Newspapers don't do funny well. They do clever even less frequently.
Need I say more than the fact that I work for one?
That The Style Invitational feature in The Washington Post has done all three simultaneously for a decade without a drop in quality or consistency is remarkable.
Much of it is word play and puns built on topical happenings. What makes it work is that Washington D.C. is chock full of wise-asses who know their current events.
Here's an example:
They asked readers to submit tabloid headlines written using only the keys on the left side of the keyboard (Dec. 27, 1998). This was the winner:
BRETT FAVRE WEDS BART STARR AFTER 16 BEERS!
On this one, they asked readers to write expressions that rely on the reversal of two words or phrases (May 16, 1999):
I'd rather have bliss with two sisters than a cyst with two blisters. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)
Not all men kiss their wives goodbye when they leave their homes, but all men kiss their homes goodbye when they leave their wives. (David Kleinbard, Washington)
Readers were asked to give nicknames for a high school football team in a real city:
The Eutaw (Ala.) Puddytats (Jennifer Hart, Arlington, Nov. 13, 1994)
The Assinippi (Mass.) Guard Dogs (Karla J. Dickinson, Springfield, Nov. 13, 1994)
The Weehawken (N.J.) Loogies (Helene Haduch, Washington, Feb. 23, 2003)