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Big Julius is watching punching you

Blondie, 10/8/08

I’m intrigued by Julius Dithers’ latest attempt to achieve Big Brother-like omnipresence in his workforce. It’s kind of surprising that his employees must spend the day staring not at his sneering face, but at his clenched fist. At first glance this would seem to be the ultimate expression of the unabashed threats of violence that underpin his thuggish regime, the identity of the Leader reduced merely to the instrument that he uses to deal out pain. But note that the fist isn’t advancing knuckle-first at the viewer in the style of a righteous fist o’ justice; rather it appears to be waving in the air in impotent rage. In this sense, what’s meant to be a symbol of tyranny in fact exposes the regime’s weakness and plants the seeds of its eventual overthrow.

It’s also possible, but unlikely, that this is a close-up of Dithers flashing a proud Black Power salute.

Family Circus, 10/8/08

This may look like yet another “freakishly large-headed kids say the stupidest things” installment of the Family Circus, but I actually think Billy is using the live NASA feed (the only thing Daddy will let the kids watch, other than Veggie Tales and Davey and Goliath) as an opportunity to broach the subject of his father’s fanatical refusal to stop at rest areas during long car trips. “OK, dad, they’re in the terrible vacuum of space and need to stick to a tight schedule or they’ll run out of oxygen, so that makes sense, but why is it so important to ‘reach our mission objective within the established time parameters’ that I have to pee in an empty coffee cup?”

Pluggers, 10/8/08

Pluggers are too lazy and ignorant to spend thirty seconds looking things up on the Internet so as to spell people’s name correctly or determine whether something is the name of a person or of a television show.

Hi and Lois, 10/8/08

Hi is looking stunned in the second panel here because his teenage son’s act of disrespectful rebellion: rocking out to a song released in 1975.

121 responses to “Big Julius is watching punching you”

  1. Muffaroo
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    I thought he was listening to Robert Mitchum at first.

  2. Jimmy Page
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    Isn’t that supposed to be Dithers fist knocking on the screen from inside the monitor?

  3. Muffaroo
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    And Dithers is actually on a live cam with the message written on the glass window. Unfortunately, there’s no air in the room and Dithers is reduced to helpless pounding, growing weaker and weaker, as his employees stare in slack-jawed, non-working, awe.

  4. Muffaroo
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:31 pm [Reply]

    (Crossed posts — this notarized comment specifies that I had not seen Jimmy Page’s.)

  5. The Paradox
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    I guess “Highway to Hell” would be too extreme for Browne’s Flagstonian sensibilities…

  6. ratnerstar
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    What Dithers’ strategy is, it clearly isn’t going to be successful, since Dagwood appears content to just stare blankly at the screensaver rather than do any real work. 21st century corporate fascism: imagine a boot futilely stamping on a listless and bored human face forever.

  7. GWH
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:36 pm [Reply]

    That Pluggers was perhaps the most unintentionally funny thing I’ve ever seen.

  8. Muddtallica
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:38 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you have made no effort whatsoever to keep pace with societal trends and norms, to the extent that you are befuddled and upset by what everyone else correctly regards as the reality of modern life.

    …oh look, I seem to have inadvertently written a caption for every Pluggers ever.

  9. Eldaglass
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:40 pm [Reply]

    Silly Josh! Pluggers don’t have internet. If they spend hours fixing a $9 toaster, can you imagine the years spent hopelessly pounding away on a ethernet cable with a screwdriver?

  10. One-eyed Wolfdog
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    *backhand across the face*
    “Stick to the script, kid. You look up at me like a brain-damaged spaniel and ask me what the ‘Space Shovel’ is out there diggin’ for. Got that? We have protocol around here. Don’t break it.”

  11. Milo
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:46 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers always confuses me. Whose names are printed in the boxes? The people who made up the joke or just some poor reader who must forever have their name associated with Pluggers to millions of strangers forever?

