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Tales of supermarket ribaldry!

Luann, 12/8/08

So, the last time I ranted about the overarchingly gross “sexiness” in Luann, a commentor claimed that, because I’m obviously a horny male type, I was primarily angered by the strip’s refusal to reward Brad with sexual access to Toni (and Gunther with the same to Luann). Obviously I have not been getting my point across, as nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, there are few things that I would find more distasteful, on both an aesthetic and an emotional level, than the prospect of Brad having sex.

Here’s what drives me batty about this strip’s treatment of romantic relationships: everything’s all presented to us as if its something that’s supposed to make us all hot and bothered, and yet it’s not erotically charged at all, both because of the need to stay within the strict bounds of newspaper strip acceptable content rules and because of the extreme hamhandedness of it all. The fact that it all reinforces the whole “Women are mysterious and manipulative and men are doomed to be trapped forever in their sexual thrall” thing just adds some extra ick.

I’d dearly love nothing more than to stop thinking about the sexual lives of the characters in Luann, but it seems like every other storyline in the strip is entirely about their sexual lives, veiled by this layer of propriety that’s all the more baffling considering how blatant the winking and nudging is. The result is that it’s like a dirty joke told by an ten year old, today’s example being a prime example. “Hey, Toni, I was just thinking about you because … melons! Ha ha! Get it? Because they look like… you know! Ha!” Christ.

I had an epiphany the other day, actually, that what it all most reminds me of is the classic SNL “Tales of Ribaldry” sketch, in which Jon Lovitz plays a regency-era fop who gets hilariously worked up by hints at sex but becomes outraged when actual sex starts occurring — and whaddya know, thanks the magic of the Internet, you can actually stream those old sketches from NBC, totally legally, so here’s one for those of you too young/old/classy to remember:

Anyway, this has been a mostly unfunny rant, and I promise not to revisit the subject again unless I have something amusing to say about it. I was mostly excited that “Tales of Ribaldry” was actually available online, and had to express my displeasure about the melons. Melons! Seriously. Melons.

Gil Thorp, 12/8/08

Wait … what? Is this a new Gil Thorp storyline, all of the sudden? I’m sure Ashley Aiello and her box of NUT BOY (“It’s Nutty!” is what I hope that says on that box) will be very interesting and all, but usually at the end of football season we at least get some sort of acknowledgement of the team’s annual failure to win a championship of any sort. I won’t honestly miss Gil rubbing the back of his massive, square head ruefully while attempting to cast the blame on someone else, I suppose, but I do demand narrative satisfaction on the conclusion of the Marty Moon gets fired and replaced by punk kids arc. That mysterious, shadowy figure in the first panel had better be Marty, despondant and prepared to buy every bottle of anything even vaguely intoxicating that the 24-7 SwiftiMart stocks, including NyQuil and lighter fluid.

Dick Tracy, 12/8/08

Whenever Dick Tracy says “Time to pick up the pieces,” the “pieces” in question are the mutilated body parts of his enemies, obviously.

Apartment 3-G, 12/8/08

Margo literally does not know what Detective Collins is talking about, because the only bit of drug terminology known to her or any of her acquaintances is “dope.”

121 responses to “Tales of supermarket ribaldry!

  1. Farley's Revenge
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    Even more unsettling/annoying than Brad holding melons and thinking about sex with Toni would be Brad having sex with the melons while thinking about Toni.

    I’ll pass the brain bleach now…

  2. Chyron HR
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:21 pm [Reply]

    Margo: What are you talking about?!

    Collins: Oh, I dunno. Maybe “King Biscuit Flour”? “1-Up Mushrooms”? “By-Tor and the Snow Dog”? “Fallout 3″? “Moon Dust”?

  3. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    “I don’t know what Black Tar is, but these days you can buy your Scorpions songs right here in the USA, mister.”

  4. aniviron
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:23 pm [Reply]

    It was good of Det. Collins and Margo to coordinate their outfits so well with one another.

