The 24th Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships

MAY 19, 2001 – Noon – 5pm

(Please note this is a shift from the traditional date of “First Sunday in May”)


In fragrant violation of good taste, putrid puns and wretched wordplay will be the odor of the day at the 24th Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships. On Saturday, May 19 olfactory workers in the Austin area will be scent to witness the ladies and pungents in sniff competition in the back yard of the O.Henry Museum. This yearly flavorite will be here sooner than you stink, so it’s snot too early to mark this reek on your calendar now. Don’t forget to tell your palate this is the place where his savorite pastime will be fetid. Even Pinocchio nose that wood-be contestants are encouraged to aroma over to the O.Henry Museum now to sign up aurally. Of course they can also acc-septum by phone, mail or fax. It makes no odoriferous so long as you’re able to perfume your routine with a smell on your face.

There will be 32 contestants out standing in their fields as they attempt to harvest this year’s bumper crop of corn. Up for grabs will be the title of “Punniest of Show.” This free style competition for punsters with prepared material allows 90 seconds for creative have-wits from every crook and nanny to stuff their struts. Later bushel come to shove as another crop of 32 contestants face off in the “High-Lies & Low-Puns” competition where punsters in pairs are given a topic and time limits.

This annual carnival of corn attracts worldwide attention, if not respect. Although the crowd groans louder and larger each year, registration and admission are still free. Live music will be furnished by Bill Rowan & the High Rollers at noon, and the actual competition begins at 1pm. Revenue from refreshment and souvenir sales helps support educational projects at the museum.

The event is held outdoors in the heart of Austin’s historic entertainment district. The audience is seated on the grass and some shade is available. Food, beer and soft drinks will be sold. The Friends of the O.Henry Museum will also hold a used book sale on the grounds, and the museum will be closed to visitors.

Word butchers and prospective pundits who wish to jest for a wordy cause are invited to call or visit the museum. If you are itching for more inflammation, The O.Henry Museum is located at 409 E. 5th St., Austin TX 78701 or call (512) 472-1903, fax (512) 472-7102.

For interviews or details, contact Gary Hallock 512/453-4431 or 512/973-9929 []

Museum website
Pun-Off website or


  • The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD)
  • The Friends of the O.Henry Museum , a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
  • P.U.N.Y. (Punsters United Nearly Yearly) which is also without a prophet.
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