  12. Aesop
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:47 pm [Reply]

    Finally, after all these years, the government has done away with the Family Circus once and for all by sending the Keanes into outer space and never letting them back. That can be the only explanation for being able to see a space shuttle and the earth out the front window.

  13. Joe
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:48 pm [Reply]

    11. And furthermore, do people actually sit around their tables late at night and THINK about what a Plugger is?

  14. Aesop
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:54 pm [Reply]

    13. You’re a plugger if you sit around at night thinking about what a plugger is.

  15. Kaitlyn
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Aesop – I do it over breakfast. Or maybe lunch.

    But never dinner.

  16. Johnny Cat
    October 8th, 2008 at 9:58 pm [Reply]

    Down goes Brookins! Nice criticisms there, Josh! I mean seriously, Cerra?

  17. daveh
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you’re even mildly amused by what a plugger is or is not.

  18. Gojira
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    MW: If you only follow the dailies, you may think that Toby is wildly over-reacting to and needlessly risking the state of her marriage over a $1.09 charge from “Pretty Purposes.” According to a Sunday strip, it’s actually $18,000 worth of charges. Charges that the bank immediately reversed. Okay, so Toby’s a drama queen.

  19. Lisa
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    {That can be the only explanation for being able to see a space shuttle and the earth out the front window.}

    I think that is supposed to be a flat panel TV, although it doesn’t look much like one, to be honest….

  20. Lisa
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:03 pm [Reply]

    18-Gojira- Well, if the writers were better on that strip, we would have realized that a long time ago… geez.

  21. Smokehouse
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    where I come from, the use of a horrible pun results in a loss of driving privileges.

  22. Harold
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    I always confuse Lucinda Willams with Victoria Williams.

    And if I didn’t work with a few Little Britain fans, I would have assumed that that was the name of a British midget porn star.

    At least the Dog-Man has his DTV convertor box hooked up.

  23. CanuckDownSouth
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    If Billy’s only allowed to watch NASA in FC, that must be a rare minute with something interesting to see. It’s not like they have a little shuttle dogging the main shuttle with a camera. (NASA TV can have a lot of countdowns and telemetry, and that can get stale even if you’re invested in the satellite or launch.)

    Billy is watching the shuttle undock from the International Space Station, so he’s seeing his alloted 5 minutes of TV per few months there. That scant exposure to the outside world just might explain why he says so many stupid things.

    Hmmm … any other comments …?

    TBMoEL That math problem is incomplete without the Electoral College breakdown!

    OBH Bad perspective drawing the book, but great kid-rant.

    Luann Brad’s neurons finally fire.

    And more FOOBfic

  24. Poteet
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    PLUGGERS — Dogman, if you don’t recognize the names of the talk show guests and feel dismayed by that, you could just *gasp* change the channel. Or take a brisk walk outside so you can sniff around and pee on a tree.

  25. Paul
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:10 pm [Reply]

    19 – Lisa: I had a similar reaction, only I thought that Jeffy and Bil were studying a poster on the wall.

  26. Grant Rogers
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    I once sent an email to Greg Walker suggesting Hi and Lois wasn’t funny anymore and he should retire the strip.

    He then wrote back that he could do that but then his children would starve. so he soldiers on.

    I then wrote back that if his children did begin to starve he could use their antics and pleadings for sustenance as inspiration for a wacky new storyline.

    He then wrote back that he didn’t have anymore time to waste on idiots like me

  27. skullcrusherjones
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:21 pm [Reply]

    “No, son, ‘outer space’ is merely the blasphemous imagination of these televised picture writers. Were man to fly high into the sky, he’d risk angering our Lord.”

    “Like when The Lord was angry at that drifter and He asked us to make the smelly man go to sleep forever in our basement?”

    “Yes, Billy, just like that.”

  28. Mac
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you watch Jay Leno. There, I said it.

  29. skullcrusherjones
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:25 pm [Reply]

    Why would a dog be able to identify anyone on television? It’s not like he could smell their butts from his couch.

