The phrase ‘No pun intended’ has always baffled me. A pun is a pun. If it gets a reaction, just take credit for it in your mind and move on. Maybe your intentions are good but the flow of your presentation is interrupted. Yeah, I know.
Every single pun I’ve ever told has been intended. Otherwise, why would I say it? Yes, people sort of groan but to a comedian, a groan is just as good as a laugh, so long as you don’t get groans through your entire act. I’ve watched it happen and it’s not pretty.
We are a strange breed, comedians. We crave instant gratification for a job well done with every joke or bit that we throw out there. It doesn’t really happen with everything you say, but if you open strong, sustain laughter in the middle and close really strong there’s nothing like it.
“I’m on a diet. Actually I’m on two; you just don’t get to eat enough on one.” Did you laugh? Groan? “This morning I ran out of Total cereal and had to eat 13 bowls of Shredded Wheat.” Did you like that one? I can’t tell! “My doctor is crazy. He wants me to get down to my original weight but that’s six pounds, two ounces.”
I can’t take it! Are you laughing? Smiling? I have to know!! Oy, I think I need to see my therapist.