Interview: Kelly Dupen

Kelly Dupen and Justin Golbabai returned to the Punniest of Show competition to defend their title from last year. Their excellent skit fell one point shy of the top spot, and they took second.

Brian: My wife couldn’t make the Pun Off this year, so we watched the videos on Youtube. When watching yours, she immediately asked if I was sure you guys aren’t together. Ok, so what’s the truth?

Kelly: Despite all appearances to the contrary, Justin and I are just pun pals united by our mutual obsession with wordplay. There aren’t many guy and girl teams who compete in the Pun-Off, so we feel it’s to our advantage when we highlight that difference by making skits about romantic relationships. We’ve certainly been very pleased with how well that format has worked out for us at the past two Pun-Offs!        

Brian: Besides your denied, but obvious, love for each other, is there anything new in your lives?

Kelly: Right now I am in the final stages of completing a Master’s degree in illustration, so for just one more month I will be busy finishing up my last few homework assignments and thesis project.  It’s pretty exciting to be almost done!   

Brian: First place last year; second place this year. How to you reverse this disturbing back slide?

Kelly: Probably by increasing the level of spectacle next time. I’m thinking we need pyrotechnics, a fog machine, celebrity cameos, and about two tons of glitter.    

Brian: Meats versus vegetables last year, and breakfast this year. Do I detect a food fetish?

Kelly: I’m sure Salmon Fried…er, Sigmund Freud, would probably agree that it’s a feta-ish! But all cheesy puns aside, the main reason that we used food both times is because it meets all of our criteria for an excellent skit topic. We actually considered several other options during the initial planning stages, but eventually settled on “breakfast” because everyone is familiar with breakfast food words, and it supplied us with ample material for punning.     

Brian: Were there any puns you wanted to include, but didn’t (or couldn’t)?

Kelly: We had hoped to use “kolache” and “strudle” somewhere in the skit.  My idea was to have Justin say, “Remember how in first grade I used to strudle (sidle) up to you and kolache (clutch) your hand,” but we edited that line out for the final version.  

Brian: How did your preparation for the competition this year differ from last year?

Kelly: Our process of preparing the pun skit was actually very similar to what we did last year. We began by deciding on a pun topic and theme, coming up with lots of puns and working them into a dialogue, and then focused on memorizing all the lines and rehearsing. We also made sure to practice the skit in front of friends who gave us extremely helpful advice about how we could improve our performance.

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