Nickname of former USC and Oakland Raider running back Marcus Allen. Allen earned this moniker by delivering obvious statements in the clutch.

Example:  "My father's last name is Allen."  -- Marcus Allen
Source: Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle:

The Master of the Obvious believes that while he was studying the writings of Plato, Sir Isaac Netwon, and Peter Drucker, the rest of the planet was watching "Three's Company" and eating Oreos. The "Master" feels a responsibility to share his wisdom at every opportunity. He knows that any concept -- no matter how mundane it might seem to him -- will be a cosmic revelation to the raisin-brains around him.

The favored lines of the Master of the Obvious (delivered with great conviction) include:

  • "You need customers in order to have revenue!"
  • "Profit is the difference between Income and Expense."
  • "Training is essential."
  • "There is competition in the industry."
  • "It's important to retain your good employees."
  • "We want a win-win solution."

The secret to being a convincing Master of the Obvious is to combine condescension with sincerity. Your audience must believe that you genuinely wonder how other people can manage to dress themselves and make it to work every day on the first try. And it must seem as though you care.

You can practice for this role while you're alone. All you need is a common table lamp. Lean toward the lamp and repeatedly explain why "electricity is essential" to the illumination process. Continue to restate the thought it different ways. Try to develop a stammer or at least an annoying habit of pausing to think of the right word. Keep practicing until you can make a bulb burn out just by talking to it.

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