2015 Judges

Punniest of Show (POS) 2015 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 new 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 picture Dr. 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 16th 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. Autographed copies of “The Ants are my Friends” a book of musical groaners co-authored with former judge, Richard Lederer, are available during at the event. To get more of Stan’s chokes and gags subscribe to “Puns” by sending a blank e-mail to: mailto:puns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Stan and Richard Lederer have also co-authored a pun-filled book for children, “Hilarious Holiday Humor”. punblished in April, 2013.  To subscribe to Stan’s joke list for children 8 to 14, send a blank e-mail to: mailto:jest4kids-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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.

Alan Combs

Alan Combs Alan 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.

Cynthia MacGregor

Cynthiamacgregor_squrarephotoA former second-place Pun-Off winner, Cynthia is also a past honoree as Punster of the Year, as judged by the International Save the Pun Foundation. She hails (but never snows) from South Florida, and is honored to be on the esteemed (and steamy) panel of judges. CYNfully CYNtillating Cynthia MacGregor’s pun-filled book Betcha Didn’t Know is only one of the over 100 books Cynthia has had published. (You can learn more about this prolific author/editor and her books at www.cynthiamacgregor.com.) She has written song lyrics (check out her patriotic song “America Again” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyJF4rvTo6w&feature=youtu.be), over a dozen one-act plays, almost all of which have had at least one production, and writes business materials, specialty material, and more. For two seasons she hosted and produced the TV show Solo Parenting, which aired in South Florida over WHDT.

Joel McColl

Joel McCollReturning after several years playing golf to be a 2015 POS judge once again, Joel is famous for his 20 year run as Pun-Off World Championships producer, emcee, and judge, having retired in 2008.  He was named the 2006 International Punster of the Year (POTY). He is a 32+ year Austin resident and well-known musician and song writer.

Valerie Ward

Valerie WardA lover of word games form an early age, Valerie Ward was pleased to discover upon moving to Austin that it was home to the foremost world renowned O.Henry Pun Off World Championships. She competed in her first Pun-Off in 2003, and came in first in Punslingers in 2008 and also garnered the mmMVP award in both 2006 and 2008. Now retired from the high-stakes world of competitive wordplay, she divides her time between running her business, Sweet Ritual vegan ice cream parlor, and teaching and performing internationally, nationally, and locally with her improv troupe Parallelogramophonograph.


Deann Landers: Timekeeper/Bell Ringer

Deann Alford pictureThis year marks the 22nd anniversary of Deann Landers’ great achievement: Winning 4th place in PunSlingers at the 1993 Pun-Off. For the past 10 jeers or so she’s been arresting on her laurels as our belle ringer/ timekeeper, an awesome and awful task, up with which she’s very good at putting. Although the contestant hate to catch the clap from her gong, we always welcome her smile at the end of the judge’s table.