Seth Brown: Buy pun, get pun free


NORTH ADAMS >> People often wonder if there is any way that they can score some free booze. As the host of a monthly comedy open mic at a place that serves alcohol, I can confirm that giving your audience a really bad pun is a great way to get some free boos.

Why was Elmer Fudd afraid to open his hard liquor bottle with a wood-carving knife? Because it was a whittle whiskey.

I'm sure after reading that pun, some of you feel like you need a drink. But there's no use wining about it, that's just sour grapes. "Oh, I don't appreciate Seth's vintage material, pour me."

That's still easier to swallow than last month when I said a dog stealing cars was arrested for Grand Theft Pawto. At least he brought the cars back because he was a retriever? Even my girlfriend agreed that joke was ruff, and there's no hair of the dog that bit you for that. Dog jokes are stupid, because they only go K-9. If they were educated, they'd go K-12.

Now fish are much smarter, because they have schools. And you may think that's a crappie joke, but there's no use carping about it because I made it on porpoise. Any of my groupers will be herring jokes like that all the time because it's basically the sole thing I do. I pun just for the halibut, to the point where my friends complain it gives them a haddock, no squidding. But I just can't kelp myself, so neither they nori can seaweed be avoiding it.

The stream of consciousness stuff bothers some people but I try to keep up with current events. Which, in a newspaper, shouldn't be a big shock. Sure, I'll put in a plug for my third Thursday comedy nights at the Parlor Cafe, but you've got to socket to people with something relevant or there will be resistance. So I try to conduct myself accordingly.

Thus I've engineered this paragraph to put in a mention of Bernie Sanders, who is railing against financial inequality enough that his campaign has started to gather steam. I'm not convinced that he's on track to win the election, but even if he's just training the electorate to pay more attention to those issues, that's not a crazy reason to run — even if his detractors insist it's a loco motive.

But even if he won't be No. 1 with a bullet train, at least Bernie Sanders is taking a shot. Whether it's busting a cap on taxable income paid to social security, busting a cap gains system that isn't as taxed as work, or just blasting subsidies and tax breaks for large corporations, Sanders is shooting for serious reform. And while it remains to be seen if former Elizabeth Warren supporters will find him of the same caliber, if nothing else he's certainly triggering an actual Democratic contest.

And while it may get old rifling through candidates who have no real chance in a 10-person GOP debate, I think when most people consider the potential of another Clinton-Bush contest in 2016, they want a drink. Conveniently, drinks are served at my Comedy Open Mic at the Parlor Cafe, and even more conveniently, these jokes won't be.

So as Elmer Fudd would say at the bar, if you're interested, I'll send you a wink on wine.

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor columnist, author of "From God To Verse", and is amazed he still has any fwiends. His website is


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