The 25th Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships


When: MAY 4, 2002 – Noon – 5 pm (SATURDAY!)
Where: Wooldridge Park, downtown Austin, TX (9th at Guadalupe)
Who: Friends of the O.Henry Museum / Austin Parks & Recreation Dept.
Why: Jest for a wordy cause!

Due to circumstances beyond the pale, the 25th Annual O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships will be once again held in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 4, 2002. Although hotel construction near the O.Henry Museum has forced the event to relocate to nearby downtown venue, the tradition of mirth and mayhem will continue uninterrupted. This overt assault on our anguished language annually lures both veteran verbivores and naive neophytes on a passionate pilgrimage to meet their Mecca in Austin.

(Please note this is a shift from the traditional Pun-Off site)

Wooldridge Square is a historic park located downtown at 900 Guadalupe Street between the Travis County Courthouse and the Austin History Center. It has a lovely gazebo and plenty of grassy shade for “hillside” seating. Free parking is available on the street within a reasonable walking distance.

Spaces are open for 32 competitive punslingers in two different categories of competition. This year the celebrity judge panel will feature Richard Lederer, best selling author of many books and articles on language use and abuse. He has also been named as Toastmasters International’s “Golden Gavel Award” recipient for 2002. Lederer is also a regular commentator on NPR and PBS. Visit him here.

Mr. Lederer and some of his PUNY friends will also host a book signing & pun slinging exhibition at 7pm on Friday, May 3 at at Book People on 6th & Lamar. The public is invited to attend this free preview and parade of Pun-Off participants as they prepare for Saturday’s event.

Although the crowd groans louder and larger each year, contest 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.

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
Friends of O.Henry website
Pun-Off website


  • 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.
Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *