Krispy Kreme just introduced heart-shaped doughnuts filled with cream and made with real Hershey’s chocolate. They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day. Not only are they delicious, but it’ll be easier for Cupid’s arrow to hit you if you put on forty pounds.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my attention because it has two fertile topic handles, “fattening doughnuts” and “Valentine’s Day.” Plus I had a reaction to it like “Wow, those are really, really fattening.” And if a news item provokes a strong reaction in you, it may be a good candidate to be a joke topic.
To come up with a punch line, I visualized the topic, as recommended by my Punch Line Maker #5. I imagined someone eating a lot of those doughnuts. Then I exaggerated that mental image: the doughnut eater grows to an enormous size.
I also visualized associations of the other topic handle, “Valentine’s Day,” and thought of Cupid shooting his arrow. Then I mentally pictured Cupid aiming at the massive doughnut eater. That’s how I linked the two topic handles and got the idea for my punch line.
The original news item contained unnecessary details, like the names of the doughnut varieties. To keep the joke as short as possible, I edited the topic down to include only the details that reinforce the idea that those doughnuts are really fattening.
The joke would work almost as well without “Not only are they delicious, but…” But I added the phrase to misdirect the audience a little bit more, to make the punch line more surprising. That phrase leads the audience to expect some bland ending like, “Not only are they delicious, but they’re not just the same old box of chocolates.”