Humor and the Master of Ceremonies

“We have 400 people here and 99 awards to give out. So to 301 of you I’d like to say ‘enjoy the steak dinner!'”

. . . and with that we were off to the races! I recently emceed a gala for a fortune 500 company where I kicked off with 5 minute of jokes on them and their event.

This joke that I started with is a great example of how to use numbers to find the humor. Ask a few questions about the numbers. Questions such as “What do we associate with 99?” or “How many total people are in the room?” “What are the people NOT winning awards gonna do?” After a few questions, you can put 1 + 1 together to realize that 301 people are just there for the open bar and food. Okay they may be there also to support their partner too, but really for the food and drink. THAT is where you find the funny.

Don’t just look at the main attraction . . . the award winners. Look at the non-award winners.

master of ceremonies

Aside from making numbers funny, this was a great way to acknowledge the people who WEREN’T getting an award, AND it led to another great joke . . .”It’s your own fault we’re giving out 99 awards. If you all had just slacked off for the past 2 years like the rest of us, we’d only be giving out 10 awards and be done in 5 minutes.”

You can announce that you’re giving out 99 awards and hear the groans, or you can have some fun with the number and get people to embrace it!

As a comedy Master of Ceremonies (emcee) I know how to keep the show rolling and come up with the humor, but you can too! Check out some of my other posts on putting humor into your communications: click here. Or hit the “easy button” and check out some of the other Master of Ceremony things I’ve done and hire me! Here’s my comedy emcee website:


About Jan:

Jan McInnis is a keynote speaker, comedian, Master of Ceremonies, and comedy writer. She has written for Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show monologues as well as many other people, places, and groups—radio, TV, syndicated cartoon strips, guests on The Jerry Springer Show (her parents are proud). For over 25 years, she’s traveled the country as a keynote speaker and comedian, sharing her unique and practical tips on how to use humor in business (yes, it’s a business skill!).  She’s been featured in The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post for her clean humor, and she’s the author of two books: Finding the Funny Fast – How to Create Quick Humor to Connect with Clients, Coworkers, and Crowds, and Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs.

Add Some Humor to Your Sales & Marketing

“Many a truth is said in Jest” is an adage that is, well, kinda true. If you want to inject humor into your communications, find something about your product or service that is not great, but kinda true . . .and point it out.

After my event in Vegas this week, I took a stroll down the main drag and saw some fun examples of this – This candy store says what we all know about candy . . . it’s not good for you. And I’m guessing the Drinkaide has many of the same ingredients as a sports-type drinks . . . but they’re promoting it for hangovers (something many people have experienced but don’t talk about!).

Start looking around!

Take a look at how other marketers market their products’ “bad features” and then do the same for yours. Make a list of good and bad things about your product or service and see if you can find a funny gem in there.

And yes, there were people in the candy store, despite the true advertising of a not-so-great product feature, though I did not go into the liquor store to watch people in line for the drinkade.

Before you try to sell people something, get them laughing. They’ll at least listen to your pitch and probably remember you.

Have a great weekend and keep laughing!!

Jan — this is my main keynote and comedy website. Check it out!

check out my humor newsletter in this post for more laughs!

About Jan

Jan McInnis is a keynote speaker, comedian, comedy writer, and author. She has written for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show monologue as well as many other people, places and groups – radio, TV, syndicated cartoon strips, guests on the Jerry Springer show (her parents are proud). For 25+ years she’s traveled the country as a keynote speaker and comedian sharing her unique and practical tips on how to use humor in business (yes it’s a business skill!).  She’s been featured in the Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post for her clean humor, and she’s the author of 2 books: Finding the Funny Fast – How to Create Quick Humor to Connect with Clients, Coworkers and Crowds,” and “Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs.”

“Exploring” – my latest humor newsletter

My latest humor newsletter talks about something that we sometimes FORGET to do – Explore! I do a lot of it in my life; it’s usually eye-opening and only a few times has it gotten me into a “pickle” (which is what my dog Delilah gets herself into a LOT).

Below is an except . . . click on the link to read the full article. It takes TWO minutes. You have time for this so give yourself a mental break and laugh a little!


There’s a lot of waiting around in life, which can sometimes get you into trouble! Many years ago, when I was backstage at a theater waiting for the first act to finish performing so I could go on, I decided to explore the rest of the theater, which just happened to be attached to a university.

I walked through one door and then heard a BAM. It closed behind me and LOCKED. (Oops.) I was now inside the school. I listened: no alarms, no cops. (Whew!) But I was a little stuck and the clock was ticking; the comedian on stage had about 10 minutes left. So, I frantically searched around for a way back in. I came to another door which opened to the outside—perfect!

I figured I could just go outside, walk around the building, and go in through the front like an audience member. . . except it was dark out. So when I went through that door, I found myself in a HUGE construction area on top of a HUGE pile of dirt. Actually, it had been dirt: the earlier rain had turned it to mud. And of course, I heard the BAM again, locking the door. There was no turning back now! Click here for the rest

Thanks for subscribing to my blog. . .send me a note if you have questions on humor tips. And check out some of my other blog posts like this one . .

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Jan’s Humor Article on Exploring

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