A New Yorker evolution-cartoon contest

In a recent post on The New Yorker, several readers beefed that they no longer like the cartoons. Well, I still like most of them, and always read the cartoon contest on the magazine’s last page, where an artist submits a cartoon drawing without a caption; readers submit their own caption, and the editors pick three of the best. The next week the winning caption is announced.

Reader Mark sent this one, but I don’t know if it’s new. He says the last caption is the best. Judge for yourself—and invent your own caption if you wish, though it’s too late to enter the competition.

48 Comments

  1. Nicholas K.
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I like all three captions. Very amusing.

  2. Barry Lyons
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I prefer the middle one. It’s the wittiest of the three.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 24, 2018 at 3:13 am | Permalink

      agree.

  3. glen1davidson
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    “The case isn’t solved, but clearly it’s making progress”

    Yes, I know “progress” is taboo, but it needn’t mean more than that things are happening.

    Glen Davidson

    • kevin7alexander
      Posted April 24, 2018 at 2:41 am | Permalink

      Progress just means going forward, it doesn’t imply any particular direction or goal so, it’s ok to say that.

      • Dominic
        Posted April 24, 2018 at 3:15 am | Permalink

        Good point – progression, regression…

  4. Joseph McClain
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    “This is going to be the biggest case in this town since the Haeckel Embryo Caper.”

  5. GBJames
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Good ones, all!

  6. Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “We don’t know exactly what happened, but we’ve got a really good theory”

    • rickflick
      Posted April 23, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Good one!

      • Dominic
        Posted April 24, 2018 at 3:15 am | Permalink

        agreed! 🙂

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    All good but I love the first one.

    What was Cunk’s question – If you put a Monkey in the zoo, how long before it changes into a person?

    • Posted April 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Have you ever seen the film HUMAN NATURE?

  8. Craw
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    “Can’t comment, the facts are still evolving.”

    • rickflick
      Posted April 23, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Not at all bad.

  9. ed hessler
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I like them all but especially like the first one but not by much (#2 is as wonderful). And I thought this was a great drawing.

    When Bob Mankoff was cartoon editor I once wrote and asked him how many of these kinds of cartoons had been published and when the first one made its way to the magazine.

    I didn’t expect an answer and didn’t get one either.

  10. Posted April 23, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    All three captions were good. A tie, IMO.

    As a 30+ year subscriber to The New Yorker, it’s my opinion that the only consistently funny cartoon feature is this one, where the readers supply the caption. This is a criticism not against the cartoonists, whom I’m sure inundate the magazine with first-rate material, but against the editor, who is evidently an elitist tool, devoid of wit, prone to cryptic, in-group “humor” that isn’t funny even when you get it.

    I like DIFFEE, as much for his draftsmanship as his humor. His books are funny. http://www.matthewdiffee.com

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    “Round up the usual suspects, officer: Natural Selection, Random Mutation, Gene Flow, and Genetic Drift.”

    • KD33
      Posted April 23, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Good one, but maybe pitched a little high 🙂

  12. Posted April 23, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    A series of random acts of violence. Without an eyewitness we have no case.

    • grasshopper
      Posted April 23, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      The old “were you there?” defense.

  13. Curt Nelson
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “It look like one thing just led to another.”

  14. grasshopper
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “Which reminds me. I have to submit a brief outline of evolutionary theory for my night class.”

  15. glen1davidson
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    “Just one question: Where was Satan when this evidence was planted?”

    Glen Davidson

  16. Posted April 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    “i say we give this one to whiatzizname … the highbrow.”

    “i think you mean detective darwin.”

  17. Scott
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    “This should be a pretty easy case… no missing links.”

    • grasshopper
      Posted April 23, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      🙂

  18. Posted April 23, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    “My hunch? The Watchmaker.”

  19. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    “The DA claims the fish did it in a murder-suicide, but it’s only a theory”.

  20. Matthew North
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I wavered between the first and second.

    The first is best, in my opinion.

  21. Merilee
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Just saw Cunk on Britain episode 3!

    • Merilee
      Posted April 23, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Whoops, sorry. Wrong link.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 23, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        Hmmmm…that was interesting…

  22. eric
    Posted April 23, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    “Sgt Alfred thinks it’s a case of descent. But Det. Charles suspects modification. They may both be right.”

  23. Posted April 23, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Okay, those were kinda good. Usually, the submissions are stunningly bad … and way too long.

    New Yorker cartoons haven’t made me laugh for ages. Can’t tell whether they got worse*, or it’s cuz I live in the country now.

    * (SJWs do have no sense of humor.)

  24. Posted April 24, 2018 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    The original first comment was the best, as it references the idiocy the textbook controversy.

  25. Dominic
    Posted April 24, 2018 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    All contemporary deaths so not really a progression! That is why the second is best…

    • phoffman56
      Posted April 24, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      So why not:
      “One thing we cops do know: these murders occurred at different times, and in which order. But only murdering humans is legally termed murder. So what are the other charges?”

      But for humour, something snappy is needed, so:
      “Only one human murdered here–or is it?”
      or
      “Them there ancestors sure survived longer than we thought! Maybe Philomena will get a biology Nobel.”

  26. Posted April 24, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    “They all drowned in a flood.”

    “What, even the fish?”

    “Yes, the massive change in salinity would have done for it.”

    • Posted April 24, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      “They all drowned in a flood.”

      Nice also.

  27. AC Harper
    Posted April 24, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    “God did it!”

    /sarcasm

  28. bric
    Posted April 24, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Elaine and the New Yorker Cartoon Editor

  29. Dave B
    Posted April 24, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    It started out as a fishy situation, but we’ve got it all outlined now.

  30. Robert MacDonald
    Posted April 24, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    “The suspect’s probably hiding in a cave somewhere.”

  31. Posted April 25, 2018 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Airamus Davenport.

  32. Posted April 25, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    “Too bad there aren’t any witnesses…”

  33. Walt Jones
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    The first caption won. https://contest.newyorker.com/CaptionContest.aspx?tab=winner


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