November 19, 2007

Yeah, that's one's not funny too. Next.

C0028046.jpg Yesterday, commenter Earnest asked if the anti-caption contest winners "are sounding more and more like actual New Yorker finalists lately?" Today, the New Yorker announced the finalists for contest 121 (Groucho glasses assembly line), and sure enough, one of the choices is a less funny version of one of our anti-caption finalists.

Anti-caption finalist: "Ha. Ha. Very Funny. [checks box] Ha. Ha. Very Funny. [checks box]..." —Mo Buck

Real contest finalist: "Yeah, that one's funny, too. Next." —James Keegan, Milton, Del.

On the other hand, the weeks where all the anti-caption submissions authentically suck are even worse, so I guess on balance I'd encourage more not funny captions that are actually funny, even if they're sometimes a little too funny. Does that make sense?

Meanwhile, don't forget to tune into WNYC on Wednesday to see if any of our Thanksgiving anti-cartoons are good enough to get Bob Mankoff's attention.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


"I don't agree, Daniel. I think the New Yorker one IS funnier because it's slyer, more economical and has the needed PUNCH, with the word 'Next', at the end of the sentence. But hey! That's just my opinion, and I've never won anything!

Both have the premise that the checker is supposed to be amused. In the real winner, he seems clearly bored - faking his obligatory amusement. That seems a better anti-caption. In the anti-caption one, the checker seems to be actually amused - or maybe just striving to do his job well. It's funnier to me. (though i would lose the stage direction "{checks box}" and make it "Ha. Ha. Very funny. Check...."

JohnnyB: Actually I read the repetition in the anti-caption to indicate rote evaluation rather than genuine amusement, same as the real one. And it was the stage direction, which you would never see in a real caption and which reads really badly, that put it over the top as an anti-caption finalist.

:::pats self on back:::

Mo Buck's caption made me laugh in the comments, laugh again when Radosh picked it and laughed again when a variation showed up in the real contest. The stage direction (which could have been replaced with an ellipses in a real caption) didn't seem enough to distinguish it. Still very funny, just not that anti.

But what prompted my comment (if indeed this "Earnest" is me misspelled) were two of Radosh's dishwashing judge picks, Palmolive and civil court. Both funny, and I mean no disrespect to their authors, but other than going on a bit, both feel like authentic captions.

Of course, beneath all this blather is my own feeling of inadequacy, having never won. Yet how many stray comments have spawned their own post? I ask you.


"Beautiful Pyrenees. I wonder if she'll Kissimmee? Maybe Alaska"

Veni vidi....oh, sorry (o-leevio).

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