If Youve Got A Message Dont Telegraph It

Here are a few more reverses, but the jokes are telegraphed, which professionals work hard to eliminate. You don't want the audience to anticipate the ending. The following are examples of jokes that are too easy because they're too obviously laid out.

I know an actor with a figure like Sophia Loren, sings like Dolly Parton, can be as dramatic as jane Fonda, but can't land a job. The reason is he's a man!

"Sorry to hear your wife ran away with your gardener." "Oh, that's all right. I was going to fire him anyway!"

After two drinks, my wife turns into a screaming witch. After five drinks, I pass out completely.

I saw a picture of that new tank that can go forty-five miles an hour, has a six inch armor plate, a 105 mm cannon and, thanks to our defense budget, the army will have 100,000 of them by 1989. Not the tank, the picture.

The trick, on a reverse, is to lay out the plot line of a story so realistically that the joke isn't telegraphed and the audience is carefully set up for the surprise ending.

A man was driving on a narrow, winding mountain road when he almost collided with a car wildly careening around a blind curve.

"You stupid fool," he shouted at the other driver. The other car came to a dead stop. A woman rolled down the window, looked at the man and yelled, "Pig!" and then quickly drove off. Furious at the insult, the man slammed his car into gear, roared around the mountain curve and slammed head on into a giant hog standing in the road.

Walking down the street, I saw a blind man being led by a seeing-eye dog. Suddenly, the dog pissed on the blind man's leg. His owner took a biscuit out of his pocket, bent down and gave it to the dog. I walked over and said to the man, "Sir, I couldn't help noticing what you did. It's one of the greatest acts of kindness I've ever seen." The blind man said, "Kindness, hell, I just want to find where his head is so I can kick him in the ass."

An anecdote is a tall tale told as a small story with a sudden climax. With the setup, we mean to confuse the audience. So we include just enough in formation in the body of the story to encourage them to proceed automati cally in the direction we'll reverse at the end.

"Let me tell you about my big spending husband," one woman said to another. "It was our anniversary, so he took me to the most famous restaurant in town and told me to order the most expensive dish on the menu. I did ... a Big Mac."

Two old men were watching a Great Dane lick his balls. One turned to the other and said, "All my life, I wished that I could do that!" The second one said, "Better pet him first, he looks mean as hell." —Billy Crystal

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