‘Baby Mama’ Success a Boon to Funny Women, Pun-Loving Headline Writers

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Fortunately, the crushing weight of search-engine optimization, which will one day lead to every movie review being called "Movie Reviews Movies Film Weekend High School Musical Free MP3," has not yet killed the tradition of wacky-pun writing that always accompanies the release of weekend box-office figures. While Harold & Kumar huffed and puffed (get it?) its way to $14.5 million in weekend receipts, Baby Mama lay down on its back, began breathing rhythmically, and expelled from its birth canal a weekend-winning $18.3 million in cold, hard cash. In bringing this news to the public, a few brave souls went for the double-dip of infant joke and pot joke — such as E! Online's "Oh, Baby! Tina Fey Smokes Harold and Kumar." Some dragged the legal system into it, as with the perplexing "No Child Support for 'Baby Mama.'"

By far, though, the most common route was the "delivery" joke. "'Baby Mama' Delivers!" "'Baby Mama' Delivers Top Spot!" "Women Deliver!" The lesson here? If you're going to make a movie about childbearing, it's important that it play well and open strong, because puns about deliveries gone awry are no one's friend — as the Visalia (CA) Times-Delta learned when it horrifyingly headlined its negative review "Comedy 'Baby Mama' A Cinematic Miscarriage." —Linda Holmes