October 2020

Winner of Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 166

                            "Don't sit on my bed, I've just made it."

                                          (by Ken Wilkinson)


My original caption: "Need a surprise witness?"


Congratulations, Ken Wilkinson, on this, your fourth win. It was long overdue -- your last victory was back in February 2018. Now, once again, you can proudly proclaim to the world that you are one of the funniest people around.

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

" . . . and when she said get that bum out of my courtroom, I thought your strategy was brilliant!"  (by Brendan Gannon)

"Are you working virtually, too?" (by John Platt)

"Let's settle this out of court." (by Sagie)

"Excuse me sir, but you are sitting on my bed." (by Diane)

"I pay more taxes than you." (by Marc Eliot Stein)

"I'm just re-imagining myself as an Esquire." (by John Huckstep)

"I got into Harvard Law but I also got into San Quentin." (by Michael Lomazow)


Keep up the good work, Captioneers. There'll be a new conest in just a few short weeks.



Eli's Cartoon Caption Contest No. 166

Contest No. 166 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, October 20, 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.

Charles Preston 1921-2020

I was very sorry to hear that Charles Preston passed away on October 2nd, at the age of 98.

He was the cartoon editor of the "Pepper . . . and Salt" humor panel in The Wall Street Journal. As a matter of fact, he was the instigator of the feature, which in the old days consisted of a gag cartoon and a sidebar of humorous prose in every issue. Apparently it took a great deal of effort on his part to convince the managing editors that the paper needed a touch of levity. The first appearance of a cartoon was on June 6, 1950, and they are still appearing daily, although now greatly reduced in size.

As far as I know, Mr. Preston stayed active in choosing the cartoons for all those years, and he hardly ever repeated the same cartoonist for two days in a row. I think it's safe to say that many hundreds, maybe even thousands, of gag cartoonists (like myself) have appeared there over the decades. Mr. Preston was a renaissance man in every sense of the word, but he also found time to edit and compile many anthologies of cartoons, both of Wall Street Journal reprints and of original gag cartoons on a variety of topics.

I still prefer to remember him the way I first met him, as I entered his office sometime in 1956. In those days he cut an impressive figure of a dashing young man (he was just a few years older than me), and he seemed to be in constant motion -- just couldn't sit still for a minute.

Unfortunately, the only photo op I had with Mr. Preston was many years later, on November 1, 1999. The occasion was a celebration and exhibit of 50 years of "Pepper . . . and Salt" that was held at the World Financial Center in Manhattan (one of the World Trade Center buildings that no longer exists). Here are some photos of the two of us at that event. Sorry to say I can't identify the woman standing next to Mr. Preston in the last photo.

Charles Preston. RIP.