A Funny Speaker and a Resolution Revolution

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A Funny Speaker’s Resolutions Revolution

This funny speaker has a great idea for New Year Resolutions.

It’s mid-January and most of my resolutions have already gone bye-bye. Turns out my resolutions are more like fantasies. But my FunnierU.com buddy George Campbell gave me a great idea:  Resolutions are way more fun when you make them for other people.  Now that’s just brilliant. So here goes:  My New Year’s Resolutions for other people. It’s still early in the year, you can do this. C’mon people, get with it.

To the Hollywoodites:  You resolve to recognize that the world does NOT revolve around you and most of the world does NOT care what you think.  Okay, I’m shooting for the moon with this one.  What’s beyond fantasy…delusion?  Getting those egos in check is as likely as Ozzy Osbourne winning a game of Jeopardy.

To the Media:  You resolve to stop trying to make news and instead just report the news like you used to do. Remember those days?  Channel Walter Cronkite.  Let us draw our own conclusions.  If I want someone to tell me what to think I’ll ask my wife.

To the Lazy Grocery Shopper:  You resolve to push that shopping cart the extra 10 feet and put it in the cart rack, instead of leaving it in the parking lot to randomly roll into and block a parking space or ding a car.  Failure to accomplish this resolution comes with a mandatory cart ramming by me.  Trust me, I’m just the guy that’ll do it.  #parkinglotfight

To Facebook Friends:  You resolve to be less narcissistic.  I don’t care what you had for dinner.  I don’t care that you’re thinking about reading a book.  I don’t care about your political views.  I just wanna see those cute little grandkid photos, funny cat videos, and your mugshot to see if you’re aging more than me.

To Nose Ring Wearers:  You resolve to stop.  Just stop.  It looks like a booger that missed the handkerchief.  Nobody wants to see that.  And it’s gotta hurt.  No self-artistry can be worth that much.  I can’t imagine you with a cold and a runny nose.  Now I gotta stop.  I just got the back willys.

To Men Growing Beards Who Can’t Grow Beards:  You resolve to postpone this attempt until your face reaches puberty.  I know you want to look manly and you need street cred. But this ain’t the way. If I can count the hairs on your chinny chin chin, you need to wait.  You look like you’re 12 with a dirty face.  It just makes people want to beat you up more.

To Non-Turn-Signal-Using Drivers:  You resolve to start using that little device that has been on cars since there have been highways.  Pull down to go left.  Push up to go right.  It’s not that hard.  I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and say it could be broken.  But it can’t be broken because you’ve never used it.

To Makers of Automated Phone Answering Systems:  You resolve to include the prompt, “Press 1 to Talk to a Real Person”.  It has to be the first option, not number 37.  And saying “Representative” or “Agent” never works.  Plus, when I’m in a public place, people just laugh at me when I say “Representative” nine times.  I want a real person who speaks English with good diction who can help me.  That’s why I called the “Help” line!

To Meteorologists:  You resolve to stop giving excess information on the news.  I don’t need to know that El Guapo has created a low-pressure front over the Andes, which could change the bi-polar troposphere in two weeks.  It’s not that impressive that you know what a Chinook is (not the name of the Eskimo dude in “Snow Dogs”).  Here’s what I need to know.  Do I need a coat?  Do I need an umbrella?  That’s it.  But now that I say this, why do we even have the weather report?  They’re wrong half the time anyway.  We should just do away with the weather forecast and give those extra minutes to Sports.  Guys, whadya think?  Can I get an “Amen”!

To Resolution Makers:  Stop sharing, most of the world doesn’t care. Probably should take my own advice. 

MARK MAYFIELD…A funny speaker with a serious message.

A Vegan meets a Funny Speaker

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A Vegan meets a Funny Speaker

What happens when a Vegan meets a Funny Speaker with an agriculture background?  Sarcasm.

We are a nation of different opinions and that is healthy.  There’s an old saying that goes, “if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary”.  I respect an opposing view, I just want my opponent to respect mine.

