Archive for the 'Contests' Category

New Contest — The Big But

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Here is our new August joke contest.

New contests are announced on the first of the month.

Our next contest is on September 1, 2015.

This month’s theme is The Big But.  The jokes will explore how a misplaced BUT can mix up the intended meaning of a sentence.

Here are three examples:

She looked like a super model…but she had a nice personality.

The dish looked like a picture from a gourmet magazine…but it tasted amazingly good.

The plane arrived eight hours late…but all our luggage was stolen.

See what twists you can weave into a sentence by putting a BUT into the mix. Send us your most creative lines by August 15, 2015. Your first three entries will be eligible for Top-Three selection. Extra lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention.  Submit your lines to

Joke Contest Results — Sounds Like

Monday, July 27th, 2015

It’s time for the results of our July joke contest.

The feedback from our readers was that it was one of our most difficult contests.

The theme of the contest was:  Sounds Like

New contests are announced on the first of the month.

Look for the next contest on August 1, 2015

Here are the top entries.


The sound of my son’s set of drums falling over a cliff:  Bah dump bump.

Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinios


The sound of cashing my paycheck:  Clinkety clink.

Sandy Kampner, Evergreen Park, Illinois


A costume malfunction on TV: Sounds like a million eyebrows raising in unison.

Gerald Fleishmann, Fountain Valley, California

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

Upon encountering a snake under my house…the sound I make exiting: Thump, thump, thump, thump.

My first expression upon falling into an open septic tank: Oh crap…

Siblings: Stop touching me! Poke, poke, poke.

Reporting from California, the sound of rain: Oops…forgot what it sounds like!

The sound after my wife’s big announcement:  You’re WHAT!

The sound of me after a weekend bender: I know I work around here somewhere.

Sound of my teen learning to drive: Screech screech screech BUMP.

The sound of going on the wagon: Glug, glug, as you pour your best booze down the drain.

The sound after hearing Honey I’m pregnant:  A pregnant pause.

The sound of mowing a lawn that hasn’t been mowed lately:  Where’s Fluffy?

Love at first sight. That sound you hear is common sense leaving your body.

As I get out of bed in the morning, my back snaps, crackles, and pops.  Sounds like what I’m having for breakfast.

The hushed buzzing sound in the air are all the secrets from people who promised they’d keep it a secret.

That rumbling sound underground is all our ancestors turning over in their graves.

The gymnast’s son checking out his dad’s bed. Sproing, sproing, sproing.

The silence sounds of a wise husband even though he is right.

The sound of my palm hitting my forehead when after ten minutes I finally find my sunglasses on top of my head: Thwack!

Huckabee trashing Jeb: Bushwhack.

Operating Sonar while playing a college drinking game: Ping-pong.

Shooting the hair that covers your forehead: Bang-bang.

American Pharoah declining to run at Saratoga:  Neigh.

Hillary taking the tough questions: The Sounds of Silence.

Hillary opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Flip-flop.

Smoking pot while operating Sonar: Ping-bong.

The sound of my brain writing jokes: ha, ha ha, eh, ugh, oh no! hee hee, hahahahaha…yeah, that one!

Contest Results — Rich/Poor

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

It’s time for the results of our June Joke Contest. The theme is “You Know You’re Rich When…” And “You Know You’re Poor When…”

New Joke Contests are announced on the first of the month.

Look for July’s contest on July 1, 2015.

And here are the top lines:


You know you’re poor when you put your shoes on the wrong feet so they wear down more evenly.

Kaye Newton, Raymond Terrace, NSW, Australia


You know you’re rich when you need no keys.

Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Ilinois


You know you’re rich when you only eat meals that no one can pronounce.

Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illin

HONORABLE MENTION (In random order.)

- You know you’re rich when every Casino Host in Las Vegas knows you by your first name.

- You know you’re poor when every Casino Host in Las Vegas knows you by your first name.

- You know you’re rich when you send your valet to Mars to see if you would like it there.

- You know you’re rich when you hire ten manicurists, one for each finger.

- You know you’re poor when you recycle dental floss.

- You know you’re rich when your other Gulfstream is in the shop.

- You know you’re rich when your address has a street but no number.

