Every week The New Yorker offers up a cartoon and allows readers the chance to submit their own caption. It’s a feature that’s attracting contestants from all over, among them Roger Ebert, who confessed in 2009 that he has “entered the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest almost weekly virtually since it began, and have never even been a finalist.” (In 2011, he finally won.)
While this week’s image, shown above, looks like a typically innocuous, punchline-able set-up with a pig at a complaint department, “Seinfeld” fans will spot that it’s a nod to “The Cartoon,” an episode from the ninth and final season of the NBC sitcom with a storyline focused on the incomprehensibility of the jokes in the magazine’s comics. The pig filing a complaint idea is Elaine’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), or at least she thinks it is (she actually unintentionally copied a “Ziggy” cartoon).
In other words, 14 years out, The New Yorker is giving readers the chance to best Elaine’s caption of “I wish I was taller” — and the competing punchlines offered by Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) and Kramer (Michael Richards) below. “The Cartoon” was written by Bruce Eric Kaplan, a regular New Yorker cartoon contributor and a co-executive producer on Lena Dunham’s “Girls.”
Seinfeld’s new venture, the web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” premieres on Crackle.com on July 19 at 9pm ET.