New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio strongly urged vaccinated people to wear masks indoors. He said masks would help protect New Yorkers from Covid-19, the Delta variant, and Governor Cuomo’s lips.
How I wrote it:
I wanted to write a joke based on the Cuomo sexual harassment accusations because jokes about politicians behaving badly almost always have a receptive audience. Plus even prominent Democrats seemed to believe the accusations. That meant that a joke which assumed the truth of the accusations was unlikely to split my audience.
I could have made the news item about Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment the topic sentence of my joke. By doing that, I’d be stating the news item explicitly before proceeding with the rest of the joke.
But I assumed that enough people were already familiar with the news item that I could use it as the punch line instead. I thought ending the joke with an out-of-the-blue reference to Cuomo’s alleged creepy behavior would be more surprising, and therefore funnier.
Once I decided to create a punch line about Cuomo’s alleged behavior–the suggestive comments, the touching, the kissing–I focused on the kissing. My mind associated that mental image with another New York, face-related issue in the news: Mayor de Blasio’s comments about mask wearing.
So from the idea of a Cuomo punch line I backed into the topic sentence about de Blasio. That is, I reversed my Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture. Governor Cuomo’s kissing is associated with “protect your mouth,” which is associated with the topic handle “wear masks.”
I considered making the laugh trigger “Governor Cuomo’s tongue.” But I decided that that wording was more likely to make my audience gag than laugh.
Finally, I connected my topic and punch line with an angle that relies on my Joke Maximizer #10: Use the Rule of Three.