The movie “Joker” got 11 Oscar nominations. Hollywood insiders say it was the most votes cast for a deranged super-villain since the 2016 presidential election.
How I wrote it:
I focused on this news item because it was a pretty big story that I thought a lot of people would be interested in.
Also, I thought I could base a good joke on who the topic handle “joker” supposedly refers to. That is, I wanted to use Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture.
But “joker” didn’t call to mind any surprising celebrity in particular. I considered President Trump, but he doesn’t really joke around.
Still, I thought Trump had potential for a punch line. So I came up with a description of the Joker character–“deranged super-villain”–that could also apply to Trump, thereby linking the two.
Consistent with my Joke Maximizer #11–Don’t be too on-the-nose–I only referred to Trump indirectly in the laugh trigger, instead of naming him outright.
Because many people wouldn’t agree that Trump is a “deranged super-villain,” I said that that description came from “Hollywood insiders,” a group that most people would agree is ultra-liberal. That way my punch line would have the ring of truth to a wider audience.
Although “with weird hair” also applies to both the Joker and Trump, I left it out of the joke because I thought it would telegraph the punch line. Also, Trump hair jokes have been tired for a long time.