Masters of the quick guffaw | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian

Masters of the quick guffaw

Gag writers and cartoonists are good pen pals — as long as they can get a laugh in seven seconds (tick, tick . . .)

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Most people don't realize it but many cartoonists depend on writers to provide the inspiration they need. Cartoon caption-writers grind out the punch lines that cartoonists rely on for their ideas. The most prolific cartoon gag writers produce 150 to 200 captions a week. Some of the most famous cartoons in The New Yorker and elsewhere were "thought up" by writers who sold the ideas to artists.

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