Next week the movie theater chain AMC will reopen more than 100 U.S. theaters. But they’re taking precautions for the coronavirus. To make sure the theaters get filled to less than 10% of capacity, they’re only showing Adam Sandler movies.
How I wrote it:
I focused on this news item because the topic handles “movie theater” and “coronavirus” have many associations that might be used to create a punch line.
I started with my Punch Line Maker #1–Link two associations of the topic. I considered linking the association “movie theater popcorn” to the association “virus” to create some kind of punch line about the chemicals in the popcorn butter killing the virus. But the punch line didn’t seem strong enough.
Then I tried my Punch Line Maker #3 and asked this question about the topic: “How will they keep the number of patrons low?” To answer that question, I brainstormed reasons that people might not go to the movies, one of which is that the movies stink.
That seemed like a promising area for a joke, so I needed an actor who is well-known for appearing in lousy movies. A few minutes online took me to this article, “The top 15 actors who make the worst films.”
I didn’t think enough people would recognize the first actor on the list, Rob Schneider. And the second actor has such a strong reputation for appearing in crummy movies that I thought using him might strike my audience as being lazy and hacky. But none of the other names on the list seemed to work as well in the punch line. So Adam Sandler it was.
The news story said that AMC is capping attendance in their theaters at 30% of capacity. But I changed it to 10% in my angle, exaggerating how much Adam Sandler repels audiences, to make the punch line a little clearer and funnier.