You can surprise yourself and even more often you’ll surprise other people when you say the really obvious thing. It turns out to be the best thing you could have said. British improviser Paul Merton is a master of saying the obvious. When you analyse it, it may not be particularly witty or clever; it was just the right thing to say the moment because it was calling out to be said. So, using that power of the obvious can be a way of improvising. Away from comedy panel game settings, the comment may or may not be funny, but it is likely to be apposite.
The Merton method takes courage, as it involves committing yourself to what others are reluctant to say. It strikes the audience as being precisely the right comment in that moment because it was calling out to be said.
Saying the obvious may be counter-intuitive if we’d love to appear clever or funny, yet it works because it serves the story. It fits. And the bonus is that it is easy for us to say what is obvious to us. We gain fluency by not wasting time trying to think up something clever or special. This is why Keith Johnstone, guru and author of ‘Impro’, tells participants in his exercises to ‘be average’. There’s no struggle or extra effort, especially as you cannot be better than you actually are.