July 2020

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 163

"What about kids rights? They have the umbrella, beach chairs, and a blanket. We have the hot sun and sticky sand."

                                                   (by Carole)


My original caption: "Do you know of any creative, state-of-the-art innovations in sand technology?"


Congratulations, first-time winner Carole! You now have bragging rights galore, because you're officially one of the funniest people around!


Here are the other captions that I was seriously considering for top honors:

"Six feet buddy . . . I don't like the look of that rash on your pail!" (by Kay Ralph)

"Do you think there is a future in building sand castles?" (by Diane)

"How much more do we need to start our own sandblasting business?" (by Mary Rogers)

"Location, location, location." (by Sagie Tvizer)

"Don't dig too deep. You could end up getting the China flu!" (by Ronn Roxx)

"Thanks for helping with my parents. Next up: Let's bury yours." (by Dennis Bills)


A new contest will be here before you know it, Captioneers. Keep up the good work . . . and thanks for participating.




Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 163

Contest No. 163 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 "Add New Comment". Then (2) scroll down past any other submitted captions and type in your name and your caption in the spaces provided. You will also be asked to verify that you are a human being and not a robot. Please follow the instructions in the "Captcha" box. Then (3) click "Save".

Your caption (or captions) will be posted after I review your submission. However, no captions at all will be posted for the first few days of each contest. This is to give everybody a chance to submit their spontaneous, gut-instinct caption without fear of discovering that it was ripped off by somebody else's similar spontaneous, gut-instinct caption. This is an equal opportunity contest!

There is no limit on the number of captions you may enter for each drawing, but I will only post and consider the first 15 captions from any contestant. 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 send in your captions is midnight Tuesday, July 28, 2020.   

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.

Below is the drawing that needs your funny captions.

A Note About My Note to New Yorker Cartoonist Henry Martin in 1988

I was totaly saddened to hear about the passing of New Yorker cartoonist Henry Martin. He died on June 30th, 94 years young.

I always looked forward to seeing Mr. Martin's cartoons in The New Yorker and other publications, and they usually brought smiles to my face. I consider him to be a giant in the field of gag cartooning.

Although I never met Mr. Martin, on one occasion in 1988 I sent him a short note. The reason for the note was a cartoon of his that appeared in the July 18, 1988 issue of The New Yorker. It happened to be amazingly similar to a cartoon of mine that appeared a few months before in the National Business Employment Weekly, on October 18, 1987. These are the two cartoons:


Henry Martin, The New Yorker, July 18, 1988


Eli Stein, National Business Employment Weekly, October 18, 1987


For those of you who aren't familiar with the National Business Employment Weekly, it is a long-defunct publication of Dow Jones & Co. (the same organization that publishes The Wall Street Journal). The weekly publication printed only one cartoon per issue, and I was fortunate enough to have had over a hundred cartoons in their pages over the years of its existence. Other cartoonists who appeared regularly were Henry Martin and another New Yorker cartoonist, Tom Cheney. Many of our cartoons were even included in a booklet published in 1992 by Dow Jones, "The Best Cartoons from the National Business Employment Weekly".

I sent my note to Mr. Martin simply to let him know about the coincidence, and I didn't expect an answer from him. But he did answer, with this hand-written note:

"Dear Eli, Thanks for your note and for the two cartoons. I guess the idea was a natural and these things happen. Be assured it was not intentional. I gather you are the cartoonist Stein. Good to meet you. Best. Henry"

As I said, I never did meet Henry Martin in person. By the time I started going to the offices of The New Yorker on Tuesdays (to show my cartoon roughs to then-editor Bob Mankoff and to hobnob and eat lunch with the other cartoonists), Henry Martin had already "retired" from active cartooning. My loss.

Rest in peace, Henry Martin. Your cartoons brought great joy to the world.

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 162

"It sucks that my head is stuck like this 'cause I don't wanna look at you right now."

                                               (by Anonymous)


My original caption: "Can you tell it's a wig?"


This is the second time that the winner has chosen to be anonymous. The first time, in Contest No. 111, Cary Antebi finally revealed himself to be the accidentally anonymous captioneer. Does anyone want to claim this victory?

As for my original caption, "Can you tell it's a wig?", I was sure that all of you would immediately pounce on that ridiculous-looking hairpiece that this female patient has asked somebody to plop on top of her totally bandaged head. But, except for one mention of hair (in a caption by Tim Collins), nobody focused on it or mentioned it at all. Ah yes, ladies, vanity, vanity, all is vanity!

These are the other captions that I was seriously considering for top honors:

" . . . but when I saw that 10 pack of toilet paper I just lost all control!" (by Brendan Gannon)

"Now . . . will you remember to put the toilet seat back down?" (by Kay Ralph)

"Thanks for bringing me these flowers, but you know I'm allergic, dear." (by Kaden Blaze)

"How does my hair look?" (by Tim Collins)

"Does this cast make my butt look big?" (also by Tim Collins)

"Well, the last thing I remember is calling Judge Judy an idiot." (by John Grosman)


A new Contest will be coming up in just a few short weeks, captioneers. Keep looking out for it . . . and stay healthy!