2013 Corporate Humor Award Finalists Announced!

The 2013 Award Finalists have been announced! Check out the finalists page for the summary recap, or see the full entries for each of the finalists.

A big thank you to everyone who submitted, and congratulations to the finalists!

Most Humorous Individual Award for Best Humorist

The finalists for the 2013 Most Humorous Individual Award for Best Humorist are:

Individual: Carol Spurgeon
Organization: The Gardens Tulsa (site)
Submitted by Valerie

Carol Spurgeon is the Activity Director of Gardens Tulsa and is known as one of the funniest people there.  She will do ANYTHING for a laugh.  She sings, dances, plays, jokes, teases, and laughs her way through EVERY day.  Gardens Tulsa doesn’t have karaoke, they have Carolokie.  She sings any song from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Lastly, Carol brings her dog Pedro (Chihuahua) to work with her, and he will also sing on command. The residents LOVE Carol and Pedro.

Individual: Lisa Warsinke
Organization: Find the Fun (site)
Submitted by Goddess of Fun

Lisa constantly pulls small pranks just for fun. They are non-hurtful shenanigans such as taping a soda cup above the driver’s side of her car to evoke panicked reactions as strangers scream “there’s a cup on top!” while jumping and pointing. She’s also always finding ways to incorporate improvisation games into your daily work and make the day more enjoyable.

Individual: Dick Chudnow
Organization: ComedySportz (site)
Submitted by Improv Lover

Dick is the founder of ComedySportz and his sense of humor permeates the entire organization. He’s always doing things to liven up meetings and gatherings, including creating a bag of energizers that people can pull from whenever a meeting is getting too dry. Dick instills a sense of fun wherever he goes, whether it’s on a corporate training, in his improv classroom, or randomly on the street. In fact, if you call Dick up, he’s likely to answer with something like “Thank you for calling ComedySportz, how can you help me?”

We’re Still Friends Award for Best Prank

The finalists for the 2013 And We’re Still Friends Award for Best Prank are:

Individual: Lisa Warsinke
Organization: Find the Fun (site)
Submitted by Goddess of Fun

Lisa is a known April Fool’s Prankster.

One example, while working on April Fools day in the Administrative area of our large hospital, Lisa put up a laminated sign in the women’s room that requested ‘In our efforts to go green, please only use one paper towel and only 4 squares of toilet tissue per visit.’ A female vice president who had just used the restroom saw me in the hallway and complained about the sign, but said it made sense with economic cut backs.

Individual: LG IPS Monitor Team
Organization: LG Electronics (site)
Submitted by Tim

LG wanted to show the life-like colors of their new monitors so they installed them as the floor of an elevator. As people rode the elevator, the monitors would make it seem like the floor was falling out underneath them.

Individual: Improv Everywhere Team
Organization: Improv Everywhere (site)
Submitted by Anon

Improv Everywhere is known for making scenes. Back in October they took to a Staples to hold a boardroom meeting the only place they could find a spot: the computer chair area. The meeting included a presentation to the board complete with a whiteboard and easel.

Gather Around and Listen Award for Best Story

The finalists for the 2013 Gather Around and Listen Award for Best Story are:

Individual: Sarah Peickert
Organization: PhotoBiz (site)
Submitted by Ellemazing

Sarah is NOTORIOUS in the PhotoBiz office for telling outrageous stories about the different places she has lived and the crazy things and adventures that she has gone through (that are MOSTLY true) when the situation does NOT call for it.  She is affectionately referred to as “The One Upper” in the office.

Example story: One day an employee walks into her office and says “I’m sorry I was late today, I got caught behind an accident on the highway.” Sarah replies, “When I lived in Guam, I was pregnant with my daughter and had a severe brain tumor and was bleeding out of my eyeballs and a plane crashed right outside of my house.”

Individual: Daniel Stover
Organization: Integrated Leadership Systems (site)
Submitted by Swimmer

In a TEDx talk on being vulnerable, Daniel shares an incredibly powerful story about his experience learning to swim as an adult and the surprise that waited for him shortly thereafter. The story shows the value of being vulnerable at home and at work.

