You’re funnier when I can hear you. (TWSS!)

13 Mar

At pottery this weekend, Jill was demonstrating how to make a teapot lid so it is sized properly and doesn’t fall inside the pot after it’s fired. As she worked with it, she explained, “You need to make sure it’s a bit bigger than the actual hole it’s going to cover.”

Then, grabbing a trim tool, she started to point at the circumference of it, “This is probably going to shrink by 15%, and if it does, it will fall right out of the hole.”

I was only half-listening from a few wheels away, but I was dialed in enough to hear the only guy in the class say, “That’s what she said.”

I couldn’t help but smile. I whip that phrase out frequently, but rarely have I had a set-up that perfect.

Unfortunately, Jill didn’t hear him, so she said, “What’d you say?”

He repeated himself, “That’s what she said.”

I’m not sure if it was a hearing thing, a sexual-orientation thing or a generational thing, but she again asked him to repeat himself.

“Oh, never mind,” he told her, clearly embarrassed for a simple one-liner to have required such notice.

And in that moment, I was reminded of something I learned years ago: say it loudly the first time. The more you have to repeat something, the more your confidence sags. This is doubly true when it comes to humor.

Even if it was funny when you started, it won’t be when you’re done beating your punchline to a pulp. Unless the whole point of your schtick is the mumble itself. In which case, you should take a lesson from this guy:

One Response to “You’re funnier when I can hear you. (TWSS!)”

  1. Alicia March 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I love Steven Wright.

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