April 2011

Florida Bar News, September 1, 1998


My caption for this cartoon was a much longer one, starting with "Try me . . . " and then going on with a sentence containing the punch line. The cartoon editor of Florida Bar News sent me a note saying she'd like to buy the cartoon, but wanted to run it with just "Try me." as the caption. No way, I replied indignantly, explaining that it simply wasn't a funny caption. She was insistent and I finally caved in, figuring she was the customer. . . she was paying for it . . . it was her publication, etc. Well, that was a long time ago, but I still feel the same way and I'm still curious -- does anybody see any humor in this cartoon as it was finally published?

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 21


"It's addressed to the tree." (by Matt)

My original caption: "Congratulations! Your name has been chosen from a select list of desert island castaways . . . "

Congrats, Matt. You have joined a small select group -- you are officially one of the funniest people around.

There were loads of great captions submitted and I had a difficult time choosing a winner. Here are a few of the "honorable mentions":

"This is a reminder that your taxes must be paid by the end of the week." (by Jonathan)

"We've been evicted." (by John Platt)

"Dear Occupant . . . " (by John Platt)

"The New York State Lottery is now 10 million dollars." (by Douglas)

"It's from a Nigerian government official informing us he has millions of dollars to transfer to us." (by Cary Antebi)

"It looks like we're marooned and doomed . . . it's our note that we sent out two years ago!!!!" (by Dom Mancino)

"You owe $123.50 in library fines on 'Sailing Around the World for Dummies'." (by Kelasher)

And now a few words about the captions mentioning "Eli" or "Cary". Inside jokes are always fun and many of the "inside" captions got a laugh out of me. But I'd like you all to understand that I'm judging the contest on one basis only: the commercial viability of the caption in the actual marketplace. I'm putting myself in the position of a magazine Cartoon Editor and asking myself, "Which caption/cartoon would I choose to buy and then put into my publication to entertain my very discriminating readers?" Using that standard, obviously no "inside" caption could ever be considered for top honors. That being said, please keep all those captions coming -- I hope you're having as much fun with the contest as I am.

Next topic -- did any of you happen to catch last week's New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest (that would be the issue dated April 18, 2011)? One of the three captions selected for a final vote was submitted by "Roger Ebert, Chicago, Ill." Wow, that's impressive. I think The New Yorker chose his caption and dropped his name in there just to get me jealous -- and they succeeded! C'mon, Roger, how about entering THIS contest? Unlike The New Yorker, we are truly international in scope -- we even accept entries from Quebec!

Speaking of celebrity contestants, I happen to know that one of OUR regular caption contributors has made the "final three" several times in The New Yorker contest, using various assumed names. Way to go! Hope you win the top prize soon! (Don't worry, I will never blow your cover).

Caption Contest No. 22 will be coming up shortly.

Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 21

Cartoon Caption Contest No. 21 starts right now.

Briefly, here are the details: I'll supply a drawing of one of my old cartoons that has never been published, leaving off my caption. You are invited to supply your funniest captions. Simply (1) click on 'COMMENTS' underneath the current drawing. Then (2) scroll down past all the other comments and type in your name and your caption in the spaces provided. Then (3) enter the anti-spam security word that assures me that you're a human being and not a machine, and (4) click 'Submit'. There is no limit on the number of captions you can submit for each drawing.

Entries will be accepted and posted for one week, after which a winner will be announced and the winning caption will be printed. Below that I will also print my original caption. The cut-off time and date for you to submit your captions for this contest is midnight, Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

I will be the sole judge. The winning caption will be the one I judge to be the funniest one submitted (not necessarily the one that matches or comes closest to my original caption).

Additional rules and regulations, for those of you who need such things, can be found here.

I'll make it real easy for you caption-writers this time -- here's the new drawing:


Florida Bar Journal, April 1997


I guess there was a space problem here, so the publication chopped off the bottom of my drawing and shifted my signature to the left.