Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I came up with a brilliant pun the other day that went wholly unappreciated by the general populace.  I told it a couple more times to make sure everyone had a) heard, and b) understood, but it seemed that comprehension was not the issue.  
I refuse to acknowledge that it might not be funny.  It’s clever.  Clever things in the context of jokes are funny.  And funny things should be rewarded with laughter.  

So here we go, one last try:

The pun in question:
My friend is telling us how her husband has a tooth missing.  One of his incisors.
I interject with: “Uh oh, has he been dabbling in some incisor trading?”
Silence descends on the room.
I repeat the joke.
More silence.
I explain the concept of ‘insider trading’ and how this relates to the conversation at hand.  
My efforts are greeted with resentful looks.
I retreat back into my head where I am a) more appreciated, and b) greeted with raucous laughter.  

Some time later, still bewildered, I seek out the experts for their advice on what to do when the audience is so mean.  
What I find shocks me:

Don't repeat
"Sometimes you’re so sure, so absolutely positive that a joke is good, that when the audience doesn’t laugh, you assume it has to be a technical problem with the microphone.  But everyone heard you just fine. That bit just sucked. So don’t repeat it...The only thing worse than telling an anecdote that no one laughs at is doing it twice.”

Don’t explain
"After blaming the audience for a bomb, a comedian’s second instinct is often to try to explain the premise behind the joke, as if that will somehow make it retroactively funny.  Explaining will only exacerbate the situation."  

Do move on
"If the joke flounders, hustle on to old, reliable, material, so the crowd never even remembers the bomb. Everyone should have a go-to story they can turn to in any situation.”  
[thanks a lot, "experts"]

Hmm, back to the 'old jokes' eh..?  Thankfully I do have one up my sleeve... 

(Next time, laugh at my joke). 


Hula said...

This pun is genius! This is the kind of pun that I would venture is a "go-to" story! What is going on!?

anna-grams said...

This is why you're my best friend Hula.

kaybee said...

our disappointment was all relative to our high expectations of Anna-puns!