The CEO of Disney just ordered all hybrid employees to come back into the office four days a week. He would have said five days a week, but because it’s Disney, employees have to spend a whole day outside in the hot sun waiting in line to get in the building.
How I wrote it:
This news item seemed like a promising basis for a joke because the topic handle “Disney” has a lot of associations that can be used to create punch lines.
The specificity of “four days a week” prompted a question in my mind: “Why weren’t those employees asked to come in five days a week?” That is, I gravitated toward my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic.
To make a punch line, I tried to answer that question by using some association of “Disney.” As I considered which association to focus on, I visualized the topic: I formed a mental image of employees filing into a Disney building.
Then I realized that that image was similar to an image of parkgoers waiting in a long line outside a Disneyland attraction. Once I decided that most people would accept that waiting in a Disney line could take a whole day, I had the idea for my punch line.
The punch line is on the long side, and my Joke Maximizer #1 is “Shorten as much as possible.” Could I take any words out of the punch line without hurting the joke? I don’t think so.
I need the second “Disney” to make sure the audience thinks of a Disney theme park when I conjure up that image of the long line of people.
Likewise, I need “outside,” “hot sun,” and “building” to make sure the audience visualizes a line of parkgoers waiting to get into an attraction.
By including all those words, I kept the joke as short as possible while also using my Joke Maximizer #4: Make everything clear.