Ladies and Germs
Kevin Salwen on Humor
Jokes should open speeches. I don't have many cardinal rules in life, but that's one of them -- making the audience laugh or smile puts them in a frame of mind to hear what you have to say. OK, so most people aren't good joke tellers, but anyone can tell an amusing story. And shouldn't everyone know how to tell one joke well?
They can be self-deprecating. Former Labor Secretary Bob Reich, who stands about 4'11' often made fun of his height, saying, 'I was 6 foot 5 when I started this job.' They can be teasing of the introducer: The other day, I heard someone say, 'Thank you, Ray. Of all the introductions I've had, that was...the most recent.'
I even have a joke I like to tell when I'm on a panel, since it's about a group. Here goes:
3 men enroll in a very, very strict monastery, in which only one guy can talk every 7 years. Seven long years go by and it's the first guy's opportunity to speak. He says, 'I hate the carraway seeds in this rye bread.' Silence follows.
7 long years later, and finally it's the second guy's turn to talk. He says, 'You know, I actually kind of like the carraway seeds.' Silence follows.
7 more long years pass and finally, it's the third guy's turn. 'I'll tell you what, gentlemen,' he says. 'I'm just sick and tired of your bickering.'
What's your favorite speech opening joke?