No blog is more consistently able to make me roar with helpless laughter, pounding my palm repeatedly on the desk in an excess of mirth, than The Comics Curmudgeon. The eponymous curmudgeon, one Josh Fruhlinger, surveys the grim wasteland that is the daily newspaper comics page and finds something remarkable there: humor. His witty critiques, caustic observations, and cruel abuse of comedy's lamest format never fail to amuse. (Strictly speaking, they never fail to amuse me. It's true that I'm pretty easy to amuse.)
[ATTN: DrSchnell: The first entry of this one almost made me pee my pants; I have to think you'd get at least a chuckle out of it. ]
But He Missed One!
Well, there's a lot to mock in any given day of the so-called "funnies," so it's understandable that the C.C. failed to notice this episode of the venerable "Hi And Lois" from sometime last week:
The singular thing about this strip is how heroically it strains to produce a joke -- Hi is embarassed because his male friends might associate him with the labors of child-rearing! -- that is almost paralyzingly unfunny.
Consider: to make this joke "work,"
- Lois has to be transported into an eyes-closed state of sensual pleasure at the scent of... baby powder?
- Hi, who has admittedly been trapped in a strangely frozen suburban milieu since 1954 and is likely suffering from extreme cultural disorientation, must forget that it's been decades since middle-class men started taking every possible opportunity to position themselves as Good Dads.
- An American man must announce to his wife that he is going to apply cologne for the benefit of his visiting male pals. (It is not surprising that Lois looks blankly stunned at this sudden and all-too-revealing insight into the nature of her husband's relationship with "the guys.")
Now I'm no humor professional, so it's not for me to say. It seems, though, that a good rule of thumb might be: if there are three elements of your set-up so bizarre that they are funnier than the ostensible payoff, your joke has problems. Just a thought.
Meanwhile, In Prince Valiant:
Safe journeys to anyone travelling for Thanksgiving today. No bad trips!