Hap-pun-ness is a worn pun


There’s an old en­ter­tain­ment maxim that says there is no show with­out pun-ch.

Punning may be the low­est form of wit, but any­one with a pen­chant for pun­ish­ment and dad jokes should find the Pun Bat­tle Cham­pi­onships com­ing to Palmer­ston North’s Royal Ho­tel on Satur­day hard to re­sist.

The bril­liant brain ‘‘fade’’ of Wellington drag king Hugo Gr­rrl, the New Zealand Pun Bat­tle Cham­pi­onships have seen pun-slingers shooting from the lip in Auck­land, ‘‘Welling­pun’’, Nel­son and Christchurch, with ‘‘Pun-edin’’ still to come.

On Satur­day night, it’s Pun-er­ston North’s chance for the city’s best and bright­est tricksy tonguesters to turn on some wickedly witty word-play in the first of three ses­sions.

Gr­rrl, real name Genevieve Fowler, started the pun-omenon and also em­cees, ref­er­ees and helps judge the bouts.

‘‘The Pun Bat­tle is the best and worst com­edy show you’ll ever see, all in one.’’ So, was hap-pun-ness a worn pun? ‘‘As far as com­edy goes you get a lot of bang for your buck. The laugh­ter to dol­lar ra­tio is pretty bloody good. It’s one of my favourites – there’s so much joy and tor­ture.’’

Pun bat­tles take place in many parts of the world, and Fowler spent two years hon­ing the con­cept at Wellington’s The Fringe Bar be­fore launch­ing it na­tion­ally.

Dur­ing the first half of the show­down, a max­i­mum of 12 con­tes­tants are drawn against each other one-on-one with a topic pulled from a hat.

They bat­tle un­til some­one stalls, reuses a pun or dries.

There were still places left and she in­vited any­one who en­joyed a twinge of cringe to take a pun-t and en­ter.

They could win cash for their ef­forts. The prize pack­age of $1300 would be divvied up across the three city shows, with win­ners on the night re­ceiv­ing $100, and an MVP (Most Valu­able Pun­ner) award for the best line of the night.


Hugo Grrl with Auck­land Pun Bat­tle score­keeper Sarita Das.

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