For over 40 years, Bob Mankoff has been the driving force of comedy and wit at some of the most honored publications in America, including Esquire and The New Yorker, where he co-created the famous “New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.” Mankoff has devoted his life to discovering just what makes us laugh, and seeks every outlet to do so, from developing The New Yorker’s web presence to integrating it with algorithms and A.I. He is currently the cartoon editor at the weekly online newsletter Air Mail.
For 20 years as Cartoon Editor for The New Yorker, Mankoff pored over thousands of submissions each week, analyzing, critiquing, and selecting each cartoon. He mentored cartoonists, new and old, toward the laughs readers expect. In 2005, he helped start the “New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.” With 5,000 reader submissions a week and millions of entries to date, Mankoff partnered with Microsoft and Google Deep Mind to develop algorithms to help cull the funniest captions.
In 2018, Mankoff launched CartoonCollections.com, bringing together cartoons from the New Yorker and previously unavailable cartoons from National Lampoon, Esquire, Playboy, and Barron’s, to create the largest cartoon licensing source on the planet. Mankoff is the author of numerous books, including his New York Times bestselling memoir, How About Never – Is Never Good For You?: My Life In Cartoons, and Have I Got a Cartoon for You!: The Moment Magazine Book of Jewish Cartoons, which was a Finalist for INDIES Book of the Year in 2019.
Please note that Bob Mankoff replaces previously announced Tig Notaro, who is unavailable due to a new film project.
This program is made possible by the Locke-Irwin Fund and the Dorothy M. Wissel Lectureship.