  5. Max Z.
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    Compare LuAnn with 9 Chickweed Lane, which isn’t all that realistic about its treatment of s-e-x but it’s at least good for a few laughs without making you want to take a shower afterwards.

  6. Tom the Pirate
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:25 pm [Reply]

    It’s a good thing Brad wasn’t rifling through the cherry tray, because that fruit-boat has sailed, my friend. It’s been in and out of Port Dirk on countless voyages.

  7. Max Z.
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    On an unrelated note, does anyone know what happened to the HumorousMaximus website? I was getting pretty addicted to the Steve Canyon oldies.

  8. Lorem Ipsum
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:27 pm [Reply]

    Fruit Puppet Theatre
    Featuring Brad as Ripe Banana and Toni as Juicy MacMelons.

    Rating: 3 1/2 rotten tomatoes

  9. Comrade Denny
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    The look of pathos on Traze-R’s face in panel 3 makes this who story line worth it too me. Ironically, it takes a robot to give us a glimpse of humanity in a Dick Tracy strip.

  10. Anonymous
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    Are those bananas next to Toni or is Brad just happy to see her? It would be entirely appropriate for Brad to nail Toni in the produce department while Luann was busy outside selling firefighter calendars.

  11. Lithros
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    Based on how Margo ran that gallery, I’d assume that she used the term “art” interchangeably with “dope.”

  12. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:33 pm [Reply]

    Ok, but why is Brad handling melons? Since this is Toni we’re talking about, shouldn’t he be shopping for radishes, or perhaps baby peas? That or those big wax lips they used to sell at the candy counter, whose odd, gummy chewishness would no doubt give him more oral stimulation than he’ll ever get from Toni.

  13. DangerMcGee
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    Regarding today’s Beetle Bailey:
    Has Sarge’s stubble actually melted a razor? I mean, I don’t ask for much from Beetle Bailey, but I’m actually suspicious that I’m missing a panel or something here that would explain this.
    Either that, or under the shaving cream lurks the metallic cheeks of Traz-r.

  14. Uncle Lumpy
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    #12 cheech –

    I dunno, she doesn’t look Chewish.

  15. sitnquiet
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    Working the register and stocking shelves until…

    …the Frankensteinian stitching on her wrist gave way. Ashley’s deformed hand barely cushioned the NUTBOY’s impact on the cold tiles of the SwiftiMart.

    She slowly reattached the misshapen hand and dreamed of the end of her shift, when she could finally go back to being Lynn Griffin and her daddy would come to take her skating.

  16. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    Max Z – I forget where, but I came across a report that the site may have been sabotaged by one of its own employees who wanted to set up a rival site. The report said they hope to save it up and running again this week.

  17. Amateur
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:37 pm [Reply]

    #5 — Sez you. There aren’t enough showers on Earth to wash away the ickiness of that all-sex-all-the-time 9CL storyline.

    Moving right along, how did Ashley in GT manage to borrow Lynn’s ponytail from MW?

  18. Yoqi
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:39 pm [Reply]

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this actually the first time A3G actually admitted it was heroin, albeit in a roundabout manner? Because I’ve been holding out for months, hoping “dope” would turn out to be weed, or perhaps caffeine pills. I’m honestly disappointed.

  19. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    Imagine how many strips could benefit from GA’s newly discovered device of clearly marking the punchline with “Ho-ho-ho!”

    “What girl doesn’t dream of cantaloupe under her tree? Ho-ho-ho!”

    “When the clock strikes one, Maria dies. And you will be part of the murder weapon. Ho-ho-ho!”

    “We’re dirt poor, malnourished, and yet somehow still obese. Ho-ho-ho! (*)”

    (*) Admittedly, only a conjectural Pluggers caption, but you see how drastically the tone and clarity are improved.

  20. Trilobite
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    I doubt Margo would be so indignant if the cop accused her absentee boyfriend of smuggling cocaine. (Interested, definitely. Aroused, quite possibly. But not indignant, never indignant.)

  21. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    A3G – Wait, so the cops think Eric is involved? So does that Tibetan kid he’s escorting across the mountains have a pound of heroin jammed up his ass?

