A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I had a shepherd’s pie for lunch. He was furious” (5/22)
“Average gumbo is only medi-okra” (5/21)
“The job requires me to get a potato clock” (up at eight o’clock) (5/21)
“The past is your lesson. The present is your gift. The future is your motivation” (5/21)
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Entry from January 17, 2017
“I submitted 10 puns to a newspaper contest hoping one would win, but no pun in ten did”

A classic pun has a man submitting 10 puns to a local newspaper’s pun contest. He hoped that one would win, but no pun in ten did (no pun intended). A version of the pun has been cited in print since at least May 1987, when it was published in Boys’ Life magazine.


Google Books
May 1987, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 65, col. 1:
Pedro says: “A Scout once read a list of 10 puns to help me choose one to fit a pun contest. I could tell by his face, no pun in 10 did.”—Scott A. Lamb, Allendale, N.J.

22 April 1992, The Tennessean (Nashville, TN), “Scene and Heard” by Catherine Darnell, pg. 1D, col. 6:
And finally, William Christy of Franklin, our master of puns, sent another:

“OK, so puns are the lowest form of humor. In a recent study, a dozen subjects were subjected to hearing 10 professionally-prepared puns. Reactions to each pun were observed to see if it evoked laughter or smiling. Results: no pun in 10 did.”

Google Groups: rec.humor
Pun Competition
Shari Jill Kimmel
1/19/94
The Mid-Peninsula chapter of Toastmasters International is currently hosting a pun competition.  Send your original pun to:
Pun Competition
131-C Escondido Village
Stanford, Ca 94305
Contest deadline is January 25, 1994.  We are planning to award a prize for the most creative pun.

Cliff Heller
1/20/94
(...)
Last year I submitted 10 puns to their competition.

I thought for sure at least one would win, but no pun in ten did.

Google Groups: bit.listserv.travel-l
Pun ishment (humor)
dian...@aol.com
12/15/96
(...)
4.  There was a man who entered a local paper’s pun contest.  He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

25 December 1996, San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune, “A punny thing happened to those roasted chess nuts” by Don Bauder, pg. C-1:
... was so pleased with them, and others, that he sent a package of ten puns to a Union- Tribune contest. He figured at least one would win. Alas, no pun in ten did.

5 January 1997, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), “Casstevens,” pg. C3, col. 2:
He brings to mind the fellow who heard about a pun contest sponsored by his hometown paper. The reader sent in 10 puns hoping one would win.

No pun in ten did.

12 January 1997, Washington (DC) Post, “The Style Invitational,” pg. F2, col. 1:
A man entered the Style Invitational pun contest. He submitted ten different puns, in the hopes that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did! (Dave Ferry, Leesburg)

Google Books
Uncle John’s Absolutely Absorbing Bathroom Reader
By The Bathroom Readers’ Institute
Ashland, OR: Bathroom Readers’ Press
1999
Pg. 259:
THERE WAS A MAN who entered a local paper’s pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, hoping that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor
Opening Jokes
Saturday, April 10, 1999
(...)
GK: So this man entered a pun contest. He sent in ten different entries hoping one would win, but unfortunately no pun in ten did.

Google Books
Dr. Speedy’s Jokes and Riddles
By Higino Gonzalez
San Jose, CA: Writers Club Press
2000
Pg. 10:
There was a man who entered a local paper’s pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Fortunately, no pun in ten did.

Google Books
Man Walks into a Bar:
Over 6,000 of the Most Hilarious Jokes, Funniest Insults and Gut-Busting One-Liners

By Stephen Arnott and Mike Haskins
Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press
2007
Pg. ?:
Harry sent ten different puns to a friend in the hope that at least one of the puns would make him laugh. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

Twitter
Adam Melancon
‏@melancon
I entered a local paper’s pun contest. I sent in 10 different puns hoping that at least one would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
10:31 PM - 29 Jun 2008

Twitter
WestleyAnnis
‏@WestleyAnnis
there was the guy who sent 10 different puns to friends, with the hope that at least 1 of the puns would make them laugh.No pun in ten did.
9:02 AM - 28 Jul 2008

Google Books
Jokes Puns Comebacks & More
By Brandon Salmo
Lulu Publishing (Lulu.com)
2016
Pg. ?:
There was a man who entered a local paper’s pun contest.. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Tuesday, January 17, 2017 • Permalink