Officials are tightening the rules on concession prices at New York City-area airports after they found one bar at LaGuardia charging $27 for a beer. It was a Boston lager: Scam Adams.
How I wrote it:
I thought I could turn this news item into a joke because the idea of high-priced beer seemed to have a lot of promising associations.
More specifically, I thought I could use my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. The question I asked was “What was the name of the beer?” I asked it because I knew that “beer” is associated with a lot of brand names. And I thought I could get a punch line by linking a beer name to an association of “$27 for a beer,” namely, some word or phrase that means “rip-off.”
To help in brainstorming, I called up a list of popular beers online. As I read each name I tried to come up with a wordplay link to a word like “swindle,” “fraud,” “thief,” or “cheat.”
Eventually I took another look at the beer involved in the actual airport rip-off: Sam Adams Summer Ale. And I realized I could substitute “scam” for “Sam” to create my punch line.
I might have gotten away with a shorter angle like “It was a.” But I added the words “Boston lager” to the angle to ensure the audience would immediately make the connection to “Sam Adams” when they heard the punch line.
My Joke Maximizer #3 says, “Backload the topic.” So I rewrote the topic to move to the end the information that’s most important for the punch line: “$27 for a beer.”