Jokes based on puns and wordplay
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All of the puns, jokes, and verses on this webpage are my own creations. [In some cases, other people have reinvented these jokes later, and various websites and journals have published them without credit.]

Italian Love Song
(To the tune of the 1953 hit That's Amore by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks)
       When the moon hits your eye
       like a big pizza pie
       that's amore.

       When an eel bites your hand
       with a pain you can't stand
       that's a moray.

       When our habits are strange
       and our customs deranged
       that's our mores.

       When your horse munches straw
       and the bales total four
       that's some more hay.

       When a beam from the sun
       lights the heath where we run
       that's a moor ray.

       When a sand-coated board
       buffs your nails, yes milord,
       that's emory.

       And our friend Mitch Albom
       every Tuesday would come
       to hear Morrie.

       A New Zealander lad
       sports tatoos by his dad.
       That's a Maori.

       When a glacier's retreat
       piles up stones at its feet
       that's a moraine.

       When two patterns of lines
       cross to form new designs,
       that's a moiré.

       The briefest of pauses
       in poetic clauses,
       they are morae.

       What the palest young man
       needs to get a good tan,
       that's some more rays.

       When Othello's poor wife,
       she gets stabbed with a knife
       that's a Moor, eh?

       In a shell when a bloke
       lifts his paddle to stroke
       that's an oar raise.

       A great whale in the sea
       chases Raymond and me.
       That's Shamu, Ray.

       When a Japanese knight
       used a sword in a fight
       that's Samurai.

       It seems that my song parody has been circulating around the Internet (without crediting me, or the Contest Center, of course), and several people have added extra verses. Here are some of the lines written by other folks.

More Amore

       When a taffeta gown
       looks like waves swirling round
       that's a moiré.

[From "The Callahan Touch" a 1993 book by Spider Robinson]
       When King Kong has gone flat,
       rent the film Vampire Bat.
       That's some more Wray.

       He's a clown, he's a ham,
       and his name's Amsterdam,
       that's a Morey.

[Contributed to this site by James I. Hymas]
       East of Eden's a book,
       west of Sweden, go look,
       that is Norway.

       When the Chinese are shook
       by the Little Red Book,
       that's the Mao way!

       Many of these verses were later printed in a humor magazine called The Onion. I notified The Onion that they were in violation of my copyright, but they never responded. Many of these verses also appeared in the newspaper column written by Richard Lederer. Lederer acknowledged in a subsequent column that I was the author.

The Vampire
[Parody by Frank Rubin Jan. 2, 2014]

The mood was grim and baleful in the village square that night.
The townsfolk muttered curses as they mustered for a fight.
For the Vampire had struck twice that week, two bodies had been found.
The people promised vengeance as they lay them in the ground.
Now the mayor's son was bitten, his face was turning black.
Sheriff Casey and his yeomen could not hold the burghers back.

Gather torches, gather pitchforks, and we'll end this evil threat.
They brought firewood, they brought kindling, all the fuel that they could get.
Then they set off for the castle, in a mood of grim resolve,
for they knew there was but one way that this terror they could solve.

The Count had seen them coming with their torches in the night.
He cranked the drawbridge up and he sealed the portal tight.
He shuttered every window and he bolted every door,
but the crowd of peasants doubled as they marched across the moor.

The people carried ladders, they had axes, they had rope.
They would breach the best defenses, they were certain, they had hope.
They used pitons, they used grapnels to scale the castle walls.
They smashed through all the windows then they fanned out through the halls.

They caught the Count upon his bed, and pinned him to the floor.
Someone had a mallet, another had a stake. They drove it through his wicked heart and nailed him to the door.
But the Count just snatched the paling out and scoffed at their attack.
He unfurled his leathery wings and he drove the rabble back.
He slashed them with his talons and he crushed them to the mat
until Casey, mighty Casey et the bat.

