Pun lovers of Seattle united at Pundamonium on Nov. 8th, where contestants vied for the title of best pun maker. The event, held at Peddler Brewing Company, took the style of a poetry slam but with many more belly-laughs and winces.
Peddler Brewing Company was packed with attendees awaiting a night bound to be full of giggles. The host of the night, Forest I.E. Ember, told the audience that the winner would have their entire bar tab paid for, a reward which elicited quite a few cheers.
Since its conception in 2013, Pundamonium has spread to Chicago, Los Angeles, Madison, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
For the first round, the 12 contestants had an hour to prepare to speak for two minutes on their own randomly chosen topics.
A notable contestant of this round was Ryan, who had to speak on “hippie matters.” Ryan managed to fit four marijuana puns in his first sentence, and moved on to make jokes about some harder drugs.
“What do you call it when a hippie falls over? An acid trip,” he said, adding that recent studies of hippie DNA have found “acid wash genes.”
Next up was Carolyn, who shared her thoughts on marching bands. She spoke of her hopes in joining a band, saying that she hoped they would “piccolo her bassooner or later”. Her ability to bring at least two band jokes into each sentence impressed the judges, earning her a nearly perfect score.
Throughout the night, it became clear that the delivery of the puns was as valuable to the audience as the words. One contestant, Alex, earned mostly groans for his jokes until he mentioned his most recent trip to the doctor.
“I’m actually just coming back from my cardiologist. He’s really bad. I hadn’t realized this before, but I guess none of his patients had the heart to tell him,” he said.
Contestants only had thirty seconds to prepare puns in the second round, which resulted in many more awkward pauses than in the first round. At times, the audience even jumped in to help the contestants, shouting out inspiration for puns.
A particularly popular contestant from this round was Mike, who spoke on computers. Mike first noted how it felt to be in front of a supportive audience.
“They don’t want to see you fail, they want to see you Excel,” he said, adding that the pressures of the competition mean, “You’ve got to be really good with Word.”
Next up was Steph, who had to speak on the topic of giving birth. She first touched on the difficulty of the topic, noting that it was a laborious category.
“I’m going to do my best to push some jokes out, but I’m kind of thinking that this category might be an accident,” she said, then asked the audience to “please just epidur this.”
The third round was a pun battle between the top four contestants of the evening. The audience voted on who won each duel. Debs and Steph went first, speaking on the topic of high school.
“I can’t remember what my teachers were writing in chalk and stuff. I guess I was kind of board,” she said, to which Steph conceded that Debs was really “schooling” her.
Steph maintained her humility on stage, asking Debs, “Do you think we could just graph my downward progress?”
Debs’ snappy retorts ultimately earned her the most cheers from the audience and won her the duel.
The next battle was between Mike and Carolyn, who chose the topic of skeletons. Both contestants had no problem quickly coming up with puns to spar with.
Mike first said that he had “no bones about” how good this round would be, to which Carolyn asked him to humor her with some puns. After hearing enough of Mike’s puns, Carolyn warned that she might have to give him a “sternum” talking to.
Carolyn’s quick wit won her the round, and she continued on to the final battle against Debs, where the two spoke on candy.
Carolyn first spoke on her hopes of getting some Snickers from the audience, to which Debs said she hoped that she might get a lemon mic drop out of this round. Carolyn dismissed her concerns, “Those who drop mics are Butterfingers.” Debs later mentioned Werther’s ability to make puns, noting that they were always original.
In the end, the audience ruled that Deb’s puns didn’t meet the “candy bar”, making Carolyn the best pun crafter of the night.
Peddler will hold its next pun slam Dec. 13, while there are others held in Los Angeles, Madison, Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
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