Last night we recorded the whole show at the World of Wonders side show. Then later that night as a cast we sat down and reviewed it. It was really helpful and while I think I contributed a lot of notes for everyone else, I probably had the most notes for myself.
One of my notes for myself had to do with a joke, something that I had been working on taking out of the show, and adding a new joke. The reason I was taking it out was that it stopped playing as well as it had used to. The joke may simply have aged out of being funny.
For context, in the routine, I’m sticking spoons to my arm. Here’s the original line:
“…I had to surgically implant magnets into my arm. I’m awesome at the airport, I always get the extra pat down”
It’s not the strongest bit, but when it was written, the TSA was in the news a lot with how they were hand screening people. At the time, it was topical and while still relevant, it’s not something that’s at the forefront of people’s minds.
A couple of weeks ago, I worked on writing a new joke to take it’s place with my friend Eric Haines (who is an amazing performer). Here’s the new joke:
“…I had to surgically implant magnets into my arm. The bonus is if I ever get lost, my arm always points north!”
That’s a decent joke, and gets a laugh. The problem was I got greedy and would tell them together to try and get two laughs, instead of simply replacing the joke.
“…I had to surgically implant magnets into my arm. I’m awesome at the airport, I always get the extra pat down. The bonus is if I ever get lost, my arm always points north!”
I think the first punchline didn’t hit hard enough, so the second one was starting off in a hole. By removing the old joke and simply doing the new one, it make the new punchline play stronger. It also tightened up the act!
In yesterday’s blog post I started writing about putting together a script for the Ring on Rubber Band routine that I’m working on. We’re really starting at nothing and trying to come up with something to say, otherwise the routine is 12 seconds long.
Let’s start by making some associations to the props.
-latex (or not latex)
-holds things together
-yellow (or whatever color it is)
-rubber band gun
Using that list, how about I introduce the props by saying, “a ring which represents the 18 years I’ve been married and the a rubber band which memorializes the one time I bought broccoli (asparagus?)” I think I prefer saying “bought broccoli” as the alliteration sound funnier in my head.
Let’s keep writing and see what comes up:
“Just like congress, this rubber band has two sides, a left side and tea party”
“I will push the ring through each side of the rubber band defying the restraining order from the laws of physics.”
“This trick is even more dangerous once you know that I have a latex allergy.”
“The best part is that I can write off my wedding on my taxes”
“The rubber band will jump through the ring like a tiger through a flaming hoop in the circus”
“Through one side…that’s the easy side. It’s the bunny slope of the rubber band. The second side is the double black diamond. Three men have died trying this, but they all had latex allergies.”
“Beyonce’s favorite trick”
Do the hand dance move from the Put a Ring on it Song
“This is probably the most expensive trick I do. The rubber band cost me 37 cents, but the ring cost me half of everything I own.”
“I tried to do this with the governor’s ring, but they escorted me out saying I had to have an appointment”
“I showed this trick to Pete Rose and when I told him what was going to happen he said, “I BET you can’t do that”…”
For the quick little writing session, I wrote down everything I thought of. I didn’t censor any ideas because I thought they were bad. Bad ideas may lead to a good idea, so they stay. Obviously I won’t use all of the jokes and I’ll have to arrange them into an order that makes sense. That’s a job for tomorrow.