The Casper mattress company is looking to hire people with “exceptional sleeping ability” to demonstrate its mattresses. “Exceptional sleeping ability”…so basically they’re looking for people who don’t watch the news.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my eye because the topic handle “exceptional sleeping ability” seemed to have lots of associations I could use to create a punch line.
But there wasn’t an obvious second topic handle. “Casper” has the association “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” but that seemed a little too obscure. And “mattress” has many of the same associations as “exceptional sleeping ability,” so finding a surprising way to link two associations seemed hard.
That’s why I gravitated to my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. The topic is about exceptional sleeping ability, so I asked myself, “Who sleeps a lot?”
To answer that question, I tried to think of something in pop culture that would put most people to sleep, like a boring TV show. But then I realized that if something puts most people to sleep, people wouldn’t need exceptional sleeping ability to sleep through it.
To keep the logic of my joke solid, I then tried to think of something in pop culture that would make it hard for most people to sleep; anybody who could sleep after that would have the required exceptional sleeping ability.
But if I picked a pop culture event that would only give some people insomnia, like something Trump or Biden did, I risked dividing my audience.
So instead, I based my punch line on the idea that everybody who watches the news sees something that makes them lose sleep.
Finally, I repeated the phrase “exceptional sleeping ability” in the angle, to make it clear what part of the topic the punch line relates to.