Such was not the case with my last encounter with a vegetarian.  Let me emphatically state that I have nothing against vegetarians.  Some of my best friends are vegetarians.  I admire their perseverance and their steadfast belief.  Because as you know, a vegetarian will not eat anything that comes from or is derived from…flavor.  That takes real commitment.  And I repeat, I LOVE vegetarians!  It means more steak for me.  I’m selfish that way.

She sat next to me on the plane.  And she had the attitude that she was far superior and far more intelligent than anyone who was a carnivore.  Her name was Connie, which I think was an abbreviated nickname for “condescending”.  Let’s just say we had a conversation.  I’m sure when she started the dialogue she didn’t know she was talking to a funny speaker who is also a “steak and taters” farm kid who’s been involved in agriculture his entire life and who speaks fluent sarcasm.  She later found those two things out.  Here’s the recap, and remember…she started it.

I had an inkling she was a vegetarian because she was eating from a baggie filled with sticks and twigs.  I was preparing to eat as well.  I had raced to make my flight and had grabbed a meal from that Five Star restaurant known as “Nathan’s Hot Dogs”.  I love hot dogs, because I love eating many types of meat parts all at once smushed together in a tube.  Yes, I have a very distinguishing palate.

She looked at me, scowled and said, “seriously, you’re not stupid enough to eat that in front of me, are you”?  (I told you she started it.)  So I replied, “why, you want some, you look a little puny…like you’ve been eating too many sticks and twigs”.

And we’re off.

She told me she couldn’t believe I was eating that “junk”.  I tried to diminish her disappointment in me by telling her it was made from 100% natural, organic, GMO free, nitrate free, cage free, free range, grass fed, nut free, egg free, dairy free, sugar free, and processed free sticks and twigs.  She didn’t buy it.  I think she somehow detected my thinly veiled sarcasm.  She told me it was bad for me.  I said of course it’s bad for me, that’s why it tastes good.  That’s the number one food rule.  If it tastes good…it’s bad for you.  Donuts taste good, but they’re bad for you.  Anybody see a pattern here?

I told her I had no ill will against vegetables.  It’s just that I prefer my vegetables to be fed to a steer so they become a steak.  #farmkid

And I let her know I knew a little bit about the food industry.  In fact, I knew that the stick of celery she was eating only had four calories, which is why it’s a great diet snack.  I also let her know that to eat and digest that stick of celery a person burns six calories.  Which means if you keep eating celery, you’ll eventually disappear.  I could be wrong on that one.

She questioned a lot of my reasoning.  Like when I suggested we examine one of the five basic food groups…chocolate.  I could be wrong on that one too, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the major groups.  It is at least in my house.  So follow me on this logical journey:

Chocolate comes from the cacao bean.
The cacao bean comes from a tree.
A tree is a plant.
Therefore, chocolate is salad.
It’s a simple matter of deduction.

So how did this conversation end?  She told me she preferred to be called a “vegan”.  I told her the word “vegan” was actually an old Latin word that means “bad hunter”.

In case you’re wondering, that’s the type of comment that will stop a conversation.  She started it.  I guess I ended it.

MARK MAYFIELD…A funny speaker with a serious message.

The Olympics as seen by a Funny Speaker

Funny Speaker and the Olympics funny speaker The Olympics as seen by a Funny Speaker Rings


Take a twisted look at the Summer Olympics through the eyes of a funny speaker. 

Hey, how about them Olympics?  We took the medal count over China, but if it was a badminton & ping-pong Olympics we wouldn’t stand a chance.  Fortunately we also had Michael Phelps who won another 97 medals just by himself.  We had personal records, American records, Olympic records, and world records, but the biggest record was the length of the opening and closing ceremonies.  In fact, I think you can still catch the closing on TNT.  It’s still running.

