Judges 2016

Punniest of Show (POS) 2016 judges

For many jeers our judge panel was armed with votes ranging between 1-10 points. This would yield each contestant a potential high score of 40 points. In 2010 we added two more judge positions to the panel. Now the highest and lowest votes are discarded which still yields a maximum of 40 points per contestant. (Wasn’t that fun?)  Although it appears to be more fair, this system doesn’t really make a tie vote any less likely. We really jest wanted to math with your mind.

Here come de judges!

Stan Kegel

Stan Kegel pictureDr. Stan Kegel didn’t invent the Kegel exercises, but he does exercise his readers’ laugh muscles while splitting their ribs and their funny bones with his daily humerus e-mailings on punny and funny subjects. Stan, who is returning for his 17th year as a Pun-Off judge, was honored as Punster of the Year in 2000 by the International Save the Pun Foundation and is a well-loved member of the PUNY Yahoo Group.  Stan is the co-author of two puns books with Richard Lederer, another Punster of the Year and previous Pun-Off Judge: “The Ants Are My Friends” and “Hilarious Holiday Humor,” a book for children with jokes about each celebration. Autographed copies of both books will be available at the O. Henry Museum t-shirt table with proceeds donated to the museums. Stan administers three joke lists on the internet: “Jest For Kids,” “Puns of the Day,” and “Adult Puns” that might use sexual innuendo.  To subscribe to first two clean lists, send a blank e-mail to mailto:puns-of-the-day-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and respond to the confirmation e-mail from Yahoo. His books are available on Amazon.

Jim Ertner

Jim Ertner Jim Ertner retired a few years ago after 41 years in the Navy shipbuilding business. He figured that, like the NASCAR driver whose wheels wore out, it was finally time to reTIRE.  Jim has competed in the Punniest of Show seven times, winning three of them (one first place and two second place medals.) All of the winning topics were animal-related. Coincidentally, Jim is the co-author with Richard Lederer of The Giant Book of Animal Jokes (available for sale at the O.Henry Museum and on http://www.amazon.com, and the publisher  http://www.stoneandscott.com. Jim and Richard Lederer also had two more PUNderful children’s books published in April 2011, Wild & Wacky Animal Jokes and Super Funny Animal Jokes, and two more in April 2012, Cleverly Comical Animal Jokes and Rip Roaring Animal Jokes.

Kirk Miller

Kirk Miller
Kirk Miller is a retired I.T. professional who was introduced to puns by his stepfather, his mentor. Kirk became a tormentor, much to the chagrin of his wife. As his stepfather said: If a pun is the lowest form of humor, then it must be the foundation of humor. His wife and sons say that Kirk is an incorrigible punster, so please don’t incorrige him. The 2009 Punniest of Show winner, Kirk lives in Richardson, Texas, and likes to write limericks, especially ones with puns.

Gracie Deegan Haak

Gracie Deegan Haik photo by WalterProtzmanGracie Deegan Haak won 1st Place Punniest of Show in 2011 and 2nd in 2012.




Alan Combs

Alan CombsAlan Combs has taught in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas since 1970 or forever – take your pick. The difference becomes smaller each year. Always exhibiting a lot of heart, he teaches cardiovascular pharmacology and toxicology. His current interests include the use of educational technology for teaching toxicology. In the virtuous world, Second Life, he is known as PunGently Writer in the Realm of Punsmanship, a kingdom inhabited by shaggy canids and related varmints. Alan and his son Brian also maintain a website Tarzan’s Tripes Forever.  It contains over 2,000 humorous “shaggy-dog” stories and a Google search engine to peruse the cumulation.  In honor of this collection, Alan was named Punster of the Year (P.O.T.Y.) for 2004 by the International Save the Pun Foundation. Few academic activities have given him the pleasure of this award and he continues to be thankful.

Francis Mcgrath

Francis McGrathFrancis McGrath has been competing at the O Henry Punoff since the mid 90s, but largely went unsung until 1998 when he waltzed away with Punniest-Of-Show for his “Alphabet Song.” He flute to even greater heights when the recording of that performance was played on the Dr. Demento Show.  Feeling he coda done better, he again marched to victory in 2005 with “Star Wars The Musical,” just five days before “Revenge of the Sith” premiered.  From 2011 to 2014, he bass-ically opened the Pun-Off with his band, The Greatest American Heroes: Austin’s Favorite TV Theme Song Band. He’s fiddled around town in numerous other bands and has produced his own album, “No Less Days.”  He’s very keyed up about finishing his second album later this year.  He has recently sunk solo as to play piano gigs at restaurants such as Mother’s Cafe and private parties.  When he composes himself, he’s a programmer for UT where he’s been on staff for the last twenty one years. You can see and hear his pun performances at www.francismcgrath.com/puns/ and learn more about his music, poetry, and paper models at www.francismcgrath.com.

Marc Estrada: Score Keeper

Marc Estrada

Marc has wrestled the math as Score Keeper for many years.




Registration: Andy & Julia Balinsky, Aaron Parker-Fasel

Julia and Andy Balinsky

Aaron ParkerFasel

Arlen Baden: Timekeeper/Bell Ringer

Although the contestant hate to catch the clap from her gong, we always welcome her smile at the end of the judge’s table.