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!