Faster, Higher, Stronger is the Olympic motto (Citius, Altius, Fortius for you Latin buffs), but it needs to include “Skimpiest”.  Did you see the swim trunks on the male divers and the women beach volleyball players?  I guess it is convenient to be able to pack your uniform in a cough drops box, but I can assure you no one is getting a gold medal for modesty.  And somewhere along the line, the Olympic committee decided the motto included “Oddest”.  I know it’s graceful, but rhythmic gymnastics is just…odd.  To me, a stick and a ribbon doesn’t fit the faster, higher, stronger theme.  Nor does tossing two items in the air while doing a pirouette and a plié.  Unless, of course, those two items happen to be tire irons or swords.  Anything that involves a possible impaling is definitely a sport.  Which is precisely why I’m starting a move to bring Mumbley-peg to the Olympics.

That’s the real problem.  We’ve got too many events.  And at each Olympic games, they add more.  I can’t wait to see who wins “Fitted Sheet Folding” in Tokyo.  For that matter, why isn’t there a funny speaker contest?

I love horses but I’m not a fan of Equestrian events either, mainly because it’s unfair.  A lady in a goofy hat riding around an arena gets a gold medal, while the horse who has been launching himself & rider over water jumps, fences, and rails gets a bale of hay.  What?

And Race-Walking?  I know they’re in great shape, but there’s no way you watch that event and keep a straight face.  The real question…should we give medals for walking?  What’s next, skipping?

The Hammer Throw?  My Dad was a contractor and that ain’t no hammer they’re throwing. It’s a metal ball attached to a steel rod and a chain.  I think I saw that thing in “Braveheart”.  Wanna make it a sport?  Make them play catch with it.

A lot of these events used to relate to the real world, but about the only one that does now is the gymnastics balance beam.  That skill’s gonna come in real handy at a sobriety check.

All in all, here’s the weird thing.  I spent two weeks watching events that I care nothing about, and will end up watching them in another four years.  Why?  National pride.  There’s something about beating the rest of the world.  Even if it is just bouncing on a trampoline.

MARK MAYFIELD…A funny speaker with a Serious Message.

A Funny Speaker Looks at the Presidential Race

Politics are always funny to a funny speaker.  Particularly a Presidential race with a bunch of candidates posing as comedians.

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A Funny Speaker Looks at the Race for President

I know it seems like the Presidential race has already gone on forever, but we really haven’t begun.  We don’t even know who the nominees will be, that’s when the mud will fly and the annoying commercials will air.    My partners and I at FunnierU have been trying to ease everyone through this process by writing topical humor on the subject, so I thought I’d share some of our postings from this process to help you as well.  Don’t worry, I’m a non-partisan funny speaker.  I will offend all of you regardless which side of the aisle you sit, and who you support.  It’s how I roll.  Here’s your therapy…

Every candidate running for President wants to simplify the tax code.  And if you think that means less taxes, then you are what’s simple.
To keep Donald Trump’s hair in place they use the same stuff they use on gymnasium floors.
At her latest Presidential rally, Hillary said the Benghazi issue is nothing but a political witch hunt.  Then she got on her broom and flew away.
I don’t care what you think of his policies, but you have to agree, Chris Christie is the perfect shape for the Oval Office.
Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon.  Is there anyone that would be more out of place in Washington, D.C. than a brain surgeon?
Jeb Bush announced today he really doesn’t want to be President, he’s just sick and tired of being made fun of at family reunions.
The last Republican Presidential Debate included seven people.  I come from a big family and when there’s seven people talking it’s not a debate, it’s an argument.
The Bible says you can’t buy your way into heaven.  It doesn’t say anything about the White House.
I don’t agree with Bernie Sanders on a lot of things, but he is my favorite Muppet.
Donald Trump confuses me.  When he speaks I sometimes can’t tell if he’s on to something, or if he’s on something.
Hillary Clinton said there’s not a shred of evidence of any wrongdoing with her email servers.  She said SHRED!
The last debate had interruptions, sarcasm, angst, and name-calling.  It was like a family reunion.
Here’s a recap of the last Republican Presidential debate.  Carly Fiorina was angry, Jeb Bush was invisible, and Donald Trump acted like he needed to go pee.