Ribbon of Highway
(To the tune of the 1956 Woody Guthrie song, This Land is Your Land)
       As I went walking that ribbon of highway
       I saw above me that endless skyway
       Like Frank Sinatra I did it my way
       That's why I had to write this song.

The DMV Song
(To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
       Wait, wait, wait your turn.
       Stand here on the queue.
       Verily, verily, verily, verily,
       wait until we're through.

       Wait, wait, wait your turn.
       Stand here all the day.
       Wearily, wearily, wearily, wearily,
       or just go away.

       Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's oft to work we go.

Columbus Day
       There are songs for Christmas, and songs for Easter, but somehow there don't seem to be any songs for Columbus Day. Now is the time to fill that gap.
(To the tune of Love Makes the World Go 'Round by Bob Merrill, 1961, from the musical "Carnival")
[New lyrics by Frank Rubin Nov. 8, 2004]

       Chris made the world go round
       Chris made the world go round
       They said it was flat
       Chris disproved that
       Chris made the world go round

       There is no edge at all
       There is no edge at all
       There is no wall
       No waterfall
       There is no edge at all

       Chris ended all the myths
       Chris ended all the myths
       No monsters there be
       In the great briny sea
       Chris ended all the myths

       Chris reached the other side
       Chris reached the other side
       He found the New World
       Spain's banner unfurled
       Chris reached the other side

       We're living there today
       We're living there today
       In Chris's domain
       We'll gladly remain
       And honor Columbus Day!

Keep Me Warm
(To the tune of the 1937 Irving Berlin hit, I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm)
       The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing,
       But I can weather the storm!
       What do I care how much it may storm?
       I've got my gloves to keep me warm.

French Job
       When a French person finishes a task, but the result is mediocre, is that called "feh accompli?"

       The demolition company had hired its first female worker. The first day on the job she went out onto a roof in high heels and began to knock down the chimney with a sledgehammer. The foreman took her aside and explained: to shatter flues use flatter shoes.

Hunt and Shoot and Fish
       Mah boys and me, we lived in these here woods for nigh 50 years. We used ta live pretty good on all them deer we took, but now the game is pretty durn scarce. There's still plenty-a fish in the river yonder, shad and carp and mebbe trout.
       So today we had us a parley, me an' my boys. We're gonna hang up them rifles for good, and live off the river. If we dry the fish, I figger we can make 'em last the whole winter. So it's a new life, startin' now. Today we're gonna build us a shad rack in the meat shack. Then to bed we go.

Eli Stone
       One of my favorite TV shows was the short-lived comedy, Eli Stone, with Jonny Lee Miller playing the title character. Miller will be proud of playing this role for the rest of his life, because


Tie Me Kangaroo
(To the tune of Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport by Rolf Harris)
[New lyrics by Frank Rubin Sept. 25, 2010]

       Tie me kangaroo down, sport
       Tie me kangaroo down.
       So we tied his kangaroo down, sport.
       That's it writhing there on the ground.

They Call the Wind
(To the tune of They Call the Wind Maria, music by Frederick Loewe, original lyrics by Alan J. Lerner, from the 1951 musical "Paint Your Wagon")
[New lyrics by Frank Rubin Oct. 30, 2007]

       Away out here they have a name
       for wind and rain and fire.
       The wind is "wind,"
       the rain is "rain,"
       and they call the fire, "fire."

       English, oh English,
       they must be speaking English.

       "Napoleon Bonaparte, do you truly believe that you can become the Emperor of France?"
       "Of cors-i-can."

       Just what are "noculars" and why should I buy them?

Music News
       Flash! Here's some fast-breaking news from the world of pop music. This just in: Timberlake.

Turn, Turn, Turn

To every thing, turn, turn, turn,
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
And a time for every purpose,
Except mine.

       A rose by any other name would be a zmetchgrev.

       The Black Plague was a matter of lice and death.

       Dexter and Victor were partners in an apple orchard. When the first crop was nearly ripe, Dexter sent in a crew who picked all of the apples from the trees. Then he sold them without telling his partner. That left only the rotten apples that had fallen on the ground.
       Dexter insisted this was fair, because to Victor belong the spoiled.

