Actor Jussie Smollett faces new charges of lying to the police about being attacked. Apparently for Valentine’s Day, he told the police he was shot with an arrow by a chubby little guy with wings and a diaper.
How I wrote it:
In Touch Weekly reprinted this joke in its March 9, 2020, edition (see below).
I wanted to write about this news item because it was the latest chapter in a story that’s gotten a lot of attention. Plus celebrities who have gotten themselves into trouble usually make good subjects for jokes.
I started with my Punch Line Maker #3, asking myself, “Who else could Jussie Smollett claim to have been attacked by?” Because I think most people by now believe that he invented that original story about being attacked by two guys, I tried to come up with a new attacker who was even more obviously invented.
My brainstorming turned toward what else was happening in the world. Valentine’s Day was approaching, so I thought of Cupid and his arrows. And I had my imaginary attacker.
I didn’t want to violate my Joke Maximizer #11–Don’t be too on-the-nose–by ending the joke something like this: “Apparently for Valentine’s Day, he told the police he was shot by Cupid.”
So instead, for the punch line I wrote a description of Cupid that was phrased the way Smollett might have described his previous supposed attackers to the police: what they did, details of what they looked like, and so on.
To telegraph the punch line as little as possible, I put the most revealing details–“wings and a diaper”–at the very end. I ended on “diaper” because its two stop consonants make it a little funnier.