My crossword puzzle asked for a seven-letter word, beginning with “C”, meaning twisted or devious.  “Crooked” works, but so does “Clinton”.  Hmmmm…

I’m not gonna say Bernie Sanders is too old, but if he was a car he’d be hard to get parts for.

After Donald Trump complained about unfair news coverage he was told, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.  And that’s why I never got into politics…I hate doing dishes.

MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker’s take on Thanksgiving

Dinner with a funny speaker?  Sometimes not so funny.

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Thanksgiving with a Funny Speaker

Thanksgiving is a terrific time.  Families gather.  Feasts occur.  And we count our many, many blessings.  But let’s face it.  It ain’t all peachy.  We love our families, but there are always a few that we sorta wish would stay home.  Don’t sit there and shake your head “no”.  You know it’s true.  You’re thinking of that weird uncle right now.  The one who shares his latest medical malady in graphic detail before you sit to eat, then blows his nose during the meal, then clips his nails after the dessert…toenails, that is.  You wonder why he has to bring his fourth wife who luckily got the weekend off from the chicken gizzard processing plant.  She’s got a new tattoo of which she’s really proud.  And who wouldn’t be?  A dragon biting the head off a gopher as they disappear down the back waistband of her stretch pants…which, by the way, have no choice.  She’s a real prize, in a gag gift kinda way.  And she fits in sitting next to the cousin that decided to overhaul the Harley right before the meal.  Lovely.  The other uncle is there.  He works for the paper.  He throws it.  And the nephew with the purple and orange hair got paroled in time to show up.  Across from you is the niece who is complaining about how long her work day is now, since she started showing up on time.  It’s an entire family affair, there’s screaming and crying and whining.  And the kids aren’t acting any better either.  Grandpa is telling his favorite joke you’ve heard a million times:  “your Grandma and I were very happy for many years…and then we met”!  There’s a couple of drama queens in the group, which is convenient because they can try to one-up each other even if it means saying, “well oh yeah, I just had an appendix transplant”.  Your sister, who has a voice that can crack a glass, knows nothing about football but wants to narrate the game you’re trying to watch, “why are they fighting over that little ball, is it on sale”?  It’s a never ending day of irritations, and you’re committed that next year you’re just going to tell everyone you have to be home by yourself because you have a bad case of ebola.


Feeling better about your slightly dysfunctional family now?  Me too.  We may try to make things sound as bad as I just wrote, but it never is.  In fact, it’s almost always a GREAT thing. 


So when that relative grabs that last piece of pumpkin pie that you had your eye on, just remind yourself that you can’t pick your family.  And also remind yourself, they’re gonna leave in a few hours.


MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Funny Speaker gives Communication Tips

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A Funny Speaker Interprets the Genders

I make a living as a funny speaker, but I’ve picked up some great communication tips over the years. May I share?

Let’s be honest.  Men and women are terrible communicators with each other.  You know what I’m talking about…saying one thing but actually meaning another.  I will lay blame on both sexes, that way both of you will be equally offended by this writing.
So in an attempt to clarify a few things, I’ve been compiling interpretations over the years.  I’m know I’m just a funny speaker, but truly believe this will help both genders understand the other.  I just wanna make the world a happier place.  I’m that type a guy.
Here goes nothing:
Man says “it’s a guy thing”, means “I have no rational thought pattern connected to this activity.   Don’t even try to make it logical”.
Woman says “you need to be a better communicator”, means “shut up and agree.  You’re wrong”.
Man says “that’s interesting dear”, means “I haven’t been listening for the last five minutes”.
Woman says “I’ll be ready in a minute”, means “go ahead and catch another loop of Sports Center”.
Man says “you look terrific”, means “please don’t try on another outfit, I’m starving”.
Woman says “go ahead, do what you want”, means “you’ll pay for it later.  Think again”.
Man says “take a break honey, you’re working too hard”, means “shut off the vacuum cleaner I can’t hear the game”.
Woman says “do you love me”, means “I just bought something really expensive”.
Man says “I could never love anyone else”, means “I’m really used to the way you yell at me.  Comfortable is good and it could be much worse”.
Woman says “we need to talk”, means “you’ve screwed up so sit down, this is gonna take a while”.
Man says “I am listening, I just have a lot of things on my mind”, means “I wonder if that redhead over there is wearing a bra”.
Woman says “does this outfit make my butt look big”.  Seriously guys, if you need to have that one interpreted then none of the above is going to help.  Enjoy your bachelor pad.

