A Nebraska man set a new world record by making 60 skydiving jumps in 24 hours while naked. He also set a new world record for most seagulls lodged in a human rectum.
How I wrote it:
This news item attracted my interest because it described such a weird achievement. It also summoned up a vivid image in my mind, pointing me toward my Punch Line Maker #5: Visualize the topic.
Having formed a mental image of the topic–a naked guy repeatedly plummeting through the sky–I took that mental image to an extreme: I envisioned the guy hitting birds on his way down.
Then I made the image even more extreme by visualizing the birds slamming into his naked butt. And that warped image became the basis of my punch line.
To make my punch line as funny as possible, I used my Joke Maximizer #9: Get specific. Instead of “birds” I wrote the more-specific “seagulls.” And I changed “butt” to the more-specific “human rectum.”
“Rectum” also takes advantage of my Joke Maximizer #7: Use stop consonants, alliteration, and assonance. The word has the stop consonant sounds K and T.
Adding the word “human” also makes it immediately clear that the punch line refers to the naked guy’s own rectum, as opposed to…oh, I don’t know…a seagull’s rectum.
Finally I added an angle that uses my Joke Maximizer #6: Make the punch line parallel. “He also set a new world record for” copies as closely as possible the structure of the phrase “A Nebraska man set a new world record by” which is at the beginning of the topic.