Their contest lets you write the captions to cartoons in a room full of people but our cartoons exclusively feature breathing actors

Your headline here: The New Yorker’s caption contest comes alive for one night only in Gowanus

You think you can write a better caption than us? Prove it, in the comments.
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The New Yorker’s caption contest garners lots of entries each week, but it’s only once a year that the highfalutin magazine’s cartoonists and their citizen-writer counterparts walk into a bar together.

That is the draw of the New Yorker Festival’s live caption contest, which pits boozy teams of would-be jokesters against one another for a secret grand prize.

“There is apparently out there an enormous desire to be, if not a cartoonist, part of the process making the cartoons,” said Rhonda Sherman, the founding director of The New Yorker Festival, now in its 14th year.

For the contest, which will take place in Gowanus this year, 11 or 12 groups of 10 will be shown cartoons and asked to come up with as many captions as possible in the allotted time. Expect dogs, cats, therapists’ offices, rounds of golf, and other New Yorker staples.

The brainstorming session will climax with resident cartoonists Matthew Diffee, Carolita Johnson, and Liam Francis Walsh judging the results to music. But be warned: contestants at the amusing event may raise their voices.

“The contest is a sort of rollicking affair,” Sherman said.

Tickets for the contest have sold out online, but do not despair, last minute tickets will be available Friday at the MasterCard Stage at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in Manhattan from noon to 4 pm.

And if you are unable to make it, leave the contest feeling unfulfilled, or just plain cannot get enough of writing the gags to other people’s art, we encourage you to enter this newspaper’s own caption contest. Take a gander at the exclusive cartoon reenactment above and send us you best guess about what is going on in the picture to

New Yorker live caption contest at the Bell House [149 Seventh St., between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643–6510, Tickets at the MasterCard Stage at the School of Visual Arts Theatre, 333 W. 23 St., between 8th and 9th avenues in Manhattan, (212) 592–2980]. Oct. 6, 11 am, $65. Cocktails will be served.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Dale Stout from West side says:
You go ahead to the New Yorker Festival, I'm staying in tonight.
Oct. 2, 2013, 10:46 am
Scott from Sunnyside says:
"When you are done with that, I need to change my hat."
Oct. 2, 2013, 4:16 pm
Dale Stout from West Side-that's my story says:
I'm working on some fresh ideas.
Oct. 4, 2013, 3:40 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Hipster burka makes fashion statement
Oct. 6, 2013, 11:21 am
drmrs from says:
Would you believe that I used to be a "bag man" for the New York maffia? Yes, but can you prove it? No, but you can read about me periodically in the newspaper. drmrs 10/25/2013
Oct. 25, 2013, 6:14 pm

Comments closed.

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