  30. Wisconsinite
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    A small point, but I don’t think you’ll find the lyrics “On Thunder Road” anywhere in Springsteen’s “Thunder Road”. So what exactly is he listening to?

  31. LTBF
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    I must be a Plugger. I’ve never heard of those people either.

    The Family Circus might have been better if there was actually a shuttle in space right now.

  32. CanuckDownSouth
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    30-Wisconsinite No snark too small, no snark too large!

    Maybe Hi’s look of dismay is because his son’s into bluegrass? I found some 1994 ballad lyrics with the phrase in the verses.

  33. Sequitur
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:40 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you sit around thinking up things that make you a plugger…ah, rats!

  34. MsMolly
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    When I was a kid nothing fascinated me more than the toilets on the space shuttle. I now have something in common with Billy. Shoot me, please.

  35. yellojkt
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    H&LTrack 2 of License to Thrill is Hagar (Sammy, not The Horrible) singing “I Can’t Drive 55.”

  36. Chromium
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    11. Milo – That is an especially pertinent question with today’s installment. Did Brenda Poag of Wadesville, IN, email Brookins her caption with this exact list of names, misspelling included, or did Brookins provide the list himself, making poor Brenda Poag of Wadesville, IN, look like a grade-A moron?

    Since Brookins has previously been outed on this site as a total dick for printing people’s captions without telling them they have even been accepted or honoring their requests for anonymity, I’m assuming it’s the latter.

  37. Charles J
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:44 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers: if you don’t know who the guests are, you could watch and find out! Crazy, I know. To think that people may accept invitations to go on talk shows to make new fans!

  38. Muffaroo
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if, after years of being told every day by the world’s sole arbiter of pluggerness that you match the wretched characteristics of pluggerhood, you are still so crushingly self-unaware and unclued that you have to keep checking that panel in the newspaper to make sure. If, after all that, you have no idea whether or not you are a plugger, then you are a plugger.

  39. Sequitur
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    H&L: Track 3 of License to Thrill is Robin Williams doing Elmer Fudd singing, “I’m dwrvin’ in my carrrr….. (etc, etc)…FWIARE!

  40. Beatrice
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:46 pm [Reply]

    I wonder what slogans and parts of Dither’s anatomy are on the rest of the screensaver slideshow.

  41. CanuckDownSouth
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    34-MsMolly No, no – you’re fine. weightlessness is intrinsically interesting – eating, sleeping, uh, defecating. Billy does not have the imagination to actually consider the shuttle toilets. He clearly simply asks if they’re there, as if they would operate exactly like a gas station’s or the one in his home. Nothing to be concerned about [/rationalization]

  42. Cheeky Wee Monkeys
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    I never heard of any of those people. DAMN. I don’t want to be a Plugger! I don’t want to drink prune juice in the bathtub!

  43. Norm
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    FC: Don’t think for one second that Billy is being a typical, curious little kid, asking questions that don’t matter. Studying shuttle procedures are part of his training. Father Kean is preparing to hijack an American shuttle and he’s taking the kids with him. He needs all the help he can get to fight the greys in space and stop the one world government. Not to mention blow up the satellites that keep probing his mind. There is only so much tin foil on Earth, after all.
    ( The Keane Manifesto )

  44. LTBF
    October 8th, 2008 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    You are a Plugger if you turn on the Tonight Show and wonder where Johnny Carson is.

  45. Norm
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:07 pm [Reply]

    @ 40
    The Boss’s dick. The caption: Quit fucking around!

  46. The Sparrow
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    #30, 32: The actual phrase “on Thunder Road” can also be found in the Traveling Wilbury’s “Tweeter and the Monkey Man,” (“it was out on Thunder Road,” etc.) but seeing as how the lyric comes at the end of a line, and is just a passing reference to Springsteen’s song, it seems that any number of other “driving songs” could have been used in this context (not that Tweeter and the Monkey Man isn’t an excellent choice of car music. Go Wilburys!). Then again, when did Hi and Lois ever have to make sense?

