Friday, May 22, 2020

J. C. Duffy's Henny Youngman Statue

J. C. Duffy's cartoon imagining a statue of comedian Henny Youngman is remarkable enough to have been purchased by the New Yorker and quirky enough to have been killed by it—that is, no longer considered for publication and therefore returned to the artist. The title itself is something of a one-liner, but the payoff, as it were, is in the drawing.
The statue of Henny Youngman rumored
to cry tears of actual seltzer drew
both believers and skeptics.

J. C. Duffy
Killed New Yorker cartoon art

And what a drawing! The statue, viewed from behind, is superbly rendered and expresses, I think, a real fondness for this funnyman that so many of us still feel today. The shading is just fabulous throughout. But the title takes this gag in an unusual direction, imbuing a mock-religious significance to the iconic comic while the two observers, the believer and the skeptic, as they are called, simply carry matters from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Believers in this cartoon, including me and perhaps many others, should realize there was no way the New Yorker couldn't purchase this cartoon, while skeptics might feel there was no way for the magazine to have run it. Both might be correct, as it turns out. So where do you stand, believer or skeptic?


J. C. Duffy
eBay Listing Ended May 1, 2017

J. C. Duffy
eBay Item Description

J. C. Duffy
eBay Bid History
One last-minute bid

Henny Youngman
The Ed Sullivan Show, 1969

Attempted Bloggery is the place for believers and skeptics alike to send scans or photos of other original New Yorker art by J. C. Duffy. 

Followers of this blog can also follow J. C. Duffy's blog Night Deposits right here on Blogger.

Killed New Yorker art is always worth a blog post. It's fun to speculate about why the magazine would buy a cover or a cartoon and then not run it. Examples are welcome.

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

J. C. Duffy

Original New Yorker Cartoon Art

Attempted Bloggery's Illuminated Index


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