How to play (and win!) the New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest
The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest is an interactive no wait, Web 2.0 parody of The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. Every Monday, when the New Yorker publishes a new uncaptioned cartoon, I post that same cartoon on this site. But while the New Yorker is looking for (and rarely finding) good captions, I'm looking for the worst captions possible. So much easier. Submit no more than five anti-captions in the comments section.
The following Monday, you'll get to vote for one of three finalists (while also submitting anti-captions for the new cartoon). The week after that, I'll announce the winner. That turned out to be a spectacularly unpopular idea. Instead, I'll choose one winner and two finalists who will be "rewarded" with a prominent spot directly under the cartoon and web links if any were provided. Below those I'll post any number of anti-captions deserving honorable mention.
What is an anti-caption, exactly? In large part, it's like Potter Stewart's definition of pornography: containing explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity. But there a few elements that make the difference between a merely bad caption and a true anti-caption. A great anti-caption does one or more of the following things:
is not just not funny but agressively unfunny.
reads like a caption that would actually appear in The New Yorker only without the being-funny part.
reads like a caption that would never, ever appear in The New Yorker (see second finalist).
Meanwhile, there are a few popular tropes that I always appreciate, but which rarely make the final cut:
direct parodies of/references to actual New Yorker cartoon captions (or actual caption contest winners).
captions which fail to consider the central image/action of the cartoon.
For more, here's a complete index of The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest.