Tim Lee obtained his Ph.D. at UCSD and began working at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, developing simulation and analytical models of population dynamics. If that sounds boring to you, you’re not alone. In fact, it bored Tim as he realized he was probably in the wrong line of work.
Many of us who lecture on science topics realize that the audience craves well-placed and relevant jokes or stories to keep them connected and interested. Tim began reflecting on this more seriously after recalling a joke he’d snuck into a PowerPoint presentation he’d given on salmon population dynamics. He wondered if he could extrapolate that into a stand-up act.
There is ample precedence for this. Bill Nye the Science Guy has made a career out of quasi science/quasi comedy. My good colleague Mike Earley excels at combining sharp wit with science from the stage. It’s vangaurd enough to be a captivating educator like Bill Nye for kids or Mike Earley for graduate students and optometric clinicians. But can someone take this route toward being a successful standup in clubs through cerebral, PowerPoint-aided comedy?