Drew Dernavich has drawn an awards ceremony, where the trophy is being presented by three men operating a huge slingshot—the type that was used in Modern Family to “chunk a punkin.” They’re aiming the trophy, which is enormous, toward the back of the auditorium. The announcer is on stage, behind a lectern, wearing a tuxedo, and delivering the line that must address both awards ceremonies and gigantic slingshots.
By launching the award into the audience, the presenters cannot not know exactly where it will land. My first caption, therefore, was, “And the winner is…someone in the back.”
At most award ceremonies the winners must come to the stage. That’s not necessary here, so my next caption was, “If you hear your name, stay seated.”
Awards shows like The Oscars are notorious for going on too long because of all the lengthy acceptance speeches. Maybe the announcer is explaining that the slingshot is a time-saving device:
- “The acceptance speeches were taking too long.”
- “This year, to save time…”
The trophy that’s being fired into the audience is huge and heavy and guaranteed to injure or even kill several people, so my two final captions are:
- “Careful what you wish for.”
- “This may be worse than the musical number.”
That last caption is a reference to both the inevitable carnage and the now infamous Rob Lowe-Snow White duet from the March 29, 1989 Oscars ceremony, which is considered a low point in the history of that annual event.
Now let’s see how you did.
Many of you focused on the delivery system’s potential for causing injury or death. The top nine captions in this category were:
- “In this case, it is better just to be nominated.”
- “And the concussion goes to…”
- “And the award goes through…”
- “Let’s give a fond farewell to our next recipient.”
- “Don’t let the award go to your head.”
- “And the winner is…about to be seriously injured.”
- “I’d like to share this with my ex-wife sitting in the balcony.”
- “Presenting the award, are the three runners-up.”
- “And for all the people who said I’d never make it, this is for you!”
Those last three are a little violent, but I like them. The ninth caption would be more effective without the exclamation point because the violent intent is funnier when understated. I’m sure you’re all getting tired of my telling you to stop using exclamation points, so stop using them.
Several of you addressed the fact that a slingshot is not the most precise method of delivery:
- “This one’s up for grabs.”
- “Our next winner will be chosen at random.”
- “I have no idea which way this one’s going to go.”
- “And the winner is…someone in the third balcony.”
Many of you thought that catapulting the awards into the audience would save time by eliminating acceptance speeches:
- “In the interests of time, the winners will no longer be coming up on the stage.”
- “We’re going to speed things up a bit.”
- “We’ve made a few changes to help shorten the ceremony.”
- “We’ve run out of time for acceptance speeches.”
- “As we’re running short on time…”
- “We’re running late.”
Several of you focused on the fact that the winners would not have to leave their seats to get their awards:
- “Don’t get up.”
- “And now the nominees for Laziest Actor.”
- “No need to get up, Meryl.”
- “No, Kanye, you stay right there.”
I especially like the last two captions because they identify specific celebrities. By focusing on certain aspects of each celebrity’s career or personality—Meryl Streep is always getting nominated for and often winning Oscars, and Kanye West has a tendency to cause scenes at awards ceremonies—these captions stand out among a crowded field of solid entries.
Finally, there were a lot of captions that focused on the size of the enormous award. Many referenced “Goliath,” but that allusion doesn’t work because there’s no reason Goliath would be at an awards ceremony. Rejecting a caption idea on the grounds that it doesn’t make enough sense may sound ridiculous in the context of a drawing that depicts a bizarre scenario. But every cartoon, no matter how outlandish, sets up certain parameters, and the caption must make sense within those parameters. Given that rule, I like this entry: “Our highest award is going to a real giant in our industry.” That line, often heard at awards ceremonies, takes on an entirely different but fitting meaning in the context of the drawing. I also like, “Best of luck to the nominees, and to those closest to them.”
There were a lot of good entries this week, and I hope the 25 of you whose captions I singled out for praise are honored just to be finalists. But as anyone who watches an awards ceremony knows, there can only be one winner, and this week’s is . . . “Best of luck to the nominees, and to those closest to them.” I chose this entry because it addresses both the size of the award—something that really should be acknowledged—and the fact that it’s going to injure anyone sitting near the winner. Most important, it made me laugh.