November 28, 2005

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #30

Click here for last week's results. Click here for an introduction and "rules" to this contest. Click here for contest index.

Let's face it, people: we're all going to have to start doing a lot worse around here. The finalists of the actual New Yorker contest #27 (parrot meeting) have been announced, and they're far less funny than the vast majority of your anti-captions. Of course, I don't actually want you to submit captions that are quite that boring or this contest will become as tedious as the real one, but let's just say your competitors over at the New Yorker have set the bar for lousy captions pretty high.

In fact, you might want to consider entering your anti-captions into the real contest too, just to see what happens. For the new cartoon below, I came up with three bad captions to start you off, as usual. But I have this feeling that my third one is on the edge of being actually funny, so I'm submitting it here. You do the same with your not-quite-as-bad-as-they-should be captions and who knows, maybe next week, all three New Yorker finalists will have originated from this site. If you think it can't happen, just look at those parrot jokes again.


"The good news is, it's not cancer. The bad news: the entire room is being erased starting from the upper right-hand corner."

"Can you pick up that pen for me? The man behind me has tied up my hands under the desk."

"I find he's even more persuasive than the diplomas."

Update: Results after the jump

"My intern — he's shadowing me. Get it? 'Shadowing'— like a spy! Heh, heh. He's not really a spy. We just try to keep it light here. Anyway, Mr. Peterson, you're dying." —Zudz (A two-time winner and an excellent actor. Save some talent for the rest of us, buddy.)

"Cancer? That's terrible, doc. What's the good news?"
"You know the guy behind me? With the shades and the trenchcoat? I'm fucking him." —TMFTML

"We are dressed in the clothing of various professions, are we not?" —Wendy

Honorable mention for most high (low?)-quality captions: Pukebot

Common themes
Braunstein, Peter,
gratuitous references to

cartoons, self-awareness of characters in

curtain, missing

debt, collection of

diagnosis, fatal

doorknob, atypical placement of

hallucination, as side-effect of medical treatment

hands, absence of,
and implied masturbation

head mirror, failure of otherwise clever captioners to note that wearing of indicates doctor most likely specializes in otoscopy, rhinoscopy, or laryngoscopy

similar appearances of in different people

Radosh, Daniel
gratuitous references to

miniature size of
resemblance to cock and hairy scrotum

Posted by Daniel Radosh


"I'm sorry, but the man behind me has only one week to live, and his final wish is to kill you with his bare hands."

"He will torture you and then I will fix you to make it look like nothing happened."

I'm sorry, but you've got painful, terminal cancer. This man is here to assist with your suicide.

"Sometimes, when we touch, the honesty's too much."

"Well, you know how things are with managed care these days. Ha ha. No, but seriously, this pervert lives in my office."

"Well, Mr. Nevins, your gay S&M resume is impressive, but we're really looking for someone with more roleplay experience."

"Yes. He is a spy."

"Psst! Is there a shady looking guy standing behind me, over my left shoulder? Just blink twice for yes."


"Yes, we find the anal probe to be less fearsome when it sits cozily on the desk in roughly the shape of a tiny telephone."


"The good news is you have terminal cancer. Believe me, you don't want to hear the bad news."

"I find your stereotypical expectations of nurses retrograde and offensive."

"We're both touching ourselves. Right now."

What you did expect when I said this was "dangerous and experimental" treatment?

Oh yes, indeed... we have ways of making you pay your bill. Yes, indeed.

(although chances are this will be the one that wins in the real contest)


Oh him? He's just something to talk about. I time share him with a chiropractor.


Just ignore the man behind the curta-... shit.

"Mr. Woodward here is writing a book about me. I'd advise you to talk if you value your Q rating."

"Yes, you're right. It does look as if the spy behind me is wearing a camisole under his translucent trenchcoat."

"Yeah, he's actually the curly-haired guy from that weird Dick-Cheney-with-a-deformed-map-of-the-US cartoon last week. I'm surprised that you recognized him, what with his disguise and all."

"Settle an argument: Frank here thinks my phone looks like a cock and hairy scrotum. I disagree. What do you think?"

"Oh, he's just here to show you how a pair of sunglasses could cover up your obvious hyperthyroid problem."

"Is that a cock and hairy scrotum on my desk, or am I just happy to see you?"

"Cancer? That's terrible, doc. What's the good news?"
"You know the guy behind me? With the shades and the trenchcoat? I'm fucking him."

"In a normal office situation, the pen would be on my side of the desk, but there's no room for it on account of this giant cock and hairy scrotum here."

