Best Wordplay

RedEye

Critics' Picks

redeyechicago.com (though it's better in print)

There will always be a segment of society—humorless tools, to a one—who think of punning as the lowest form of humor. Not for those people the Twitter account of Chicago's premier punster, Tracy Swartz, who in her free time is the RedEye's transportation and homicide reporter. (She was the one using the hashtag #loopfiasco to refer to the Brown Line disruptions this spring.) That Swartz is presumably not also a full-time copy editor/headline writer in the RedEye newsroom leads you to think the place is filled with witty wordplayers, because its headlines—particularly on the front page—are hilarious. Never forced (think NY Post or, ahem, Chicago Sun-Times), they achieve a breezy, casual success: attendees at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo were "looking for love in Alderaan places," for instance. There was Kling It On, about the new Star Trek movie. And a favorite from back in March, about a Shedd Aquarium project to outfit some uncomfortable penguins with little shoes: America's Next Top Waddle. The inside headline on that one? Bootielicious.