Michael Jr. doesn’t ask “What can I get?”, but rather, “What can I give?”

Michael Jr. has stumbled into a new category of comedy where he uses his talents to let people open up and receive inspiration and encouragement in their lives.


He says, “I’m called to comedically inspire people to walk in purpose,” much like Zig Ziglar in the sense that he is here to give to and care about the people he is connecting to on a platform that doesn’t originally have that reputation.


“In comedy, the outcome is to give people revelation, fulfillment, and joy, expressed through laughter.”

  • Everyone has a setup, which is your house, your car, your education; your setup is about what you receive.
  • Your punchline is what you are called to deliver, your purpose. The best punchlines utilize the entire setup around it.
  • A “punch-liner” is a person who looks to give to an opportunity through their setup.


Michael is actually developing a platform called “Be the Punchline.” On this platform, people sign up to utilize their abilities, their setup, to give of themselves in a different way than monetary donation.


Your setbacks are part of your setup, and negative things that come against you can be used for your punchline to have that much more of an impact on the world around you.


God doesn’t cause your struggles, but He can use them in preparation for what you are called to do. That is your time for practice, and there will be a game time; you just have to listen for the “coach’s” voice, telling you what to do to be that punch-liner.


Next spring, Michael Jr. is doing a tour called “More than Funny,” where you can sign up to be a punch-liner and create positive change in the community. If you want more information go to bethepunchline.com

 Show Transcription:

[00:19] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, where we inspire your true performance. I’m your host Kevin Miller and today my co host Mark Timm and I bring you something special. Imagine a top comedian out to inspire people. We have just that for you, in Michael Jr. He’s a world class comedian who is not out to get laughs. He is out to “give people the opportunity to laugh” and help set the stage for meaningful, purposeful content of the heart and soul. His personal mission is to “comedically inspire people to walk in purpose”. He is accomplishing this in massive numbers while on stage with The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel, BET, Comedy Central, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and Tedx Talks. He will shortly be in a movie theatre near you in a starring role for the feature film, “Selfie Dad”. Here is a novelty, he’s a top ranked comedian who has no need or use for crude and vulgar jokes, imagine that. You will hear in the show how he views all of us, in living our lives, we are preparing and setting the stage. Why? For the punchline of our lives. The deliverable. Without that, it’s simply a life of always preparing but never coming to the table with an offering. Nobody in The Ziglar audience desires this. So listen in to this interview and we believe you will be significantly inspired and empowered to do just that. Deliver. Connect with Michael at www.MichaelJR.com.

[01:58] If you get value from today’s show, please… give us a thanks by leaving a review in iTunes.

[02:40] Here we go folks, with…Michael Jr.!

[02:48] So you’re a comedian, yet this is what I read at the top of your Facebook page just days ago: It was Lisa Mikals and she said, I’ve been struggling with making sure I’m accomplishing what God sent me here to do before I leave this place. And only God would use a comedy show Michael Jr. Comedy to direct, convict, encourage & inspire me. Thank you God. Thank you Michael Jr. for obeying God. Were you initially surprised that you could use the platform of comedy to deliver a message that has Zig Ziglar dancing in heaven? Or does it make sense to you?

[03:24] I am gonna first start with my Facebook page, it was probably around 7-8 years ago. The comments started really from earlier, it says you are hilarious, we love you, you are my favourite comedian, it started inspiring me. I can make people laugh, people always say that laughter opens their heart. So I just started making a big impact.

[08:15] I used to think comedy as a destination, really it is just a vehicle to reach the destination. People used to ask what can I get if I open everything.  I tell my audience that you have to articulate what can you give, if you don’t articulate the answer of this question, you are asking what can I get.

[09:56] We have you on here because of heart of your message, but on a vocational and biz front, which your family appreciates because it puts food on the table. In Ziglar Show 479 we interviewed Christopher Lochhead, co author of the book ‘Play Bigger’. The focus is creating a new category in business. Not focusing on being better, but different. Uber created a brand new category of travel just like AirBnB created a new category for lodging. Do you feel that’s what you’ve done…created a new category of inspirational comedy?

[10:41] I love that man, that sounds phenomenal. I don’t know when people come to my show, I don’t want to get anything from them. I am literally giving them an opportunity; I just hope I can open up their eyes a little bit, that doesn’t mean I am always a cool scripture, I am very rare cool scripture on the stage.

[17:35] You have a video on youtube titled “Delivery Room” that has over 4 million views, plus another 2 mill plus on Facebook. Folks, go type in Michael J R and “Delivery Room”. There was zero comedy in that video and yet it looks to be your most watched video ever. To you, does it feel like your skill at comedy has set you up for this opportunity of straight forward leadership, or is it still the same…just a setup and a punchline?

[18:08] It is a video of my youngest daughter in a delivery room of 2 and a half minutes long and I took this video as a father but I didn’t watch it. But when I watched the video, I saw it in a completely different prospective. And it really just blew me away, so I feel like I should share it and people get really really enjoyed a lot.

[22:55] As for being “clean”, zig told he shouldn’t ever talk about god or faith from stage as a motivational speaker, do you feel there are any drawbacks at all to embracing that positioning in the world of comedy?

[23:27] He was told by some of the biggest names in the business, pulling him a side and said, hey look, if you wanna get in the corporate gigs, you gonna knock the God’s stuff out. You just can’t do that anymore. And that time, it was the article that came after a week, it was about Zig how he became Zig Ziglar by being ok by offending people because he didn’t intend to offend anybody, he just wanted to be authentic.

[27:58] I got immense joy…laughter and conviction, watching your TED talk. I want your book now, “Be the Punchline!” It’s an inspiration, personal development masterpiece. I want to dig in to some of the gold you gave us. You say in comedy, the outcome is to give people

  • revelation
  • fulfilment
  • joy…expressed through laughter

Looking at personal development, and the Bible, would that not be the proper goal for all of us? To devote ourselves to giving people the same? Revelation, fulfilment and joy?

