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The Best of the Rejection Collection

297 Cartoons That Were Too Dark, Too Weird, or Too Dirty for The New Yorker

By Matthew Diffee

The best of the worst: these cartoons rejected by The New Yorker were deemed too dumb, too weird, or too naughtybut not for lack of laughs!

Every week, hundreds and hundreds of cartoons pour into The New Yorker. Most are rejected. Doesn’t matter how big a deal the cartoonist is, either. Roz Chast, David Sipress, Kim Warp, Sam gross, Ed Steed, Emily Flake, Navied Mahdavian, or Mary Lawton—if the work in question is too weird, too naughty, too juvenile, or too dark, it’s out. Luckily for us, Matthew Diffee has been bravely sifting through the circular file to rescue the best of the worst.
Here are 297 cartoons in a revised second edition featuring more than 50 new cartoons—even better, even worse! The cartoon set-ups may be familiar—a couple in bed, a few people stranded on a desert island, a doctor and patient in an examining room—but the joke are anything but, with twists so unexpected, you can’t help but laugh out loud.


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Matthew Diffee

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May 24, 2022