Today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. To head it off, Trump now says his call to the Ukrainian president was a butt dial.
How I wrote it:
This was a big story so I wanted to write a joke about it. It’s also a political story, and writing jokes about political stories can be tricky. If you’re not careful, your joke will be rejected by a large segment of your audience.
I started with my Punch Line Maker #3–Ask a question about the topic–asking myself the natural question “How did President Trump react?”
To answer that question, I thought about the topic handle “impeachment inquiry,” which has the association “phone call to the Ukrainian president.” And “phone call” has the association “butt dial.”
So the punch line answers my original question by saying that President Trump reacted by claiming that his controversial phone call was an accidental butt dial. Lucky for me, “butt dial” also has three stop consonants, which makes it even funnier as a laugh trigger.
Notice that even though this is a joke about a political story, it stands a good chance of not alienating a lot of audience members because it’s based on things that pretty much everyone can accept as true: Trump did call the Ukrainian president and he often does offer dubious explanations for his behavior. For more tips on how to write political jokes, read my article “Writing Political Comedy.”