For the first time ever, Vladimir Putin will be meeting Kim Jong Un. It’s pretty cool. They’re meeting at a fancy hotel so the reservation will read “Putin Un, the Ritz.”
How I wrote it:
I gravitated toward this news item because the handles “Vladimir Putin” and “Kim Jong Un” both have a good number of associations that might be used to devise a punch line. Plus both of the names seem to lend themselves to wordplay.
I remembered this hilarious wordplay joke that Conan O’Brien once delivered in a monologue: “It’s been reported that in high school, Kim Jong Un starred in a production of the musical ‘Grease.’ That’s also where Kim met his first wife, Olivia Newton Jong.” So I first considered writing my own Kim Jong Un wordplay joke.
But then I noticed that “Putin” sounds like “puttin’,” which I associated with the song title “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Then I got lucky, realizing that “on” sounds like “Un.”
Linking those two wordplays into a surprising new song title gave me my punch line, thanks to Punch Line Maker #4: Find a play on words in the topic.
My last task was to construct an angle that logically connects the topic to “Putin Un the Ritz.” The Ritz is a fancy hotel, and these summits often seem to take place at fancy hotels, so claiming that the punch line is a reservation for the summit seemed to do the job.