  22. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:43 pm [Reply]

    DT: Going by Dick’s posture in panel 2, am I alone in imagining his next sentence being: “And now, Topo Gigo, right here on our shew.”?

  23. Uncle Lumpy
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    #19 O-eW –

    “Ho-ho-ho!” is the new “in my pants!”

  24. Crankenstank
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:44 pm [Reply]

    Oh Josh. They weren’t joking about Toni’s “melons” but rather Brad’s simply HUGE balls. Think about it from Toni’s perspective: “cantaloupe” under her “tree”. Yes, it’s icky, gross, and disgusting, and funny only if it’s Dagwood with his food disorder delivering the punchline, but maybe it’s about the yang and not the yin.

    On the other hand…what exactly is Brad doing hefting those cantaloupes around like bowling balls?

  25. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    BC Panel 4: …so I fed her to a flcok of vultures.

  26. Tom Harrington
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:46 pm [Reply]

    Honestly, I would have expected Brad to be holding a cucumber and a cinnamon bun and thinking of TJ.

    At least Toni’s not holding a pack of hot dogs while thinking of all the guys back at the fire station.

  27. The Dead Acorn
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    I think he’s thinking of Toni in the context of “can’t elope, due to the emerging awareness of my attraction to TJ.”

  28. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    MW, panel 3: “I ate him. Urp.”

  29. teddytoad
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    Tales of ribaldry, from Archie.

    Also, Margo Magee: “What’re you talking about? ‘Black tar?’ ‘China white?’ You came this close to hinting at the existence of people of color, Detective!”

    Gotta be more careful in this strip, ya think?

  30. Mister Beautiful
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Way to get it off your chest, Josh!

  31. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    Brad: (handling melons) Toni! Hi! I was just thinking about what to get you for Christmas!

    Toni: Aw, that’s awfully sweet, but Dirk already offered to pay for breast implants when I was dating him. A new piercing might be kinda nice, though!

  32. commodorejohn
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    #12 cheech wizard – While I think you’re overstating the case, it is interesting to note that Evans draws Brad’s teenage sister as being bustier than his twenty-something coworker/love tempered affection interest. As if there wasn’t enough squick in this strip.

  33. Jnoble
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:10 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Wouldn’t it be refreshing if, for just ONE DAY, everyone in the world can freely express themselves without fear of reprisal or censorship or the PC Police forcing them to stand behind a podium and apologize to whatever group they “insulted”?

    That being said, if that day were to ever come, I would fully expect a Sunday color strip of ‘Luann’ with every panel showing Brad/Toni Luann/Gunther in a different sexual position just getting it out of their systems.

    Also that day will show Marmaduke being put down for being a repeat public danger. Sorry kids.

  34. Calico
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:17 pm [Reply]

    Um, it looks like the NBC clip actually isn’t available.
    If it is, excuse me-my bad.

  35. Joe
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:24 pm [Reply]

    Why has Brad turned into Bert from Sesame Street in panel one?

  36. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    32/commodorejohn: it is interesting to note that Evans draws Brad’s teenage sister as being bustier than his twenty-something coworker/love tempered affection interest.

    Not only that, but Dean Young draws Blondie, who has to be about 110, as plumper and perkier than both of them put together. Go figure.

  37. Patrick
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    When you say, “Margo literally does not what Detective Collins is talking about,” do you mean she doesn’t do black tar or China white?

    I’m afraid I can’t agree – she’s spent years on her high horse.

    *rimshot*

  38. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    34/Calico: I played it with no problem – maybe it’s your video player.

  39. Frank
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:30 pm [Reply]

    Re: Luann

    A disturbing thought for you. At no point during the strip can we see below Brad’s belt. So when Toni says that she can see that Brad was thinking about her, perhaps it’s a slightly lower visual cue she’s working from.

  40. commodorejohn
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:31 pm [Reply]

    #35 Joe – Looks more like Ernie to me, but that’s a good catch.

    #36 cheech wizard – Blondie made a deal with the Syndicate Devil (think of a figure who is to comic strip characters what the Robot Devil is to the electronic denizens of Futurama.)

