Today Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook will change its corporate name to Meta because of its new focus on the metaverse. He said the exciting virtual world of the metaverse will have no limits, no boundaries, and no congressional hearings.
How I wrote it:
I focused on this news item because it was a big story. Not only was Facebook changing its name, but a whistleblower at a recent congressional hearing had turned up the heat on the company.
I used my Punch Line Maker #1–Link two associations of the topic. One topic handle, “Mark Zuckerberg,” has as one association “hates congressional hearings.”
The other topic handle, “metaverse,” has the association “a different world.” By creating the laugh trigger “no congressional hearings,” I linked those two associations.
I also employed my Joke Maximizer #10–Use the Rule of Three–by making the laugh trigger the last item in a list of three. Ideally, for variety, I would have put in a second item that was less of a synonym of “limit” than “boundary.” But I couldn’t readily think of a better word.
I added “exciting” to the angle to help mislead the audience: the word suggests that Zuckerberg is a passionate visionary but the punch line reveals that he’s just a resentful CEO.
My Joke Maximizer #1 is “Shorten as much as possible.” So could I have taken any more words out of the joke? I don’t think so. Because the news story was brand-new, I couldn’t assume that the audience would know much about it. So I had to include a few more details in the joke, like “metaverse” and “virtual world,” to make sure the audience would understand the punch line.