Away with Words

Away with Words

Joe Berkowitz

Joe Berkowitz

Fast Company reporter Joe Berkowitz investigates the bizarre and hilarious world of pun competitions from the Punderdome 3000 in Brooklyn to the World competition in Austin.When Joe Berkowitz witnessed his first Punderdome competition, it felt wrong in the best way. Something impossible seemed to be happening. The kinds of jokes we learn to repress through social conditioning were not only being aired out in public—they were being applauded. As it turned out, this monthly show was part of a subculture that's been around in one form or another since at least the late '70s. Its pinnacle is the O. Henry Pun Off World Championship, an annual tournament in Austin, Texas. As someone who is terminally self-conscious, Joe was both awed and jealous of these people who confidently killed with the most maligned form of humor. In this immersive ride into the subversive world of pun competitions, we meet punsters weird and wonderful and Berkowitz is our tour guide. Puns...
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