It's hard to be funny. Just ask Bill Radke, or Cathy Guisewite, or any male who's appeared on Saturday Night Live since 1983, none of whom has provided a single instant of funny despite years of trying. So when The Stranger asked readers to "provide the funny" in our blank-comic competition, I didn't get my hopes up.

That'll learn me.

Sure, a majority of the entries sucked, with 80 percent of the sucky ones relying on woman-hating murder fantasies and brain-dead dick jokes. Also popular was poo, which appeared in dozens of entries, the most successful of which was penned by one Tom Hamm, who distinguished himself from his scat-obsessed brethren through poetic word invention and stunning legibility.

Following dicks and poop on the "You Provide the Funny!" hit parade were current events, from Boeing layoffs to the Andrea Yates trial. Unfortunately, none of these topical name-dropping entries was funny enough to include here, but thankfully, Mr. Jeff Vogel spiced up his stab at topicality--deflating the ridiculous, ongoing vilification of the Jewish race--with a campy, hyperbolic twist.

From current events we move to the opposite end of the comedy spectrum, to the land of the beguiling non sequitur. A number of entries made effective use of mind-bending randomness, and selecting a winner in this category was a difficult choice. But choose I did, with my favor landing on Trevor Dennie's name-dropping, lunch-planning, near-masterwork.

Good comedy is inspirational, and the following bit of comedy (penned by a mysterious John or Jane Doe) not only drove me to chuckle, it inspired me to finally watch Beaches, which tells the story of a horrible little girl who grows up to be horrible Bette Midler. Along the way, she makes friends with Barbara Hershey, who is quiet and refined and has huge lips. After a vicious whisper-fight in the cosmetics section of a major department store, the two friends part ways, but make up in time for Midler to watch Hershey die, then insult her dead friend's memory by singing "Wind Beneath My Wings." (And Mr. or Mrs. Doe is right: It is really funny when "that one lady" dies--but not nearly as funny as Midler's "breakout performance" as a hobo robot from the future, which reminded me of Dina Martina minus the talent.)

At last, our winner, penned by Mr. Ian Webster.

The success of Webster's entry goes beyond the obvious fact that less is more (and transcends Webster's unfortunate misspelling of the word "calendar"). The genius of the piece lies in Webster's inspired use of punctuation, from those wry quotation marks to that money-shot exclamation point. And for his unabashed comic brilliance, Mr. Webster will receive a box of light bulbs and $25 cash.