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

Funny Speaker – Funny (and ornery) Grandkids

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A Funny Speaker’s Grandkids…Archer, Delaney, Everett, Reid

A funny speaker has four funny grandchildren.  Genetics.  A beautiful thing.

Four grandchildren.  Four angels.  Slightly ornery angels, but angels nonetheless.  Enjoying them like crazy now because once they’re teenagers, this old man, even though he’s their grandpa and makes audiences laugh as a funny speaker, will not be as cool.  So in honor of these unpredictable packages of joy, I’m listing the Top Ten things my grandchildren have taught their “PaPa”.


10.  The things that your kids did that made you mad, are now hilarious when your grandkids do them.


9.  The best place to wipe your hands is on the underneath side of the table.


8.  Super Heroes are AWESOME!!!


7.  On a grandchild, eyeglasses are the cutest.


6.  Being pulled around in a laundry basket never gets old.  Pulling the basket, however, can get old.


5.  A “Bouncy House” is a solid investment.


4.  You can read a book ten times in a row and it’s just as good the 10th time.


3.  A “Princess” dress can be worn at anytime, including during a nap and at an airport.


2.  The quality of the dining experience is directly proportional to the amount of food on your face and shirt.


1.  Grandkids give the best hugs.



Okay wait, here’s ten more, and then I promise I’ll stop.

(Did I mention I was an annoying Grandpa?)


10.  The best part of the cake is always the frosting, which is why you eat that first.


9.  The location in the bed where you go to sleep, bears no resemblance to the location in the bed where you wake up. 


8.  Bribery is sometimes okay.  Getting a grandchild’s kiss by promising a present is perfectly acceptable.


7.  It’s not important what you do outside, just that you BE outside.


6.  Playgrounds are mankind’s greatest invention.


5.  All shoes are adorable on a grandchild.


4.  All food is better on a stick.


3.  Bedtime is only a suggestion.  It can be extended by a variety of stalling tactics.


2.  A grandkid running to you with outstretched arms yelling “PaPa”, is the sweetest sound EVER!


And the number one thing I’ve learned:

There is nothing stronger than the grasp of a grandchild’s tiny hand.


My daughters know how much I love them, but there still is no truer adage than the old saying, “if I’d known how much fun grandkids would be, I’d have had them first”.


 MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Favorite Gig for a Funny Speaker

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A Funny Speaker at his Favorite Gig

One of the toughest questions that a funny speaker can be asked is, “what’s been your favorite gig?” 

