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With one cartoon exhibiting a jaded look at the corporate world, while two give a lighter laugh with playing on “fore” and “small army”, let’s look on the brighter side and use that brighter look to peruse a handful of famous puns from famous punners.

Humor using a play-on-words has an old tradition, albeit one that I have difficulty explaining to my young children (but easier than explaining political parties, which I did two nights ago with my precocious six year old). Shakespeare is perhaps among the most famous for his word play—not a play about a word, but rather his often plays on words (confusing, yes, but that’s the point).

I say among the most famous, because Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” is clearly among the greatest of all comedy routines. This skit saw it’s day when, during the 2007 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers added an infielder named Chin-Lung Hu. After Hu singled in his third at-bat in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 23, Dodgers announcer Vin Scully said, “Shades of Abbott and Costello, I can finally say, ‘Hu is on first base.'”*

But Shakespeare’s puns were top drawer:

“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York” (speaking of the son of York, in Richard III)
“Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man.” (Mercutio, while dying, making light of his reputation as a joker in Romeo and Juliet)
Much Ado About Nothing: the word “nothing” would have heard at the time as “noting.” “The Elizabethans considered “noting” to be another word for observing, or even eavesdropping, and as we see, the consequences of eavesdropping is a central theme in the play.”**

Vote on the cartoon to be featured in next week's newsletter.

  • Employee of the Month



    (48%, 72 Votes)

  • Fore!



    (11%, 17 Votes)

  • Small Army



    (31%, 47 Votes)

  • None of the above (10%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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*Monstovich, B.J. “Hu’s on 1B !”.
**www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-some-examples-puns-much-ado-about-nothing-189549, accessed June 17, 2015

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