Blue Pearl Laguna media


Back to main Cartoon page

"The New Yorker Magazine "
All rights reserved. These cartoons have been reprinted with permission from The New Yorker.
Hoff cartoons are available for purchase through The Cartoon Bank at

Syd’s career with The New Yorker spanned more than five decades, beginning in 1930, at the age of eighteen, and continuing until 1975. By early 1932, he was dubbed the ‘Bronx Correspondent,’ by then publisher Harold Ross, for his humorous renderings of tenement life. Since that time, Syd continued to fill the pages of this esteemed publication with cartoons that touched upon issues of the times – many still relevant in today’s world. The following selection reflects this ‘timeless’ quality. Enjoy!

“When I started at the New Yorker, they had what was known as the 'Art Meeting'. We knew that a group of four or five people, presided over by Harold Ross, looked over the drawings. The group included Wolcott Gibbs, the Drama Editor, E. B. White and his wife Katherine. I was scared to death-we knew that the drawings were brought in and placed on an easel in front of them, and the group decided which of our cartoons belonged in the magazine. We dropped our drawings off on a Tuesday and Thursday we returned. On Thursday we stepped up to the window, gave our names, and if a manila envelope was handed to us, we knew that we had failed. The first time I went up, they bought one and this was the most sensational event of my life. This was my turning point – as I had been intending to become a serious painter.”

~Syd Hoff
(excerpt from Cartoonist Profiles, 1987)

Early Cartoons:

"This is what I like - Bohemian." (March 12, 1932)
"He ignored us." (February 6, 1932)
"Make like Chevalier for the Schwartzes, Morris."
(March 19, 1932)


Tenement Life:

"Boy, have they got your number." (Dec. 12, 1934)
"Advertise it! Tell the whole dam world what a bum I've become." (Aug. 17, 1935)
"...and on your left you would have seen blocks of picturesque tenement houses, streamers of colorful washing stretching from building to building, friendly neighbors passing the time of day on their front stoops, streets crowded with trucks and cars and laughing children..." (May 5, 1956)

"Pardon me, would you mind passing the ketchup?" (June 22, 1940)
"Why don't you come over this evening? It's a long time since we've had a good visit." (July 10, 1943)











back to top of page


"So the putt is worth eight thousand dollars to him. What's you cut? Ten per cent?" (Feb. 13, 1960)

"And how do you know money doesn't bring happiness, may I ask?" (May 12, 1951)
"You couldn't have been listening. If you'd been listening, you'd be mad." (1950)
"No thanks, I'm still waiting for my 1954 wishbone to come true." (Nov. 26, 1955)
"And this is my mother-in-law, who disapproved of me from the start and has, I suppose, lived to see her judgment roundly confirmed." (Dec. 18, 1971)
"Anniversary! Anniversary! Anniversary! Do you have to keep bringing that up year after year?" (Oct. 6, 1951)
"Buzz off!" (Oct. 8, 1960)
"Martha and I are happy enough. I have my work and she has Bloomingdale's" (Jan. 27, 1968)
"Don't blame me because we're in the red. It was your idea to keep a budget." (Oct. 13, 1951)
"If there really were transmigration of souls, wouldn't it be fabulous if we both came back married to each other?" (Nov. 11, 1972)
"Other men just lose their money by luck - you got to figure out how to do it." (Feb. 18, 1950)






back to top of page


Out of the Mouth of Babes

"Am I old enough to repeat a joke I heard today?"
(Sept. 16, 1972)
"Mother, am I pretty?" (Feb. 12, 1972)
"Wow! Now I can decide whether to destroy the world or save mankind!" (Dec. 23, 1972)
"What do you think the trouble with me is, Dad - heredity or environment?" (Nov. 11, 1950)
"Say, Pop, do you realize the average child spends approximately fifteen dollars a year on candy?"
(April 12, 1941)
"A teacher's job is to teach, ain't it? Why blame me if she failed?" (1948)


"I haven't refused him anything lately. Have you refused him anything lately? (April 9, 1960)
"Suppose he doesn't get the best marks in his class. Do you get the highest salary in your office?" (Mar. 4, 1950)
"Take good care of her, Mr. Denny. She's all we've got." (July 12, 1941)
"What if I'd stayed home every night curled up with a book - where would you be?" (May 6, 1944)


