The New Markov
August 30, 2015 4:58 AM   Subscribe

The Verge has developed a way to game the New Yorker cartoon caption contest (previously: 1 2 christ what an asshole 4), in the sense that roulette and chuck-a-luck are games.
posted by BiggerJ (31 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well..."game" is a bit of a stretch. It's a caption generator. You still have to submit the caption yourself, which requires registering at New Yorker. One does sometimes wonder, though, if the cartoonists at the New Yorker don't already employ such a device.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:17 AM on August 30, 2015


It's gaming the system. Rouletting the system. Chuck-a-lucking the system. Crapsing the system, if you will.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:29 AM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


How annoyed is cortex that he didn't think of this first?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:41 AM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Christ what a captcha.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:43 AM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


> How annoyed is cortex that he didn't think of this first?

"Lol butts" isn't going to win no matter how many times you resubmit it.
posted by ardgedee at 6:05 AM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Butts lol" might, though.
posted by nevercalm at 6:12 AM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's the New Yorker, "L.O.L, butts?" Is the only acceptable format.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:22 AM on August 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I love lasagna
posted by not_on_display at 6:22 AM on August 30, 2015


It only took me one click of the Recaption button to get a completely plausible caption.
posted by moonmilk at 6:35 AM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's the New Yorker, "L.O.L, butts?" Is the only acceptable format.

Needs more commas and at least one idiosyncratic spelling like "focussed," or at least some archaic diaereses.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:10 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


One it gave me was also quite good:

“So much for a street fair.”
posted by sutt at 7:11 AM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


“Did anyone turn in a pair of stilts?”

I think they're on to something here...
posted by sutt at 7:51 AM on August 30, 2015


“butẗs lol”
posted by nicepersonality at 8:02 AM on August 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Needs more commas and at least one idiosyncratic spelling like "focussed," or at least some archaic diaereses.

L.,Ö.,L.; bütts?
posted by languagehat at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eh, doesn't really work, creator just doesn't understand New Yorker cartoons
posted by Bwithh at 8:39 AM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Makes me miss the old Anti-Caption contest held on radosh.net before Dan Radosh became a Daily Show writer. I'd love to see a Markov chain generator of that.
posted by Missiles K. Monster at 9:28 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got "I'm going with the oppressor." Which seems to fit.
posted by nubs at 9:28 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clicking away I got the same captions other people have reported here. The Markov process isn't as random as expected. I assume that these captions were all hand wrought at some point. Or they're just as found under previous cartoons.
posted by njohnson23 at 9:30 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got "Do you have any small bills" which I thought was kinda perfect.
posted by Neale at 9:40 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eh, doesn't really work, creator just doesn't understand New Yorker cartoons

This meme that New Yorker cartoons 'don't make sense' needs to be taken out to a desert island and left there to talk with the bartender.
posted by Flashman at 9:56 AM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Pardon me, can you spare a lime?"
posted by dvrmmr at 9:58 AM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think "I've enjoyed reading your email," just might work for that cartoon.
posted by perhapses at 11:10 AM on August 30, 2015


Related: The Monkeys You Ordered, which puts literal captions on New Yorker cartoons. I think it rivals "Christ, what an asshole." on level of funniness.
posted by picklenickle at 11:20 AM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Two that appeared for me seem apposite:

Can you call my people?

and

You could at least use coasters!
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:39 AM on August 30, 2015


I got "Can you call my people?" which I think is pretty good.
posted by ilana at 11:40 AM on August 30, 2015


The New Yorker brought this upon itself when it started the Caption Contest years ago. It's not surprising that Roger Ebert had won it, but it was rather disappointing that he didn't win it sooner.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:16 PM on August 30, 2015


I got, “This better be a good time to talk to you about a unique opportunity.” Which fits well.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:19 PM on August 30, 2015


"Pardon me, can you spare a lime?"

I got this too - completely plausible caption but I'm too lazy to submit it.
posted by atoxyl at 1:30 PM on August 30, 2015


I got a plausible one too, but I DID submit it: “You always get stuck behind a four-and-a-half-billion-year-old.”
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:06 PM on August 30, 2015


So can someone seriously explain the captions to me or the in-joke with the captions? It seems very absurd. I've been looking at them on and off for years now and I just don't understand them, even the ones that make me laugh.

It reminds me of a joke in an episode of Mission Hill where Andy French has a hard time selling his cartoons because no one understands them. One is about the misuse of the word "Kafkaesque" and eventually a freebie magazine prints it.
posted by gucci mane at 9:04 PM on August 30, 2015


It's okay, Bob Mankoff -- the New Yorker's cartoon editor -- doesn't understand them either. I am completely serious about that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:49 AM on August 31, 2015


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