Today Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew has been stripped of all his military titles and charities. The good news is, for those plane trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s private island, Prince Andrew gets to keep the frequent flyer miles.
How I wrote it:
I chose this topic because it was a big news story. Plus it’s fun to use comedy to “punch up” at a prince.
I went with my Punch Line Maker #3–Ask a question about the topic. That’s because the topic invited the question “What other nice things did Prince Andrew lose?”
Something silly like “the balance on his Starbucks gift card” seemed too arbitrary because it wasn’t linked to a topic handle.
But Starbucks gift cards reminded me of airline frequent flyer miles. And airline frequent flyer miles reminded me of an association of the topic handle “Prince Andrew,” namely “Jeffrey Epstein.”
I remembered that accused sex trafficker Epstein had a private island, and I confirmed online that Prince Andrew had flown there. That information made it possible for me to answer my question about what else Prince Andrew lost with a punch line about the frequent flier miles related to his alleged sex trips.
I used the angle “the good news is” because it heightens the surprise of the punch line; it leads the audience to expect some counterbalancing good news for Prince Andrew. But ultimately the news is, in the context of the really bad news, totally insignificant.
My Joke Maximizer #2 is “End on the laugh trigger.” That’s why the joke doesn’t end in a more natural-sounding but less surprising way like “The good news is, Prince Andrew gets to keep the frequent flyer miles he earned for those plane trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.”