Emcees 2016

The Usual Suspects – The 2016 Emcees

Gary Hallock

Gary HallockGary’s energy and enthusiasm for the Pun-Off never flags, but his shirts often do. This will be the 26th year that he has shown his stripes as emcee/host of the event. As “Producer emeritus” Gary may spend less time hogging the microphone these days, but he insists this is merely another stage he’s going through. He can still likely be scene somewhere behind the scenes all afternoon hustling his bustles and busting his aspirations. The drive and dedication Gary has shown over these many long jeers is matched only by the patience and understanding of his loving wife and family who have always pretty much considered him as a “hostage” for most of each spring leading up to the event. Summer expecting his pride will go before the fall but hey, they can’t all be winters! In his “secret identity” Gary manages to stay gainfully deployed in the mismanagement the family apartment business. He says it seems the lease he can do. Any pun for tenants? Send email to gary at hallock.net

Steve Brooks

Steve BrooksCross two famous guys named Brooks – Garth and Mel – and you get Austin folksinger and six-time O.Henry Pun-Off champion Steve Brooks. Best-known for writing a song-a-week for Jim Hightower’s radio show, his songs have been recorded by artists like Russell Crowe, Slaid Cleaves, Emily Kaitz and Kevin So. He’s written music for two films and appeared in two more, including the 2004 release “Barbecue: A Texas Love Story.” He was featured on TV’s “I’ve Got a Secret” as six-time World Pun Champion. You can check out his six CDs and his award-winning puns at  http://www.stevebrooks.net/.

Brian Oakley


Brian Oakley
The punster formerly known as Brian Snider is honored to be part of an Austin tradition that quite rationally acknowledged “Inner Tube” as a legitimate “Waterborne Vehicle” in 2004. He retired from competition in 2006 after winning his last three “High Lies & Low Puns” efforts (‘02, ‘03, ‘05) and the MVP for Punniest of Show in ‘04. His proudest accomplishment is the most recent: Getting the event rechristened as “Punslingers”. A member of the Pun-Off Topics committee, Brian is still aggrieved that his annually suggested categories of “Things There Are Only Five Of” and “Fulcrums” continue to be rejected by…well, no names, but rhymes with “Blavid Kruggenfleim”. He plans to undangle his preposition and try yet again next year. Brian is a self-confessed localvore who routinely declines big-box therapy. “If you don’t support local businesses, eventually you won’t have the choice – that’s why they’re called “‘chains'”. In the extraordinarily unlikely event that one should experience the desire, he can usually be found at First Thursday, Sunset Valley Farmers Market and local coffee hangs with his faithful Catahoula hound.  “ON-WORD: THRU THE FOG!”

David Gugenheim

David GugenheimIn the late evening of June 16th 1962, a boy was born on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio. Then three-year old, David Gugenheim, residing in San Antonio, Texas couldn’t care less. He was learning to read pun laden Dr. Seuss books by Bennett Cerf (no relation). His favorite toys were mercury filled, asbestos, coated in lead paint. Growing up half nuts, he was destined either to win the Pun-Off, or the Tour de France. As an armature cyclist, he entered his first Pun-Off in 1983. After winning six metals, and a plastic first place PunSlinger trophy, David made the leap to emcee crew in 2007. He often enjoys long walks, small shiny objects, and trying to find his way home. Gugenheim is working on his first film — Pelicula.