Tell a dirty joke and get mud in your eye!

It’s easy to tell an off-color joke, but it’s just as easy to deliver a clean joke. And the perils of using naughty words are many: offend a guest, alienate an audience or damage your credibility jeopardizing future bookings. Only a handful of professional comedians like Bobby Slayton, often referred to as "The Pitbull of Comedy,” and “Mr. Hockey Puck,” Don Rickles, have found a successful negative niche, publicly bashing anyone and everyone to get a laugh. For the rest of us, clean and clever humor will please the crowd.

Right Time, Right Place
It’s important to tailor your type of humor for your audience. I once was hired to perform a private magic show at a bachelor party. After my first trick, one of the guys asked me if I knew any dirty jokes. “You mean one liners like: football players need to be naked to count to 21?” When the jocks in the room laughed I forged on “What did the elephant ask the naked man?” Pause. Wait. “You breathe through that?” It got worse – er, better and continued down the dirty path for another hour. As fun as that was, there hasn’t been another venue during the past 30 years to use a similar string of jokes in my shows and presentations.

Business meetings, lectures and seminars require more highbrow humor than typical the bathroom strain. Clever comments on the edge of truth have a stronger bite and can be used any time, for example, "Never call a meeting before noon without donuts or all order will be lost."

Remember, humor is subjective. What one person finds hysterical another may not. It depends upon their perspective, as with the joke: “This little computer will do half your job for you,” said the sales clerk. The senior VP studying the machine nodded decisively, “Fine, I’ll take two.” Most upper management will politely smile and accept the good-natured ribbing causing all worker-bees to chortle.

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the class clown, hiding behind the burning bush, saw an opportunity. Since then the Top Ten List has remained a solid routine which can be applied to any subject.

Top 10 signs your company is going to downsize:

10. Company softball team is converted to a bridge club.
9. Dr. Kevorkian is hired as an “Outplacement Coordinator.”
8. Employees become super friendly with the dorky director of human resources.
7. The coffee machine is removed from the break room.
6. Corporate headquarters begins a weekly bake sale.
5. Senior management starts carpooling…together.
4. Annual holiday party moves from the Ritz Carlton to Chucky Cheese.
3. Computers are being replaced with Commodore 64s.
2. Medical plan now consists of directions to the free clinic.
And the number one sign your company is going to downsize is…
1. The CEO installs a dartboard labeled with existing department names.

Clean is Supreme
Blue Collar Tour jokester Jeff Foxworthy, the originator of “You might be a Redneck if…” holds the current title, “The King of Clean.” Successful comedians like Bill Cosby, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld and Billy Crystal all have held comedic crowns for their wit. These comedians, including the legendary Phyllis Diller, Milton Berle and Henny Youngman all have/had joke files filled with good clean humor because they know that sanitary comedy is timeless.

Focus on levity with longevity and start your clean humor file today.

Clown Fish Michael Varma

Q: How does a clown fish get its stripes?
A: It spends time in jail.

Q: Why don’t sharks eat clownfish?
A: Because they taste funny.

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