Ace:   Who was Refrigerator Perry's greatest rival in the NFL?
Jack:   Freezer Burns.

       Tell us, Karate Master, why did you confront those four armed robbers, and how did you manage to subdue them so quickly?
       Just four kicks.

       My latest children's book is about a furless bunny who constantly outwits the other forest creatures. I call it "Bare Rabbit."

       "Say, Lois, did you notice how Clark Kent always carries that little notebook around, the one with his day's schedule, phone calls he's supposed to make, people he's supposed to see, that kind of stuff?"
       "Yes, Perry, that's his Daily Plan-It."

       A doctor rushes into the emergency room with a deep laceration across the back of his right hand. A nurse starts to stitch the wound, but the doctor criticises everything she does, "Heck, I could do a better job than that using my left hand." Finally, fed up, she stops stitching and says, "Okay, doctor, suture self."

       The famous opera singer Carl-Friedrich Waltz is adamant about not permitting the press to abbreviate his name ever since he found himself described in a review as, "the beautiful tenor C. Waltz."

3 Hunters
       Three people went hunting in Canada, but they spent most of the time drinking, and all they got was a beaver, an otter and a badger. Unfortunately, their licenses were for deer, so they decided to sneak their animals through customs. They went to a flea market. The first hunter stuffed the beaver into the ceramic base of an old rusty lamp, the second used a new butter churn, and the third put the badger inside the canister of a decrepit vacuum cleaner. When they got home, the beaver and badger had turned putrid. The other animal was fine, though, because one good churn preserves an otter.

       I'm writing a book about the favorite Thanksgiving recipes of the astronauts. I'm calling it, "The Right Stuffing."

Jay:   Did you know that the Foodlemyer Lollipop Emporium sells at least 60 giant pops every hour?
Kay:   Yes. There's a sucker borne every minute.

       Two lawyers, Footall and Meier, have a case so bitter and contentious they decide it has to be settled by a duel. They meet on the Field of Honor, and Footall introduces his second, "This is my Man, Hendley." Meier replies, "Here is my Second, Damus." Then they pace off to shoot.
       Meier fires first, but he is such a poor shot that he hits his own second in the neck, fatally wounding him. So they writ off Man Damus.

       The Kingdom of Jordan is revving up a new tourist campaign, touting all the wonderful things you can do there any time of the year. The new ads carry the headline, Amman for All Seasons.

The Force
       The most popular drink among Jedi Knights is Four Galaxies Ale. They take some with them wherever they go. At the start of any new mission the Jedi invariably remind each other to bring some along, saying "May the Fours be with you." And, they will stop whatever they are doing any time they see a Fours Ale sign.

       By 2050 the U.S. military had completely abandoned the idea of a standing army as too expensive. All military positions were filled with part-time temporary personnel. A group of them were receiving camouflage training in the Pacific Northwest. They were told to enter the forest and conceal themselves. Two of them found a tree trunk that had been carved by the local people. The back had a small hollow, and they were just able to squeeze inside. Another soldier had been less successful, and asked to join them. They refused. It was a two-temp hole.

Fin & Games
       Some pet supply marketing execs were brainstorming a name for a new tropical fish diet. After several hours, the best they had found was Guppy Chow. They were about to give up when one suggested trying the Zen approach. "We will quietly watch the new product and listen. When it is ready, it will tell us its name." So they did, and after an hour or so the new product said, "Call me Fishmeal."

       Everyone knows Evel Nievel, once a famed motorcycle stuntman, now a real estate magnate. Few know his brother, Gouda Nievel, a failed cheese tycoon. He now lives in a ramshackle cottage he rents from his wealthy brother. Truly, he is the lessor of two Nievels.

