Rule of Three multiplies effect of speech, humor

From the October 29, 1999 print edition
Say Something Funny

The Rule of Three multiplies effect of speech and humor

By Ellis Posey
humorist Doc Blakely
humorist Doc Blakely

If you want to talk funny, timing is everything.

Comic timing is one of those things all comedians and humorists insist is necessary to the successful performance of humor. But nobody seems to be able to explain exactly what comic timing is.

After extensive research and study, I have concluded comic timing is not just one simple rule or formula the budding humor practitioner must master. It’s more likely a number of things.

What humorist Doc Blakely calls “The Rule of Three” is part of the formula.

“It is generally accepted in humor that one general theme is overworked after it has been attacked at least three times with punch lines that are quite similar,” Blakely writes.

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Everyone, Anytime, Anywhere

By Bill Gates, Microsoft Corporation, Forbes ASAP October 4, 1999 Continue reading Everyone, Anytime, Anywhere

Hat Trick

Meaning: The accomplishment of three successes or wins.


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Structure of the Universe and Things Biblical

According to the scriptures, there is a physical/spiritual structure to the universe.

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Three Graces by Peter Paul Rubens

The Three Graces preside over banquets, dances, social settings, children of Zeus and Eurynome


  • Euphrosyne
  • Aglaia
  • Thalia

Three Graces

Title: The Three Graces 1639

Painted by: Peter Paul Rubens

Location: Museo Del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Year: 1639Dimensions: 71.26 inch wide x 87.01 inch high

Orientation: Portrait

William Shakespeare

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


Three parts of him Is ours already, and the man entire Upon the next encounter yields him ours.

ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Cassius, in Julius Caesar, act 1, sc. 3, l. 154-6. Using devious means to win the support of Brutus.

Robert Frost – Home Burial


Robert Frost

Robert Frost


"Three foggy mornings and one rainy day Will rot the best birch fence a man can build."

Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. "Home Burial."

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Roger Caras

"There are only three sins – causing pain, causing fear, and causing anguish. The rest is window dressing."

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