No, I’m a spy-nal surgeon! Spy-nal! Get it?”

“Nevermind him, look at the doorknob. It’s in the middle of the door. Isn’t that weird?”

“We’ve got a spy, we’ve got a doctor. What role do you see yourself playing here at Cartoon Stereotypes, Inc.?”

We are dressed in the clothing of various professions, are we not?

Is there anyone standing behind me? Blink once for yes, twice for no.

"Gentlemen, you're probably wondering why I called you in here today. I have determined -- medically -- that one of you is a spy. I'm going to turn out the lights to make the dramatic "reveal" announcement. No one should reach for their spy-type gun at this time."


"The man behind me is a spy. He is an operative for a highly-competitive clinic on the other side of town. He will be taking notes on your liver, which, as you may realize, I have just removed. We call them 'Livernotes.' The ancillary market? Huge."

"Hands are very difficult to draw. Thus, each of us has -- in our own special way -- made the artist's job that much easier."

"Welcome, good sir, to Doctor & Spy Co., a medical detective agency. Whether your concern be 'How did I get this cold?', or 'What function does a epiglottis serve?' or perhaps even something as simple as 'Rabies?', we're happy to take your case."

Saints be praised! Our long lost nose triplet has returned!

Yeah, well... Death's in the middle of a 'Noir phase.' We're all pretty sick of it. ANYWAY, about your tests. Guess what?

Him? He's here to make you an offer you can't refuse.

"I'm not just a doctor! I'm Dick Van Dyke, doctor and detective! We know you killed your mother, in the kitchen with the candlestick!"


"Detective? Nah, that's my life-size ventriloquist dummy. Lifelike, ain't he?"

Yes, you'll look just like him after your spy transformation surgery

Who? Him? He just exposes himself when you least expect it. I find it helps to keep my consults brief.

He's the new Pfizer guy. Mostly he just hands out free pens.

My wife thinks I'm having an affair.

Your avian flu is terminal, Mr. Fallows, but I have good news. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.

I just prefer to have an audience, actually. Ask me why. Here goes: "Doctor? I hardly know 'er!" Damned if I haven't been saving up that line for fifteen years. Ohhh man.

Ever get the feeling you're being followed?

It's probably just a hallucination from the medical crystal methamphetamines.

It's probably just a hallucination from the medical crystal methamphetamines. What? Oh, I am allowed to perscribe those - just check these dipolmas.

He was my first lasik surgery. I've gotten MUCH better, I assure you.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to infiltrate
the cartoon world. This NEW YORKER will self-destruct in five seconds.

"Since your insurance plan won't pay for any more Viagra, your wife has requested that you bring Agent Smith here home to investigate her privates."

Now THAT is what I call a BAD caption. Do I win?

Our hidden camera caught you scribbling "Leo something" on
the back of your chair. With that very pen!

"And Judy Miller here is an 'embed' in the Global War on Herpes."

"Hey, at least I don't have a parrot on my shoulder."

"... and my experience shows that you'll be able to lead a long and healthy life -- so long as you keep a powdered donut strapped to your forehead at all times. Oh, that man behind me? He's from the Hostess Corporation."


"I'm going to send your bloodwork to the lab and put you on an anti-biotic. You got a problem wit dat?"

"Okay, now that we're all here, let's figure out what we want to do tonight."

"Pay no attention to the man who's not behind the curtain."

In keeping with the find tradition of New Yorker cartoons making no sense as well as not being funny.

And Amy's is actually good. Therefore disqualified.

"Yes, that's 'Clouseau,' one of my early, 'radical' wallpaper designs. Now you can see why I changed careers those 12 years ago."


"Over 90% of my brain-enhancement surgery patients become bolder, more independent, self-sufficient and gregarious. Eeeeeeeevery so often there are a couple that wind up like Mr. Johnson over there."


"Him? The uh, the guy behind me? Him? That guy?.. Who is he? .... He's um, .... he's .... uhhhh, the uh, the uh, the guy right behind me, you mean? Yeah, he's, um, the uh... the, ummmm... why, he's just the.... ummmmm,... you know, the ... oh, I know, the... um, the uhhhhh....Hey, have you seen these new miniature desk phones?"

"I usually dream about sex with the nurse, but hey, it's your show."

"I find Dress-up Mondays helps start the week off strong. So, how many sets of knives can I put you down for?"

"I would normally trust you, but what if you forget for a moment and eat a muffin or something? It's bad enough I have to stick a camera up your ass tomorrow, I don't need to see a big turd in there."