       So, children, here is how the Mideast settlement was finally reached. Wise old President Clinton took Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat into the cosy rustic living room at Camp David. There, puffing his pipe and leaning against the shelf above the fireplace, he calmly outlined the necessary steps. He described where the boundaries must be drawn, explained how the new government would be constituted, and, finally, detailed the dire consequences if they did not agree.
       And, children, they did agree. Wholeheartedly, then and there. So, that is why the entire Middle East now enjoys the famous "Mantel Peace."

Wooden Ships
       Those old high-speed rockets used to require elaborate shielding to withstand the heat of re-entry. Their titanium nosecones used to cost over $10,000,000 apiece. The new low-speed rockets enter the atmosphere so gently you can make the whole spaceship out of wood. It costs less than $10,000 for a pine cone.

       Fuad el-Meir was Prince Kashmir's best secret agent. Once he was sent to find out if Mehtil al-Kohol was planning treachery. Fuad learned that Mehtil often visited the seductress Ismira, so he hid in the rafters above the silk canopy in her bedchamber. Bad move. This canopy had been finished in the polishing mills of Baghdad. It was so thin they could see him clearly. Too late he learned don't spy over milled silk.

       I have a friend, Leslie Drole, who has given up after years of trying to make it as a stand-up comedian. One reason, I suspect, is her stage name. It sounds just like "less droll," which means "less funny." She's doing much better now with her 60's revival band, using the name Les "Rockin" Drole.

Tom:   I'm in great shape. I run a mile every day.
Dom:   I'm in great shape, too. I married a woman who keeps me busy all the time.
Tom:   Wow, a Mrs. as good as a mile!

       Julius Caesar held a banquet for his closest friends. The featured dish was a glazed duck, with one whole duck for each diner. Everyone praised the meal highly, except Gaius at the end of the table, who somehow never got his duck, and Brutus, who just held his stomach and moaned piteously.
       Caesar looked at him contemptuously, and said "Et two, Brute?"

What a Waist
       Little Janie won't eat ice cream, she won't eat cake or cookies, or sweets of any kind. She constantly counts calories and checks the fat and sugar content of everything. Whenever I ask, she says "I'm minding my waist." Maybe so, but she's missing out on many of the fun parts of childhood. A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

I'm writing a book...
       Long before before there was Emeril Lagasse, or Wolfgang Puck, or Julia Child there was America's favorite cook, Jennie Grossinger, doyenne of Grossinger's Resort in the Catskills. She was most famous for her sauces.
       I'm writing a book about it, the Book of Jennie's Sauce.

       One of the great culinary treats of my childhood was the Chocolate Egg Cream, probably the best use ever made of seltzer. I have developed a whole range of recipes based on this idea.
       I'm writing a book about it, the Book of Egg Sodas.

       The police in my town are cracking down on all the people having romantic encounters at Lover's Point. In fact, they now have a special summons, similar to a traffic ticket, solely for this purpose.
       I'm writing a book about it, the Book of Lovers' Tickets.

       With the long, dark winters in Alaska you might expect the residents would have great storytelling and conversational skills. They don't.
       I'm writing a book about it, the Book of Nome Bores.

      The Magna Carta, signed by King John at Runnymede in 1215, was the basis for British constitutional monarchy, and hence the progenitor of all constitutional governments.
       I'm writing a book about it, the Book of Due to Runnymede.

Kitchen Kitsch
       We're having our kitchen redone. I suggested replacing all of the old formica countertops with butcher block. The estimator said they could be replaced with marble for only $1,000 more. Anyway, that was her counter proposal.

       Every winter the river freezes, and the sheet of ice flows slowly downstream, sometimes carrying away any wharves or docks that are inadequately anchored. This is called pier pressure.

       The famous tenor Dietrich Fischer-Diesgau is starting a company to produce extremely high fidelity musical recordings. He's calling it Diesgau-Tech.

The Explorer
       Lady Fay Rowe Hammond, the renowned explorer of the tombs of the ancient Egyptian kings, is now best known for her feat of crossing the entire Sahara on only two tanks of petrol. That is why she is now known as Two-Tank Hammond.

