Today Google announced a website in the U.S. where you can go to get information about the coronavirus. They’re calling it “Google.”
How I wrote it:
One reason this news item attracted my attention is that both topic handles–“Google” and “coronavirus”–have multiple associations that might be linked to create a punch line.
So first I tried using my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic. I associated “Google” with “lack of privacy” and tried to think of a punch line like “And now the coronavirus is furious because Google stole its credit card numbers.” But I abandoned that approach because I couldn’t get the logic to work.
Instead I thought more about the topic and realized that it lent itself to my Punch Line Maker #6: State the obvious about the topic. To me, an obvious question about the topic is, “Doesn’t Google give you information about everything, not just about the coronavirus?” And the obvious answer is “yes.”
Which means that the punch line should be some way of saying, “Google has always been where you can get information about the coronavirus.” The punch line “They’re calling it ‘Google'” states that very economically, consistent with my Joke Maximizer #1: “Shorten as much as possible.”
I also clarified the logic of my rough draft of the joke by changing “launched a new website” to “announced a website.” The latter wording is true to the facts of the news item but is also consistent with the website turning out to be just Google.
Punch Line Maker #6 doesn’t often fit a topic but I use it whenever I can because its unfamiliar approach results in jokes that are a little extra surprising and therefore a little extra funny.