  41. Rusty
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    I bet if Evan’s drew Brad to look like Aaron Hill, he and Toni would have 3 kids by now. You know Aaron is getting all the tail he wants in the creator’s fevered mind.

  42. Joe Blevins
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:33 pm [Reply]

    GT: Please tell me someone is already designing the “Nut Boy — It’s Nutty!” t-shirt. Every panel of this Gil Thorp is delightful, from the hilariously lame “Swifti-Mart” to the Soviet washerwoman hag buying vodka and lottery tickets. (Or is that the old lady from the Mr. Show sketch about the Five Voices Within?) A tour de force of sequential art. Bravo!

    DT, panel 3: I stopped following this storyline some time ago. Did it end with Traze-R being turned down for a date and then going home and crying? Because that’s what it looks like.

  43. Peter
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:35 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: Luckily, there are actual pieces at the bottom of Panel 2, so it all makes sense.

  44. kalki
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:36 pm [Reply]

    You forgot the hints of incest feelings Luann seemingly has for her brother, Brad. No less disturbing for a supposed family newspaper comic strip. I wonder what happened to the Gasoline Alley approach to their characters’ sexuality: a pregnancy was the only indicator.

    All this cockteasing in 9 chickweed lane seemingly has paid off for Amos, but we know nothing like that will turn up in Luann. Brad (at best) will turn up one day with a big goofy smile, but that’s it. Maybe, Luann is best suited for Internet only status so that sex issues can be openly addressed without censorship (though it churns the stomach to think that Brad having sex will be shown in any form).

  45. Anita
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:42 pm [Reply]

    I really needed that Jon Lovitz reference today, thanks.

  46. Lettuce
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    Oh, Josh. They don’t mean “black tar” or “china white” *heroin*, they’re merely referring to actual tar and china, illegally smuggled from the roofing materials and porcelain mines that fund anti-Government militias throughout the Orient. “Blood Saucers,” they calls ‘em. It can’t be heroin, because were that the case, it would be interesting.

  47. Art Vandelay
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    I’m going to really miss the nonstop action of the Phantom standing there talking to a sick guy leaning against the same tree that we’ve been treated to every day for the past few months.

  48. Huntch
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    It’s about time you got to the Monday comics (6:20 pm!) after everyone wasted their “A” material on the previous thread. (Not me; I don’t have “A” material)

  49. Carly
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    GT: …and then in the second panel, Marty walks into the Swifti in his wig and dressing gown (because he’s too upset to get dressed today)?

    I’m totally that SNL guy. Not that I’m offended by sex, but I really love subtext in my TV shows more than…text text. It intrigues me.

  50. Lettuce
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:49 pm [Reply]

    The sad and thing about Luann isn’t the lame sexual cliche. The sad thing is that Brad already got to second base, and knows that Toni’s breasts are hard as rock and covered by a thick, protective layer of chitin.

    So, really, he’s being an ass.

  51. Sheila Sternwell
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    I imagined the box in GT to say “It’s Smutty!”, but I’m psychologically disturbed, so.

  52. Hairhead
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:55 pm [Reply]

    Luann – You disgusting, dirty-minded assholes! Brad is at least twenty-two years old, he hears about the normal, vigourous sex lives of his firefighter buddies, but the most he has had in his life is ONE “significant” kiss!!

    Brad is NOT holding up canteloupes. Those are his backed-up, hideously-deformed blue-balled testicles which his mother (the cockblocker) has cut off, and has him take out to “air” once a week.

    Thinking about actual sex! You’re all filthy, filthy, filthy! (Hmm. A thought comes to mind — to whom does Greg Evans masturbate? Toni? Luann, Brad. . . . GUNTHER? Oh please, let it not be Mrs (She Who Must Be Obeyed) DeGroot!)

  53. Harold
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but it’s been one year since the death of Al Scaduto.

  54. Max Z.
    December 8th, 2008 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    Cheech Wizard @ #16: I remember when HumorousMaximus first went offline because of internal sabotage, but it was a year-and-a-half ago (reference here), a few months after they started running the old Steve Canyon strips. They since went back online and have been pretty steady until last week.