    Also, just my brief observation on FC: I just gotta smile at Daddy Keane’s heavy-lidded expression of utter disgust for his moronic progeny. “Son, if you just shut up now, I won’t have to smack your soft, malformed melon-skull back into shape.”

  47. fadedout
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:14 pm [Reply]

    You’re a Plugger if you use Lucinda Williams as an example of a newfangled, currently-trendy celebrity. Also, if you think any talk show today would have four guests, including two musical acts.

  48. Lithros
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:17 pm [Reply]

    Comparing Blondie to 1984 is especially apt, as that’s actually the last year a new Blondie strip was written.

  49. Niall
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    Y289. geogeek: “Salacious ooze” is hilarious!! And I do play online scrabble at the Internet Scrabble Club (as NiallCanuk).

    And yes. Jamus and SecretMargo are missed…

  50. gustav
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:20 pm [Reply]

    #10—and we have a winner!!

  51. DeGroot of All Evil
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    The last panel of Luann, when seen in color, looks like there should be a couple of tears floating above Brad’s head.

  52. Poteet
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:23 pm [Reply]

    H & L — Thanks to this strip, I am now suffering through endless mental repetitions of “Thunder Island,” a ghastly Seventies brainworm. Sha-la-la-la…And now I’ve shared the pain. Curse you, Chip!

  53. DeGroot of All Evil
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    52. Poteet, the same thing happened to me. The worst part is that the only words I know are “Out on Thunder Iiisland.”

  54. Hobbes Fan
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    FW: Oh, I guess that’s supposed to be Funky. You know, when the character’s hair color, amount of hair, and shape of face change on a panel-by-panel basis, it gets just a little hard to figure out who’s who…and we have a whole new generation of lumpy shapeshifters to get used to??

    Popeye: I have to ask, why did Bud Sagendorf have such a hard-on for trying to give Swee’ Pea a concussion??

  55. DaveyK
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:25 pm [Reply]

    The employees in Dagwood’s office sit blankly staring at their computer, doing absolutely nothing, until the screen saver appears? OK, I buy that.

  56. Edgy DC
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:35 pm [Reply]

    OK, do you gotta be such a snarkface? The kid isn’t listenting to Bruce Springsteen 1975 release “Thunder Road,” because the lyrics of that song never include the prepositional phrase, “…on Thunder Road.” He’s actually listening to the Robert Mitchum classic “Ballad of Thunder Road.” Chip’s fantisizing about being a moonshine runner.

    Similarly, the elipses in “Pluggers” suggest that the narrator could have been saying “… Little Britian star David Walliams.” But no, you had to snark.

    If you want to get them for actual sins — and not snarky made-up ones — point out the lack of a serial comma after “Jamie Liddell” in “Pluggers.”

    HA! Red state morons!

  57. Bunnë, Official Comics Execrator
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    You know, I would have thought I wouldn’t have known who those people are in Pluggers, but it turns out I do.

    Jamie Lidell is a current darling of the indie rock set; I suppose he’s making it big, but anyone can be forgiven for not knowing him. (Oddly, I never know what’s making it big, only what’s making it small.)

    Lucinda Williams has been getting good press for years, but I don’t think she’s ever had a big hit. If you don’t pay attention to alt-country-singer-songwriters, or read music columns “just because”, you are also forgiven for now knowing who she is.

    Michael Cera is one of those actors… you don’t remember his name, but if I tell you who he is, you’ll say, oh him.

    Little Britain, as Josh notes, is a TV show and not a person, and as such, doesn’t count.

    I hereby absolve you all from the stigma of being branded “Pluggers”.

    (This care may be kept until needed or sold.)

  58. labradog
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if, despite having no interest in pop culture, you still feel compelled to tune in Jay Leno, which consists of little else but pop culture.

  59. Rusty
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    Pluggers don’t stay up past the 11 o’clock news, but if they did, I agree they would choose Leno over Letterman.

    FW: WTF is this about? Funky apologizing for reminding Les that Lisa is dead? I’m pretty certain Les thinks about it every 5 minutes or so. I do love the rotten Funky step son in the background, Batiuk should hit that kid with his cancer stick.

