CSotD: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Yes, I know. We’ll get to it after a few more cartoonists have weighed in. For now, we’ll skip the politics and have a few laffs instead.

Anyway, she’s not the only one who has suddenly popped up in a most bizarre place. Rip Haywire (AMS) is trying to figure out who he is and where he’s been and what the heck is going on.

Normally, I’d dismiss something like this as yet another “And then I woke up” storyline, but Rip’s been a little cattywumpus lately and it’s possible the strip is headed in another direction. Or possibly not, but it’s always ridiculous in a fun way, not in a “Ronna McDaniels reporting for MSNBC” surrealistic way.

And now we know that Lizzie, star of Reply All (Counterpoint), is old enough to have grown up with Ed Sullivan on the family TV every Sunday night.

My mother often included a Broadway show in our nearly-annual trips to NYC, so I saw The Music Man, the Sound of Music and several others shows live and in person, though A Man For All Seasons didn’t have any singing and Marcel Marceau didn’t make any noise at all.

But the real source of Broadway music was Ed Sullivan, because in those days of three networks and one television, he had a talent for rounding up a true variety show every week, and even if you were waiting for Bobby Rydell, you were going to hear someone belting out a tune from Wildcat, which closed before we could get there.

Actually, it closed before much of anybody could get there, but Ed must have liked it, because we had “Hey Look Me Over” repeatedly hammered into our brains whether we wanted it there or not.

But Camelot, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and West Side Story fared much better, both on Broadway and on Ed Sullivan, and we had their whole scores memorized.

And this aside: We actually had four networks, not three, because of living within range of the CBC, so when Robert Goulet popped up on Sullivan singing songs from Camelot, we already knew him from the DuMaurier cigarette jingle on Hockey Night in Canada.

Which added to the bathos when he was chosen to sing the National Anthem before the second Ali/Liston fight in Lewiston and completely blew the lyrics.

I think Sonny had a better evening.

We’ll boost our Canadian Content with this xkcd backhanded salute to Gordon Lightfoot.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was a tipping point in Lightfoot’s journey from folksinger to pop star, and I suspect how you think of it is weighted by which side you’re on.

Not only did I hang out with folksingers in college, but besides Hockey Night in Canada, I grew up watching Juliette and Let’s Sing Out.

Also the dirge was six minutes long, so if you didn’t like it, you were stuck for awhile.

Okay, just a little more Canadiana, as Ben (MWAM) goes literary.

Since I wasn’t an English major, I never encountered Jane Austen until years after graduation, and was surprised to find out how wickedly funny a woman writing at the dawn of the 19th century could be.

She’s one of two authors — the other is Anthony Trollope — who can actually make me LOL, with the added benefit that Pride & Prejudice and her other novels are very well-plotted books with compelling stories to tell.

Which is also true of The Way We Live Now, but the damn thing is 800 pages long, and we don’t need to read about Augustus Melmotte when we’ve got Donald Trump right in front of us, though without the rough, thick hair:

Olivia’s right, by the way: People who watch TV sitcoms would find plenty of pleasure in classic literature if nobody warned them that it was “classic.”

Just as kids like the pair in Grand Avenue (AMS) wouldn’t know to hate broccoli if they weren’t told that they hate it.

I understand how, if canned spinach were how you first encountered it, even Popeye couldn’t redeem that gelatinous slop, though two generations have grown up knowing it only in its fresh or frozen form.

But there’s no such thing as canned broccoli and, as a kid, I enjoyed being a giant who ate trees.

I blame Carl Rose and EB White.

Meanwhile, Jonesy refuses to surrender to catchphrases and cliches.

And I refuse to put that little accent aigu over the E in cliche, which isn’t an accent because the whole thing is a different letter and one not found in English, so I say it’s French and I say the hell with it.

A cliche isn’t a clique and it isn’t a cloche and if you don’t know what it is then what difference does it make how I spell it? Also if you do?

From now on, I’m not going to bother, which lifts a weight from my soul and makes me as happy as some sort of pig, I suppose.

I only wish I were still working with an editor who would sniff and correct me so I could do it again the next time.

Theoretically, I agree with Arlo and Janis (AMS), but there’s more to my acceptance than the fact that newspapers today are too lightweight to throw from the bike to the porch anyway.

“Paperboys” disappeared a couple of decades ago when some genius realized that sending kids out onto the streets before dawn might expose the paper to some liability, at which point we switched to “independent contractors,” an IRS concept that means you can only beg them to make their deliveries, you can’t order them to.