    Unless it’s happened again?

  55. Aynthem
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:06 pm [Reply]

    Dear Santa –

    I really, really, really want a NutBoy (“It’s nutty!”) t-shirt for Christmas. Or New Years. Or Martin Luther King Day. Or however long it takes to go into production.

    Hint, Hint, Hint.

    Thank you!

    Aynthem, who is pretty sure that would be the only gift she’d get worth having this year.

  56. AmazingThor
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    Come now, detective, Margo only buys good old fashioned American-made heroin.

  57. Annon
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:08 pm [Reply]

    Thank you, Josh, for your Luann comments. I, too, would like nothing better than to stop thinking about the characters’ sex lives but, you’re right, we just keep getting it thrust in our faces. Powerfully thrust, penetrating our conscious minds and then, further, further into the subconscious. Melons.

  58. kelsy
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    Dear Josh,
    Thanks for contributing to my ever expanding knowledge of pop culture. Tales of Ribaldry was the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

  59. DavidMac
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:12 pm [Reply]

    Josh:

    Great rant! Right on the melon! er . . money!

  60. teenchy
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    Aaugh! I know I’ve made a Tales of Ribaldry reference here somewhere – either in reference to Luann or 9CL. Alas I couldn’t successfully search the discussion forum – kept getting error messages. Excellent reference, dear host!

  61. tb4000
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:16 pm [Reply]

    I swear Brad leaves himself open so much it’s not funny anymore. Any girl that comes on like Toni does, and ISN’T averse to some profanity laden sexual come-ons….Brad, dude….just give her the old one-two knockout already. By which I mean intercourse.

  62. DaveyK
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:24 pm [Reply]

    I think Evelyn Quince would approve of the question “What girl doesn’t dream of cantaloupe under her tree?” as being exquisite ribaldry.

    I, on the other hand, am going to remove all of the fruit from my house, and the Christmas Tree while I am at it, so I am never reminded of Brad having sex again.

  63. Violet
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:27 pm [Reply]

    #51 Sheila Sternwell: See, and here I thought it said “It’s slutty!” That there is not some kind of Gil Thorp-art-based psychological evaluation technique in widespread use strikes me as an egregious oversight on the part of the mental health profession as a whole.

  64. Anna Nimity
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    Calico: Try closing the description box – it should play then.

    Tales of Ribaldry is hilarious! It’s nice to see Mel Gibson way back when he was 1) still really hot and 2) maybe a little less crazy.

  65. Idols of Mud
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:33 pm [Reply]

    3G: Black tar and china white are lucky guesses. The detective doesn’t know what he’s talking about, either, and hides his ignorance by putting together nouns and colors. “Green lampshade? Razor purple? Siena cell phone? Mozambique turqouise?”

  66. gnome de blog
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:44 pm [Reply]

    52 Hairhead said:

    (Hmm. A thought comes to mind — to whom does Greg Evans masturbate? Toni? Luann, Brad. . . . GUNTHER? Oh please, let it not be Mrs (She Who Must Be Obeyed) DeGroot!)

    No, no, no, no, and no. Miss Phelps.

  67. odinthor
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:52 pm [Reply]

    #53. Harold.

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but it’s been one year since the death of Al Scaduto.

    Time to do it one more time… Al, I miss you!

  68. Li’l Bunnë FooFoo
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:59 pm [Reply]

    I’ll tell you what offends ME about Luann today: it’s DECEMBER, people! Cantaloupe season is long gone. I think less of Brad already. SIGH.

    What it reminds me of is Benny Hill. Nobody did melon jokes like Benny Hill. And nobody should.

  69. Poteet
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    Luann — “A hundred and one pounds of fun, That’s my little Honey Bun…”

  70. Calico
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:12 pm [Reply]

    Actually, I believe that Margo enjoys Afghanistani Horse more than the other countries’ swag.

