Remember the Seinfeld episode wherein Elaine complains about how non-understandable New Yorker cartoons are and she sets out to “crack the code” using the J Peterman catalog as an excuse to talk to The New Yorker editor “Elinoff”?
|"Cartoon Contest" drawing by Mick Stevens|
This week, 14 years after that episode ran, The New Yorker is using Elaine’s cartoon (see last video clip below) in its caption contest. It’s a drawing of a pig at the complaint desk saying, “I wish I was taller.” The real New Yorker editor, Bob Mankoff wrote a rather long blog post dissecting what is funny in gag cartoons.
The second most frequently asked question is: What did you think about that “Seinfeld” episode making fun of New Yorker cartoons? Well, it was written by one of our best cartoonists, Bruce Eric Kaplan, and my initial reaction was “Et tu, Bruce?,” but over time, the episode has grown on me. I’ve used it before to compare fiction to reality when it comes to what my desk looks like and how the cartoon department operates.And I have decided to do so again, because the episode provides a fun way to comment on issues I’m interested in. For those of you who haven’t seen the episode, I’ve created a stripped-down comic-strip version of it that includes just the pertinent parts.
Here’s a couple of the segments from that show:
Here is the "stripped-down comic-strip version" New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff mentions on his blog: