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A 2011 New Yorker Cartoon
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An Exterminator Explains What He Is Doing is a drawing by Zachary Kanin which was uploaded on August 9th, 2016.

It was published in the October 24th, 2011 New Yorker.

I once got for Christmas a huge coffee table book of New Yorker cartoons since the 1920s, which I most enjoyed. But my teenage sons found few cartoons from before maybe the 1980s to be funny.

New Yorker, 2013:

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  1. This must have been ironically presented, no?

    In 2011, American liberals still played the “I’m as patriotic as you” game. Michael Moore was still a Thing for them.

    Regardless, this cartoon would be branded misinformation today, and steps to block its creator in place.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @Sick of Orcs
  2. Anon7 says:

    New Yorker cartoons have always been a favorite of mine. Lately, though, the cartoons come surrounded by some sort of woke bullshit, so I never get to see them anymore.

    • LOL: bomag
  3. Kipling wrote a short story along the same lines as this cartoon, “The Mother Hive”. It can be found here:

  4. Trump’s last year knocked three years off the life expectancy of Blacks and Hispanics.

    Don’t say the man never did anything for you.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  5. I don’t know if you all remember the Seinfeld episode about nobody really getting the New Yorker cartoons, but John Derbyshire pointed out this cute New Years one:

    Here ya’ go:

    • LOL: Escher
    • Replies: @reactionry
  6. @John Milton's Ghost

    They’re playing it to the hilt as we speak. Ran into Biden’s detail on the way to the park today. Hitting the Catholic angle hard and often. They’re the ones with the strong communities and very patriotic.

  7. I fondly remember the ant cartoon. Also the “On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  8. James Thurber became the magazine’s most celebrated cartoonist after E. B. White rescued his doodles from the wastebasket. Literally.

    Thurber had his own patriotic joke. He’d excuse himself from a conversation to use the toilet. While there, he’d replace his regular glass eye with one displaying the flag. Old Gory, as it were. He’d say nothing.

    Thurber saw Steve coming:

    • Replies: @Rob
    , @PiltdownMan
  9. guest says:

    Generally the thing about cartoons is that you want the gist to be visual. It’s unpleasant to require a paragraph of accompanying text to get the joke.

    One of the telling proofs of the “left can’t meme” meme is that their memes tend to come with a block of text. Which is definitely not the best way to get your meme joke across.

    If you want to write literary humor go ahead. But leave the cartoons to the Gary Larsons and Charles Adamses.

    Adams, by the way, was associated with the New Yorker and did not rely on blocks of text. Nor did he do what Seinfeld complained of in New Yorker cartoons, which was their alleged passion for deliberately mystifying the audience by making them think there’s a point which only smart people can distinguish.

    This isn’t the case with the above cartoons, which have a clear pint. Though no punchline. Cartoons do well with a punchline, I think.

    • Replies: @martin_2
  10. Mike Tre says:

    No one beats Gary Larson, who did a cartoon for the cover of an issue of The New Yorker.

    • Replies: @anon
  11. Nathan says:

    I was always fond of the original Charles Addams cartoons.

  12. Rob says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Loved Thurber ever since I was in a high school play, The Thurber Carnival.

    Looking forward to everyone’s favorite cartoons in this thread.
    Let’s see this posts

    Nope, ah well.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  13. @Reg Cæsar

    Thurber’s illustrations for Longfellow’s poem, Excelsior, have been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.


    • Replies: @Known Fact
  14. @John Milton's Ghost

    The exterminator looks like Michael Moore.

    • Agree: kaganovitch
    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  15. The excelsior dude really screwed up in panel 3.

    I’ve wondered why that motivation wasn’t used more as propaganda, especially in the closing stages of modern wars. (Specifically, by the US at the close of the War. That would have been my messaging: “Stop fighting and live. Be the man who gets to go home, enjoy a young woman–now in surplus!–and help build the new Germany/Japan. Don’t be the last idiot killed in a lost cause.” Maybe that was done. I’d have ramped it up and gotten it in ever soldier’s head.)

  16. @AnotherDad

    Panel 3 is also the only panel where the pennant/flag hangs limp.

  17. These days the art of cartooning seems sort of dead, or at least comatose (hell, even ‘xkcd’ has got Woke and is now not just Unfunny, it’s Repellent. Stonetoss is more perceptive than actually funny.)

    The last two really brilliant things I saw in cartooning were from a few years back, and they were sort of post-modern:

    1. Some guy took old panels of “The Family Circus” and replaced the captions with lines from H.P. Lovecraft. It was hysterical.

    2. This other guy took old “Garfield” strips, and air-brushed Garfield out of every panel, so it looked like the strip was just this weird, lonely guy talking to himself.

