comedian needs a hook, something to relate to the audience with, to draw them in. It's not easy, especially in a <5 minute set. The "good" comedians take that long just warming up the audience.
  #40  
Old 12-07-2017, 12:16 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Certainly best of luck! You have far more courage than I do. I think a couple may work with the right delivery and demeanor.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:19 PM
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Will your mother be there?
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  #42  
Old 12-07-2017, 01:28 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Will your mother be there?
Ha ha no!

My wife will be there, and I may actually leave the "my love is worthless" joke out if she is because though it's not an actual thing she's ever said to me, the whole scenario was certainly inspired by much less severe tiffs we've had in the past.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:40 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Originally Posted by Frylock
I have a PhD in philosophy. That is my first joke.
Better!

In my unprofessional non-comedian opinion, the problem with the last joke is that neither the setup of the joke, nor the tone or content of any of the prior material, present any rationale—other than pure randomness/shock value— why you'd go back in time to fuck your mom. As an audience member I would try to connect it somehow, and be confused or just underwhelmed if it's a non-sequitur.
  #44  
Old 12-07-2017, 01:42 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
Ha ha no!

My wife will be there, and I may actually leave the "my love is worthless" joke out if she is because though it's not an actual thing she's ever said to me, the whole scenario was certainly inspired by much less severe tiffs we've had in the past.
Maybe change the general "worthless" to a specific action. "And I've learned from her, that my love doesn't pick up the laundry."
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:44 PM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
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Seriously, drop the incest joke. That will never be funny.
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  #46  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgenstern View Post
Seriously, drop the incest joke. That will never be funny.
Or at least third party it.

"A met a man in my house that claimed he was my son from the future, but he didn't look anything like me. I had to shoot him, because he was making love to my wife."

Your current version, if nothing else, makes it kind of sound like you fantasize about going back in time (which many do), and meeting your parents when they were younger (once again, a normal time travel fantasy), in order to have sex with your mother (ew?).
  #47  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:09 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Your current version, if nothing else, makes it kind of sound like you fantasize about going back in time (which many do), and meeting your parents when they were younger (once again, a normal time travel fantasy), in order to have sex with your mother (ew?).
I honestly have no idea why that isn't hilarious. It's exactly the kind of misdirection and surprise that seems to be at the heart of a lot of good jokes!
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  #48  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:13 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Are you still in indianapolis? If so, do you mind sharing where you'll be doing this?
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  #49  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:14 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is online now
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Quote:
I have a PhD in philosophy. That is my first joke.
This isn't horrible.

But honestly, I don't understand the "I'm ok being happy" line.

Do you have any other material? I'd love to see what you have deemed not good enough.

It may not sound like it, but I'm pulling for you.


mmm
  #50  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:17 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Are you still in indianapolis? If so, do you mind sharing where you'll be doing this?
I will PM you. Can you be one of my required five audience members?
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