Jury selection in Harvey Weinstein’s trial is now underway. Harvey invites women who would like to be on his jury to come up to his hotel room to discuss it over cocktails.
How I wrote it:
Harvey Weinstein’s legal problems are an excellent source of joke topics. Because he used to be a powerful Hollywood bigwig, and his troubles are of his own creation, making a joke at his expense is definitely “punching up.”
When I saw that news item, the question formed in my mind, “How is that jury being selected?” That is, I gravitated to my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic.
My next step was to answer that question using associations of the topic. The main handle of the topic, “Harvey Weinstein,” has a lot of associations, like how he’d offer women roles in exchange for sexual favors, and how he’d meet those women in his hotel room instead of a public place.
So I answered my original question, and came up with a punch line, by imagining a characteristic way in which Weinstein might cast his jury.
To make sure that he’s capable of doing what the punch line says, I double-checked that he’s out on bail. A joke has to have clear logic in order to be as funny as possible.
I ended on “cocktails” because the word has an appropriate air of lechery about it. Also, my Joke Maximizer #7 is “Use stop consonants, alliteration, and assonance,” and “cocktails” packs three stop consonants into only two syllables.