A vendor was arrested at Sunday’s Miami Dolphins game after he charged a fan $724 for two beers. That’s outrageous. $724 is the price for three beers.
How I wrote it:
I gravitated toward this news item because it has two handles–“$724” and “two beers”–that seemed to have a lot of associations that could be used to create a punch line.
Also, I thought my audience would appreciate a joke about how expensive food is at a pro football stadium.
I used my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic. The topic handle “two beers” has as one association “three beers.” My punch line links “three beers” to the other topic handle, “$724,” by stating that $724 is the price for three beers.
The idea of the punch line is obviously that stadium food is really expensive, an idea that most people would agree with. That makes the punch line “true,” which is an important characteristic of any good punch line.
Once I had my punch line, I added the angle “That’s outrageous.” By doing so I mislead the audience about where the joke is going, maximizing the surprise, and funniness, of the punch line.
By contrast, here’s a different angle/punch line combination that also states that stadium food is really expensive but is so on-the-nose that it isn’t funny: “That fan is lucky he wasn’t charged $7,024 for two beers.”
The final version of my joke also takes advantage of my Joke Maximizer #8: Wildly exaggerate. $724 is a ridiculously high price to charge for three beers, even at a sports stadium.