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A feghoot is a subcategory of “joke” and “pun,” and is sort of a fusion of both. In the case of a standard “joke,” you tell a short story that leads up to a “punchline,” a twist that renders the preceding story funny. A “pun,” on the other hand, is a humorous play on words. A short joke, for example would be “I went to bed last night, and dreamed I was eating marshmallows. Then I woke up, and my pillow was gone.” A pun, on the other hand, would be, “I’m sick of bad chemistry jokes. Let’s barium.” A feghoot is both, with the added element that the recipient may or may not know that he is being TOLD a joke; feghoots tend to be considerably longer than ordinary jokes. The laughs come from (a) attempting to spot the clues and put the pieces together before you get to the punchline, or (b) being completely unaware of the joke until the punchline arrives, and it’s a blatant pun. A feghoot is NOT a shaggy dog story, because shaggy dog stories do not end with puns. A feghoot ALWAYS ends with a pun based on the information provided in the story. If it ends with a pun, it’s a feghoot. Length is arbitrary, but it tends to be longer than most jokes. TV comedy writer Mark Evanier, for example, told a story on his blog recently that qualifies, in which he mentions that a friend of his was the second lead in a stage production of “Sunset Boulevard,” and sent him a pair of complimentary tickets. Evanier decided to call up a woman he knew and ask if she wanted to go. The lady says, “The big production downtown, starring GLENN CLOSE?” Evanier said that this was so, and the woman broke all records getting to his place, and they went and saw the play and had a great time. A week later, another friend was visiting, and she sees the playbill on his coffee table. And in a frosty tone, she says “You went and saw Glenn Close without me?” in a voice that could shave the electrons off an atom. Evanier sheepishly admitted it, and the woman says, “You will get more tickets and take me to see Glenn Close.” Evanier tries to explain that he only had the two complimentary tickets, but the sharp woman is not having any, and thus Evanier has to call his friend and see if more tickets can be had, but he will gladly pay for these, yadda yadda, and tickets are found, and a date is made. And on the evening in question, our happy couple steps out to the theatre... but upon arrival, there seems to be a problem. People are angry. There are loud voices among the gowns and tuxes. The box office person is looking hunted. It seems that Glenn Close, for whatever reason, will not be appearing tonight; the role will be handled by her understudy, and the crowd is NOT happy about this. One man is shouting that he traveled halfway across the country to see Glenn Close, and now she’s not performing? Another is angry that he paid premium prices for the tickets, and now the main reason for doing so is gone. The theatre manager comes out and attempts to calm down the crowd, but they aren’t having any. He explains that he cannot FORCE Ms. Close to perform, but the crowd seems to think that he should. He offers to validate parking, free of charge, but that doesn’t accomplish much. And finally, in desperation, he whips out a pocket humidor and offers one particularly loud gentleman an expensive cigar. “I don’t WANT a &%#$& CIGAR!” shouts the angry man. “I want GLENN CLOSE!” And Evanier, standing nearby, shows the wit -- and wisdom -- that made him a TV comedy writer, and quips, “Cigar, but no Close.” *rimshot* If Evanier had ended the story here, it would be a classic example of a feghoot. As it is, the crowd didn’t think he was very funny, and he reports that had he and his date not done a fast fade, he might well have been the first person ever lynched over a bad pun... My personal supply of feghoots is limited. Anyone know any?