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O. Henry Museum Pun-Off: World Championships Punslingers Competition

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Tony Maples Photography


Attention lovers of puns, clever wordplay, and competitions! The highly revered annual O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships Punslingers Competition is still going on in 2020, with a slight twist: it will be COVID-safe as an online event. For 43 years, the O.Henry Museum has hosted this world-famous, free, and family-friendly celebration of the wit-in-word. Through the magic of the internet, a remarkable live cast of dynamic intellects and “tortured tongues” will dazzle the online audience with O. Henry-esque twisted story turns and plot endings. The same groan-inducing quips can be found as in every other year, plus awesome alliteration and earworms from competitors who call all corners of the world home.

O. Henry Museum Pun-Off: World Championships Punslingers Competition

Photo: Brian Combs

The event was made possible this year by the City of Austin, Brush Square Museums Foundation, and cosponsored by Austin’s very own Fantastic Magic Camp, as well as the internationally renowned podcast, Pun Intensive. The O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championships Punslingers Competition: Online Edition will commence on Saturday, November 21, 2020 and may be viewed via streaming video at The preliminary live rounds begin at 11:00 a.m. CST, and are planned to last roughly two hours. Live antagonism will resume at 7:00 p.m. CST. Pick your favorite improvised quips on a randomly chosen subject. Can’t wait? Check out the winners of the video routines as voted by the public in October: 1st – Jonah Spear, 2nd – Gabriela Pedroza, and 3rd – Sarah Bennett.

William Sydney Porter, better known by his nom de plume O. Henry, lived in Austin with his wife and daughter between 1882 and 1896. One of their residences is now the O. Henry Museum. Although currently under renovation, exhibits and information can be found the website and well as social media. What are the best puns you have ever heard? Can you spot the subtle differences between a good punning and a regular Dad joke?