HomeCartoon"Hat Trick" Caption Contest Commentary with Lawrence Wooden – The CartoonStock.com Weblog

“Hat Trick” Caption Contest Commentary with Lawrence Wooden – The CartoonStock.com Weblog


In Avi Steinberg’s cartoon, a magic trick has gone unsuitable. The magician is nowhere to be discovered, however his hat and wand are on the stage. A frightened rabbit is looking of the hat and addressing the viewers. Avi’s authentic caption—“People, did he by any probability say when he would REappear?”—means that the magician had began the present by making himself vanish. 

Magicians encourage viewers participation by saying, “For my subsequent trick I’ll want a volunteer.” As a result of the rabbit wants assist getting out of the hat, lots of you submitted variations on that line (which can also be the title of an excellent Warren Zevon track):

  • “I’ll want a volunteer from the viewers.”
  • “Could I’ve a volunteer from the viewers?”
  • “I would like a volunteer from the viewers with a comfy house.”

The next entries additionally urged that the rabbit wants assist:

  • “Would anyone like to drag a rabbit out of a hat?”
  • “Bear with me, I’ve by no means executed this on my own.”
  • “Does anyone know the best way to use a wand?”
  • “I remorse splitting up the act.”

This entry went within the different route by suggesting that the rabbit doesn’t want help: “I’ll now get myself out of this hat.”

A few of you referred to an idiom—“Is there a health care provider in the home?”—that’s historically used when an viewers member wants medical help (the home being the a part of the theater the place the viewers sits):

  • “Is there a magician in the home?”
  • “Is there a detective in the home?”

Bob Mankoff and Trevor Hoey and Joel Mishon and I judged this contest, and we debated the relative deserves of these two captions. The primary might be higher, however it’s additionally extra apparent (as evidenced by the truth that lots of you submitted it). The second variation is surprising, and it provides an attention-grabbing twist as a result of it means that the rabbit is wanting not for a substitute for his associate, however for somebody who can seek for and discover his associate. When judges are reviewing a whole lot or hundreds of entries and so they hold seeing the very same caption, that caption loses its energy to amuse (even when it’s a great joke), and a slight twist can shock the judges and make the marginally modified caption appear superior.  

The next set of captions clarify why the magician just isn’t on stage:

As a result of he received offended and stormed off: “Maybe the heckler can pull me out?”

As a result of he’s a drunk: “No, however he’s making a quart of vodka disappear.”

As a result of he’s below the climate: “As a result of sickness, the a part of the magician can also be being performed by me.”

As a result of he was blown clear off the stage when the rabbit by chance discharged a firearm: “I used to be cleansing it and it simply went off.” (I like darkish humor.)

As a result of he can by no means see something by to the top: “The actual trick is getting him to complete what he began.”

The next entry is much like that final caption, in that it suggests the magician is unreliable: “This have to be why the doves give up.”

These captions recommend not that the magician has left the stage, however that he hasn’t but arrived: 

  • “When he comes out, no one clap.”
  • “Then, after faculty, I joined the navy. Wait. I feel I hear him coming.”

That first caption is nice, however it’s not according to the rabbit’s frightened expression. The second caption is excellent, and a great instance of the form of joke that takes a second to sink in and is subsequently liable to being missed throughout crowdsourcing, when individuals are ranking captions in a short time. It’s even liable to being missed by judges. On the danger of offending Bob Mankoff, I’ll inform you that this entry was not initially amongst his prime ten. Once I instructed him I beloved the caption and thought it was among the finest I’d ever seen, he requested me why. I began to elucidate and abruptly he received it and mentioned, “Oh, he’s vamping for time. That’s nice!” It truly is.

This caption additionally suggests the rabbit is vamping for time, and whereas it made us all snort it’s actually simply too weird: “Welcome to my very particular efficiency of ‘The Vagina Monologues.’”

  Listed here are the most effective examples of reworking an odd assertion or widespread expression right into a line that takes on a brand new and humorous which means inside the context of the cartoon:

  • “The scholar has develop into the grasp.”
  • “He’s nothing with out me.”

And listed here are the most effective puns:

  • “We’re experiencing magical difficulties.”
  • “Keep tuned for the comeback tour.”
  • “I’m nonetheless studying the tropes.”

The subsequent two entries clarify the magician’s disappearance by alluding to a different widespread magic act:

  •  “Voila. He minimize the present in half.”
  • “Final week, he sawed himself in half.”

I particularly like the best way that final caption suggests the magician is incompetent.

The next caption works properly as a result of it matches the rabbit’s expression completely: “Let’s speak for a second about separation anxiousness.”

 

These captions acknowledge, very concisely, that the trick didn’t work:

  • “Properly, that actually backfired.”
  • “Oops, let me do this once more.” 

I particularly like the best way that final caption suggests the rabbit was in cost.

Lastly, we now have a intelligent reference to the truth that rabbits multiply rapidly: “Rabbits can even subtract.”

This week’s winner comes from Michael Holmes: “Then, after faculty, I joined the navy. Wait, I feel I hear him coming.”

The 5 runners-up are:

  • “Is there a detective in the home?”
  • “I’ll want a volunteer from the viewers.”
  • “Bear with me, I’ve by no means executed this on my own.”
  • “The scholar has develop into the grasp.”
  • “I remorse splitting up the act.”

For these of you who’re eager about seeing (and critiquing) how we made our picks, we recorded the method this week and is posted right here



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