Jokes about Fear!
September 30, 2010 12:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm doing a presentation about conquering fear (of public speaking). Do you know any good jokes on the general subject of fear? Particularly on how fears can paralyze us, or how irrational fears can be?
posted by storybored to Education (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They say people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of snakes.

It doesn't seem to make sense.

I mean, you don't see someone walking through the desert, suddenly shouting, "Watch out! A podium!"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:25 PM on September 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

Jerry Seinfeld:

“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
posted by John Cohen at 12:26 PM on September 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

Steve Allen:

A psychologist -- interviewed on an Allen show -- announced that the only two instinctive fears in man are the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. "I have a great fear," replied Steve, without missing a beat, "of making a loud noise while falling."
posted by bovious at 1:03 PM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Your audience may be disappointed if you don't trot out the standard Mark Twain quote: "There are two types of speakers: those who are nervous and those who are liars."
posted by twirlip at 1:06 PM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

No jokes -- tried to come up with some but no dice. But what I do when I'm overcome with fear when speaking is to cop to it -- in real time, right here right now, as it's happening -- just saying something like "I'm really afraid, and damn I hate when this happens, because if I don't cop to it like I'm doing here and now this fear takes over, and copping to it as I'm doing here and now is humbling. So you get to watch me be humbled, I guess." Not those exact words, just whatever words I can access when debilitated by fear, but getting that point across.

Doing this has never failed me, it always releases the fear, or punctures it, or whatever it does to it; what I do know is I can now talk, freely, fearlessly. And I can then come up with a hundred jokes about it, also in real time, jokes about fear and just jokes about being human maybe, how annoying it can be -- it's fun! Works for me...
posted by dancestoblue at 2:16 PM on September 30, 2010

"See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night, one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend didn't dare make the leap. Y'see... Y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea... He says "Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!" B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... He says "Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across!"
posted by bdk3clash at 2:42 PM on September 30, 2010

ABC (Australia) has a program called Stricktly Speaking where members of the public speak on a topic of their choice for two minutes, then an impromptu speech for one minute. In the last episode one of the contestants (who was rather large himself) made an amusing speech about public speaking being the extreme sport of the obese, "absolute maximum rush for absolute minimum exertion."
posted by thesailor at 4:47 PM on September 30, 2010

Response by poster: Good ones all!

Q: What lies at the bottom of the ocean and shakes a lot?
A: A nervous wreck!
posted by storybored at 5:53 PM on September 30, 2010

The fear of public speaking drills into the very core of the human psyche because it is elemental to our sense of status among our fellow humans.

This fact is amusing.
posted by ovvl at 6:51 PM on September 30, 2010

I'm doing a presentation about conquering fear (of public speaking)

posted by ovvl at 6:51 PM on September 30, 2010

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths." - Stephen Wright

“To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.” - Jack Handy
posted by Chenko at 9:26 AM on October 1, 2010

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