- You know you’re rich when you have His and Hers Bentleys…and you’re single.

- You know you’re rich when the golf clubs you buy involve real estate.

- You know you’re rich when “down on your luck” means you just lost $50,000 playing blackjack.

- You know you’re poor when the only way you’ll see foreign countries is by watching the Travel Channel at a Best Buy store.

- You know you’re rich when your bank balance is higher on return from an around the world holiday, and you’ve collected enough air points to go around again.

- You know you’re rich when you have to drop the zeros and use b or t next to your asset balances.

Humor Role Models

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

The contest theme for the month of May is Humor Role Models.

Contests are announced on the first of the month.

The next contest come out on June 1. 2015.

Here are seven top Humor Role Model submissions. It didn’t seem appropriate to rank them in first, second and third place. So instead, they are shared in no special order, because they are ALL special:


My brother Kevin is a humor sharp-shooter, because his wacky, outrageous, spontaneous witticisms always hit the mark. And his humor is disarming in tense situations.

Submitted by Terry Wall, Washington Township, New Jersey


My mother baked, a great roll model. She introduced me to words, always had Readers Digest around. I honed against my brother. Blame them.

Submitted by Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois


My dad Harry raised me as funny as he. We told jokes, watched and listened to comedians, funny records, read “funny papers,” etc. I learned.

Submited by Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California


Sister John Michael would whoosh into our classroom with a joke or math problem. She taught us critical thinking and how to laugh.

Submitted by Sandy Kampner, Evergreen Park, Illinois


Currently, SE’s corny humor packs a charge. You say “revolt,” he says ”Ohm.” Like Cinco de Mayo is shipwrecked mayonnaise. He’s vegetarian. That’s no bull!

Submitted by David Novick, Dayton, Ohio


DAD JOKES! DAD JOKES! Dad’s boners and groaners and moaners always had us in stitches, especially on long summer road trips and vacations. Thanks, Dad!

Submitted by Tom Nee, Oak Lawn, Illinois

New Contest — Humor and Happiness Role Model

Friday, May 1st, 2015

In 25 words or less, who has been your number one role model for humor and happiness in your life?  You can’t nominate yourself.  And you can’t nominate me!

My top role model was my Uncle Harry. It’s difficult to experess my thoughts in 25 words. But here it is:

“Uncle Harry was a joy-leader. Whether it was entertainment around the campfire or games on a road trip, Harry was the fun-planner supreme.”

Coming up with your entry, you might do what I did. I wrote a longer piece, 800 words, based on my memories of Uncle Harry. I called each of his three daughters and we chatted on the phone. My longer article is posted in my May Humor Power Tips Newsletter. The process of discussing the positive qualities of your role model with family and friends is a good experience for everyone.

Then take your longer article and trim it down to the most important 25 words to share with our readers. You don’t need to identify the person’s whole name unless you want to. You could just use a first name, or a nickname. Nor do you need to identify a specific city where the person lives.

We will recognize the top three entries. And  some Honorable
Mentions.  Send us your one entry of Who is your Humor and Happiness Role Model and Why. Also send us YOUR name and city.  We will need your entry by May 15, 2015.  Send it to

Contest Results — New National Holidays

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

It’s time for the best lines of our April Contest. The theme for the month is New National Holidays.

New contests are announced on the first of the month. The next contest will be introduced in the May 1 newsletter.

Here are the top lines for New National Holidays:


National Fiction Day: Not a real holiday

Marty Bernstein, Oak Park, Illinois


National Procrastination Day: To be determined.

Gerald Fleischmann, Fountain Valley, California


Write Backwards Day: 1 LIRPA

Sandy Kampner, Evergreen Park, IL

HONORABLE MENTION (in random order)

- Calculate Pi Day, 3/14/16. A day that never ends.

- Eat More Butter Day: Put it on everything. Deep fried butter sticks. Great in a cone. Give it 20 seconds in the microwave oven and drink it. Celebrated the day before Healthy Heart Day.

- National Rational Day: Celebrated when it makes sense.

- New Ears Day: Celebrating plastic surgeons.

- Formal Monday. The first Monday of the month. Wear a suit to work.

- National Nothing Day: A holiday from all other holidays.

