Mr. Fantastic. Funny.
Buy the premise, buy the bit.
One of the oldest rules of comedy usually holds true, but only once in my long and checkered, I mean distinguished, career as a stand-up comic did a joke defy this law.
The joke - a mildly risque observation about Mr. Fantastic - would get laughs at the end of the setup, but when it came to the punchline? Nothing. Nada. Zip.
I enlisted the help of my comedian friends. That didn't work, so I got the help of my non-comedian friends. That didn't work, so I asked my enemies. They just beat me up.
So, with that in mind, here is the joke with a blank where the punch - the funny - should be.
When I was a kid, all I wanted was to be a superhero. Not just any hero. I wanted to be Mr. Fantastic, leader of the Fantastic Four. Mr. Fantastic was cool, because he could stretch any part of his body into whatever length, width, or shape he desired. So he did what any guy with that power would do. He fought crime.
Oh, come on. If I had that power, I'd be hanging out at parties. Just waiting for people to inevitably ask, "Why do they call you Mr. Fantastic?"
And I'd say (casual pose, holding mock drink), "I'm standing here talking to you, right? Well, three blocks away, I'm ___________________. (Take sip of mock drink.)
Probably my favorite discarded punchline is, "Doing it with Betty and Veronica." Nope: that didn't work either.
Any ideas? Remember: I don't work blue (aka "dirty") and we're aiming for "Ha, ha, ha!" not "Ewwww...." Do tell.