Along with its whimsical, hand-drawn covers and its surprisingly readable articles on unlikely subjects, like nickel-mining, The New Yorker magazine is known for its cartoons – single panel doodles that can be either wry commentaries on our culture or, as a famous Seinfeld episode pointed out, utterly inscrutable.
Translating the cartoons to television seems a task doomed to failure but Seth Meyers, the newly-installed host of Late Night, managed successfully to do just that. The show’s “theater group-in-residence, the late night players” reenacted some of the magazine’s more famous recent cartoons. Many of the magazine’s most enduring cartoon set ups are represented – a bar, a wedding reception and, of course, a deserted island.
Providing deadpan commentary on the performances is The New Yorker’s editor-in-chief David Remnick. When selecting cartoons for the magazine, he notes, the primary criteria is that they “should be funny.” Check it out above.
New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff Reveals the Secret of a Successful New Yorker Cartoon
Improv with New Yorker Cartoonists
Einstein’s Relativity: An Animated New Yorker Cartoon
Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow.
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