I quit getting a paper when the independent contractor began refusing to go up my driveway when it snowed. And, BTW, the online edition didn’t smell like cigarettes.

In any case, that little pamphlet that used to be a newspaper is only being delivered to a couple of houses on each block, so being a carrier makes no sense anymore.

Which is (A) a shame and (B) reality.

Not only has Spud got his priorities completely lined up in this Wallace the Brave (AMS), but he gets extra credit for annoying Amelia.

The Spud abides.

Now here’s a show tune that even Lizzie doesn’t know the lyrics to:

18 thoughts on “CSotD: Saturday Morning Cartoons

  1. Not only does canned broccoli exist, I have actually eaten it. Back during The Pestilence when I could afford to donate to a food bank, I encountered a pallet of canned broccoli at my local Costco. I bought a case, and, because I wouldn’t donate anything that I wouldn’t eat myself, I tried a can. It wasn’t mush, but that’s the best I can say about it. Search for “cosco” and “canned broccoli” and you’ll find pictures.

    I did not buy another case, and I never saw it at Costco again.

  2. Good Wikipedia link there. I’d had no idea there was an Irving Berlin song riffing on the New Yorker cartoon, which is older than I thought it was.

    Furthermore, “spinnage” should probably overtake “spin” in political parlance.

  3. I personally feel stick figure cartoons should be banned. Artificial Intelligence could do better.

      1. While I’ve got you here, thank you for refusing to use your superpowers for evil.

    1. XKCD has been doing this pretty much since the dawn of the internet. The writing is intelligent and funny and the stick figures were a good way to ensure your artwork downloaded quickly over a 2400baud modem. All that white space really helped with compression back in the days when Run Length Encoding was all you had, and I find it has retained its charm over the decades.

  4. My parents have seen M*A*S*H so many times they have the entire series memorized.
    Which is okay, because that’s how I am with the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons.

    Canned spinach is literally the devil. When I tried fresh spinach for the first time it was so good I wasn’t convinced it was same vegetable. Broccoli is good too. I think the whole “kids hate vegetables” thing has been done to death, but old cliches die hard.
    But honestly, if more kids were given fresh veggies than canned slop they’d like them a lot better.

    I blame the old ‘Paperboy’ game for unveiling what a truly hellish job it really is.
    Angry dogs, murderous housewives, breakdancers, and even Death himself makes you realize that paperboys were grossly underappreciated and underpaid.

  5. As Mike wrote: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was a tipping point in Lightfoot’s journey from folksinger to pop star, and I suspect how you think of it is weighted by which side you’re on.

    I reply: decades ago I as musician and performer I was proponent of both folk music and rock. I found the two genres quite compatible. I knew John Stewart when he pushed the Kingston Trio to electrify (some). I couldn’t understand the (sometimes) animosity between the folkies and the rockers. The Byrds were just folkies with electrons. And, Simon and Garfunkel were the same. Gordon Lightfoot and even Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan danced over both sides of that line and back a few times.

    I value literacy and am a voracious reader. But, I agree with Mike when he says, ‘the damn thing is 800 pages long’. I appreciate it when writers are concise. Rich Furman is right: the XKCD Stick figures are concise. Ah, I can hear the gentle folk tune of my dial-up modem now.

    And, in response to Wiley Miller, I agree and I never comment anonymously. That is often a sign of cowardice.

    1. May I bring Steeleye Span into the discussion? Not quite 16th Century heavy metal, but close.

  6. Believe me, kids can hate broccoli (and cauliflower, and brussel sprouts) without being told it’s expected of them. When I was a kid, I hated them. Now, many decades on, I don’t like them. Every so often through the years I would try a recipe with broccoli because I felt I *should* like it. I never did, and at some point a decade or two ago I decided that there were plenty of vegetables I do like, and if I’m going to put the effort into cooking I should cook something that I’m likely to enjoy eating.

    1. I would never even think to serve my family any green vegetable that came from a can or jar (I find the very idea repulsive). Just about the only canned vegetable I ever use is canned beens and corn (but only in chili). As for fresh (or sometimes frozen) vegetables: I have no idea how it happened, but the odd thing is that broccoli is one of the few vegetables that both of my kids like (even to the point of requesting it). Just about everything else is hit or miss, getting both kids to agree on one is difficult.

      P.S. This is one reason why I was highly amused by the three or four “kids hate broccoli” gags that Pixar put into “Inside Out“.

  7. Commenting anonymously is a reasonable protection against harassment, particularly for members of groups that regularly suffer such harassment.

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