I generally say, “the last one that gave me a check”.  HA!  A funny speaker is supposed to answer funny, right?  But with over forty years and thousands of audiences, I always thought it impossible to single out one event.  I was wrong.
Here’s the background.  I’ve come to know the neighbors across the street of my youngest daughter, Lindsay.  My grandkids and their children play together, and both families are just great friends.  I won’t go into great detail about describing those neighbors because all I have to do is say one thing and you’ll know the type of people they are.  They have three little girls, one of whom has Down’s Syndrome, and they’re currently in the process of adopting a baby from China with Down’s.  Now you know Ben and Nicole Wallace.
It’s an expensive project so Lindsay and Nicole decided they should try and raise some money to help offset the costs.  What started out as gathering a few items for a silent auction, turned into a full-blown fundraiser.  They enlisted my other daughter, Leah, to help and before you know it they had over 80 significant silent auction items and 10 premium live auction items.  Game on. 
Lindsay should be a professional fundraiser, because she knew all the nuances of this type of event having previously done it on a large scale with a church.  They then asked me to emcee and be auctioneer.  They thought my title “funny speaker” also meant “will do anything”.  They also know I work cheap, so they offered food and cocktails.  I’m in.  Here’s another reason I’m in:  I love auctions.  It’s basically a contest, one that I refuse to lose.  I’ve bought a lot of worthless junk because I got caught up in the rush of bidding.  I once bought an accordion at a farm sale.  In case you’re wondering, I don’t play accordion.  But I was the high bidder and that’s all that mattered.  By the way, know anybody that wants an accordion?  Despite my fascination with auctioneering, I never learned how to babble and slur words, although some of my programs may sound like I learned. 
In case my auctioneering failed, I decided to have some back up entertainment.  I enlisted my good buddy and one of America’s best mentalists and illusionists, Devin Henderson, to perform (he killed by the way, an AMAZING act!).  I also got Jeremiah Nichol, another great friend who is the best Deejay/Entertainer in Kansas City, to host the dance and party afterwards, and it’s now officially an event.  And yes, these guys signed on for nothing.  Just wanted to help out.  I pick good friends.
The people there were off the charts.  Incredibly giving, and an unbelievably fun crowd.  I played a couple of “get to know Ben and Nicole” games, and then she set the table for the live auction with an incredible touching and heartfelt thank you to the 200 plus people in attendance.  As I told you earlier, I’m not an auctioneer, but I do apparently have the ability to badger people.  That apparently is an inherent trait of a funny speaker.  It was so easy.  In fact, another good friend told me they were bidding just to shut me up.  It didn’t work.  I’ve had stubborn audiences before.  Just so you know, badgering people is a lot of fun, although that may depend on which end of the badgering you’re on.  Let me summarize this:  harassing those folks was worth it.  We raised some serious dough, in fact over $20,000 and not one corporate dollar.  All from middle class friends and family just wanting to be part of this great cause.
I don’t think I’ll add auctioneer to my title of funny speaker, but here’s one thing I learned that night.  In a world full of chaos, that was a room full of humanity. 

Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message

A Disaster for a Funny Speaker

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A Zipper & A Funny Speaker

A disaster for a funny speaker just might be funny.

I’ve had a lot of oddball things happen to me over the years, but this “disaster” is one I can quickly remember, even though it happened a few years ago.  And yes, as a funny speaker I sometimes tell it on stage.  For that’s one definition of comedy:  tragedy plus time.

Virtually every man, at one time or another, has had a flash fear that they would be speaking in front of people, and realize that their fly was open.  And, of course, it’s happened to many.  One of my best friends, Fred McClure, actually sang the national anthem in the Houston Astrodome with his zipper down.  Remember how the anthem begins, “Oh say, can you see”.  40,000 people could.  (Sorry Fred, now a bunch more people know.)  I wonder what the corresponding fear is for women, maybe tucking your skirt into your pantyhose?


Fortunately, it’s never happened to me (not the pantyhose thing, the fly thing).  But I did come precariously close once.


I was working in Moline, Illinois (I know, I’m a bragger) and before I was about to be introduced to speak at this after-dinner event, I made the obligatory trip to the Men’s room.  In the crowded shuffle of lines and sinks and paper towels, I somehow left the room with my fly down and returned to the banquet hall.  When I approached the head table, the meeting planner noticed this major faux pas.  As soon as I sat down next to him, he leaned to me and said, “can I ask a question”.  I said “sure”.   

He then quietly inquired, “is your fly open”.