Individual: Adam Wade
Organization: Adam Wade (site)
Submitted by Student

Adam shares the tale of his relationship with the man who works at a deli in Hoboken. The story shows the value of relationships and how actually getting to know the people who you interact with can go a long away.

Hollywood Bound Award for Best Video

The finalists for the 2013 Hollywood Bound Award for Best Video are:

Individual: Matt Aselton
Organization: Wieden + Kennedy New York on behalf of Delta Airlines (site)
Submitted by Anon

The new Delta Airlines Safety Presentation videos include the standard important pre-flight safety announcements, but they are shown in a fun way with lots of visual humor embedded. Not only does it get you to actually watch the video, it also makes you laugh and relax as you get ready for the flight to begin.

Individual: Gorilla Glue Employees
Organization: Gorilla Glue (site)
Submitted by LuAnn

Every year, Gorilla Glue hosts a charity fun run where all runners wear gorilla suits. Proceeds benefit the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund. This past year they created a Harlem Shake video to promote the run, getting their employees to participate. Naturally there are gorilla suits involved.

Individual: Kramer Enterprises Staff
Organization: Delivering Image (site)
Submitted by G-Train

Delivering Image created a video to promote their suite of services. Rather than create a traditional commercial, they created a parody of “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO. Not only did they write original lyrics for the song, they also got employees and community members to be part of their music video that includes elaborate dance sequences, large group numbers, and a stuffed animal.

Mark as Always Read Award for Best Email

The finalists for the 2013 Mark as Always Read Award for Best Email are:

Individual: Wendii Lord
Organization: Manager Tools (site)
Submitted by Anon

Wendii sent out a newsletter email that had a few errors in it. She immediately sent out an email apologizing for the mistakes. A week later she shared what happened as a result. The pure honesty of both of the emails is quite different than what we normally get in the corporate world and shared an insight into Wendii’s day.

The Email:

Date: April 9, 2013
To: (Manager Tools Subscribers)
Subject: The Apology What Happened Next

Last week, I sent out a Newsletter riddled with errors.  Soon after I realized, I sent an apology note.  What happened next was amazing.

I got over 100 notes from readers saying everything from ‘don’t worry’ to ‘glad to know you’re human’.  There were people who made me laugh: the one line note that said ‘can I give you some feedback….’; people who made me cry: the note that offered to be my cheerleader and gave me a list of positives.  There were notes that said they admired my professionalism, integrity and honesty.  There were notes that said they don’t mind the errors because the information is helpful.  I got notes which said readers were forwarding the apology to their directs as an example.

There was not one note which said ‘you’re an idiot and you shouldn’t be doing your job’.  Not one with even the slightest negative tone.  Even the person who pointed out the mistakes sent me a note saying ‘I hope I didn’t get you into trouble’.

I want to say thank you to every single person who wrote.  I wish you’d been in my office when those notes started to come in – you’d have seen the visible change in my mental state.  You changed my day.  Thank you.  I was reminded that we have the best listeners and readers in the world.

I also want everyone to know the lesson I learnt from this.  If you need to apologize do it quickly and sincerely.  We teach this in ‘Do you need to apologize’ and I never have had a problem with apologizing.  I try not to send mistakes to 50,000 people though! The consequences of pretending something didn’t happen, or covering up are invariably negative. The consequences of apologizing are surprisingly positive not negative.  Gather up your courage, and if you need to apologize do so.  You might be amazed at the response too.

Individual: Louis CK
Organization: Louis CK (site)
Submitted by Anon

Louis has a newsletter where he sends out infrequent emails about upcoming shows and new downloads when they are available.  Back in October, he sent an email different from his normal updates. It still contained his stream-of-consciousness style of writing and some of his normal humor, but was also very heartfelt.

The email:

Date: October 5, 2012
To: (Louis CK Newsletter Subscribers)
A message from Louis C.K.

Greetings to the people and parts of people that are reading this.   Hi.  This is Louis.   I’m a comedian and you bought a thing from me. Well, I’m writing to tell You that there is a new thing you can buy on my website louisck.com.   It’s an audio standup set by not me but another comedian named Tig Notaro.  Why am I selling someone else’s comedy on my website?

