The chapter in this comedy writing book I am reading is having me complete some “Simple Truth” exercises. Simple truths are formed by taking the literal meaning of a key word and using it to surprise the audience, who’s automatically interpreting the expression with its traditional reference. An example is if someone says “call me a taxi,” the person responds with “okay, you’re a taxi.” The exercise is to complete the cliche with my very own simple truth tag (or payoff line). I will attempt my own, then follow up the bottom with the one the book provided.
1. Every 12.5 seconds, some woman in the US is giving birth. And every 12.5 seconds, some woman in Afghanistan is creating death.
2. Boy: Are you free tonight? Girl: Depends on what you were looking to do.
3. My girlfriend was faithful to the end. Then we got on the highway and she started having phone sex with her other boyfriend.
4. We never serve women at the bar. We only let you eat sushi off their naked bodies.
5. Why was George Washington buried at Mount Vernon? Because the Illuminati were playing poker.
6. Cleanliness is next to godliness. If you pass Home Depot, you went too far.
7. Judge: The court awards your wife $200 a week for support. The rapper’s posse awarded her $200 a week for blowjobs.
Here are the sample pay-off lines the book provided:
1. Every 12.5 seconds, some woman in the US is giving birth. We’ve got to find that woman and stop her.
2. Boy: Are you free tonight? Girl: Of course, did I ever charge you?
3. My girlfriend was faithful to the end. Unfortunately I was the quarterback.
4. We never serve women at the bar. You’ll have to bring your own.
5. Why was George Washington buried at Mount Vernon? Because he was dead!
6. Cleanliness is next to godliness. No, in the dictionary, go-getter is next to godliness.
7. Judge: The court awards your wife $200 a week for support. Defendant: Gee, that’s very nice of you judge. I think I’ll throw in a few bucks myself.