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Charlie Hatton
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I'll Set 'Em Up -- You Knock 'Em Down!

Hey, folks, this is your chance to be immortalized in the world of comedy. Come up with that one killer punchline that everyone will remember, and make other people -- from toothless toddlers to gummy grandmas -- snort and hoot and howl with laughter. It's fun, it's silly, and the spotlight's on you. Do you have what it takes for 'Punchline Fever'?

Well, let's find out. Here's how it works -- every week, I'll post a short, but flexible (and original, assuming I can muster the neurons) setup line for a joke. All you've got to do is swoop in and 'bring tha noise' with a laugh-out-loud punchline.

(Bringing 'tha funk' is optional, but encouraged. Readers of this blog funk it up at their own risk. The proprieters of this establishment bear no liability for patrons accidentally funking on themselves or their belongings. If funk is ingested, induce booty shaking and consult a physician immediately.)

Anyway, that's all there is to it. Each week, I'll get things started with a punchline of my own, but that's just to spark the ideas -- it's your job to come and make it look silly. So what are you waiting for? Strap on your hilarity pants and let's catch:

Punchline Fever!

January 31, 2005: Punchline Fever #30:

'The hushed crowd watched as Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his groundhog hole. If he were to see his shadow, it's six more weeks of winter; if not, then an early spring. Phil stepped out, peed on the ground, and immediately disappeared into his burrow. 'What the hell does that mean,' the crowd cried. 'Well,' said the mayor, '...I guess it means we're gonna have ___________________________.'

January 24, 2005: Punchline Fever #29:

'Joe was pretty excited when his wife suggested they try a 'threesome in bed'. But he wasn't nearly so 'pumped' when he discovered that she meant ___________________________.'

January 17, 2005: Punchline Fever #28:

'Nearsighted old Mr. Franklin got a little mixed up today -- instead of going into the local fast food joint for lunch, he accidentally walked into the 'sex shop' next door. Well, imagine his surprise when the clerk actually tried to fill his order to ___________________________.'

January 10, 2005: Punchline Fever #27:

'Teri was alone on the elevator at work when she decided to reach into her slacks and adjust her panties. Unfortunately, when the doors opened on her floor, she still had both hands down her pants. Worse, the boss had been waiting for the elevator and asked what the hell she was doing. Always the quick thinker, Teri replied, 'Oh, this? It's nothing -- I was just __________________________'.'

January 3, 2005: Punchline Fever #26:

'Timmy's grandma had been having problems with her nearsightedness for a while. But he knew she was in real trouble when she left to use her electric toothbrush, and he found her __________________________.'

December 28, 2004: Punchline Fever #25:

'Janet tried and tried to return the vibrator she'd received as a Christmas present back to the store where it was bought. But in the end (no pun intended), the store said that it simply couldn't accept returned merchandise that _________________________.'

December 20, 2004: Punchline Fever #24:

'The whorehouse didn't want to advertise too widely that they were open for business on Christmas Eve, so they came up with a password for the night based on a Christmas carol lyric. To get upstairs, all customers had to do was say '________________________'.'

December 13, 2004: Punchline Fever #23:

'Steve was thrilled to find that he'd won a free vacation. But that was before he found out the contest was sponsored by Playtex, whose idea of a 'vacation' was ________________________.'

December 6, 2004: Punchline Fever #22:

'The new supermarket decided to hire scantily-clad off-duty strippers as checkout girls to drum up business. They even came up with a new risque food-related slogan for the store: '________________________'.'

November 29, 2004: Punchline Fever #21:

'In an effort to boost post-Thanksgiving sales, Butterball just launched a new ad slogan: "I likes my turkeys like I likes my women: _________________________".'

July 02, 2004: Punchline Fever #20:

'It's a little known fact that John Wayne almost signed a deal to shoot the world's first 'porno western'. The project never got off the ground, but it did have a working title: _____________________________.'

June 25, 2004: Punchline Fever #19:

'I thought taking a job at the 'Home for Retired Animal Movie Stars' would be a lot of fun. But after a couple of weeks, it all went horribly wrong. You've never truly experienced 'uncomfortable' until _____________________________.'

