Douglas Shaw shares how to tell a joke


Around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2, the first show from the UNI Interpreters Theatre for the semester was released in the form of a YouTube video called ‘How To tell a Joke with Doug Shaw and Monster Puppet.’ Just as the name suggests, the ten-minute video follows an instructional theme on how to tell a joke with UNI Mathematics Professor Doug Shaw and his very own Monster Puppet. The first in a 5-part series, Doug really wanted to emphasize the importance of telling a proper joke because in today’s world, no one likes a poorly told joke.

When asked what inspired him to create these videos with Monster Puppet, Shaw said, “I’ve been doing videos and livestreams with Monster Puppet since March as a symptom of Quarantine Loneliness. They got kind of good – like a solo improv show. Don’t tell Monster Puppet I called our shows ‘solo.’ So I was approached and asked if I would do some videos with the Monster Puppet for UNI. The thought of my daughter’s puppet from when she was little to be asked to be an instructor for a university amused me more than I have the words to express.”

Although quarantine has had its ups and downs for different people, for Shaw it brought back to life a dear friend who had been kept in a box for many years.

“I first put Monster Puppet on my hand ten years ago, when my daughter was five,” said Shaw. “He has spent several years in a box. But now he is out, baby!”

A symptom of the pandemic, Shaw’s videos demonstrate a lightness that is needed at this time. People are anxious and lonely, so what better way to cheer them up than with videos about jokes and fun? If you are in need of a little pick-me-up or just want to learn about telling a joke, go to the Interpreters Theatre YouTube page and check out Shaw’s video.