Entries tagged with “humor”.


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Cartoonist William Hamilton, 76, (above) died five years ago last month in Lexington, Kentucky, when he ran a stop sign near his home and his car was hit by a pickup truck. “I don’t know whether he had a malaise or was distracted,” his widow Lucy said at the time.

This being near the fifth anniversary of his death, it seems an appropriate time for a retrospective look at several of his cartoons, most of which were first published in The New Yorker.

One of his more popular books, Money Should Be Fun (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980) “lovingly satirized high society,” The San Francisco Chronicle commented at the time of Hamilton’s death.

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The expressions on the two faces say almost as much as the caption.

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The themes of alcohol and adultery run through many of Hamilton’s cartoons, not altogether surprising in parodies of the wealthy.

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Here the eaves-droppers’ expressions tell much of the story.

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William Hamilton started drawing for The New Yorker in 1965. His drawings also appeared in Newsweek, The New York Observer, Town and Country, and other publications.

Caveat lectorem: When readers submit comments, they are asked if they want to receive an email alert with a link to new postings on this blog. A number of people have said they do. Thank you. The link is created the moment a posting goes online. Readers who find their way here through that link can see an updated version by simply clicking on the headline above the posting.

Humor in newspapers and magazines goes far beyond straightforward jokes such as this. In fact, some of the funniest items in print were not intended that way.

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• Often the humor results from unintended double entendres. If “condemned” in the headline below is read as a noun, it refers to all people condemned to death in Utah. If it is read as a passive verb, it would seem to refer to all the people in Utah.

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 • Some of the most hilarious humor results from the juxtaposition of different news events. In the case below, President Ronald Reagan’s visit to a school unfortunately was published alongside an unrelated story about child molesters.

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• Similarly, this woman pictured with her prize piglet has nothing to do with the story about sexual misconduct at city hall.

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Say what? Just who is doing the trampling, crowds or the Pope? A change in word order could have avoided this absurdity.

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Likewise if you reverse the order of the two lines above, the absurdity of 18 years in a checkout line would be eliminated.

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And who’s the foolish person, the Garden Grove resident or the judge?

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Lake Henshaw offers opportunity “to” goose hunters or “for” goose hunters?

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And then there is the humor most readers never get to see. A book titled The Best of the Rejection Collection 10 years ago published 293 cartoons The New Yorker had rejected, many of them from regular contributors. For example:

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The Best of the Rejection Collection consists of cartoons that “were too dumb, too dark, or too naughty for The New Yorker.”