Don Newbury: Humor in the headlines

October 6, 2012

Humor in the headlines

Comic relief, though harder to find, is still around. Maybe “comic” is too strong; “mild amusement” may be a more accurate descriptor.

The “grim grip” of problems throughout the world threatens to overshadow whatever might otherwise make us smile.

Ongoing sources for brighteners are persons who compose newspaper headlines.

Clever headlines provide temporary relief from the rigors of reality…


How about an “A+” for whoever wrote the classic headline heralding the 70th annual State Fair of Texas? (Reporters grimace annually, striving to avoid writing “same old/same old” stories about the annual 3+ weeks of throngs crowding exhibits, overwhelming the midway and consuming tons of “no-no” foods.)

A clever Dallas Morning News wordsmith, noting Big Tex’s 60th year, strikes a familiar chord. Keying on the 52-foot icon’s “howdy-ing” drawl that welcomes visitors, the headline genius guides us straight to the fair.

The headline: “Big Tex says: It’s ‘howdy’ duty time.” (Buffalo Bob would be proud.) We pucker to whistle the happy State Fair tune – not wanting to “miss it or even be late.” Never mind the twice-made movie centered on the Iowa State Fair.…


Creative juices also drive sports page headlines. The Cincinnati Enquirer hit a “headline homer” on Homer Bailey’s no-hitter with “Homer’s Epic.”

At a long-ago California game, the Dallas Cowboys were “Fried in Frisco.”…


Other old headlines warrant revisiting.

A musty one may be dusted off if the Texas A&M Aggies stumble in Southeast Conference football. It was penned long ago when the UT Longhorns sprung an upset.

“Longhorns are Rotten to the Corps” was the intro…

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Comments/speaking inquiries to: [email protected] Phone: 817-447-3872.

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