I love the standard gag cartoon set-ups like the man on a desert island. In this case I was thinking about the classic therapist/psychiatrist in a chair and the client on a couch.
One of the tactics you could use to create some humor would be to change the client. For instance, you could have them hiding under the couch, standing on it, being fully naked or whatever.
Another option would be to change what the client is. maybe it’s a little puppy dog or a sombrero or crash test dummy or whatever. All good options.
For some reason it occurred to me that to have no client at all could make for a good bit of resonant comedy.
My first angle was to try to make it seem like the client didn’t view himself as important at all and had consequentially slipped away during the session.
The therapist would say something like, “Of course you would be missed.” Maybe an open window nearby would be visually highlighted to give it a darker undertone. It wasn’t a bad option.
Next up for possible punchlines was the psychiatrist saying, “Sometimes we all feel invisible.” Not terribly funny but had a good wistfulness to it which appeals to me. Maybe the therapist is talking to the invisible man, or a disappeared client, or maybe just maybe he’s talking to himself.
Once the notion came to me that he’s talking to himself, the punchline, “it’s perfectly normal to doubt your sanity” soon popped into my head.
Although I did debate with myself on whether or not the punchline was better without the word “perfectly”.
It’s better with it. The word helps give the line a reassuring warm tone.