The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33616   Message #449840
Posted By: Jim Dixon
26-Apr-01 - 11:19 AM
Thread Name: Puns: Give us your worst/best
Subject: RE: Puns: Give us your worst/best
"From 1954 to 1966, Minneapolis radio and television personality Clellan Card portrayed a Scandinavian screwball named Axel Torgeson on a local children's TV show called 'Axel and His Dog.' "

That's from a good web site devoted to him, called Axel's Treehouse.

He was fond of puns. His trademark was a certain poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, which he would recite with his own twist:

A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my windowsill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
"What's that in the road -- a head?"*

He repeated that poem hundreds of times in his career, varying the last line. The punchline always fit a formula: It was always a question, the last few words always included a pun, and the pun always depended on a crucial pause before the last word or two. The compiler of the web site calls this form a "birdie" in Card's honor. The example given above is not typical - he usually didn't bother with meter and rhyme.

What would you do if your wife drank -- liquor?
What's the matter with Hazel -- nuts?
How old were you when you got the colt -- 45?
What did you do after you ate the banana -- split?
What did you do when she stole your milk -- shake?
What do you think this is, Mary -- Christmas?
What's for dinner, Mother -- goose?

The web site gives many more examples.

*I just learned from the web site that the first example I gave may not be authentic, but it's still the one I like best.