I was watching Conan O’Brien a few nights ago. The nice thing about Mountain Standard time is his show is on at a decent hour for a “school night”! During his monologue, a joke fell flat. Instead of cringing at the dead air, he reveled in it, making his “failure” into a laugh-fest. He is not the only host to have a joke fizzle out. Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show would have dead spots in his monologue. You actually looked forward to the failed jokes to see Johnny’s reaction to the audience’s groans. The “bomb” takes a life of its own, and we the audience quickly forget the bad joke and laugh at the new one.
Both of these great late night talk show hosts made me realize something—when something doesn’t go right, you can bounce back. It depends on your reaction to it. In the example of a failed joke, they never brood over it—they accept it, turn it around and move on. What a wonderful life lesson! The next time I find myself in a disappointing situation, I will remind myself to react like a comedian—sure, I may have “bombed”, but it doesn’t mean that my “set” is over for good. I can always turn it around and make a “killing.”