Friday, June 19, 2020

When Did Cartoon Contests Begin?

You know how in TV and movies when they interview a suspect and they catch him in a lie? You know how they say, Never ask a question that you don't know the answer to?

Well, that's the opposite here. This is a good question, but I do not know the answer. I'll let Michael Maslin pick up the story with an email he wrote to me this week:

"Michael Gerber, who publishes The American Bystander asked me this morning if I knew where/when the first cartoon caption contest appeared.  So far he has one that appeared in The Yale Record in 1918, shown below.  Would you mind asking your readership if anyone knows of earlier contests, or better yet:  when contests like this began."

Here's a copy of that 1918 Yale Record cartoon contest.

Another mystery (as Michael Maslin points out) is that the W. Rice Brewster, who drew this, dates it as "1921."

So, when did cartoon contests begin? I don't know for sure, but if you can find something before 1918, then you know a better answer than Michael and Michael have.


Jason said...

1921 was probably his graduating class

Brian Fies said...

That's what I was going to say. I bet he was in the class of '21!

Fun post. Would love a follow-up if you get an answer (also would love to know the winning caption...)