You're right - he does look a bit like a spy, doesn't he?

"No, you see, Mr. Bond, I really am a doctor. An evil one, to be sure, but a doctor nevertheless. So I'm going to have to kill you before my three o'clock with Mrs. Farcas and without the customary elaboration. I hope you don't mind but she is a private patient and very keen on punctuality."

"I hope you have insurance, Richard E. Grant."

"Just like dressing a deer we start with an incision at the anus and just keep going until everything falls out. I don't imagine you'll like it very much."

"You know how leeches are coming back into medical practice? Well, garroting you with piano wire is sort of like that."

"Medical school is a little different in Pottsylvania, I hope you don't mind."

Real life winner prediciton: "This is Dr. Knuckles, he's my anesthesiologist."

"His ass is pressed up against a glory hole. Would you like to go next?"

"No, I did not leave a sponge and a clamp inside your appendix. Believe me, you're not going to want to pursue this."

More to the point:

"Malpractice? That's a pretty long word for someone with no teeth."

"It has come to our attention that you have been getting health advice online."

"Jenny, cancel my three o'clock. I have a deadbeat patient here whose been savagely beaten and will require immediate attention."

"Well, I can see your vision is just fine."

"Those magazines in the lobby aren't free, you know."

"according to his badge he's the 'Vasectomy Inspector' from the Department of Health."
"and as your prize for being such a good patient, you can select the 10-volume desk reference encyclopedia, the hat being modeled by the gentleman behind me, or you can trade it all in for whatever i'm holding underneath the desk."

Some of these are wayyyyyyyy too good. I'm going to try to get us back on track...

"Why yes, I do have a procedure for removing half of a sofa from a person's ass. But let me tell you, there will be pain involved."


"I decided I wanted to go for more of a 'gangsta' feel. Yo, yo, yo, da doctor is in the hizzouse!"

One little experimental exploration with a male patient and my wife no longer trusts me. Women!

"Cliché head mirror. Trenchcoat guy. Assy-looking patient. The jokes write themselves around here, I tell you."

Well, actually...yes. Seeing random men in trenchcoats standing against walls is the first stage of "occulus-explodus". Why do you ask?

"Your immune system seems to be rejecting the penis transplant. I think it's time we send my partner back out to "get" another one."

I have one of those round doctor things on my head.

"Malignant melanoma is serious business. From now on, whenever you go outside, this is how you are going to have to dress.

"He beats the shit out of your grandmother, then we're even"

"I'm sorry, but your HIV test came back positive. This is not a death sentence. Many HIV-positive people live healthy, productive lives for years. There are some pamphlets in the hallway that will give you some information about support groups. This guy in the trenchcoat will lead you there now."

Don't mind him. He's just here to make sure I comply with HIPAA confidentiality laws.

"Let me get this straight. You guys want to switch O-rings. Is that correct?"

"Your pregnant wife and two small children were in a auto accident. All were killed. Mr. Davis is a grief councellor. He will take over from here."

vance is right

"Your HMO doesn't cover resetting the bone. Rocco here can help you with that."

I'm a doctor. He's a hit man. Either way, you're a dead man.

"Of course I can see there's a man behind me. I do have a mirror on my head, after all."

"Yes it works, and it comes in quite handy during my weekend job as a coal miner."

"There's no need to remove anything, I can tell what's wrong with you from here."

"Hey, look at me when I'm talking to you."

"I don't have a computer on my desk because I couldn't find one that looked like a cock and hairy scrotum."

"Dr. Chalabi here has convinced me that if I make a preemptive invasion of your spleen, I will be greeted as a liberator, not an occupier."

"The bad news is that you have 6 months to live. The good news is that you finally made it into the pages of the New Yorker. Oh, him? That's Sy Hersh."

"For the last time, we're asking that you return Secretary Rumsfeld's underpants."

""Yes. He is a spy."
Posted by RJ at November 28, 2005 12:48 PM"


"Yes, he is a former editor from Spy."

"Through the illusion of forced perspective, this midget standing on my keyboard tray appears to be an average-sized man standing against the wall behind me. He's dressed like that because he stole my computer and now wants to make off with my miniature desk phone."

He's just here to dial the phone for me because I can't stop playing with myself.

Doctor: This is the man who stabbed your wife in the face. He would like you to know that he has no remorse whatsoever.

Trenchcoat to Doctor: whatsoever.

Doctor: whatsoever.

