Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Review of "The Better Taylors," by Richard Taylor

 Review of

The Better Taylors, by Richard Taylor

Five out of five stars

These cartoons were originally published in the magazines “The New Yorker,” “Esquire,” “The Saturday Evening Post,” and “Collier’s” and this collection was first published in 1944. Therefore, the humor is well within the bounds set by those two contexts. Many of the featured characters are those of the high upper class, with the appropriate dress, facial expressions and dialog.

 Yet the cartoons have worn very well with age, for the themes are situations that remain constant in modern western societies. The incongruity of the situations keeps the humor intact, even if the situation is something that the reader will never encounter. For example, there is the one where there is a chorus line composed of tall skinny women with one exception, a short plump woman. The caption is, “Did you put the producer’s cousin in the chorus line like I told you to?” Another one has the gentleman of the manor tied up where the room has been ransacked. The butler walks in and says, “Did you ring, sir?” Great combinations of sight and textual gags.

 Some humor wears out quickly, other will last as long as humans are what they are. This collection is in the latter group.

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