On a recent Sunday night, it was my pleasure to attend the Seattle Pun Slam, called Pundamonium, with a date. It’s held the second Wednesday and the forth Sunday of each month at the Peddler Brewing Company in the Ballard neighborhood. Tickets are 6 dollars.
Pundamonium also happens in Chicago, Los Angeles, Madison, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. If you live in any of those fair cities, I highly recommend pun slams. They’re a great deal of fun. (But then, I do love a good pun. It’s just how I roll.)
Think poetry slam without the poetry. Contestants compete against each other. In the first round, you are given a topic up to an hour in advance, and you have to come up with as many puns as you can when you take the mic for two minutes. Each contestant is scored by a panel of judges.
In round two, the contestants only get 30 seconds to come up with puns on a topic they pull out of a hat. (Here’s where I would crumble. I’m not a spontaneous punster. I need time to mull things over. My comebacks usually aren’t very snappy.) I have to say that watching this and the next round was increasingly excruciating but also hilarious. Again, they’re scored.
In the third round, the top four punsters go head to head on stage with absolutely no prep. I really admired their courage. (I did kind of lose respect for one guy, though, when one of his puns was a thinly veiled insult directed at a competitor, and it clearly struck its mark. That was unnecessary.)
The puns were running fast and furious, and the beer and the food was good (and clearly that was the only reason some people were there, but what the heck, we’re all adults), so a good time was had by all.
If you do come to the one in Seattle, I recommend that you dress warmly, as it’s held outdoors in a tented courtyard. They do have gas heaters here and there, but I was kind of glad I had someone to snuggle up with.
In this increasingly tense world, it’s a pleasure to have some lighthearted, apolitical fun for a change. It feels good to be laughing again. More, please.
Maybe I’ll see you there sometime!
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