[29:18] So for those who don’t know what I am talking about, you started off the comedy without knowing how comedy works. So the first thing is to set up a punch line. To setup as a comedian, you need to be sure that you and the audience are moving in the same direction. The punchline occurs when you change the direction and audience are not expecting, the results are revelation of joy. What I learned is that life is in same way, at least from the comedian prospective. So in life there is a set up, your setup is your talent, your resources and your opportunities. And most of the times we use our resources to make sure that audience is also moving in the same direction. It means when the punchline occurs, when you change the direction the way they are not expecting. We develop a platform i.e. Be the punchline, and in this platform, people go there and it is a website and you signed up and if we are in your community, we go ahead and form an organisation where you can show up and be a punchline.

[35:02] You inserted that in the talk, but I want to hear more on that statement, it was a charge you gave to the audience. What is the impetus…what are you speaking to in the culture and in our humanity?

[35:38] Every time when I see over indulging or anything, you know I love sports, but when you see someone in game, crying because his team is loosing, they made their team winning part of your setup. People are running to be entertain and it is really a pacifier for what’s really missing.

[41:02] So a big part of your story is your struggle with reading, you said you had to look at words 7 different ways. It left me wanting to know…what are those 7 ways??

[41:23] Yeah and my mind do this automatically. I see the font size, the colour of the word, the positioning, what’s in front of it, what’s behind it, how people are responding to it, I try to locate all of these thing to try to determine what it was.

[46:45] “What is the punchline of my life??” That feels…weighty.

[47:24] See none of us gets wasted. So for example, I was on an airplane with a guy, we were sitting in the first class, he was doing pretty well and I ask what he did. He said he own a company who did some sort of technical support. I said wow that’s cool. I was imagining that you are on the business, and you are doing pretty well, your business probably has good bottom line, he said yes. I said yes all business has the bottom line but what is your punchline. Of course then I explained him all the setups. Most business has the bottom line but very rare has the punchlines.

[51:28] Alright, comedy break, what is a joke, most recent joke you wrote?

[51:33] When I was a kid, I was eleven and I was living in the neighbourhood that isn’t easy to live in, so we found a dog, a puppy and named the puppy as Money. Then there is guy named Mr. Clark, he offered to buy the dog like in $50. So we sold the dog to him. Two days ago it was a sign written lost dog, so we went and found the dog again, and get the reward. So my point is sometimes you take money to make money.

[53:27] You cited the story of being in the green room with Jay Leno, Gary Shandling and others at the Comedy and Magic Club. To lead in, tell us that story really quick?

[53:43] So I am brand new in the town of Los Angeles, and there was a comedy club that called a comedy magic club. It is the best club in the country, it is hard to get into. And I was in the club and the fact of being me in the club is because of well known comedian in New York. He offered me to get in the club, so he couldn’t get me on stage, but he got me inside the club. So in the green room there were Jay Leno, Gary and others. So I am the brand new, I am the greenest person, I am like Smurf in green. I am not saying anything. I am just happy to be in that room. And I am quite and they looked at me. And I thought this is a big opportunity. And I tell them the joke and in result I was on the tonight’s show. This happens because I was practicing and I was prepared for the opportunity.

[56:25] So just 5 days ago we interviewed best selling author Chris Guillibeau, hasn’t posted yet, and he made a statement I wrote down, he said, “We think we’ll rise to the level of our expectations, but under pressure, we fall to the level of our training.” Does that catch the essence of what you were getting at?

[58:22] So imagine there is a lady, she is on the ground, laying down and she is crying. And I show up with a joke. And she just keeps crying. And the guy who wrote the quote came and she is still crying. And then the superhero comes with jokes, and she keeps crying. And then a single mom shows up and whispers in her ear how she was molested when she was young. And the lady just looked in the eye and stands up and start walking again. And they communicate, she is off to ground now, she is on her feet. Because that the superpower she need. The lady needed to hear other’s set backs. Set backs are super powers.

[1:00:50] In this Michael, I mean the personal development world, that’s where Ziglar, that’s where Mark and I are and in so much essence you are. We know that people find the most service, most purpose from serving other people. You said your punchline is comedicly inspire people to walk in purpose. You ended by charging us with this perspective, “What can I get FOR myself, change it to what can I give FROM myself.” Is transferring that to as many people as possible at the heart of your goals?

[1:01:40] That’s it. Instead of asking the basic question, what can I get for myself, we need to ask the question, what can I give from myself. That might change your life, it will open up everything because now you are looking for the opportunity to give all around you.

[1:03:28] You said you don’t strive to be politically correct, you believe if you put the right stuff in your heart, the right stuff will come out. This is classic Zig on integrity. How do you moderate your’s, AND your family’s…5 kids, intake of what is being placed in their hearts, in order to nurture what will come out?

[1:04:05] One of the things we do is we watch less TV, per week may be 20 minutes of TV. And the other thing is we do happen to see something, so we try to use everything as a teachable moment. Me and my kids know that if we see something like siren, that is the time to pray.

[1:14:18] That folks, was powerful. Connect with Michael and all he is doing at Michael J R dot com, and if you appreciated him, please let him know by leaving us a review in iTunes, you will bless him, and the Ziglar team! Coming up next in show 511 we take you behind the scenes with Michael Jr and get into his daily success habits. The habit that most stood out and has stuck with me is his morning routine includes hitting his knees before his feet to say thanks and be grateful. I think about it nearly every morning now. That’s why we do these habits shows folks, so that ideas like these from greats like Michael will resonate and stick with us and change our lives. Thank you for walking with me, as we inspire our true performance…together!