    These people may not understand cartooning, but at least they understand comedy.

  18. El Dato says:

    Hidden message:

    “Help! I’m working a shoe factory and the door is locked. And I can’t even question the holocaust.”

  19. @Known Fact

    “No, Thursday’s no good for me to meet. How about never? Does never work for you?”

  20. Jack D says:

    Lately, as things have gone woke, the NYer has been printing a lot of cartoons by a black artist, Sarah Akinterinwa (I assume she is some sort of Nigerian and not an ADOS black). I’d show some here but the NYer seems to make it difficult to link to their cartoons. Anyway, these cartoons are even more devoid of humor than most NYer cartoons (which is to say that they are not even mildly amusing) but their selling feature is that the couple pictured in the cartoon are clearly black. Actually they are rendered as white outlines but they have wide flat African noses and ridiculous black hairdos so you are supposed to read them as black. But they are shown in sort of middle class domestic situations eating Chinese takeout, looking at their phones in bed, etc. and not twerking or something so that’s supposed to be the point. They are sort of like The Cosby Show for 2021.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Anon
  21. sayless says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Dr. Fauci is on a psychoanalyst’s couch. Caption: “And these variants of which you speak, are they in the room with us right now?”

  22. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:

  23. LondonBob says:

    Instead things like ‘Germany must Perish’ by Kaufman and the Morgenthau Plan for Germany were disseminated amongst German troops, oddly the Germans fought to the death rather than surrender, plus a compromise peace couldn’t be devised due to FDR’s unconditional surrender policy.

    • Agree: JMcG
  24. @Achmed E. Newman

    [caution: jokes not worth getting – or a get]

    This could make one think of Shea Stadium – as in a headline of:
    Shea Gets The Joke

    (OTOH, Woody Allen said pigeons are “rats with wings” in Stardust Memory)

    Also see: beyond the stars of home, Walter Pidgeon stars in Planet of Forbidden Jews,
    Flying Rat Sidewalk Souffle

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  25. This one is so heroically stupid it goes in the hall of fame….

    A guy is sitting in a doctor’s office. On top of the doctor’s desk, a cat is sitting, talking to the patient.

    CAT: I think you need to get a CAT scan.

    * * *

    Possibly the best cartoon ever, courtesy of Gary Larson…

    DEMON RECEPTIONIST AT THE GATES OF HELL: Aaand will that be Inferno, or Non-Inferno? Ah, just kidding, they’re ALL Inferno!

  26. RyeFrost says:

    For similar surprise, re-visit the scenes of the late Bernie Mac (Bernard Jeffrey McCullough) in “Ocean’s Eleven.” Mac’s character was accused of “playing the race card” by several big name white co-stars’ characters in a way that’s just unimaginable today.

  27. AceDeuce says:

    Way back in the 40s, at the late great Chasen’s Restaurant in L.A., Thurber, an old friend of the owner, Dave Chasen, was in L.A. on a visit. One night, attending a party in a private room at Chasen’s, which lasted after the restaurant itself had closed for the night, a drunk Thurber, who had some charcoal pencils in his pocket, snuck into the closed restaurant’s main men’s room, and drew a large mural showing a naked, very well-endowed man crashing an orgy in progress.

    Dave Chasen was delighted when he found out-Thurber was at the height of his fame-until a day later when a cleaning lady proudly informed Chasen that “a drunk” drew “dirty pictures” on the men’s room wall, but she worked all night and cleaned it all off.

    • Replies: @Rob
  28. martin_2 says:

    “making them think there’s a point which only smart people can distinguish.”

    Midwits think there’s always got to be some satire, usually left wing, involved in a comedy sketch or cartoon, when there’s really none. Monty Python were good at this. Their humour has to do with finding humour in incongruity, and has nothing to do with some kind of left leaning commentary of society. I suppose that a lefty midwit cannot see the potential absurdity in mundane things, so everything has to be about something safe, something they can comprehend.

    For anyone who bothers to watch “International Philosophy”, note how the football commentator never refers to anything that one of the philosophers, say Neitszche, might have actually said. It never becomes a Pseuds Corner type of joke that only “clever” people get.

    Years ago I very occasionally saw the New Yorker here in the UK, in waiting rooms usually, and thought the cartoons were excellent. The funniest thing to come out of America since Sergeant Bilko.

    • Replies: @guest
  29. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    When on his game, Stonetoss condenses humor, insight and critique into a few simple panels. Consider this masterpiece of modern HBD-awareness:

    Has as much ever been said with a single drop of perspiration?


    Condensing anarcho-tyranny:
    On his site, he adds funny little textuals.