  60. Bunnë, Official Comics Execrator
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    um “card” not “care”. dammit

  61. Poteet
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    # 53 DeGroot — Your brain works better than mine. I have serious trouble remembering the definitions of important financial terms, what’s on my to-do list, how my health insurance works, and where I put my keys. But I remember every (Margo)ing word of every (Boxcar) verse of “Thunder Island.” I’ll probably be warbling it in the nursing home just before the attendants drop me out the window.

  62. Rusty
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    I’m calling bullshit on this Pluggers. That dog is not morbidly obese.

  63. LTBF
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:53 pm [Reply]

    They are at a breast cancer event and Les’ wife died from the disease. I don’t see what is wrong with Funky saying he wouldn’t know what to do if his wife died. Its not like he walked up out of the blue and made some catty remark about Lisa’s death.

  64. Prof. Awesome
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    I like the expression on Billy’s dad’s face. It’s as if he finally realized what an utter disappointment his son is.

  65. Muffaroo
    October 8th, 2008 at 11:57 pm [Reply]

    Edgy DC @56 – I stand vindicated!

    Mitchum rules. I have his calypso album.

  66. Windier E. Megatons
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:08 am [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you’re old and/or stupid!

  67. LTBF
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    64-Chip is Beetle Bailey’s nephew. What do you expect?

    At the Dollywood amusement park in Tennessee, there is a Thunder Road ride. Its kind of like a roller coaster, except you are in a movie theater and the seats shake around while you watch a scene from the movie.

  68. Artist formerly known as Ben
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    Tonight Jay interviews rapper 30 Rock. Musical performance by the Wide Stripes.

  69. boojum
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:31 am [Reply]

    Speaking of long-time-no-see — has anyone heard from Trotzenbonnie lately? Have I just missed her?

    (I do. I really do.)

  70. bats :[
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    Some Thursday observations:

    Well, not many observations, but hopefully a harbinger of the future:
    (sorry, you’ll have to size up).

  71. captainswift
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:47 am [Reply]

    I am somewhat confused, because that is not the Family Circus that ran in my local paper today.

  72. bats :[
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    Okay, a couple more observations:
    (yeah, another size up)

    and BOOZY KITTY! Yay!

  73. Jeff
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:06 am [Reply]

    “You pose and I shoot?” Oh Brad. Greg Davis writes you pretty…anxious, doesn’t he?

  74. Death to the FOOBS!
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:09 am [Reply]

    I believe it’s “Little Britains,” like “The Chicagos” and the “Pink Floyds.”

  75. Islamorada Girl
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:16 am [Reply]

    Wait until Toby sees the charges Ian ran up on his credit card from
    Deep Massage Personal Escort Services of Chicago. Then we’ll have some fun!

  76. Mr Booze
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    You’re apparently a plugger if you think that a singer-songwriter in her mid-50s who has been recording albums since the late 70s is some flash in the pan newcomer.

  77. bitter law student
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:37 am [Reply]

    At first it bothered me because I thought Hi was wearing a vest. And then it bothered me becaused I realized he was wearing a black jacket with bright blue sleves. Finally, it bothered me because I was thinking and realizing things about “Hi and Lois.”

  78. Niall
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    A little note… Wednesday’s Dennis was actually menacing – making the girl run in terror and all. And no one mentioned it??


    JP: Sigh, we go from puppies to a dog. We don’t want beady eyes, we want beady… “eyes”.

    MC: He may be annoying, but he has moves. Okay, stupid moves, but he’s confident about his moves. And often that’s all it takes. Still, panel 3 should get a few comments. :)

    Ghost-who-bleeds-internally: So. The Bandar wouldn’t attack a child, but they’d attack a frail elderly man who is likely to have medical supplies? I think Mr Walker is underestimating his warriors’ capacity for threat assessment.

    Pluggers: So Pluggers stow kids in their covered truckbeds??

