Emcees 2013

The Usual Suspects – Emcees for 2013

Gary Hallock
Gary HallockHis energy and enthusiasm for the Pun-Off never flags, but his shirts certainly do. This will be the 22nd year that Gary has shown his stripes by both producing & hosting the contest. While he may spend less time standing at the microphone these days, he can always be scene 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 pretty much consider him as a “hostage” for most of the months leading up to the event. In his “secret identity” Gary manages to stay gainfully deployed in the mismanagement the family apartment business. At lease he has something to fall back on when times are clean. 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 Gugenheim
In 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 a armature cyclist, he entered his first Pun-Off in 1983. After winning six metals, and a plastic first place 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.

Guy Ben-Moshe
Guy Ben-MosheGuy was a competitor in Pun-Offs from 1992 thru 2008. In this POS photo, he’s wearing an ant costume. He joined the emcee crew in 2009. A man of many language skills (Guy studied Spanish, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Tugalog and Dutch) Guy likes bilingual punning. When asked if he could make a pun on the Spanish word for cheese, he said “I dunno, I queso”. According to Guy, his mother always wanted him to become a carpenter, “but I never saw it that way” he said. “It’s just a plane job, and although I’m sure I could nail it, you have to join the Woodworkers Union, and I won’t join any splinter groups. Anyway, I’d be board after a while”.   When not surprising himself with clever puns, Guy plays mandolin with the Austin band Los Klezmeros.

Alex Ramirez

AlexRamirez_CUWhile he was winning every year he competed in the Pun-Off, Alex was known as the Terminator, but now that he has retired from competition is he the Exterminator? He first entered Punniest of Show together with his son in 1990. Or was it 1991? Is this yearly Confusionism? Alex’s top puns were rank in our Punslingers contest which he won four years.  He is returning to emcee duties after time-off from the Pun-Off. When asked to advise aspiring contestants, Alex tell them to remember, “Where there’s a will, there’s relatives.