Why You Should Tell Bad Jokes

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Let me clue you in on this from the very beginning: this is another business metaphor. I’m telling you up front this time so you can begin to think about the connections from the moment you start reading it.

I was strolling through the National Comedy Center in Jamestown the other day, taking in with delight the many funny people who have entertained so many for so many years, when a thought struck me. Why do good comedians tell bad jokes?

When a comic sits down to write gags, it becomes an exercise of no-holds-barred brainstorming. This is by necessity. You don’t know what’s really funny while you’re creating it, so you don’t want to restrict yourself in any way.

James Mendrinos, in his book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing, writes: “You have to force yourself to stain the pages, even if you think the jokes aren’t your best work. I’m not saying that bad jokes are better than no jokes. I am saying that if Continue Reading “Why You Should Tell Bad Jokes”

The Italian-American Triumvirate: #3 – Family

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We begin our third and final installment of the Italian-American Triumvirate to honor Christopher Columbus and all descendants of Italia during October as we celebrate Italian-American Month.

The third item on the list has been known by many names. In fact, those who remember football in the 1960s may also remember the three pillars being defined quite differently (and creatively). Italian-Americans played a prominent role in this.

On June 16, 1970, Brian Piccolo, starting running back for the Chicago Bears, died. Only seven months earlier, on November 16, 1969, Piccolo scored a touchdown on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons. He then surprised his teammates by Continue Reading “The Italian-American Triumvirate: #3 – Family”

How Divide and Conquer Works (And How To Avoid Falling Prey To It)

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While getting his MBA from Duke, a college classmate of mine was asked by a visiting speaker why my classmate thought he (the speaker) preferred hiring ex-athletes?

Now, my classmate was the perfect person to ask this question to. He’s played hockey from his youth to well into his adult years. He is the ultimate athlete, the ultimate team player, and the ultimate performer. I don’t know if the speaker knew his background prior to asking the question, but he could sure guess it once my friend offered his answer. This is how the young MBA candidate responded:

“You prefer to hire ex-athletes because of the following traits: alignment toward a common goal, teamwork, communication, trying to perform your best, etc.”

The speaker said that was all good, but it wasn’t the biggest reason he hired former Continue Reading “How Divide and Conquer Works (And How To Avoid Falling Prey To It)”

Like Crap Through a Pheasant: A Review of The Mirror Test by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett

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The_Mirror_Test_300As I read The Mirror Test: Is Your Business really Breathing?, one particular passage of the opening monologue of the movie Patton kept haunting me:

“Now there’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying that ‘we are holding our position.’ We’re not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass. We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose!”

Author Jeffrey Hayzlett offers this message: Either your business is moving forward or Continue Reading “Like Crap Through a Pheasant: A Review of The Mirror Test by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett”

Is Social Media the Key to a Better Government, a Better New York and a Better Western New York?

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I’ve been meaning to write this for a while – maybe years – but I’ve been too afraid. I’ve been too afraid people would see the idea as crazy. I’ve been too afraid people 15141_3708_ethernet_router_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300would fail to believe the problem exists. I’ve been too afraid people would read politics instead of common sense. In a phrase, I’ve been too afraid.

And, I admit, I’m still a little afraid. With today’s culture in the noose of political correctness, it seems any misplaced modifier has the power to send one to ruin. Ruin, I am told, is not a very good place to visit, let alone live in. Perhaps it’s because it rains there every day.

Whatever the case, on the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia. Well, maybe not the City of Brotherly Love, for it has become the City of the Blogger Levy. According to the Continue Reading “Is Social Media the Key to a Better Government, a Better New York and a Better Western New York?”