CSotD: Time to take a laughing eight-count

 “Someone asked me…how I felt, and I was reminded of a story that a fellow townsman of ours used to tell – Abraham Lincoln. He said he felt like the little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh.” — Adlai Stevenson, on his loss in the 1952 presidential campaign

At the moment, the only things that are clear about the midterms are that (A) the GOP didn’t get their red wave, that (B) the Biden administration took less of a shellacking than is traditional for incumbent parties in midterms, and that (C) we won’t know the final results for at least a few days, possibly longer.

So we’ll take a laughing eight-count today, while they figure out the results, and then we’ll get back into the fray.


And Keith Knight demonstrates Stevenson’s dilemma with a laugh to cover any tears over the cancellation of the third season of Woke.

I spent a few bonus hours after the AAEC Convention last month with Knight on the Columbus-DC leg of the flight home, and we discussed at length the extent to which he maintained control of Woke, not only being actively involved in the writing but being physically present during production.

He refused to follow the normal path of simply signing it over, cashing the checks and then trying to ignore, or to pretend he didn’t care, what emerged from the Hollywood sausage factory.

So, yeah, I’m sure it hurts too much to laugh, but, as seen in the above response, he’s too old to cry.


And so Woke joins the pantheon of shows like Car 54, Where Are You? and Fawlty Towers and the Blackadder saga that closed down before they jumped the shark.

That’s not the worst of outcomes.


Speaking of TV shows that maybe should quit while they’re ahead, Matt offers this commentary on the new season of “The Crown,” which is poised to dramatize the part where young Prince Charles weds a much younger Diana Spencer and hilarity most definitely does not ensue.

It’s too bad it didn’t happen 500 years ago, because too many viewers know the story and the writers will have trouble turning it into anything less ghastly than the reality, though of course the wedding was lovely and she truly looked mahvelous.

If they deal with it frankly, it will be a statement about the status of the monarchy. When Shakespeare was writing his historical plays, he had to bear in mind that he was often writing about Elizabeth I’s immediate ancestors.

He could write whatever he wanted about Richard III, though he didn’t cleave to precise history, but his portrait of Henry VIII needed to be written with the fact in mind that Henry’s daughter not only employed a headsman but kept him busy.

I doubt Charlie Three is going even throw anyone in the Tower, much less have them decapitated, though, if I thought he might, I’d start watching the show.


Pearls Before Swine (AMS) raises a bit of a problem with that, however, since I’ve slashed my streaming to a minimum. I’m a wirecutter, but the combination of a 5G Internet connection and Fubo drops my actual savings down to something like $30 a month over a Comcast bundle.

Even that bit of pocket change would quickly disappear if I were subscribing to Netflix — home of The Crown — and a raft of other premium services.


Mr. Boffo capitalizes on Netflix’s plan to roll out a less expensive version that includes commercials, about which I have my doubts.

One of the tasks in commercial television is finding reasonable places in a movie where you can add a commercial break and it’s hard for me to picture Netflix hiring enough people to find those reasonable places throughout their large catalog of offerings.

I picture something more like what is seen in Mr. Boffo and on cheesy cable channels, where they show you the first half hour to get you hooked and then take three-minute commercial breaks at random intervals every five minutes for the rest of the movie.


If I were looking to create a TV show, I’d start with the premise of this Speed Bump (Creators). It’s funny as a gag-a-day joke, but I think Hollywood could stretch it into the story of a hapless fellow who is lucky to have found his own genie but has to express all his wishes in terms a dog could understand.

It would only be funny for the first three episodes, but who cares? My cunning plan would be to turn it over to the studio, cash the check and never ever turn on my television set again.

Hey, some of us are Keith Knight, some of us are Joseph Heller, though I guess, if you’re going to sell out, you should sell out to Mike Nichols so you can look yourself in the mirror at least long enough to shave each morning.


On the topic of putting more quality than required into your work, I got a real post-Halloween laugh from Wallace the Brave (AMS). I wish I were one of Amelia’s classmates but perhaps not Spud.

I love the small-town feel of this strip, because we did have a Spud or two in our crowd and, yes, we’d get some amusement out of them but not in a mean sense, and god help any outsider who tried to pick on them.

Spud is cheerfully resilient, and, once he is scraped off the ceiling and perhaps given a change of underwear, he’ll tell this story on himself for the rest of the day.

Perhaps in the form of a freeform rap.


Finally, a nostalgic laff from On the Fastrack (KFS), which is funny enough on its own, but reminded me of the version of the Johnny Cash song we used to sing:

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine,
I keep my eyes wide open all the time,
I keep my pants up with a piece of twine,
Because your mine,
Please pull the twine.

And you should have heard the back-of-the-sports-bus version of this one:

Our parodies weren’t nearly as innocent as Allan Sherman’s:


Yeah, I know. First, let me explain “Lorne Greene.”


NOTE: You’ll still see my daily reminders and links on Twitter for now, but you can also find me here:

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4 thoughts on “CSotD: Time to take a laughing eight-count

  1. This is the funniest cartoons with commentary I’ve ever scene. Kudos to you!!! Wait, that didn’t come out right…

  2. 1) About two weeks ago, Raising Duncan (in reruns from YEARS ago) had an arc about Bob Dylan not being recognized by Big Daddy’s much-younger PA. And now it’s the Beatles??? Actually, I don’t think either is legitimately ‘unknown’ by the younger generations.

    2) I sometimes communicate with Keith Knight via email, and I told him that his looks are so unique, only HE should be playing himself in ‘WOKE’. He claimed he couldn’t act, not even as himself ‘-)

    3) If it’s not on YouTube or available on DVD from the library (which I watch on this computer), we don’t see it. I don’t think we’re missing much, if anything.

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