Audience gags are offbeat jokes that occur unexpectedly during
a presentation. Dr. Joel Goodman, from the Humor Project,
does one where a telephone rings during his presentation. He
answers the phone that was hidden in the lectern and pretends
to talk to his mother. The same joke would be called a running
gag if the phone rang at several other times during the program.
The next several issues will be about gags.

Ten Wanted Men
I staged a gag at a seminar one time that was loads of fun and
took less than one minute to complete. Before the program, I
picked out about 10 fun-loving audience members to help me. I
gave them secret instructions that were to be carried out on
a certain cue during the program. To start the gag, I had my
assistant interrupt the seminar to give me an important note.
The note read (I used a serious expression): It appears that
someone is in attendance today with another man’s wife. There
is a large and irate man on his way here right now. If you
want out, there is a backstage door you can use to escape
quickly.

At this point, 10 men jumped up out of their seats and ran
keystone cop style out the door. Once they realized what was
happening, several women jumped up and ran out too. It was
great fun and the gag sure woke up everyone who had a heavy
lunch.

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