"So, then the doctor says to the rabbi, 'Well, then I guess trying pig IS NOT out of the question.......um...hello...??? Mr. Smith? A little gallows humor there...perhaps you could might be considerate enough to laugh? So, you're having open heart surgery...big whoop...it's not like it's brain surgery or anything! Alrighty then...if you won't laugh at my jokes voluntarily, I'm sure Bruno here can persuade you..."

"I'm very sorry to tell you this, Mr. Radosh, but the electroshock treatments didn't work. Your son, Daniel, still thinks he's a Spy".

"I'm very sorry to tell you this, Mr. Radosh, but the electroshock treatments didn't work. Your son, Daniel, still thinks he's a Spy."

No, I don't ever feel like I'm part of a contrived feature wasting prime real estate at the back of an otherwise non-thoughts of suicide inducing magazine. Why do you ask?

In order to ensure continued HMO payments, compromises had to be made . . . What? Oh, no, I don't mean to say that had anything to do with the creepy spy kind of guy standing behind me. That wasn't the 'compromise' I was referring to. I have no idea at all what that guy is doing here. The 'compromise' I was referring to was sucking off several of the HMO executives in a dirty truck stop bathroom.

"One of us is a real doctor and one of us is batshit crazy. Now please pull down your pants and let's begin."

"The bad news is that your son has malignant stomach cancer and, realistically speaking, about three months to live. The good news is that Patch Adams here will be his new doctor."

"Thank you for coming in today. As you can see, my other patient had his neck brutally removed by Saddam's Ba'athist goons -- even today, he must live in the shadows. Since you have so much extra neckline, I thought you might be interested in becoming a patriotic neck donor. And I must warn you: you're not allowed to quote Bogie from Casablanca in response."

He's here just in case someone picks the evasive surgery option.

"Yes, I understand that you're here because you busted a gut laughing at the captions on Radosh.net. And I sympathize, believe me. But I have some bad news for you: I'm not really a doctor, I'm a New Yorker operative, and my associate 'Knuckles' is going to make sure you don't tell anyone about these much, much, much funnier captions."

"My intern -- he's shadowing me. Get it? 'Shadowing'-- like a spy! Heh, heh. He's not really a spy. We just try to keep it light here. Anyway, Mr. Peterson, you're dying."

"Never mind him. He just likes to jerk off while I inform patients that they have inoperable brain tumors. ...So anyways, I have some information about the cause of these headaches you've been having."

"He tastes the stool samples and gives a general impression of patient health. I find it to be a reliable first layer of diagnosis. Plus, he has coprophilia, so it's very low cost."

Together we fight crime.

"Not only has my assistant taken your hat and coat, he's taken quite a liking to your hat and coat."

"If you are wearing frilly underthings, we will like that very, very much."

"He's our hair removal specialist."

"He's here to make sure your belly-button lint stays put and does not end up in my collection of small fuzzy things harvestesd from patients' bodies. I would have been normal, but I had a weird mother."

"Because you chose to sit there in that spot --of all possible spots --you forced the cartoonist to put the doorknob in the middle of the friggin door. As a result, all the world will think I went to a bad medical school instead of that other one."

"I've been advised to tell you that you are imagining things."

"Look, pay the overdue lab fee already."

"Your HMO's deductible comes with a punch-in-the-face rider."

"We each know our roles in this little game. It's time you grew up."

"don't beat yourself up over it. it's not like anyone else figured out the reference to sherlock holmes."

"why are you so worried about what the audience will think? i thought you said watson was supposed to be a doctor?"

"im sorry to say that you are not our long-lost twin brother. i know that your nose has an uncanny resemblance to ours, but the test results are conclusive."

"He refuses to leave the office after I botched his breast enlargement surgery."

"Look at ME, dammit."

"Repeat after me: "Good-bye cruel world. P.S. Fuck You, Dr. Silverberg."

"His medical bracelet says Peter Braunstein."

He's here to nip any bird flu outbreaks in the bud.

"It is our understanding, Mr. Radosh, that you think you have a book deal. You realize that these delusions cannot continue. That coupled with your dangerous obsession with Prussian Blue has led to a court order to have you committed to our insane asylum for a period of no less than six months. Mr. Braunstein here, you can call him Peter, will be escorting you to your room, although we advise you to first please remove any Manolo Blahniks you may be wearing or carrying on your person."

on the offchance people still don't get it:

"don't beat yourself up over it. it's not like anyone else figured out the reference to holmes and watson."

"Eight hundred, cash, RIGHT NOW, or I'm going 'gadget' on your ass!"

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