Pun-gus Among Us - Nurse Lulu's Improv Series

One the best things I discovered online when I began hospital clowning was ClownAntics.com.  I will be forever grateful that they provided a pun-derful treasure.  Thanks to their “little pail”, “little grater” and “stool sample” mini gags, I have three gifts in my right inner pocket that keep on giving.

As I browsed their site, I was drawn to these adorable little items because I’ve always loved miniatures.  I wasn’t automatically planning on buying them because puns are not my style.  I don’t mind being a bit corny, but I wasn’t sure just how I would use these little things, especially with a partner.  As new clowns, we were told to always involve our partner in as many gags as possible, and I was too inexperienced to incorporate my partners into everything I was finding online.

One of the most important things we were taught during the artistic portion of training was to leave the room or performance area on a high note.  Leave them laughing or at least happy, whether you were there for a short time or for a long time.  Not all gags will hit home, however, and you still have to find a reason to leave.

As a partner I wasn’t the strongest initiator, but I was a strong support, so I thought these little puns could work as an exit gag if needed.  I purchased all three of them and sometimes I just use one, but many times I use them one after the other!  At first I began to deliver the lines very dryly, hoping it was obvious and ridiculous, but one of my supervisors suggested I say them as if they were the funniest lines in the world.

Pun-ny lines:

What we did was, when it seemed like it was time to leave, I would say: “We’d better get going  because you’re looking a little pale...get it? A little pail!” and I’d crack up. Once the laughter died down, I’d say: “I know that wasn’t such a great joke, but maybe the next one will be a little greater...get it? A little grater!”

Normally, I would plan ahead with my partner and have them pull me out of the room while I was still laughing.  Sometimes I would wait a beat in the hallway, run back in and say “...get it? A little ___!” and have my partner apologize profusely while pulling me out again. If my partner didn't pull me out I would sometimes add:  “But seriously, I found this stool sample without a name on it...” and just before they would worry that I was going to show something inappropriate, I’d pull the little stool out and say “...is it yours?”

I was concerned that solo hospital clowning would put an end to this gag...it hasn’t. I leave on my own and run back in on my own...it still gets a laugh!


Lucy E. Nunez has been a theatrical performer since 2002 and an improv performer since 2003. She created Nurse Lulu for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program in 2014. She is Baptist Children's Hospital first-ever resident clown! For more information please visit: www.sunnybearbuds.wix.com/buds

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1 comment

Ha Ha Ha Ha….

Mike Rogers

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