    • Thanks: Mike Tre, bomag
  30. @sayless

    Haha! Or, a slight modification on that, going along with a popular series on the internet:

    “Dr Fauci, show us on the CPR Dummy where the Delta variant hurt you.”

    Matter, of fact, if I could draw better, this one would be a Peak Stupidity “original”!

  31. @reactionry

    I’ve always maintained that it’s squirrels that are nothing but bushy-tailed rats. Women would recall in horror from a squirrel, if he showed up without a tail.

    Thank you all for the Gary Larson cartoons. He’s my favorite when it comes to single-panel ones, especially when I remember this good ones with the lab scientists. It was OK to make fun of SCIENCE! a bit back then again. It’s not now, well, depending on whose scientists they are.

    When it comes to cartoon/comic strips, nobody beats Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes, IMO. It’s unabashedly pro-boy. My 10 y/o boy has been reading through 2 big books of them that my brother gave me long ago. I think he’s reading them for the 2nd time already. They are good for boys from 8 through 80!

    Thank you, Almost Missouri, for those ones, too.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
    , @Anonymous
  32. Steve,

    A number of years ago the topic of political cartoons came up and I thought you would be great at it. I have no idea, however, if you can draw…

    I’ve always loved political cartoons, even at a young age.

  33. @Steve Sailer

    That’s another classic that still has legs. Somewhere along the way, however, The Far Side and others of that ilk generally replaced the New Yorker style

  34. @PiltdownMan

    Do any of you Thurber fans recall a short-lived 1969 sitcom called My World and Welcome to It? The excellent William Windom played an absent-minded cartoonist, with the usual sensible wife. They animated Thurber’s cartoons to illustrate his work and mental ramblings. Nice show but clearly did not find an audience.

  35. Old Prude says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Early Calvin and Hobbes was the best: Calvin pounding nails into the living room coffee table. Mom shows up and screams “What are you doing?! Quizzically, Calvin looks up “Is this a trick question?”

    After he ran out of ideas, Waterson just resorted to Calvin imagining dinosaurs. A lot of cartoonist run out of ideas. The Dilbert guy has been running on vapors for years. I think Larson quit when he started having to explain his drawings with a caption at the bottom. The Bloom County guy knew he was used up, too.

    Trudeau and Doonesbury lumber on, completely unfunny. Idiotic, I think. I wouldn’t know as I have passed by his dreck without reading for over a decade now.

    • Replies: @Ola
  36. OT- ideal stuff for manosphere …

    This little girl’s name is Aria. She is currently nine years old, almost ten, and a happy little girl.

    Three years ago, when she was seven, Aria ran away from home, leaving this note under her pillow as a goodbye. The note was two pieces of paper, one of which I don’t have a picture of, but read, ‘I will come bac wen mommy is beter and daddy is gon away fornever.’ The second paper read;

    ‘I love my mommy and I want her to be safe from daddy.’

    The police found this note, and upon further investigation of Aria’s father, they found he’d been abusing his wife and starving both her and Aria so he had enough money for drugs. Aria’s father was arrested and her mother was given full custody. At his trial, Aria’s father pleaded not-guilty, but had no evidence. He said he’s never hurt Aria or her mother, and that he made sure they were both fed. He said that they could find a picture of Aria, and she would be healthy. His wife chose to starve herself. His evidence was none, as no picture of Aria could be found, and he was sent to jail.

    After the event, Aria magically showed up.

    Skip forward a year. Aria had gone to therapy to help her recover from her traumatic childhood, where she confessed the truth.

    Her father had done nothing wrong. Her mother was a fraud.

    Aria’s mother had written the letter with her left hand, and told Aria to stay away from home that day. Aria’s mother abused her, and hurt herself to confirm the lie. Aria’s mother had indeed starved herself, and underfed Aria, threatening to starve her if she didn’t claim everything was her father’s fault.

    Aria’s therapist immediately called the police. Aria’s mother was put on trial, where she finally pleaded guilty. Aria’s father was released, and to this day, Aria’s mother has no parental claims or power over Aria, but that little girl will live with her mental and physical scars forever.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
  37. Here’s an iSteve-ish one:

    More surprising introspection from liberal cartoonists:

    Just more:


    Seems to come up a lot:

  38. countenance says: • Website

    Along these lines, I’ve come up with another theoretical solution to the Fermi Paradox:

    Advanced civilizations don’t last long because they get Woke.

  39. J1234 says:


    • LOL: Old Prude
  40. Dissident says:

    Dr. Fauci is on a psychoanalyst’s couch. Caption: “And these variants of which you speak, are they in the room with us right now?”

    Is it your belief, then, concerning any/all of the Coronavirus/COVID/{whatever is the most accurate term here} variants that the establishment warns are of concern, that these are merely figments of Anthony Fauci’s imagination?


