I’ll admit to having been sucked in completely by this Alex, because, while everyone in the strip is contemptible on some level, Clive had been painted as the victim in this ongoing divorce thread.
For all the comical excesses of the characters, part of what makes this strip work is their lifelike nature, and I think we’ve all been in the position of the coworker who asks “Is he still banging on about his marriage?”
We want to be sympathetic. We also want a change in subject and deal with it and shut up. All of which makes the reveal of how he’s been dealing with it that much more funny and satisfying.
Not only has he lost our sympathy by being such a weasel, but he also lost the money by being an incompetent weasel. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
It also bends towards comedy, this denouement adding a high-tech element to that favorite ending seen in “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “The Italian Job,” in which greed is foiled and, like the mostly-misunderstood ending of “Seinfeld,” we are reminded that we ought not to feel sympathy for such people.
The best part being that story arcs never come to an end in Alex and there’s always another chance to see someone catch a pie with his face.
Meanwhile, in the real-life comedy on this side of the Atlantic, Sarah Huckabee Sanders writes the hilarious lines and cartoonists like Darrin Bell simply have to come up with an illustration.
I shouldn’t say “simply” because there is a challenge in not going too far overboard, given the absurdity of the material you’ve been handed.
Especially when most of us will remember her mostly as the source of our having learned the German word “Backpfeifengesicht” or “A face in need of a slap.”
Sean Spicer was comically inept and clearly conflicted by the nonsense he was required to pass along to the press.
Sanders’ astonishing wish shows that she was completely comfortable not only in lying through her teeth but in bullying anyone who challenged her fables and evasions.
After all, she was just following orders.
And, on a similar topic, Jeff Danziger notes that Javanka has two role models to consider in their current situation: His father, who has served time, or hers, who hasn’t.
I’ve heard speculation that, while Dear Leader would let Donald Jr twist in the wind, he would step in and cop a plea rather than let his little girl go to jail.
I have not heard this speculation from anyone acquainted with the President or versed in the ways of the mob.
As for Charles Kushner, it is to laugh. Here’s how Wikipedia reports his brush with the law:
In 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie negotiated a plea agreement with him, under which he pleaded guilty to 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering.The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner’s act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister Esther’s husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators; Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged to record an encounter between the two, and had the tape sent to his sister.
I wouldn’t base my defense on help from either of those guys.
Though Dear Leader’s truncated sense of loyalty does get some laughs in Mike Luckovich’s cartoon, yet another example of how the jokes are right there and you only have to illustrate them.
To which I would add that, while comparisons of Trump to a spoiled, petulant toddler are nothing new, “Do I gotta …” is a lovely way of weaving his emotional immaturity into the depiction.
Meanwhile, Tom Toles is pinning his hopes a little higher.
An attitude you would think incompatible with public service, were it not, as Pat Bagley points out, for his incredible ability to find allies among the other families.
Though it will be interesting to watch how this shakes out over the next few years, as the good old boys retire and a new crop of angry young reformers enter Congress.
One of my college friends became an FBI agent, and, at a reunion, we ran into another fellow who was an investigator, and they began comparing notes on an ongoing case in which my friend had been babysitting a key witness.
The other fellow mentioned who the judge was going to be, and my friend was delighted, because it was someone with a reputation for taking absolutely no bullshit and it seemed to promise a much better chance of not letting these Mafia punks slip through their fingers.
And there was a happy ending, under the prosecution of Rudy Giuliani.
Who has since demonstrated his skills playing defense as well.
Meanwhile, Steve Sack posted this cartoon on Facebook yesterday afternoon, causing Matt Wuerker to comment, “You had this all drawn and were just waiting to fill in that word bubble, now didn’t you? Very cagey!”
To which Sack responded, “Ha! Matt I had a different caption about Jared Kushy…i emailed the toon in and was informed of the news…. just a li’l scramble to give it a new caption.”
So there you go: The jokes don’t actually write themselves.
It takes a deft touch and the ability to shift directions as quickly as the news does.
As well as the willingness to do so under various types of pressure.