  79. Foolster41
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:46 am [Reply]

    pluggers: I didn’t recognize the names, does that make me a plugger? (Of course, I then did look them up). I love the snark.

    Hi: You know, I’m surprised how horrified he looked. Usually it’s the beaten-horse joke “They don’t get OUR music.”, and here a kid without comment enjoying a song that’s 33-some years old. You’d think he have a half-smile and be thinking “Hmm. Maybe he’d also like some of my other music”, but then again that would be a depiction of realistic human interaction. Can’t have that in the comics. Nope.

  80. Jana C.H.
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:49 am [Reply]

    Surely the Plugger joke is backwards. Being a plugger means you have nothing more interesting to do (like reading atlases, for example) than keeping track of talk show guests. Knowing about all these insignificant celebrities is what makes a plugger.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JcH: Some people drink, some people gamble, some like whips and chains– I buy books.

  81. Desert Ghost
    October 9th, 2008 at 2:05 am [Reply]

    H&L: Chip should be checking out “Hot-Rod Lincoln” by Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen…that’s how he should be driving!

  82. Canaduck
    October 9th, 2008 at 2:08 am [Reply]

    God I hate Pluggers so much.

  83. Mibbitmaker
    October 9th, 2008 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    Above Pluggers:

    I’m an “Arrested Development” fan, so I’m not a plugger. (Oh, shut up, #80! ;o))

  84. Adjuster
    October 9th, 2008 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    #78 Niall: I’m afraid Dennis is pretty low on the Menacing scale for Wednesday – as drawn, he’s not actively menacing but instead apologizing for menacing.

  85. Jack Parsons
    October 9th, 2008 at 2:39 am [Reply]

    Isn’t that a bit unusual, a dog and a racoon together?

    Oh, Sneaky is Andy’s driver.

  86. Mibbitmaker
    October 9th, 2008 at 3:01 am [Reply]

    10/9 (the date that sounds like the beginning of a countdown):

    A3G: …In general terms, Haley.

    Curtis: I think Barry told Gunk that his big brother was really, really scary. Or maybe Michelle told him…

    Re-FOOB: Jeez, even mocking Lynn’s ‘FU, Rod’ stuff is getting boring. FU, Lynn!

    FW: Les inadvertantly comments on the fiscal crisis.

    GF: Rob (or Darby) being tortured in a Vietnamese prison camp for a few years, that’s all I ask.

    GT: In the online Chron configuration, it looks like “Gil Thorp barely felt it”. Weeeeeeird!

    HotC: Omigod, he’s turned into Alex P. Keaton!

    H&J: Cold person?! For abusing a telemarketer, she’s a goddamn hero!

    JP: That dog: “Whaddaya lookin’ at me for?! I didn’t do nothin’!”

    MF: Finally, something we can ALL AGREE ON. (Don’t get used to that, folks!)

    MW: Gee, Chinny, for a pompous intellectual, you sure are an idiot. No wonder you’re together!

    Ghost-Who’s-Really,-Really-Presumptuous: The Bandar says (in a baby-talk voice): “He don’t know me vewwy well, DO he?”

    R&R: That’s how Frank Burns got started.

    SL: Nice try, but Sam’s Strip it ain’t.

    S-M: Doesn’t take much to shock ol’ mustachioed Kramer, does it?

    ZtP: Dopiest musical since Cats.

  87. Bribaby
    October 9th, 2008 at 6:44 am [Reply]

    Everybody should cut Mr. Dithers some slack; he’s not the merciless slave-driver he’s made out to be. Here, he’s clearly showing his male employees the proper hand formation in order to correctly masturbate, and by “Get Back to Work” he’s obviously exhorting them to start choking it, furiously. It’s good for the prostate and keeps the staff happy and healthy.

  88. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2008 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    I lurve Lucinda Williams!

  89. Albert
    October 9th, 2008 at 7:38 am [Reply]

    So I too does!

