Amazon is in talks to buy Hollywood studio MGM, home of the James Bond movies. In fact, Amazon is already planning to remake one of them and call it “From Russia with Free Shipping.”
How I wrote it:
The original news headline was something like “Amazon in talks to buy Hollywood studio MGM for $9 billion.” I decided to base a joke on it because its two handles, “Amazon” and “MGM,” each have a lot of associations, particularly the latter. My Punch Line Maker #1 is “Link two associations of the topic,” so the more associations a topic has, the more possible punch lines it can spawn.
The first sentence of the news story mentioned that MGM is the studio behind the James Bond and Rocky franchises. But I thought the Bond association would have more sub-associations that I could use, so I reworded the topic to focus on that.
I also took out the unnecessary mention of the $9 billion because my Joke Maximizer #1 is “Shorten as much as possible.”
Movie titles are often useful in creating punch lines, so I explored the sub-association “James Bond movie titles.” To do that, I looked up a list of Bond movies online. I wanted to somehow link the name of a well-known Bond movie with an association of the other topic handle, “Amazon.”
“Amazon” is associated with “Prime” and “two-day shipping,” but I couldn’t find any Bond titles to link those associations to.
However, transplanting the association “free shipping” into “From Russia with Love” worked well, particularly because Amazon might conceivably ship products from Russia.
Finally, I added the angle “Amazon is already planning to remake one of them.” That’s because I wanted the audience to hear the punch line and immediately connect it to a real Bond movie title. That is, I wrote an angle consistent with my Joke Maximizer #4, “Make everything clear.”