The 36th Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships on May 18, 2013 was one for the record books!
Punniest of Show Results
Returning for his 5th year of competition, multi-year winner Benjamin Ziek of Glendale, California bounced back from an off-year to claim a very rare “two-fer” as he snagged first place honors in both Punslingers and Punniest of Show competitions. Contestant “double threats” are not unusual in the Pun-Off, but for one contestant to win both top prizes in the same year is almost unknown (at least we can’t remember who did it before.)
In Punniest of Show (P.O.S.) the judges awarded Ziek 39 out of a possible 40 points for his spicy presentation entitled “Seasonings of Love.” In only her second year of competition, Alexandra Petri of Washington D.C. also rated 39 points for bible belting out puns on chapters and verse. To settle the tie, audience applause ranked Alex’s performance as a second place medal thus giving Ziek the first place trophy.
Likewise a tie between Brian Agler and Andy Balinsky for third place with 37 points each was also broken by an audience applause round. Brian Agler carried his 3rd place award home to Brooklyn, New York while Austin contender Andy Balinsky was runner-up and sans ribbon.
The quick-wit PunSlingers contest that has contestants pun back and forth on a topic saw Ben Ziek swapping puns on the topic of INSECTS in the final round against 2009 champ Matt Pollock from Austin. As we said before, Ziek out punned Pollock who took second. Third place honors were shared by Alex Petri and 2012 champ Dav Wallace of Austin.
McClughan Most Viable Punster Award
Showing she’s hardware it counts, the 2013 mmMVP (McClughan Memorial Most Viable Punster Award) trophy was also awarded to Alexandra Petri who likely had some trouble getting past the medal detectors on her return flight to Washington D.C. The mmMVP winner is chosen by a vote of all the contestants.
There’s much more Pun-Off chatter and gossip taking place all year round. Find pun friends on groups.yahoo.com email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/punoff/ and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PUNYPAGE.
Gary Hallock gary[at]hallock.net