Well,   Tig is a friend of mine and she is very funny.  I love her voice on stage.   One night I was performing at a club in LA called Largo.  Tig was there.   She was about to go on stage.   I hadn’t seen Tig in about a year and I said how are you?   She replied “well I found out today that I have cancer in both breasts and that it has likely spread to my lymph nodes.  My doctor says it looks real bad. “. She wasn’t kidding.   I said “uh.  Jesus.   Tig.    Well.   Do you… Have your family… Helping?”.   She said “well my mom was with me but a few weeks ago she fell down, hit her head and she died”.   She still wasn’t kidding.

Now, I’m pretty stupid to begin with, and I sure didn’t know what to say now.  I opened my mouth and this came out.   “jeez, Tig.   I.   Really value you.  Highly.”.  She said “I value you highly too, Louie.”.  Then she held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said “I’m gonna talk about all of it on stage now.  It’s probably going to be a mess”.  I said “wow”.  And with that, she went on stage.

I stood in the wings behind a leg of curtain, about 8 feet from her, and watched her tell a stunned audience “hi.  I have cancer.  Just found out today.  I’m going to die soon”.   What followed was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw.   I can’t really describe it but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life.  Here was this small woman standing alone against death and simply reporting where her mind had been and what had happened and employing her gorgeously acute standup voice to her own death.

The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be.  A way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them.   Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there.  Not by distracting us from the terror but by looking right at it and just turning to us and saying “wow. Right?”.   She proved that everything is funny.  And has to be.  And she could only do this by giving us her own death as an example.  So generous.

After her set, I asked Mark Flanagan, the owner of Largo (great club, by the way) if he recorded the set.  Largo is set up for excellent recordings.  He said that he did.

A few days later, I wrote Tig and asked her if I could release this set on my site.  I wanted people to hear what I saw.  What we all saw that night.  She agreed.  The show is on sale for the same 5 dollars I charge for my stuff.  I’m only keeping 1.  She gets the other 4.   Tig has decided to give some of that to cancer research.

Tig, by the way, has since undergone a double mastectomy.  She is doing well.  Her doctors say her chances of survival are excellent.  So she went there and came back.  Her report from the frontlines of life and death are here for you to… Enjoy.

Please go to my site louisck.com and buy her show.  You can buy it here:


Thank you.  Have a terrific afternoon.

Louis C.K.

Individual: Alan Weiss
Organization: Summit Consulting (site)
Submitted by AnyTime

Alan sends out a weekly email where he shares some of his thoughts and perspectives on various ideas related to consulting. One particular newsletter he focused on how it’s easy to get bogged down in the negative news around us, but that we should move past that and focus on the positives and what’s possible.

The email:

Date: March 4, 2013
To: (Alan Weiss Newsletter Subscribers)
Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: The Sunday New York Times yesterday had five front page stories, four negative (mandatory cuts in spending, border struggles with Mexico, Virginia being hard hit by government cuts, JPMorgan not being fair in products it sells) and one novelty (eight-figure, seedy homes in New Delhi). It’s tough to find good news unless you go to the sports page where SOMEONE has to have won! Too often, we present dismal tidings to our clients, assuming they’re “damaged” and must be fixed. We ought to focus on the positive, the possible, and the purposeful. In fact, I’ve found that most clients ignore their own internal best practices because they are fixated on others’ they’re told are better. Stop being a harbinger of bad news. There’s more than enough good news to go around if we look for it. That will set you apart!

The Most Humorous Company for Best Corporate Culture

The finalists for the 2013 The Most Humorous Company for Best Corporate Culture are:

Organization: PhotoBiz (site)

Submitted by Ellemazing

The corporate culture at Photobiz.com is all about fun. From the life-size figure of George Washington that greets people as they enter the building, to superlative awards given at the holiday party, to an internal blog that hosts photoshop battles, parody videos, and dance routines, to the a variety of extra perks provided to their employees, Photobiz.com isn’t your traditional workplace.

Organization: The Gardens Tulsa (site)

Submitted by Valerie

The Gardens Tulsa is a nursing home that brings humor to the work that they do. Examples include various celebration weeks that include celebrating nurses and professional staffs, talent shows, and a variety of games. They also incorporate fun (and food) into their onboarding programs, and enable anyone in their community to hand out Customer Service Ideal cards that can be redeemed by the winner for a prize. All of this leads to a community where residents and staff laugh together as family.

