1. I should note a comment picked up from the syndication site (I forget if it’s Kingdom or Go): The 3rd place person could pass for a self-portrait of Hilary Price.

  2. Well maybe something about the recent (though called 2020!) Olympics? There were some controverseys about some of the competitions, but as far as I recall nothing we could really map onto this cartoon.

  3. Two jokes in this one. First is what the guy is saying. Being fifth feel good because he’s included in the awards ceremony and he’s not in the deep hole. Second joke is the “What if the participation trophy model were extended to the serious athletic competition?”

  4. Wasn’t there a study that came out a few years ago about the happiest finisher is the Gold guy, the second happiest finisher is the Bronze guy, who is happy he got on the stand at all, and the Silver guy is disappointed he didn’t get Gold.

    I think #5 guy is just relieved he’s not underground.

  5. Chak: Your comment reminds me of a cartoon I saw once, from a collection of humor from college magazines. It shows the reactions of five students finding out their grades:

    A: Student looks bored, “so what?”
    B: Student is angry, crushes the report, smoke comes out of his head.
    C: Student is overjoyed!
    D: Student pulls collar so he can swallow, in the classic “Whew!” pose.
    F: Student has not opened the report yet, is looking askance at it, putting off opening it.

  6. My mother was certain that the cartoon has to do with the sight-gag of each place being lower and lower, and that the fifth place athlete’s comment was just to show that sixth place wasn’t so nice.

    But I have a hard time with that explanation. I mean, if that’s all there is to it, why is the athlete in fifth place smiling? Shouldn’t it be more of a “Whew, I’m glad I’m not that guy” feeling of relief? Or maybe athletes 1 through 5 should be looking at 6 with wide eyes as if to say, “Wow, this game is more cut-throat than I thought!”

    Which makes me wonder: Is “(something) never felt so good” a line from a movie or well-known commercial or something? I’ve googled it, and I can’t seem to find a definitive source. It sounds so familiar, but I can’t pinpoint it to anything.

    (Maybe it’s just a “Berenstein Bears” effect.)

  7. Nobody seemed in doubt over the post title, but just in case the saying is unfamiliar, here is Gene (of the Arlo/Janis family) using it:

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