- Garage Sale Exchange Day: On the first Saturday of May, from the neighbor on your left, you take all their stuff, as the neighbor on your right, takes all your stuff. Children and family pets not included.

- Buy a New Car Day; Every February 29th.

- Road Hog Day: Slow drivers get to put on their Danica Patrick and A.J. Foyt helmets and floor it!

- Illinois voter day: April 7. 1. Vote. 2. Watch the returns. 3. Look in your mailbox for your stipend.

- Groucho Marx Day: Everybody walks and talks like Groucho for 24 hours.

- Kinde Day: April 15th. Every contest entry is a winner today.

- Walk Funny Day: You’ve always wanted to. A stone in your shoe is optional.

- Dennis Day Day: Everybody acts like Dennis Day. Celebrated the day after Gladys Night Night.

- Doc Holliday Holiday: A holiday for doctors.

- It’s Mine Day: On your birthday everything is yours.

- Native Americans Day: Give the U.S. back to the Native Americans to see if they can do better.

- Stay at Home on Your Birthday Because You Are Well Day.

- Chew Out Your Boss Day: Scheduled on your last day at work Buy Something Silly Day, January 26: Help your local merchant unload his overstock of pet rocks, chia animals, and last year’s joke-a-day calendars.

- Contact an Extraterrestrial Day: August 13. They’re all around you.

- Take Your Nukes to Work Day: The day after signing the nuclear treaty with Iran. If signed in April, it will also be April Fool’s Day.

- It Depends Day: Allows you to prevaricate and lie by waffling on any Politicians celebrated daily by politicians.

- March Sadness: Month-long grieving by teams that get bounced form the NCAA basketball tournament on bad referee calls.

- Inauguration Day: Also known as Buyer’s Remorse Day.

- National Procrastination day. Starts May 7,ends August 16.

- National Funny Day. On this day, people who think they are funny actually must be funny.

- National Straight line day. Celebrated on 1-11 – National Defense Industry Day: Tanksgiving.

- Celebrating longer days for personal grooming: Daylight Shavings Time.

- National Geography Day. Customer service line personnel must tell you their actual location.

- New Ears Day. Celebrating plastic surgeons.

- Holiday Recovery Day. The first weekday after January 1. You get a day off to recover from the holidays.

- March Sadness Day. The day after the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. If your team lost, you get the day off to recover from the disappointment. If your team won, you get the day off to celebrate. If you didn’t fill out a bracket, you are obviously working too hard, so you get the day off as well.

Selecting Our Contest Winners

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

On a recent survey of subscribers, a few comments suggested that the selection of contest winners is subjective. I agree. The results are totally subjective. What is funny to one person is often not funny to another.
- Here is some background on the judging process for our contests.
- I try to minimize the subjectivity factor by having at least 8 – 10 judges for each contest. And usually the panel of judges is different each month. Sometimes I take the ballots to an improv workshop, sometimes to a Toastmasters meeting, sometimes I email the ballot to friends who I think would be good judges.   The judges do NOT know who authored the jokes.
- The judges usually range in age from 20s to 80s, and are usually about half men/women. But the bottom line is that the selection of one judge is just an opinion. There is no clear-cut, objective way to arrive at the Top Three entries each month.
- The results of the contests will naturally also be affected by our use of mostly American-English-speaking judges.
- And each month I’m reminded of the subjective nature of humor. My favorite entry is usually not the favorite entry of the judges. In fact, sometimes my favorite entry is not even in the top three!
- Have you ever thought that one of the Honorable Mention entries should have been in the Top Three, and wondered why it wasn’t? Or maybe you wondered why one of your submissions didn’t even make the Honorable Mention list?
- We have already mentioned that the big factor is the subjectivity of humor. What is funny to one person may not be funny to another.
- Another factor might be that a particular joke didn’t make it past the editor (me). I apply a certain standard of corporate-quality humor and also act as the Politically Correct Police for the contests.
- Also, it’s not practical to produce a judge’s ballot with 500 jokes on it. Someone has to narrow the field down to a manageable number of jokes. I usually prepare a ballot with what I consider the top 20 jokes. Then the judges pick the top three. If I have at least five judges, I don’t vote for the Top Three selection.
- The judges don’t know who submitted the individual jokes. Occasionally, but not often, the judges may pick select a Top Three which includes two jokes by the same author. When that happens, I pick that author’s best joke (as determined by the judges) to include in the Top Three and I move the fourth place joke into third. This expands our winner recognition.
- Another factor why an Honorable Mention joke may be your favorite and not be one of our winners, is that the joke may be submitted by the person who suggested the theme for the month. When someone creates the joke theme for the month, they are permitted to be on the Honorable Mention list, but not in the Top Three.   We feel it wouldn’t look right for the person who contributed the theme to also be the winner.
- Sometimes some of the Honorable Mention jokes were written by me. It’s not often I include my own jokes, but sometimes I do. My jokes never appear in the Top Three.
- So there you have a little insight into the judging process and why one of your favorite jokes only made Honorable Mention or didn’t even appear on the list at all.

