sign-up is from April 1 to April 3, 2017!
Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm for the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, this registration is for a lottery that will pick the contestants. Persons may register for a chance to compete any time during a 48-hour period beginning Saturday, April 1 to April 3rd starting at Noon (Central Daylight Time, UTC-5) April 1st and ending Noon April 3rd.
This LINK will become LIVE on April 1st!
What if I am NOT chosen in the lottery to compete? We always have some “no-show” contestants on the day of the event so if you are on the Stand-By List be prepared to check-in Saturday, May 12th at the Pun-Off registration table before 11:45.
Eventbrite sends persons who registered an email confirmation that their entry was accepted for the lottery. It is NOT a confirmation that you will compete in an event. The top 32 randomly chosen persons in each lottery will be offered a contestant place. The rest will be rank-ordered on a Stand-By List to be offered a position only if selected contestants drop out.
From April 3rd until the Pun-Off when there are drop-outs, persons next in line will be notified via email if they are moved up from the standby-waiting list to the competitors list. A person will have 24 hours to respond they want to compete. Persons who do not respond will be moved to the bottom of the Stand-By List.
On the day of the Pun-Off, contestants and persons on the Stand-By List should bring their Eventbrite Ticket to the Registration Desk and we will complete your contestant application form.
Description of the Two Contests
The 40th Annual O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships consists of two competitions of punning in downtown Austin, Texas on May 12, 2017.
Punniest of Show is usually a collection of prepared and rehearsed material incorporating strings of puns and wordplay on a theme (the audience can get) performed within 90 seconds. Often it will feature costumes, props, music, and even multiple punsters. Our judge panel is “trained” to appreciate and reward true puns, but they tend to be more tolerant of fringe wordplay and mere double entendre in this event, especially with favorable audience groans.
The Punslingers competition is conducted as a tournament and requires improvised puns on a randomly selected topic. While it is possible to practice and rehearse for this event, it involves a tremendous amount of thinking on one’s feet and a very quick tongue. Not every pun perpetrator is able to summon up disgrace under fire.
Why is there a lottery to enter? In 2015 the all the contestant slots filled up in less than 10 minutes, so we felt that the first-come, first-served system was unfair to people who couldn’t get to a web connection right at noon. It rewarded those with fast internet connections and flexible work schedules. Now everyone who wishes to be a contestant has 48-hours to register for a chance to compete.
How are the lotteries run? Thirty-two contestants will be chosen by a computer randomization of the submitted lottery names. The POS and PunSlinger lottery are independent, so a person may win a contestant spot in either or both lotteries, depending on what they registered for. Persons who miss the cut-off will be placed in rank order sequence on a Stand-By List and notified by email if contestants slot opens if they are first on the Stand-By List.
What about that cool P.O.T.Y. dinner the night before? Everybody is invited, even non-contestants! Check out our web page for details.
Is my lottery ticket or contestant spot transferable? NO. If you need to drop out, your place will go to another person on the standby-waiting list.
Before You enter
- Watch some YouTube videos, read our FAQ and Rules and Bite Your Tongue so you know jest what the Annual Pun-Off World Championship is all about. Check your calendar and make work and travel plans. Are you ready for this?
- Clean Up Your Act. To wit “…double entendre and risqué references will usually go over the heads of the innocent while being appreciated by the mature, but we do hope that all contestants will think twice about deliberately including overt sexual references or other adult themes in their prepared material. We feel a responsibility to our audience, many of whom are young and impressionable, to present a program that is not intentionally offensive in its nature. We are especially eager to see that our event is perceived as a “family friendly” one. Everyone will be on the “honor system” in this matter.”
- Be advised that the Pun-Off is a free, public, entertainment event so you will be photographed and your stage performance recorded and distributed for posterity, and you consent to this recording and distribution.
- Punniest of Show(POS) accepts team entries, but please only enter the “captain’s” name.
- POS and PunSlingers are independent from each other, so you may join EITHER one or BOTH!