I am appalled by Bridezillas. I should make it clear that I have never seen an episode of the reality show. I hate Bridezillas for one simple reason: Bride does not rhyme with god. Ergo, Bridezillas is not a functioning pun.
The point is significant because bridezilla appears to be symptomatic of a wider malaise: the death of the American pun, replaced by something grosser, dumber, uglier. Examples abound: Take one of the most read websites in the world, Wikipedia, a “pun” on encyclopedia that shares nothing but its suffix. Or techpreneur, the loathsome fusion of technology and entrepreneur. Likewise mansplain, a coinage popular with Internet feminists that adroitly glosses a man addressing a woman in a condescending fashion (e.g., “Akam mansplains that mansplain is not a functioning pun.”) but is still not a functioning pun. Manscaping, the removal of all or part of male body hair, is better—there is at least assonance between the vowel sounds in man and land—but as a pun it remains perilously borderline.
So if recessionista and fembot are not really puns, what are they? They’re neolexic portmanteaus, in which root words are brutally slammed together with cavalier lack of wit. “Neolexic portmanteau” is a mouthful, so instead we shall choose a simpler handle. Sherry-manteau, catastrounity, misceg-formation, piss-poortmanteau, and poor-man’s-toes all proffer themselves as alternatives, but they are still laborsome. Therefore, I christen these neolexic portmanteaus adjoinages—a functioning portmanteau pun, in case you failed to see, on adjoin and coinage.
Gentle reader, are they not hideous things? If you are not yet convinced, brace yourself now for a tsunami of adjoinages. Stagflation, bootylicious, aeromotional, chillax, fucktard, bardolatry, bicurious, feminazi. All failed puns. There are others too that sit, manscaping-like, in the liminal territory of borderline pundom. Freakonomics works if the more conventional academic discipline is eek-onomics. It fails grimly if you say ek-onomics; vowel length is all.
I'll do what I can to save this low-class form of humor. After all, I am a pundit.