For once, the wordplay isn’t terrible, though I imagine it’s awkward as hell to say out loud. But it doesn’t seem like a real problem here–if you can’t think of a rhyme for a word, choose a different word that says the same thing for which you can think of a rhyme. Unless…unless Les has given them a list of words that they have to use in their work? I can think of several he would choose–Lisa, cancer, smirk, no one can understand me, roses, December, endings, earned, and of course the word “pun” itself. Lists the students are fantasizing about–dickhead, douchebag, punchable, smug….
What makes this an exceptional episode is panel two. Aside from Nice, everyone looks stymied and miserable, even on the verge of panic as they craft poems destined to be punned over by Les. Les himself–now there is a man just beginning to climb the hill of self-loathing, and that look on his face is awesome. The dawn of self-awareness never looked so deserved.