Am I the only person who saw any humor in the name of the securities firm "Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane"? And then, many years ago, they abruptly changed the name to "Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith", which really raised my gag antennae. The firm is now called simply "Merrill Lynch" — a ho-hum name if I ever heard one.
Anyhow, I came up with this "OUT TO LYNCH" gag and Stock Market magazine was good enough to print it. Please don't go looking for any deep-South racial undertones in the cartoon — this was simply a take-off on the countless "Out to Lunch" door sign cartoons that every cartoonist liked to draw, probably because they were so easy. Eventually it became such a hackneyed subject that no cartoonist would touch it anymore (also, for some reason, business people no longer seemed inclined to hang "Out to Lunch" signs on their doorknobs).
So these three partners, with their darkened offices, were simply out to visit with good ol' Merrill Lynch, whose office is still lit up.
One more historical note, for the sake of honesty in cartooning: there is no such person as Merrill Lynch, and there never has been. The firm was started as a partnership of Charles Merrill and Edmund Lynch, and the comma between the names was dropped in 1938 when Mr. Lynch passed away. Now you sticklers for the truth won't have to Google it.
The real question is, why in the world did I think this simple cartoon needed such a long explanation?