  90. Albert
    October 9th, 2008 at 7:46 am [Reply]

    57 *cough* Passionate Kisses cough*

  91. Little Guy
    October 9th, 2008 at 8:24 am [Reply]

    Dithers is in the Phantom Zone.

  92. Tabby Lavalamp
    October 9th, 2008 at 8:40 am [Reply]

    I’m sorry to point this out, Josh, but while I don’t know about the other talk shows, Little Britain were announced as Little Britain on Conan the other day.

  93. RedDye6
    October 9th, 2008 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Woah woah, hey now. What if Hi’s kid had uploaded Stooges’ “Death Trip” or Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner”? Let’s not be ageist here. The kid simply has crap taste in music.

    The reason behind Hi’s expression could also be due to his kid’s browser being open to “Grannies with Fannies.” Kids these days need to be faster with that Control-W.

  94. Fuzziwig
    October 9th, 2008 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Pluggers Alternate: You’re a plugger if you can’t be bothered to wait until the guests are introduced to voice your frustration.

    Two minutes later the talk show will tell him who they are. Perhaps tomorrow he’ll be shown saying “Oh, them.”

  95. anonymous
    October 9th, 2008 at 9:12 am [Reply]

    Pluggers: Now, I’m going to jump in here and defend the Pluggers. Looking at those names (I recall very vaguely seeing those names in a TV guide or magazine somewhere at some time), I think: actors? country singer? obscure British TV show? ….So? I can’t be bothered to fire up the jerry-rigged hamster powered old computer to look up a bunch of people I’ve hardly ever heard of. I’m turning on David Letterman! (Yes, I’m embracing my inner Pluggerhood….(hangs head, staring at the electrical TV, counting down the days till “Lost” is back on the air….)

  96. Muffaroo
    October 9th, 2008 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Mibbitmaker @86 – Darn right it’s not Sam’s Strip. It doesn’t show a hundred characters from bygone strips standing around smiling at the camera, and there’s a joke in it.

  97. AsleepOrDead
    October 9th, 2008 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    Poor Michael Cera learns the horrible price one has to pay for fame and fortune . . . being mentioned in a horribly stupid cartoon.

  98. Comrade Denny
    October 9th, 2008 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Beetle Bailey: Haw-haw-haw! The Pentagon is populated by a bunch of incompetent, lazy boobs! Either that or they just got nuked…

  99. Old Doc Yak
    October 9th, 2008 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth: I just realized that Ian “chinbeard” Cameron played the part of wacky anthopology professor “Bob Sutwell” in Beach Party (1963), with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Like, crazy, daddy-o.

  100. Joe Blevins
    October 9th, 2008 at 11:44 am [Reply]

    Hi Flagston doesn’t quite have the whole “sweater vest” thing down. He thinks it involves wearing a vest over a sweater.

  101. Braniff
    October 9th, 2008 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    FC (10/8)–After this panel, Billy asked about a three-way between himself, Lisa Nowak and Barbara Eden (Jeannie). Stay tuned.

  102. Plasma
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:03 pm [Reply]

    Apparently, I’m a plugger. I don’t recognize any of those names. I would have recognized Michael Cera, but only from Arrested Development. He’ll always be George Michael Bluth to me.

  103. Alex W.
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:38 pm [Reply]

    If you interchange “you might be a redneck if…” with “you are a plugger if…” you could clearly see where Jeff Foxworthy has a case for copyright infringement on a daily basis.

    Though, the real tragedy is that you are lifting material from Jeff Foxworthy.

    Family Circus- Maybe Billy should start asking questions about where R. Kelly pisses. I’m sure that would be a much more fascinating discussion.

  104. Carly
    October 9th, 2008 at 12:54 pm [Reply]

    I’ll give Chip a pass today for listening to my favorite song. However, to the best of my knowledge the lyrics never actually say “on thunder road.”

    I would like to note that Zits had that same joke about three years ago, only the punchline was that the parents didn’t recognize the musical guest or host on SNL.

  105. Pozzo
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, I thought Plugger Dogman was saying “Whop!” Maybe he thinks that’s how These Kids Today express their approval.

