CSotD: Unclench with some intentional silliness

We’ll start the day with a rebus rather than a joke, though a rebus is, really, a form of joke.

Best of all, this is an old rebus and thus an old joke and it has flummoxed a lot of people over the years, I think, because they search for deep meaning in a shallow gag.

I like to overthink things. This just doesn’t happen to be one of those moments.

Adam@Home (AMS) takes a swipe at dad jokes this morning, and I hope his son is pulling his leg, because kids should like dad jokes. And they do, unless someone convinces them that they shouldn’t.

As this recent study explains, the dad joke lets Dad look intentionally foolish, which in turn teaches his kids that it’s okay, and even fun, to be silly.

What I find interesting in the discussion around dad jokes is a nearly universal compulsion to declare them “unfunny.”

Dad jokes may be simple and silly, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t funny. If you require a joke to be obscure, that’s on you.

It’s like saying that the Brandenburg Concertos are music and therefore Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Yay is not.

They’re both music. But you only have to rent a tux to go hear one of them.

To put it another way, you shouldn’t feel compelled to take yourself seriously, unless you’re doing it in order to appear to be silly, which works.

Richard Deacon made a career out of playing characters who took themselves seriously, and his interplay with Morey Amsterdam on the Dick Van Dyke Show is a master class in two very funny fellows coming at it from different ends of the spectrum in order to collide with spectacular effect.

Buddy’s jokes wouldn’t have worked if Mel hadn’t reacted by (A) not getting them and (B) by becoming offended.

In real life, by sad contrast, humorless Mel Cooley types are neither funny nor are they particularly welcome company.

So if you blow yourself up and act superior and unamused at silly humor, I hope you are joking, too, because I’ve heard that Richard Deacon was excellent company which Mel Cooley was not.

While, in his other famous role as pompous, humorless Fred Rutherford, he had his son Clarence as the sole credit to his name.

Take an occasional pie in the face. Your children will turn out better for it.

Still on the topic of fathers and kids, my dad took us to a baseball game whenever we visited a major city, which means I’ve seen the Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees and Mets versus whoever they were playing, which wasn’t always irrelevant: I was a Tigers fan, and remember fondly one time when the only tickets Dad could get were in the outfield, so I got to watch Al Kaline up close all afternoon.

Which I bring up to refute this Arlo and Janis (AMS), because I’m one of those old fans who remembers the days when you might have to make a tough decision of whether to leave “The Yankee Killer” on the mound or lift him for a pinch hitter.

Doesn’t matter to me how long a player takes to step up to the plate if he doesn’t belong in the lineup to begin with.

And one more father-and-son reference, this for Crabgrass (AMS), a relatively new strip that has been finding its feet in a “Leave it to Beaver” mode, with the two little boys at its center finding themselves in the same kind of trouble Beaver often fell into, on his own or with help from a pal.

Though I can’t imagine Ward dropping that kind of change without talking it over with his wife. Fred Rutherford might have.

Meanwhile, over at Zits (KFS), Jeremy sold the old VW van and bought something small and green, and spent the week trying to name it.

That wasn’t a thing when I was his age. The only car I knew with a name, as it happens, was a VW van, which was known as the Bonzo Dog Bus, which was kind of a category-killer, in that you couldn’t come up with a better name and so why even try?

Now, since there aren’t many stories about the Bonzo Bus that I can share here, I’m going to pause instead for a musical break in honor of that bus, and the intentionally silly band for whom it was named.

Now let’s get back to the comics:

Because, while Brewster Rockit (Tribune) may not realize it, it’s possible to become far more annoying than a killbot, simply by naming your car “Brad.”

See? Wouldn’t you rather be dead? I know I would!

We will now switch to a non-silly moment, to salute They Can Talk for understanding that, while bears cannot actually talk (sorry), and that, with the exception of Pooh, they aren’t much bothered by bee stings, there is a distinct difference between a bee’s nest and a wasp’s nest.

The paper, football-shaped thing is a wasp’s nest. There is no honey in it, simply a lot of wasps who, by the way, can sting you not just once but as many times as they’d like. And if you mess with their nest, they’d like to sting you a lot.

Now, I’m a bit dubious that the indistinct swarm seen here would have honey, either. But since it does look like a swarm of bees, I’m assuming that they’re covering a gap in the branch which leads to a hollow in the tree that contains honey.

That’s a bit of a stretch, but not so much as expecting honey in a large paper wasp’s nest, and since every other cartoonist in the world appears to expect wasps to make honey, it’s not, by comparison, as far off the mark as usual.

Just a bit silly.

And I do hope the bears are finding honeytrees, because they’re just climbing out of their dens about now and we’ve recently been warned to take down our bird feeders, since the bears are both hungry and hangry, which is about the only time blackies are more than an annoyance.

A nice bellyful of honeycomb, spiced up with some delicious, angry bees, is just the thing to mellow things out.

Good hunting, Bruno!

9 thoughts on “CSotD: Unclench with some intentional silliness

      1. Goddess. Otherwise, there’s no verb.

        Which I realize it isn’t, but that’s okay. Since I retired, I am only vaguely aware of when the post office is closed. No need to be more precise than that.

      1. Bears may be as interested in eggs and larvae as honey, and they also tear apart ant nests for that reason.

  1. When I saw today’s A & J I thought “nailed it.” ( I was three years old the last time the Ind/Guardians won the World Series.) I don’t see how what you’re saying “refutes” it.

    “Crabgrass” is like “Leave it to Beaver” if Beaver and his pals had all been Eddie Haskel.

    1. Very simple: A lot of “old guys” were absolutely appalled when MLB inserted the designated hitter to destroy the managerial strategy of how to balance brilliant pitching with lackluster hitting. MLB decided higher scoring games were more important than well-played strategies. Whatever changes have come since have been more of the same and less of the game.

      Arlo’s contention that older fans will be upset by the new game is a case of locking the door after the horse has long since been stolen.

  2. Wow, this post really overthinks a simple rebus joke. It’s not that deep, folks. And while dad jokes may seem silly, they serve a purpose in teaching kids that it’s okay to not take yourself too seriously. So why the need to declare them as “bad”? Are people just too cool for school these days? #JustSayin, what’s your favorite dad joke?

  3. On Zits – In what was an exercise in authorial sadism, the bus was flattened by an 18 wheeler just as their buyer was writing the check. He gave them $200.00 for the scrap. The car Jeremy is trying to name was Walt’s commuter vehicle. This was all a chain reaction from an arc in which Jeremy pleaded with Walt and Connie to get an EV to save the planet.

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