Champipun league: Gary McNair puts our puns to the test

Champipun league: Gary McNair puts our puns to the test

Gary McNair's Champipunship is back on Fri 29 Sep

Ahead of the 4th annual Champipunship in Glasgow this Friday, we flex our punny muscles

We all love a good pun, right? Theatre-maker and performer Gary McNair's been taking his love of puns to the next level since 2014 with his annual Champipunship. This Friday at Glasgow's O2 ABC, Gary hosts the Champipunship's fourth edition, with eight masters vying for the title. To help him limber up, we sent Gary some of our favourite puns as judging practice – and he went to town on them. They were pretty cheesy: some were briely gouda, others he camembert. So if you're heading down to the Champipunship on Friday, here's a taste of what's in store.

I went to a zoo recently but the only animal they had was a dog. It was a shih tzu.
Gary: A classic. But like most U2 songs, it loses whatever impact might have had with every time you hear it.

I'd tell you a fungi joke, but I'm not sure there's mushroom for it...
Gary: I was pleasantly surprised by this – we've all heard mushroom set ups to jokes that end in 'he's a fun guy' so this was a fresh twist (though to be fair, I might be the only person who hasn't heard it. Either way, I'm happy in my land of ignorant bliss).

I was in a fishing championship once... got the first plaice
Gary: On the scale of all the great fish puns out there, this one just doesn't weigh up to the rest of them. Fine, I'll let you off the hook, just for the halibut.

A man walks into a bakers, points to the counter and says: 'Is that a cake or a meringue?' The baker replies: 'No, you're right. It's a cake.'
Gary: This is the Dougie Donnelly of jokes – it's brilliant but it only works in Scotland. Whenever I'm abroad I tell this joke to people, I piss myself laughing and make no attempt to explain it, leaving them baffled. Let's be honest though, it's doughnut, not cake, isn't it.

I had a magic-filled childhood with my dad, he disappeared when I was 6.
Gary: This just makes me sad.

I went to the library the other day and, instead of literature, the shelves were filled with bulbous root vegetables. That was a turnip for the books.
Gary: Whereas this is quite a swede little joke.

I spent all my money on pasta this weekend; then my brother came round and ate it all... I can't believe it, I'm penne-less.
Gary: What a mean brother you have. You should have told him to 'spaghetti f*ck!'

I lost a court case battle against a popular fabric softener. I fought Lenor and Lenor won. [via Glenn Moore]
Gary: This is terrible. I like that about it. It would definitely get a big groan on the night.

My dad took on the airlines about his missing luggage, but he lost his case...
Gary: This is also terrible and that is not what I like about it. I like nothing about it. This is tumble weed central. But well don't for trying. They can't all be big hitters.

My personal trainer also looks after my hair. I just call him 'my conditioner'.
Gary: I understand all of these words individually but not when put in this order.

I wanted to be a journalist specialising in Greek architecture, but I found my colleagues too bellicose. You can't be a columnist if you can't take the rows.
Gary: A strong finish. I love a convoluted set up. I have one about a philosophy that takes between 30 seconds and 30 minutes to tell. Always worth it though. I'd love to see this drawn out over minutes so that people are as much pleased that it's over as they are happy at the punch line.

The Champipunship takes place at the O2 ABC, Glasgow, Fri 29 Sep.

The Champipunship

Glasgow punsmiths go head to head at this evening of wordplay. Get ready to groan.

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