Humor Contest — New National Holidays

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

New National Holidays

What new National Holiday would you propose? Why? How would we celebrate it? When would it be? Don’t try answering all the questions. Being brief is better

Labor Day: The day before Thanksgiving. It will be the only day of the year when we do go to work. Since the next day is Thanksgiving Day, nobody will work past noon.

April Fools Day: The second Tuesday in November. We celebrate it by giving a pension of 25 times the minimum wage to anyone even thinking of running for national office. No photo ID required to qualify for the pension.

National Fitness Day: Celebrated by staying home, watching sports on TV, drinking beer, and eating poato chips.

Submit your best three holidays to: not later than April 15, 2015 (right after you mail in your taxes). If you send in more than three entries, the additional lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention.

New Contest — Family Business

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Products are often named using a family name. Ford automobiles for example. Firestone tires, another example. Some products are named for a first name of a child. Porsche and Wendys are two examples.

Family names and children’s names are probably used in businesses more than we know. I grew up near a Sneaker’s service station. I always felt that was probably a family name, not one that I would have used to name a business.

The theme for this month’s contest is Family Business.   Let’s narrow the search to celebrities and famous people. That sounds redundant, but hopefully “famous” people picks up anyone well-known who is not considered a “celebrity.”

Some examples of possible, but not likely, businesses names:

Emily Blunt opens Blunt Cutlery.
Tina Fey opens Fey’s Faux Furs.
Bob Barker opens Barker Dog Obedience School.
Rob Lowe opens Rob’s Banks

Some thoughts as you look for lines:

If something is obvious, everybody else probably thought of it too. That reduces the surprise factor.
Elton John opens John’s Porta Johns
Jim opens Jim’s Gym
Harrison Ford opens a Ford Dealership

Avoid easy lines which are in bad taste..
Krapp Burgers
Evelyn Hooker opens Hooker Motel
Someone in the news for spouse abuse opening a Marriage Counceling Center.

“Categories” and lists help focus a search:
Categories can give you a starting point. You can then work toward a name.

Ways to stimulate the search:
Look for names that are nouns, adjectives or verbs.
Search the internet for a list of names. This helps “prime the pump.”
Working forward and backward:
- Working from name to business
- Working from business to name
Double meanings
Rhyme or similar sounds
Don’t get trapped with a single technique, puns for example

Write as many lines as you can and submit what you feel are your best three lines. Submit them by March 15, 2015. Send them to You can submit more than three lines. The additional lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention.

New Joke Contest — State Of The Funny

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

The theme for February is The State Of  The Funny.  Why is a specific state funny?

Here are three states I’ve lived in.

Nevada is funny because you can get married and gamble…but I repeat myself.

North Dakota is funny because you need a sense of humor to deal with the winters.

 California is funny because you can deliver your punch lines in 85 languages.

  1. Your joke should fit the formula:  STATE is funny because…
  2. You can submit one joke each for the state you live in and two other states.  A total of three jokes.  This is an exercise in writing lots of jokes and then figuring out which ones are the funniest.  No recognition for Honorable Mention beyond three entries.
  3. In which city and state do you live?
  4. You can submit a joke for a province, or territory, or comparable geographic area for your country.
  5. Submit your entries by February 15, 2015