One very quick way to come up with some humor on the spot is to use adages and/or familiar wording and then twist it. There are tons of adages – you know, sage advice like “when it rains it pours” or “if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.” These are great to wrap up a speech with because people don’t see ‘em coming and it sounds like you’re going to give them some advice, but it’s really a joke. Especially if you’ve had a pretty dry speech (because, you know, you didn’t buy my book on humor writing!), twisting an adage will really come out of the blue. . . You can end your speech with a funny twist such as “Like you all know what they say, when it rains it. . .means you’re probably in Seattle (sorry Seattle people).” You can also use some familiar wording that isn’t quite an adage. For example, one of my college drinking jokes (that I don’t do much anymore), asks the question: “Did you ever wake up from one of those wild college parties and think ‘I could have another beer out of that keg.’ Then that ‘voice of reason’ kicks in. . . you might as well, the tap is still in your mouth.” Okay, stupid joke, but it got a lot of laughs at the late show in the clubs. But the twist is the “voice of reason” because everyone expects the “voice of reason” to say no. It’s not an adage, but we’re being led that way with the wording, but instead it’s twisted to go the other direction. So take a look at what you’re writing and see if you can find some familiar words that will in turn lead people astray. And of course listen to familiar words and phrases being bantered around in the media. . .in June I think EVERY commercial had the words “dads and grads” in it – very annoying, but maybe you could twist it to “dads and convicts” or “dads and dropouts.” Go ahead and give this method a try next time you’re really stumped for a joke. And don’t get discouraged, because you know, if at first you don’t succeed. . . try another profession. JOKING. . try, try again! Jan