On this day in history, December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright became the first people to successfully fly an airplane. The very next day, Wilbur and his fiancée joined the Yard High Club.
How I wrote it:
I thought this news item would make a good joke topic because the handles, “fly an airplane” and “1903,” have lots of associations that could be useful in my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic.
I started by brainstorming associations of “fly an airplane” that might be funny in connection with that first plane flight. Maybe the Wright brothers’ luggage somehow got lost. Or maybe Wilbur and Orville argued about who got the armrest.
But those associations seemed a bit stale. A more promising association, “Mile High Club,” also seemed a bit overused.
But then I gravitated towards my Punch Line Maker #5—Visualize the topic. I remembered the image of a Wright brother lying flat in that primitive biplane, flying just a few feet above the sand. And I realized I could link that extremely low altitude to “Mile High Club” to create a punch line.
For a punch line to work, the audience has to accept it as true. The idea that the first successful airplane would immediately be used for a sexual purpose struck me as true, and funny, because that tends to happen to most new technologies.
My first draft of the laugh trigger was something like “Six-Foot High Club.” But I wanted to use my Joke Maximizer #6: “Make the punch line parallel.” So I revised it to “Yard High Club,” to match the number of syllables in “Mile High Club.”
Finally, I picked Wilbur to be the frisky brother because his name contains the stop consonant B, and my Joke Maximizer #7 is “Use stop consonants, alliteration, and assonance.”