Five from Barsotti

It started with a cartoon by New Yorker cartoonist Charles Barsotti (from 1/18/10) in my doctor’s examining room yesterday:


Angry doctor upbraids a smugly smiling patient (hugely obese, cocktail in hand, cigar in mouth).

Barsotti is a great favorite of mine, and he has his own Page on this blog.

So: four more Barsottis that tickle me and haven’t been blogged on here before.

On relations between the sexes, from 4/10/95:


Male corkscrew, female cork. He has just screwed her and is now walking away. Plaintively, she hopes he will call her. But probably not: he looks like a 3Fs, or FFF, guy: Find ’em, Fuck ’em, Forget ’em. There’s a lot of that going around.

Now on female friendships, and talk between women, from 11/7/94:


Conventions: the heels and lashes tell you that, though they are both forks, they’re also both female. The spaghetti wrapped in #2’s tines represents her hair — apparently, a brand-new hairdo, which #1 greatly admires.

More social customs, with a fish in a dog bar (from 11/13/14):


The compound dog bar is an instance of one prominent type of X bar snowclonelet, where bar denotes an “establishment where alcohol and sometimes other refreshments are served” (link to my X bar posting of 10/18/14), and X characterizes its patrons (gay bar, biker bar, etc.). The idea of a dog bar is charming, and a fish pretending to be a dog to get in makes the whole scene really goofy.

And finally, a clown seeking help, from 1/9/95:


Apparently laughter is not the best medicine for this clown, whose business it is to make people laugh. The word on the net is that Xanax is the next best thing, almost as good as laughter itself.

“Laughter is the best medicine” is something of a trial for quote detectives. The general idea has been formulated in a variety of ways over millennia, but this particular wording, which has become a fixed formula in popular culture, hasn’t been traced to its source.

I’ll probably assemble another set of Barsotti cartoons in a while. The corpus at the New Yorker archives is immense.

One Response to “Five from Barsotti”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Re #3: One hopes that it’s angel hair pasta.

    Re #4: The breakwater at the entrance to Gloucester (MA) Harbor is called Dog Bar, I have no idea why.

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