Registration To Enter

2020 Sign-up Is Now Closed

The 43rd Annual O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships is a virtual pun-contest. Entry lottery ended midnight October 5th CDT.

About this Event

The 43rd Annual O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships (in this pandemic year) consists of one virtual competition of punning, done by video submissions, and judged by the public online. We call this the Punniest of Show.

How do I get to be a contestant?

Registration ran from October 1 thru October 5 as a lottery. Sometime on October 6th, we sent registrants an email stating who is a contestant in the competition.

Except for a few past winners, the top randomly chosen persons in the lottery will be contacted via email and invited to record a Punniest of Show video entry and submit it by midnight CDT October 15th (GMT -5). Submitted videos which play longer than the maximum allowed 120 seconds (2:00 minutes) will be disqualified and eliminated from the competition. This includes any self-introduction.

Judging will be done by the general public at from October 17th through midnight CDT (GMT -5) October 24th. First, second, and third place winners will be entries with the most popular vote and will be announced the next day. In the rare probability of a tie score, the Pun-Off producers will choose the winner.

Pun-Off registration
2019 Registration volunteer Andy Balinsky. Photo by McBride


Why is there a lottery to enter? We have always limited the number of contestants to 32 to be manageable. After 2015, we have attracted ever increasing numbers of would be contestants so it seemed to us the fairest way to choose contestants was a random lottery. A small number of previous year’s winners may be invited to return.

How is the lotteries run? Except for a few invited past winners, the 32 contestants will be chosen by a computer randomization of the submitted lottery names collected from the registration page.

Is my lottery entry or contestant spot transferable? Absolutely NO! If you need to drop out, notify us ASAP and your place will go to another person next in line on a standby list.

What if I was NOT chosen in the lottery for one of the 32 contestant slots to make a POS video? Regretfully, you are now on a Stand-by List and we encourage you to watch the video entries and vote on the video submissions beginning October 17th.

What about that cool dinner the night before? By all means, order takeout from your favorite local restaurant. They need the business! Invite your friends over to view the 32 video entries and score entries together. Wear masks to be safe, not sorry.

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 be “family friendly.” 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 contestant videos are perceived as “family friendly.” Everyone will be on the “honor system” in this matter.”
  • Be advised that the Pun-Off is a free, public, entertainment competition so by participating you consent to public viewing of your video with links on our website and YouTube.
  • Punniest of Show (POS)  accepts team entries, but please only enter the “captain’s” name.
  • Punniest of Show and PunSlingers are separate this year from each other. A virtual 2020 PunSlinger contest may be developed at sometime later. Stay tuned!

One response to “Registration To Enter

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.