Monday, June 05, 2006

CARTOON CAPTION/ANTI-CAPTION CONTESTS CONTINUE! Welcome to a very special look at the weekly New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest as it recognizes its fiftieth winner!

Fifty winners, fifty states. It could be that simple. But it isn't. At this point in the contest it is clear that some states--and some regions--win more than others. As mentioned here on numerous occasions, California is the state with the most contest winners, followed by Pennsylvania and New York, which (as of today) are tied for second place. Regionally, the winners tend to be clustered in the Northeast and the West Coast. In terms of cities, the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas are very strong.

To illustrate the situation, I draw your attention to Blog About Town's nifty New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest map. I sure hope you like this Graphickal Depiction of the Contest Winners To Date! The locations of the winners are approximate, but they should be close enough to impart a sense of how the honors in the caption contest have been distributed geographically. In some ways it resembles the map in this Gahan Wilson cartoon; it probably comes closer to The New Yorker's distribution pattern.

By scanning the names of the winners on the right of the map page, you can also get a sense of what might be the clearest trend in the contest. It has more to do with gender than geography: Men tend to be the winners 68-84% of the time.

Here is the current breakdown by state:
11 California

6 New York (all New York City)
6 Pennsylvania

3 Massachusetts
3 New Jersey

2 Illinois
2 North Carolina
2 Texas
2 Utah

1 Arizona
1 Connecticut
1 Georgia
1 Maryland
1 Mississippi
1 Missouri
1 New Hampshire
1 New Mexico
1 Ohio
1 Oklahoma
1 Oregon
1 Rhode Island
1 Vermont
I plan to maintain the map as the contest continues. Here's hoping it proves to be educational and entertaining!

And now to this week's results....

The winner of Caption Contest #50 (living room scene with woman talking to man "wearing" a tree trunk) is another local, Andrew Berlin of New York City. The winner:
"But what if you fall when no one is around?"
Congratulations, Andrew! As the fiftieth winner of the weekly contest, you've helped New York rebound into a tie with Pennsylvania!

Forget about New York when it comes to the nominees for Contest #52 (whale/rowboat encounter in a place that resembles Central Park). There are two from California, one from Minnesota, and none from me. My loser:
"Manhattan": The Director's Cut
Over at Anti-Caption Contest #53 (woman and giant bug reading in bed), the winner is Harry with
"Move that newspaper so I can see your fac— OH MY GOD!"
My losers:
"Swat’s up?"

"Ready for some honey, honey?"

"Stop hiding behind that newspaper and find my clitoris!"

"I already told you: You have to go online to find the financial listings."
Caption Contest #54 is here. Anti-Caption Contest #54 is here.

Thanks to Andriy Bidochko for Map Builder. MyMaps at

Image by David Marc Fischer using Samsung cameraphone

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