Now I have to back up a little and tell you what we had been talking about before I went to the restroom.  I was actually filling in for a friend who was sick and my air travel for this event had been made at the last minute, and was a bit tight.  During the meal, my discussion with the meeting planner had been about the possibility of catching an earlier plane in the morning and getting to my next engagement with a little more time to spare.  I had told him I was on “standby” for an earlier flight, and that I had been checking periodically to see if a seat had opened up on that flight.  So…


When he said “is your FLY open”, I thought he said “is your FLIGHT open”.


The conversation went like this:


Is your fly open?

 Sure is, and thanks for asking.


It’s normally open this time of the year.


During slow times or early in the morning, you can pretty much count on it being open.


It only took us a few seconds to figure out that we were on different topics, but before we did this meeting planner was seriously wondering what kind of funny speaker he had hired.  He actually said to me one of the funniest things I had ever heard regarding this subject.  He told me I needed to “bring my tray table to the upright and locked position”.  I told him that’s a line a funny speaker can certainly use.


So I learned a couple of things that night.   

Diction is important.   

And the last item on my checklist before I take the microphone is, well, I think you know.


Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message


A Reunion and a Funny Speaker

A Funny Speaker and his "brothers". Funny speaker A Reunion and a Funny Speaker NO team1

The Funny Speaker is second from the right.

How did this funny speaker get his start?

 My career as a funny motivational speaker had it’s beginning when I served with a group of guys as National Officers of a youth organization (FFA) 40 years ago.  We spent a year criss-crossing this country thanking donors, speaking at youth events, and attending conventions.  Hadn’t seen some of these fellas in a long time.  First thing I appreciated is how great it is to hang out with somebody your own age.  We all look much better standing next to each other than next to a bunch of twenty somethings.  Remember that tip.  I don’t have many but that’s a keeper. 

We’ve all had varied careers, an internationally recognized dairy farmer, the longest running elected official in Florida, a lobbyist for two Presidents of the United States, a successful executive of a major dairy product manufacturer (who couldn’t attend), and me…a funny speaker. Yep, I was humbled.  I think I’ll use the term “humorist” instead of funny speaker…sounds more intelligent.  But then again, nope, I’m a funny speaker.  More explanatory. 


Over the course of a long weekend, I noticed we had many of the same complaints about society and many of the same life experiences.  Back in the day we would have been talking about women and sports, but this time we spent a lot of time talking about medical conditions and the value of a good nap.  We all think the latter is way underrated.  And of course we’re at the age where we struggle with change and pace.  We don’t understand why they did away with hotel room keys (what’s my room number?) and we all agree that people just drive way too fast.  Yep, we got old.  Proven by the fact that when we went to a mall with many levels and parking garages, we couldn’t find our cars when it was time to leave.  In fact, most of the time AT the mall was spent trying to GET OUT OF the mall.

Our memories could be called into question as well, because I’m not sure we were as smart, witty, and talented as our recounted stories made us out to be.  But who is going to debate us on that stuff anyway, most of the people who could are in a cemetery somewhere.  

 I also noticed that we had all over-married.  To the man, we had out-kicked our coverage.  At least we were over-achievers in one category.  And food and drink is much more important than it was when we were twenty, in fact the entire weekend was basically centered around eating and drinking.  If the reunion was measured by calories and beverages, it was a huge success.  You know that’s your focal point when your agenda includes “meeting for desert at 8 PM”.  We waddled home.


We traveled to see the family of another teammate who had passed away, and realized that as we’ve aged we’ve apparently shrunk.  Or maybe his three boys in the 6’5″ and up range just made us feel that way.  It was a great time and the family had made our visit a big deal, evidenced by the fact they had installed new carpet and repainted the living room.  I was impressed.  Most people won’t vacuum for me, let alone redecorate.


But this was the most beautiful thing of the gathering.  Some of us had not seen each other in over 30 years, but we hung out as if no time had passed and we were back at it again as 20-year-old road warriors.  We picked up right where we left off.  I’ve always heard that was a sign of great friendship.  Now I know it to be true.  


Mark Mayfield…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message