Friday, January 10, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #410

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #410 for January 6, 2014. The cartoon is provided by David Borchart. The caption is provided by me.

"Feel free to use any expletive other than 'Dammit!'"

This next caption was way too generic to submit, but my wife liked it so I'll share it with you too:

"Just when the world was starting to make sense to me...."

January 13, 2014 Update:  The Finalists

January 27, 2014 Update:  Winning Caption

Note:  It should come as little surprise that I really liked my entry in the last Cartoon Caption Contest. In fact, I prefer it to at least two, and maybe all three, of the finalists, no disrespect intended. Worse, I even prefer the captions I wrote but didn't submit to the ones that were selected. That's the real secret to the contest's popularity, if you must know. Humor being subjective, most of us think we're just plain hilarious. It's not just me, I'm sure; a considerable proportion of the entrants must think they're doing a funnier job than the finalists at least part of the time. In other words, the contest feeds our delusions of being clever even when we aren't especially. You can see my delusional notion of a funny caption for a mob hit gone horribly wrong here.

The last time David Borchart created a cartoon for the caption contest he also defied the law of gravity. Coincidence? I think not. See the airborne cartoon here and as a bonus you can read his original caption for said cartoon. What other blog gives you that, I ask you?

David Borchart's New Yorker cartoons are in the Cartoon Bank here.

Cartoonist news about David Borchart can be found on Ink Spill here.



  1. If it's any consolation, I think your mob hit caption was far superior to any of the finalists. I totally don't get the "air rights" cartoon or caption, and I do get and like your newest "dammit" caption but I think it would be funnier with just that one word: "Dammit!". Do they accept captions of only one word?

    1. Of course it's a consolation, Leo, not that I was fishing for compliments. I'm content to have my captions be enjoyable without necessarily being contenders in the contest. I recall the late Roger Ebert submitted some captions far funnier than mine which did not make it to finalist status. Except once.

      One-word captions are acceptable, but anything less is frowned upon. I submitted a one-word caption to Contest #405 with typical dismal results. For me, that was not an option this time. I am very literal-minded, so beavers who dedicate their lives to building dams cannot possibly use "Dammit" the way we do. Instead, the word takes them to their happy place. Hence I devised my convoluted caption instead.

  2. I would never think you were fishing for compliments. "Anything less than one word is frowned upon." Now there's a caption! -1 haha. I love it!
    I guess I can see your point regarding what beavers do, think, say and cannot possibly say. :-)

  3. Well, tomorrow we'll know what three captions the editors thought were funniest.