       Recently I was driving through northern Oregon with my girlfriend, and I saw a big neon sign, "Paul Bunyan's Chinese Restaurant." I just had to check it out. Inside it was like any Chinese restaurant anywhere, except that all of the fryers were huge and painted azure. I couldn't figure that out, but my girlfriend said, "They have to be blue. Haven't you ever heard of Paul Bunyan's big blue woks, babe?"

       Everyone knows Charles Gounod as a talented composer, but few realize that he was also a skilled inventor. One of his greatest inventions was an industrial punchclock that calculated salary, overtime and withholding. I recently wrote an article about it, "Gounod and the Pay Clock."

       Philo Foodlemyer, the well-known stunt pilot, had his first crash last week. About halfway through the act, fuel began seeping from the gas tank. He should have gone directly into the barrel roll landing, but he insisted on completing the entire act. All the fuel drained out, and he nosedived into a lake. Too bad. He should have looped before he leaked.

For the Birds
       Heinz Foodlemyer recently addressed the Deutsche Ornithological Society. The speech was stirring, starting right from its opening words, "Heron und Damen..."

       True: the scientific name for the herb catnip is ne PET A CAT aria.

       Everyone believes there are no fish whatever in Lake Foodlemyer. Nobody has ever caught anything in that lake (although they never stop trying), except one amazing day in 1979 when Pescado Foodlemyer managed to catch 22. Ever since then it has been known as "the day of the catch."

       Regis Filbert often boasts about the grace and refinement of his mother's eldest sister. Apparently everyone knows this, because whenever he appears with her people always ask, "Is that your fine old aunt, sir?"

       Recently the stone wall around my flower bed collapsed, so I hired a stonemason named Richard Backinchurch to repair it. Every day he brought his teen son Noddawun to the job, so he could help, and also learn the trade.
       Now Noddawun was really annoying, because whenever there was something he didn't like he would say, "I'm Noddawun to complain," and whenever he told a joke he would immediately say, "Wanna hear a Noddawun ?"
       However, Noddawun was a huge success with the ladies, which I am not, because I never know what to say when I first meet a woman. Luckily, Noddawun taught me exactly how get started. I memorized the words he taught me, so I approach women confidently ever since I got down the mason Dick's son's line.

       In his youth King Canute (the Danish king who also ruled England and Norway) was very wild. His mother felt spanking was the only way to control him, and asked his father to perform the punishment. The father, though, opposed this form of discipline, and told her, "Go paddle your own Canute."

       There were only two bottles in the French mortician's medicine cabinet. The first was for seasickness, and marked "For mal-de-mer." The second was for dermatitis, and marked "For mal-de-hide."

The Sea
       The sea is very restful. It's been shown that people who live along coastlines or on islands require fewer hours of sleep. The most calming are islands that surround lagoons. People sleep less on sea atolls.

Who's a lad?
«»  Caesar's a lad.
«»  Waldorf's a lad.
«»  Chef's a lad.

       The high point of the Law School graduation was a gala bash in the Grand Ballroom of the Ritz-Gramercy. Unfortunately, the hotel had rented the ballroom not only to the Law School, but also to the Bean Farmers of America for their annual awards dinner. There were no other facilities available that night, and people had come from all over the country to attend, so they ended up combining both events.
       I'll never forget the MC starting off the festivities, opening with "J.D.'s and lentil men..."

Big Beef
       In the world of beef cattle the angus is tops, king, almost a god. As they say, "Angus Dei."

Ride 'Em
       The wealthy retired Olympic equestrienne had a hard time adjusting from a horse to a limousine. She would sometimes sit on the hood, and urge the vehicle forward by whipping the front end with, if you will, a bumper crop.

       It has been established that the expression "In God We Trust" first appeared on U.S. currency on the 1826 quarter. It is still unknown who first proposed that motto, and how it got approved. Historians are still researching how the coin was phrased.

       Although we hear a lot about America's difficulties with storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel rods, we hear little about England's bigger problem with fission chips.

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