This "What is an Optimist?" schtick was a big thing at one time, but it's hard to know whether it was passe by 1930.
I bring this up because throughout its first year of publication the fledgling New Yorker magazine peppered its pages with the same joke, over and over again:
Pa, what's an optimist?Sometimes, for variety, they'd reverse it.
A man who thinks he can do it in par.*
A man who thinks he can do it in par.This was obviously some New Yorker editor's 1925 idea of a joke, and the repetition was also supposed to be funny, but...well, I hereby admit that I didn't get it. Eventually it seemed like something they were doing just to fill the occasional half-inch of blank column.
Pa, what's an optimist?
* (I'm paraphrasing a bit because I haven't read those issues in several years, but the joke appeared so often that I think it's permanently engraved in my mind).
Looks like illustrations I've seen in old Alice In Wonderland volumes.
I don't know about the "optimist" joke, but these two outrageous-looking "insects" seem British - they could be members of a gentleman's club, where they puff on cigars whilst reading the papers or discussing politics.
Maybe its their 19th century-looking "moustaches"?
What was good 'ol Dr. Seuss smoking when he conceived this ad?
Whatever it was, I suspect he smoked it right up to the end of his life!
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