"We are not amused."
"You just don't know when the joke is over."
"Well, I'm glad you amuse yourself."
Or worst of all, (usually coming from my parents), "I think we should ban you from eating sugar, that's just not funny."
These are the last things you want to hear after you've put yourself out there by cracking a joke.
The highest risk jokes are usually those involving a high level of imitation or acting. I discovered this the hard way a few years ago when I was preparing for a public speaking competition. I thought I would make my speech light and humorous by adding a well placed and relevant tarzan imitation in it.
First I tried my tarzan impression out on my family, and they laughed and thought it was great. Then, I tested it out on my friends, who also thought it was funny. I thought I was onto a winner. What I hadn't counted on was that the audience was made up of nervous competitors waiting for their turn to speak. To make matters worse, I was picked to go first so the crowd hadn't even been warmed up.
Against the odds, I threw myself into it. I bellowed and beat my chest with gusto. When I finished there was an awkward silence, which my little sister, to her credit, tried to fill with a small fake laugh. But the crowd was definitely not amused.
|Imitating Tarzan was a risky move and it didn't pay off.|