CSotD: Friday Funnies (Do you remember laughter?)

Wouldn’t it be nice if they carried signs like this fellow in Macanudo?

But we don’t discuss politics on Friday.

However, discussing both life and philosophy is permitted and Macanudo (KFS) is often the sort of thing you could spin a whole day from if you slowed down enough.

Is a humble-bragger more to be feared than someone who openly declares his arrogance?

It’s a relatively common premise in philosophy that a person who complains of hardships is proud of them, or at least proud of having the ability to bear them so bravely. Similarly, a person who claims to have no particular talent or ability is often quite convinced of his genius.

I’ve never much liked Will Rogers for that reason: His homespun cornpone was transparent and seemed intended to lower the bar enough that his commonplace observations appeared to hold more wisdom than they did.

By contrast, both Sheriff Andy Taylor and Jed Clampett didn’t pretend to hide their wisdom. They were fictional, but didn’t pretend otherwise.

Fiction doesn’t have to be fake, but reality can sure be phony.

Which reminds me that, growing up in the Northeast, I had the impression that people with Southern accents were dullards. Then I lived out West for a couple of decades and learned that when you hear that Good Ol’ Boy drawl, you’d better sweep a hand back to make sure your wallet is still in your back pocket.


Which is a good lead-in to this Mother Goose and Grimm (KFS).

If you don’t watch daytime TV, you may not recognize this as a direct steal from Tom Selleck’s advertisements for reverse mortgages.

Selleck seems to be locked in a Folksy Snake Oil Contest with Joe Namath, who is currently starring in ads for Medicare supplemental accounts and is at great pains to assure you that he wouldn’t lie, either, and that, like Tom, he’s only making these ads to help you, uh-Clem.

Which makes me wonder how two such big time stars could have pissed away enough money to leave them grasping for opportunities to do things out of the goodness of their hearts.


It all reminds me of this Frazz (AMS) from 2003, not for the politics but for the time segment.

Though I worked at home for the past 10 years, I never had the TV on much before 4 o’clock. Even at the last gasp of Daytime, the ads were geared for people with no place else to be at that hour, or who at least weren’t there.

The scooter ads are fewer these days, because Medicaid clamped down on funding them, but it’s still clear that the daypart belongs to people of poor health and limited judgment, such that — given the hour I rise to do this blog — it came as something of a revelation when I was up late watching the election returns Tuesday and found that they were advertising things that intelligent people with jobs might want.


Not that bad judgment can’t be amusing. Over in Betty (AMS), Bub has been trying to sell her on the idea that, if he bought a ratchet set, he could restore a classic Mustang, if he then bought a classic Mustang, despite all evidence and history to the contrary.

I’m rooting for him, even knowing that the closest he’ll come will be a rusting wreck in the garage and a set of tools he never touches, because I went to my senior prom in a pal’s burgundy ’65 Mustang, which was great because not only had my girlfriend come home from Buffalo State and made a gorgeous dress for the occasion, but it was just a three-mile drive, the benefit of which you will understand if you ever sat in the back of a ’65 ‘Tang.

But, hey, pulling up in that Mustang was fantastic, even if it required a winch to extract us from the backseat.


I often remind people that $20 a year to build your own daily comic page is a bargain, but here’s proof of why comics fans should be doing it: If you are not a Comics Kingdom member, you can’t tap very far into their archives and would, thus, be unable to start at the beginning of the 1937 story arc currently playing out on Thimble Theater (KFS), of which these are but two examples.

Popeye happened upon a homeless, starving girl and, in the process of feeding her, was nabbed for illegal fishing, and this shambles of a trial is only a very small part of what I believe the critics call the ensuing “hijinx.”

Susan gives a pretty good summation of things in this conversation with the sheriff’s wife and I certainly agree with her conclusion.

I have no idea how people got the idea that Popeye was a kids’ comic, but I wasn’t very old when I figured out that, if a cartoon started with credits in a hatchway on a rocking ship, it was going to be one of the Good Ones.

Similarly, you can trust a strip called “Thimble Theater.”


Wallace the Brave (AMS) is brilliant anarchic comedy, often compared to Cul de Sac and Calvin and Hobbes, but with an essential difference highlighted in today’s strip.

Most “precocious brat” strips feature a pair of befuddled, very normal parents who can’t imagine how they got into this situation.

Wallace’s parents leave you with no doubt but that they raised this child and that, if you bring a kid up to be inventive, curious and — as the title says — brave, you must accept the fruits of your labor.

There is a bit of Myrna Loy in Wallace’s mom, the good wife who is also a dish and who would be a whole lot of fun to be around, in this case both as wife and mother.

Though you’d better like her kid, too.

Staying on her good side carries enough hazards.


Mr. Boffo (Ind) made me laff today but I fear discussing it would drag us back into politics and we don’t do that on Friday.

Instead, we’ll just use it as a segue …

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies (Do you remember laughter?)

  1. $20 is a bargain for your own comics page, but still cartoonists, or comic sites, should follow Randall Munroe’s example of a permalink for each cartoon. I’m always wanting to share comics but not finding anything to link to except some hideous, ad-filled, unpreviewable page.

  2. To be fair, Joe Namath is selling Medicare Advantage Plans. Not supplemental Medicare insurance. Medicare sets the minimum standards that an insurance company must meet before their plan can be approved by Medicare. If you notice the ad mentions a zero premium or cash back option. They can do this because for every client that the insurance company signs up they get a payment from the government.

    Myrna Loy was great. Especially with William Powell.

  3. “Broadway Joe” did a bunch of commercials in the ’70’s, at the peak of his career. The panty-hose one, (where he shows a lot of leg) was especially cheesey. He’s always been a sell-out!

  4. Now, Mike, you know that if you hadn’t started early on prom night you would have been able to disentangle yourselves without aid of the winch.

    Good column today – Blind Faith AND Firesign Theater.

  5. Is there a better newspaper comic strip today better than Wallace the Brace? It’s been favorably compared to Calvin & Hobbs but I also think the influence of Winsor McCay is obvious. Every strip is a visual delight.

  6. Tea and enjoy you regularly. — Someone needs to make a cartoon with an adult (Biden) taking a a toy (a small USA) away from a screaming 2 year old with orange hair who’s screaming No!! My toy. You could even add several of the 2 year olds friends (relatives) watching.

  7. When I sold ads at a TV station, I’d tell luxury auto dealers and golf stores that, while the numbers for Meet the Press were low, so were the prices and it was nearly a hand-picked audience.

    But they wanted numbersnumbersnumbers and would rather spend four times more money so they could be in Little House and pitch Cadillacs to eight-year-olds.

  8. E.C. Segar was a genius. The original Thimble Theater strips were sophisticated and clever, not just funny. And Popeye was a good bloke with a good heart, not just a clown who beat up Bluto at every opportunity, although as a kid in the ’50s I thought that was hilarious. I first encountered the current arc, “A Sock for Susan’s Sake” in a collection of Popeye strips published by Oscar Mondadori in Italy in the ’60s, and I was delighted to see this episode running on Comics Kingdom. I gladly paid for a subscription so I could access the archives, and I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

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