Punderdome: Puns Invade New York



In a small New York neighborhood pundits arise, hoping to claim a reword.
Punderdome is a monthly pun competition held in Brooklyn, NYC. The competition is co-hosted by Fred Firestone and daughter, Jo Firestone. Fred and Jo started the contest in  May 2011. Pun competitors convene in Littlefield, a performance and art space. The competition allows for the first 18individuals/duos to sign up and pitch their puns. The event lasts for around three hours.

“How it works is that they’re brought up in groups of six and they’re given a topic,” Fred said. “They get 90 seconds to write down what they’re going to say and they’re given two minutes to pitch the crowd.”

The audience poses as judges for the contest by providing their vocal responses whether it be groaning or genuine laughter. Their responses are then taken into account by the human clap-o-meter, a blindfolded audience member that is selected to measure the audience’s responses with a dial to help separate the good puns from the bad. This then produces the final score.

Winners of the competition can receive mystery kitchen appliances or completely random items as their prizes.

Since Punderdome started it has gained audience and participation, drawing crowds averaging 350 pun admirers and growing. The Firestones expanded their horizons by holding personal Punderdome competitions for corporate and college events.