June 18, 2004: Punchline Fever #18:

'Melody decided to give her elderly husband a big surprise on his birthday by jumping out of a big cake at his party, wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini. Of course, it might have worked out a little better if she hadn't _____________________________.'

June 11, 2004: Punchline Fever #17:

'In the news this week, there was a story about a brilliant dog from Germany that knows over 200 words. Nice. Well, I've got a dog, too, but she's not nearly so bright. My dog only seems to recognize six not-so-very-useful words: _____________________________.'

June 04, 2004: Punchline Fever #16:

'Baseball's Montreal Expos are looking for a new home city in which to play, and one of the strongest candidates is Las Vegas. Now, at first glance, 'America's Pastime' and 'Sin City' don't seem like a natural fit. But I think it's a chance for some creative marketing -- just think how much more exciting a trip to the ball game would be if _______________________________.'

May 28, 2004: Punchline Fever #15:

'Joe never knew what a problem taking Viagra would turn out to be. It worked great in the bedroom, but he didn't realize that the 'effects' could last all day. And that was rather inconvenient, given that Joe was a police officer; he tried to control his 'excitement', but still he kept _______________________________.'

May 21, 2004: Punchline Fever #14:

'The 'Noah's Ark reenactment' started out well enough, but it went downhill quickly. The animals made it onto the boat okay, but it all went gruesomely wrong when _______________________________.'

May 14, 2004: Punchline Fever #13:

'Dennis was always taught to 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Of course, no one ever mentioned that he shouldn't take it literally when it came to the cute new girl working with him at the fast food joint. Needless to say, the girl was awfully surprised when he _______________________________.'

May 07, 2004: Punchline Fever #12:

'Tiffani (with an 'i', naturally) had a hard time integrating into the 'real world' when her career as an exotic dancer ended. She landed a job at the local grocery store for a while, but got fired because she _______________________________.'

April 30, 2004: Punchline Fever #11:

'The new English lessons they're teaching in school these days are sweet. This week, the kids learned:

'But' is spelled with one 't',
Unless you smoke, or are crass;
And if you offer me your 'butt',

April 23, 2004: Punchline Fever #10:

'Jill wanted to impress the cute new guy in her office, who also happened to be deaf. So she learned enough sign language to 'sign-sing' 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' at his welcome party. Unfortunately, she didn't quite get the response she'd expected, and learned later that she'd inadvertently signed out _____________________________.'

April 16, 2004: Punchline Fever #9:

'The new ad campaign for Verizon didn't go over as well as the company had hoped. They tried the 'use sex to sell' approach, but they may have turned people off with the commercials featuring ____________________.'

April 09, 2004: Punchline Fever #8:

'Joe was shocked that the sleazy motel showed only 'pornified' versions of his favorite TV shows. He watched for as long as he could stand it, making it through 'Beaverly Hillbillies', 'South Pork', and 'Little Hos on the Prairie'. But he just couldn't stand to watch any more after ten minutes of ____________________.'

April 02, 2004: Punchline Fever #7:

'The kids in the fraternity house were really disappointed when they accidentally rented a porno with all over-sixty actors and actresses. But even if they missed all the old folks on the cover, they should have figured it out from the film's title, ____________________.'

March 26, 2004: Punchline Fever #6:

'The young newlyweds were very excited about trying sex during nude skydiving. That is, until they discovered that the last couple who attempted it ended up ____________________.'

March 19, 2004: Punchline Fever #5:

'It was bad enough that Larry mixed up the phone numbers for the phone sex line and the car dealership. But things really got confusing when ____________________.'

March 12, 2004: Punchline Fever #4:

'Certainly, Martha Stewart's gonna have the classiest cell in prison, with designer sheets on the cots, and a crocheted splash guard for the toilet-hole. But I wonder whether she'll go so far as to ________________________.'

March 05, 2004: Punchline Fever #3:

'The 'airline with an all-nude staff' seemed like a good idea at the time. But they had to close down when the passengers started ________________________.'

February 27, 2004: Punchline Fever #2:

'Why yes, Mr. Finley, that is quite a rash you've got there. But frankly, you have to expect such things if you allow your wife to ________________________.'

February 20, 2004: Punchline Fever #1:

'I'm sorry you had another 'accident' in the kitchen, Martha. But honestly, you wouldn't have these problems if you'd ________________________.'

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