Organization: Google (site)

Submitted by DH!

It’s no surprise that Google is a very humorous company. From their simple mission (Don’t Be Evil), to their incredible perks including food, sports, impressive speakers, and more, to the way they incorporate fun into all of their products, their entire culture speaks to humor. What’s more, they really take care of their employees and allow them to make a difference in their own way with allocating up to 20% of their time on passion projects. Google = humor.

The finalists for the 2013 You Better Recognize Award for Best Recognition Program are:

Organization: Procter & Gamble (site)

Submitted by WeNeedMoreCowbell

One virtual team stays connected through monthly meetings that includes the Cowbell Award. The award is fashioned after the Saturday Night Live Blue Oyster Cult skit with Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell, and features an award certificate and a real cowbell. There is no set criteria for this award – it can be business (helped a co-worker, figured out a problem and solved it) or personal (ate the most donuts at an impromptu donut eating contest at the office or ran a 5K).  Everyone who is nominated wins.

Organization: Hewlett-Packard (site)

Submitted by HarryPotter

Hewlett-Packard has a, perhaps now famous, Golden Banana Award that is awarded to employees who show inventive solutions. The award started when an employee burst into his manager’s office to say he had found a solution to a problem they had been facing and the manager, wanting to give him something for his accomplishment, handed him the first thing he found on his desk—a banana from his lunch.

Organization: FedEx (site)

Submitted by Anon

In addition to traditional corporate awards, FedEx also gives out the FedEx Humanitarian Award. This award goes to team members who reach out to others in times of need, exhibiting behavior that goes above and beyond job responsibility and even beyond basic community responsibility. The Humanitarian Award originated at FedEx Express, where through the years, numerous employees have been cited for rushing to the aid of people facing life-threatening situations, personal tragedies and misfortune.

Money Isn’t Everything Award for Best Perk

The finalists for the 2013 Money Isn’t Everything Award for Best Perk are:

Organization: PhotoBiz (site)

Submitted by Ellemazing

Photobiz.com has a number of perks, including multiple areas of “fun” in the office (such as ping pong tables or a quiet room with a chess board). They also have bi-weekly team-building activities offering a short break during the day. Food may be the biggest perk with monthly catered lunches, weekly catered breakfasts, a cereal bar available to employees all day, every day.

Organization: Johnson & Johnson (site)

Submitted by John

Johnson & Johnson offers a number of great perks, including childcare and paid sabbaticals, but perhaps the most interesting is every employee has access to a concierge service that will help ensure personal chores get done—things like returning library books or making sure your dry cleaning gets picked up on time.

Organization: Weebly (site)

Submitted by Anon

Weebly offers great perks like an unlimited vacation policy, but they also offer something really unique: access to a secret room in its office that’s behind a movable bookcase. Hired employees are taught the right book to pull to gain access to this secret room.

Learned Me Good Award for Best Training Program

The finalists for the 2013 Learned Me Good Award for Best Training Program are:

Organization: Miami Children’s Hospital (site)

Submitted by Stacy

MCH surgeons, physicians, and doctors have access to a “help me” button that gives them just-in-time access to video, audio, and checklist solutions via tablets and smartphones for any one of the top 100 processes identified. As a result, training for specific tasks have decreased by 90%.

Organization: EMC Corporation (site)

Submitted by Anon

EMC recently create eduTube which allows subject matter experts to create short internal videos on a variety of subjects. Experts have posted more than 1,000 training videos so far, garnering more than 2 million views. In addition, employees are allowed 1 dedicated week every quarter for training activities.

Organization: Con-way Freight (site)

Submitted by Get Truckin’

Con-way Freight’s driver training program is unique in that it not only doesn’t cost the attendees money, they in fact get paid for it. People who are interested in getting their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) work part-time as dockworkers while attending class and getting the proper training to get their CDL. The training covers important safety regulations and supervised hours behind the wheel. To date, Conway has graduated more than 500 drivers with a 90% retention rate.