This just arrived at the International Space Station: a small oven to bake cookies in zero gravity. Hasbro calls it the Difficult-Bake Oven.
How I wrote it:
This news story caught my eye because it was odd and it seemed to have enough associations to build a punch line on.
One handle of the topic is “small oven to bake cookies,” which called to mind the association “Easy-Bake Oven.” To be sure that I wasn’t the only one who makes that association, I confirmed online that the toy was still being sold.
A second topic handle is “International Space Station,” which made me think of an association like “harsh environment.”
Based on those two associations, I decided to use my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic. I linked the two associations, and made a punch line, by substituting “Difficult” for the first word in “Easy-Bake Oven.”
I considered using my Joke Maximizer #8–Wildly exaggerate–and making the punch line something like “Really, Really Difficult-Bake Oven.” But instead I decided that the joke would be stronger if I used my Joke Maximizer #1: Shorten as much as possible.
Finally I turned to the angle. I thought the association with Easy-Bake Oven might not be clear enough if I ended the joke this way: “It’s called the Difficult-Bake Oven.” So I included in the angle the name of the company that makes the Easy-Bake Oven. That way, when the punch line lands, the audience is expecting the name of a toy.