"Well, he brought me home in one piece. Now are you satisfied?" (Jan. 10, 1953)


(Oct. 16, 1954)

"You're the one who should be 'Time's Man of the Year."
(Dec 26, 1959)








back to top of page


Financial Woes - Then and Now

(April 29, 1939)
"I'm not going to fire you, Cartwright, but just to emphasize the insecurity of your position, I'm loosening your pin a little." (Jan 28, 1950)
"Before you take it out, let's just see how it would have looked over there." (Feb 5, 1955)
"It's about the possibility of a raise, Mr. Oliphant."
(Jan 25, 1941)
"Are you being waited on, sir?" (Aug 21, 1948)
"I don't ask for your sympathy, sir. Just give me some money and dismiss me from your mind." (Feb 27, 1960)
"Most successful suit sale we ever had, I should say."
"I'm afraid the cupboard is bare again, Mrs. Hubbard." (July 9, 1955)
(June 6, 1941)
"What it boils down to is how deep you can afford to sink."
(Feb. 5, 1955)
"Sir, allow me to congratulate you on the benefits that are yours under the new tax laws." (Jan 22, 1955)
"The bottom dropped out of Consolidated Potash. I'm ruined! You're all I have left now, Myrna. Myrrna! Are you there?" (Oct 24, 1959)

The Law and Legal Woes

back to top of page

"Don't just stand there - get witnesses!" (Aug 1, 1936)
"Isn't there some way you could get hold of a sun lamp between now and the time you come out? The children think you're in Bermuda." (Jan 21, 1950)
"In a way, I'm glad I did it. This place would be absolutely intolerable if I were innocent." (Dec 1, 1951)
"How do you expect the children to respect you if you don't get time off for good behavior?" (July 7, 1951)
"And just what would Mom think if I ran you in for reckless driving?" (Jan 1, 1972)
"Please, Madam Foreman, just the verdict!"
(Jan 23, 1954)
"We're perfectly aware, Madam, that there's a very clever thief working this neighborhood." (Nov 21, 1970)
"I'll bet you didn't complain to them about the coffee."
(Mar 27, 1954)

Political Elections

"Do you address your congressman as 'Honorable' even if you know he's a crook?" (Dec 11, 1971)

(Oct 14, 1950)
Trusted Auto Mechanic


" hundred and forty-nine, one hundred fifty. Thank you very much. Now, for ten dollars more, would you care to know what's wrong with it?" (Jan 26, 1952)

back to top of page


"Of course that's only an estimate. The actual cost will be somewhat more." (June 2, 1951)

In Honor of Military Personnel

"Got any immediate plans?" (April 14, 1945)
"Well, Lieutenant-er-getting into the swing of things?'
(Sept 29, 1945)
"If you knew how many times I thought I'd never stand here and whistle again..." (June 16, 1945)
"Good morning, Mr. Civilian" (Sept 8, 1945)
"Gee!" (Mar 17, 1945)
"It must be nice to have your husband home again!"
(Aug 11, 1945)
(Dec 1, 1945)














back to top of page

Health & Wellness

"Let me answer it, and then we'll see how long he keeps ringing for the night nurse." (Apr 7, 1956)
"For Pete's sake, don't you have any get-well cards of your own?" (Aug 23, 1958)
"Well, well, just like Amalgamated Copper - one hundred and one and a half." (May 20, 1972)
"My little red light is on!" (Feb 20, 1960)

"What you should examine is his head." (Jan 4, 1958)
  back to top of page  
  Odds & Ends

"You were right, sir. It was dishwater. The chef regrets the error." (Apr 26, 1952)
(Mar 28, 1964)
"I hear you're a television writer. What shows are you to blame for?" (Feb 24, 1973)
"It's wonderful! It keeps you guessing right up to the end, when - well, you'd never believe it, but who should turn out to be the murderer but the detective himself! You'll love it." (Apr 12, 1952)
"All right, but don't let me catch you around here tomorrow!"
(Apr 7, 1962)

"It's all very well for you, but I'm the one who has to explain to the neighbors how come you've had five ships sink under you and you've never gone down with any of them." (Jan 18, 1958)


back to top of page


Last New Yorker Cartoon

"Edgar's idea of the suburbs is Montana" (Jan 27, 1975)

© 2017