A man was arrested for allegedly stealing $88,000 from a bank after he posted photos of the stolen cash on social media. He posted the photos on Facecrook and YouBoob.
How I wrote it:
When I read this news item I thought, “What an idiot.” Because the item provoked that emotional reaction from me I thought it might also interest an audience, which made it a promising topic for a joke.
To me the topic invited the question, “What social media did he post the photos on?” so I used my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. To get a punch line, I answered that question using associations of the topic.
One obvious handle of the topic, “social media,” has the association “Facebook.” Another handle, “stealing,” has the association “crook.” Linking those two associations to form a fake website gave me a laugh trigger.
Because the handle “social media” seemed fertile, I tried to generate a second laugh trigger. The handle “What an idiot” has the association “boob,” which I blended with a second social media website, “YouTube.”
I considered adding a third laugh trigger combining “nitwit” and “Twitter,” but I thought “Nitwitter” wouldn’t be immediately clear.
Once I had the laugh triggers I went back to the topic and applied my Joke Maximizer #1: Shorten as much as possible. I shortened the original CNN news item, which had the headline “Prosecutors say a man stole $88,000 from a bank vault. The FBI caught him after he flashed stacks of bills on social media.”