It’s the Fourth of July weekend. So if you love to see lots of fireworks and explosions, just go to the airport and watch people when they hear their flights are canceled.
How I wrote it:
I wanted to write a joke about this topic because it was in the news and has many potentially useful associations.
Because the topic has only one handle, “Fourth of July,” I used my Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture. I started by brainstorming associations of the topic handle. At the top of that list was “fireworks,” which to me suggested “angry people.”
So then I asked myself who in pop culture could be described as angry. Was any celebrity couple feuding? Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were, but they didn’t seem to be angry right now.
Or how about politics? Plenty of people are angry about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Roe v. Wade. But I didn’t think my audience would accept a joke about that topic.
Then I remembered a pop culture phenomenon that was actually another association of “Fourth of July”: the many delayed and canceled flights during one of the biggest travel weekends of the year. Realizing that the passengers booked on those flights would be angry, I had the idea for my punch line.
My Joke Maximizer #2 is “End on the laugh trigger.” That’s why I put the most surprising words in the punch line–“their flights are canceled”–at the very end.
And I added “explosions” to the angle. That’s because I thought it would help guide the audience from “fireworks” to the angry people that the punch line refers to.