Winner of Eli’s Cartoon Caption Contest No. 171

“Your honor, we the jury found the plot cliched and predictable, the characters vague and the dialogue verbose and overwritten. The role of the bailiff was played with authority by Byron M. Whittaker, however, and Sharon Pellman was appealing in a cameo as the daughter of the defendant.”

(by Gayden Wren)


My original caption: ” We, the jury, find the defendant has crossed the fine line between innocence and guilt.”


Whew! A tough one to judge. But Gayden Wren’s caption finally won out (no, I didn’t flip a coin). Good job, Gayden — it’s your well-deserved second victory (first one was in Contest No. 139) and I hope you will be enjoying your re-emergence as one of the funniest people around.

Here are the other captions that were under serious consideration:

“We the Jury, after much discussion, feel like our hotel was average, the food terrible, and Juror 4 has a severe case of halitosis. Oh, and guilty on all counts.” (by Rich Wolf)

“We, the jury, find the judge guilty.” (by Cary Antebi)

“In addition, we also find the defendant guilty of insulting our intelligence.” (by Charles Vaughan)

“Your honor, we are hopelessly deadlocked. Half the jury wants Italian food for dinner tonight, the other half wants Chinese.” (by Mel Tanenbaum)

“What we have here is failure to adjudicate.” (by Pat Foley)

“You seem nice but you’re no Judge Judy.” (by Michael Lomazow)

And a special shout-out to captioneer Michael Lomazow. I see that on March 3rd he was the third-place runner-up on Bob Mankoff’s online Cartoon Caption Contest (Bob Mankoff, for those of you who don’t know, was the Cartoon Editor of The New Yorker magazine for many, many years). Way to go, Michael — I guess it’s only a matter of time before you win the “Big” Caption Contest, the one that appears weekly in The New Yorker.

My Contest No. 172 will be posted in just a few short weeks. Thanks for participating, captioneers!

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Welcome to the Eli Stein Cartoon archive. To begin, read my introduction and personal notes, and then please look at the cartoons, which are categorized by either decade, publication name or topic. I’ve included some personal comments, memories and photos below many of the cartoons. I’ll be adding cartoons, memories and photos ad infinitum. Remember, your comments are appreciated (just click on the “comment” link at the bottom of each post).