I happened to notice that, in yesterday's Mercury News, three of the comic strips were based on plays on words--yes, puns!--although milder forms than some: The Duplex, The Quigmans, and to a lesser extent, Family Circus (http://www.familycircus.com/), where Jeffy? asks, "When did cowboys and start ridin' horses instead of cows?" Today, only one squeezed in wordplay.
Hmm, I'm thinking I'm going to make a point about the prevalence of wordplay in the English language because of so many "overloaded" words and phrases (those with multiple meanings), but I don't have time to do any research. Hate when THAT happens, too. Meanwhile, you can entertain yourself by reading Wikipedia's articles on word play and paronomasia (there's a word for ya).