    How reasonable is such a view? To what extent is it supported by credible evidence? To what extent have you studied the matter? Is the data-in-question not beyond the ability of the layman to properly parse and interpret? What credentials do you bring to this discussion?

  41. Dissident says:

    Trump’s last year knocked three years off the life expectancy of Blacks and Hispanics.

    Don’t say the man never did anything for you.

    How does it serve you, or this blog, to express such categorical, sociopathic malice?


    Now, perhaps you would argue that, objectively, on balance, any general reduction in the overall population of certain demographics* would be a net benefit for the country. Putting aside entirely all questions of how reasonable such an argument , per se, would be, as well as all questions of how responsible or ethical expressing it in any given context would be, a germane and salient specific question would remain: Was your comment, in the context of this thread in which it was made, not (at a minimum) utterly gratuitous and petty?

    (*In this case, primarily racial, though “Hispanics”, certainly, does not map neatly with race.)

  42. @Steve Sailer

    Does never work for you?”

    Reminds me of Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn:

    Leroy: Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you”

    Loretta: What a nice thing to say!

    Leroy: Its true, and I didn’t think of you again today.

  43. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Two good examples. The Garfield ones are wonderfully disturbing.

    I also like the guy who replaced Peanuts dialogue with Smiths lyrics, but it’s not going to appeal to everyone.

  44. Dissident says:
    @Steve Sailer

    “No, Thursday’s no good for me to meet. How about never? Does never work for you?”

    Came across it while attempting, unsuccessfully, to find an old Jeff MacNelly Shoe comic with a similar theme.[1]

    Did you not notice a steep decline, beginning sometime in the last twenty-to-thirty years and perhaps worsening coincidentally with the Great Awokening, in the quality of the cartoons appearing in the New Yorker? (Both the drawing quality of the cartoons, as well as that of the thoughts conveyed through them.)

    [1] From memory:
    1st Panel: Cosmo, standing at the door of the woman he has apparently just brought home after a date, says to her, “The way I see it, it’s either now or never.”
    2nd Panel: The woman slams the door in Cosmo’s face.
    3rd panel: Cosmo: “I’ll take that as ‘never’”.

    Some others I found while searching for that one below.

    • Thanks: AceDeuce
    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  45. Ola says: • Website
    @Old Prude

    Your general point is well taken, but last year I re-read all Calvin and Hobbes strips in chronological order, and was struck by how consistently brilliant they were up until the end. I actually thought the first months were the weakest, but then Waterson found his form and just stayed in the zone for the rest of his, admittedly, short career.

    I generally prefer longer format comics like those by Carl Barks, Robert Crumb, Hugo Pratt, Daniel Clowes and Hergé (and many many others), but Waterson is an absolute genius. So is Charles M Schulz btw.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  46. guest says:

    Well, they do have Archimedes say “Eureka!”

    But I learned about that when I was in elementary school,,so it’s not. sing of smartness to get the reference.

  47. @Ola

    Yup, Calvin & Hobbes was one of the finest works of art of the 20th Century.

    Peanuts was brilliant for a long time. I used to get a new Peanuts collection every Christmas. My opinion in the early 1970s was that they got better and better up thru 1968 and then declined.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  48. Old Prude says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I saw the note and knew it was a fraud immediately. Nobody writes like that, not even a 4 year old with epilepsy. The cops must just roll their eyes when they see this kind of lame stuff.

  49. Anon[419] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Sarah Akinterinwa (I assume she is some sort of Nigerian and not an ADOS black)

    If she is Nigerian, she might be ADOS, but couldn’t be DOAS.

  50. Rob says:

    That’s an ending fit for Thurber. Thank you.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  51. @AnotherDad

    “I’ve wondered why that motivation wasn’t used more as propaganda, especially in the closing stages of modern wars. (Specifically, by the US at the close of the War. That would have been my messaging: “Stop fighting and live. Be the man who gets to go home, enjoy a young woman–now in surplus!–and help build the new Germany/Japan. Don’t be the last idiot killed in a lost cause.” Maybe that was done. I’d have ramped it up and gotten it in ever soldier’s head.)”

    You have to be a little careful as no one wants to be the last person killed in a winning cause either.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  52. AceDeuce says:

    The kicker was that Chasen invited Thurber to redo the mural-in paint, this time-when he next came out West-and Thurber obliged. It was there when I was at Chasen’s in the 80s and 90s.

  53. Anonymous[319] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Reminds me of the story of the the nice old lady who would go out in the evening to feed the “night squirrels”.

  54. AceDeuce says:

    The “good/original” strip is directly stolen from Samuel Johnson, BTW.

    • Thanks: Dissident
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