  106. Pozzo
    October 9th, 2008 at 1:49 pm [Reply]

    Oh, and “Zits” did that gag about five years ago, re: “Saturday Night Live.”

  107. cubicle monkey
    October 9th, 2008 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    I think that Plugger deserves an award for simply remaining conscious beyond 11:35 at night.

  108. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    October 9th, 2008 at 4:50 pm [Reply]

    It’s not very nice of that Plugger to call Michael Cera a “whop”.

  109. Harold
    October 9th, 2008 at 7:22 pm [Reply]

    CanuckDownSouth @32, I would fear bluegrass on a teenager’s driving music list far more than a gentle and melodic Bruce Springsteen song which will forever be linked to the late Tim Russert. Perhaps Hi noticed the shotgun and jugs of moonshine Chip is planning on taking on the trip.

    Seriously, bluegrass is probably the second most dangerous driving music ever, after “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons:

    Other songs on Chip’s playlist:

    “Highway to Hell”, AC/DC
    “Crash Into Me”, Dave Matthews Band
    “Jesus, Take the Wheel”, Carrie Underwood
    “Fuck Tha Police”, N.W.A.

  110. nemryn
    October 9th, 2008 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    As Dilbert tells us, most cubicle denizens prefer to waste time by playing Solitaire, which prevents the screensaver from activating. Mr. Dithers needs to rethink his plan.

  111. Dan in St. Louis
    October 9th, 2008 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    I’m a huge Bruce fan, but even I know that references to slacker teenagers listening to a Springsteen song is about as dated as Max Headroom. Of course, what Chip is listening to is NOT a Springsteen song, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

  112. Elizabeth
    October 9th, 2008 at 11:27 pm [Reply]

    My guess is that Chief Plugger asked his cynical hipster twenty- or thirty-something offspring to come up with some names of hip young stars, and they decided to have a little fun with the old man.

  113. Plane hugger
    October 10th, 2008 at 2:41 am [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if the first name that causes you to say, “Who?!” is “Jay.”

  114. Plane hugger
    October 10th, 2008 at 2:50 am [Reply]

    With stocks plummeting and the nation somehow not enchanted with the GOP’s nomination of Crankshaft, only the comics page has the courage to return us to simpler times — the days when kids scared their parents with Springsteen, when Lucinda Williams was a young unknown, and when the public still used screen savers and gave a damn about the space shuttle.

  115. DavidMac
    October 10th, 2008 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    Harold @ # 22: Great link!! Thanks!

  116. doug
    October 10th, 2008 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you can’t be bothered to pay attention to a talk show long enough to hear the guests introduced.
    Yeah, I didn’t recognize any of the names, although Michal Cera is one of those actors that you see and say “wasn’t he X in Y movie?”. Besides, my preferred talk show is Bill Maher.

  117. doug
    October 10th, 2008 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    You’re a plugger if you can’t be bothered to pay attention to a talk show long enough to hear the guests introduced.
    Yeah, I didn’t recognize any of the names, although Michal Cera is one of those actors that you see and say “wasn’t he X in Y movie?”. Besides, my preferred talk show is Bill Maher.

  118. Pint Slayer
    October 10th, 2008 at 8:20 pm [Reply]

    I hope that one day Julius Dithers and Crock form a managment consulting firm together.

  119. christine tripp
    October 17th, 2008 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    The only thing I can say is, there seems to be “another” cartoonist drawing the strip now, and at least, all the arm lines are connected. Yep, that’s about all I can say about the strip!

  120. Catu
    February 20th, 2009 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    There are some really weird issues with time going on in the world of Hi and Lois – not only is the kid trying to appear rebellious by listening to a three-decade-old song, but his father looks more or less the same age as him. CREEPY.

  121. Cony
    April 4th, 2009 at 7:49 am [Reply]

    It’s very funny of the comic, “go back to work”, it seems that it is most bosses’ platitude. At our gold foil printing office, our boss always say: “Bring your brain to the office!”

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