After receiving a $150 million donation, the Yale School of Drama is eliminating tuition for all students. The students jumped for joy, then asked if that was too much and tried another reaction where they just clapped.
How I wrote it:
When I read this news item, the topic handle “the Yale School of Drama” immediately made me think I could use my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic.
The question I asked myself was, “How did the students react to the news?” The reason that question occurred to me was probably because “the Yale School of Drama” is strongly associated with “acting.” So I thought I might base a punch line on the idea that the drama students expressed their joy in a very actorish way.
I tried a few versions of the punch line before I settled on the exact wording. One version was something like “The students expressed their joy by remembering a time when they were really happy.”
But I wasn’t sure that my audience would associate the wording of that punch line with the acting technique known as Method Acting. I wasn’t even sure what Method Acting is.
So instead I thought more about what actors do when they perform and came up with the version of the angle and punch line you see here.
Then I edited my topic. To make it as short as possible–per my Joke Maximizer #1–I shortened the “current and future students” referred to in the original news story down to just “students.”
I also omitted the name of the generous donor of the $150 million–David Geffen–because the joke didn’t need that information.
Finally I used my Joke Maximizer #3–Backload the topic–by moving to the beginning of the joke the least important information remaining in the topic.