  71. cheech wizard
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:14 pm [Reply]

    54/ Max – I dunno – could be I was looking at an old link

  72. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    9CL, Panel 5: [Announcer] *dies*

  73. dale
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:29 pm [Reply]

    Luann
    My first thought was actually – where are they that two stations are so close together they use the same grocery store?
    Two practical matters:
    If they’re selling crappy calendars to raise money, they can’t afford cantaloupe.
    If you’re buying them, you pick them up one at a time for examination.

  74. Patrick
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:30 pm [Reply]

    Too bad Margo’s gallery isn’t in Milford, with its propensity for slogans that state the obvious. When Margo asks, “What are you talking about?!?” Detective Collins could say, “Black Tar? China White? It’s dopey!”

  75. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Hickory Dickory Dock
    Jameson’s tied to a clock
    It’s not going to fall
    Or do anything interesting at all
    Hickory Dickory Dock

  76. Gabacho
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:34 pm [Reply]

    Mary Worth – so, the photo was a boy. Well, I am corrected. Now as regards this common belief that Mary Worth is a “woman”, how did that rumor get started?

    Rex Morgan – I know affinity cruises are all the rage. I know there are LGBT cruises, Theatre Enthusiasts (often overlap with LBGT), People in Recovery (overlap), and many others. But only the Morgans would book a Bipolar Cruise. You’ll cry, you’ll sneer, you’ll hide in lifeboats, you’ll laugh maniacally. Fun for all your personalities.

  77. Lettuce
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:37 pm [Reply]

    Speaking of SNL, watching “Tales of Ribaldry” this evening, after viewing a YouTube of the current SNL folks performing “Jizz in my Pants” from last Saturday, (yes, that’s the real title), makes me feel sad and nostalgic for the 80s.

  78. Old School Allie Cat
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    I had to explain what I meant about “living in a van…down by the river” to my workmates the other day, so, I remember Tales of Ribaldry fondly, and moreover, it’s nice to know that others still remember it.

    Of course, even though SNL and I are the same age, I still say things like, “Mmm, that’s great bass!” Which would have been cool when I was…two.

    Oh well.

  79. Phred22
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:02 pm [Reply]

    Maybe, Josh, you could direct your to promoting Liberty Meadows, a much sexier and better-drawn comic strip than Lu Ann.

  80. Sheila Sternwell
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    #63 Violet – I think it was determined early on that trying to measure psychoses in units of Thorps was problematic, in that the testing itself was harmful to already-fragile minds.

  81. Tom the Pirate
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    Unfortunately, Liberty Meadows has been on reruns for, like, ever. It’s a shame, ’cause Frank Cho is a flippin’ genius with the female form. But give the guy a few comic-book contracts and ZOOM, his daily strip is history!

  82. bats :[
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:08 pm [Reply]

    Its been one year since Scatudo died
    Breathed his last, gave a sigh and said it’s over.
    Nine months since Abbey got stoned
    Eating funny brownies and a nice roasted chicken
    Six months since Morgu, Rex an’ June
    Raced all over town, looking for diseased mats
    Yesterday Mary counseled Lynn
    But still two days to see if Amos wins
    Still two days to see if Amos wins
    Still two days to see if Amos wins
    Al Scaduto, how I really miss you

  83. rachel
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    #76- as someone with bipolar disorder i can attest to the fact that it causes crying, sneering, and hiding in boats. nothing to do with multiple personalities, though.

    also, i recently caught on to the custom comics page feature on the Houston Chronicle website. i hadn’t read any strips outside of this blog since August as i’ve been abroad in London, and i was really relieved to see that Cathy is still exactly the same. other comics might attempt topical humor, for example politics or the current economic crisis, but “Cathy” realizes that trends come and go while some things are forever hilarious. i don’t know why but it was somehow comforting to see that Cathy is still making jokes about shopping too much, flailing so wildly that she is drawn with six arms and resembles a Hindu goddess, and kicking up huge clouds of dust in her orgiastic consumerist frenzy.

    however, i have recently had to add “Marvin” and “Hi & Lois” to the list of comics that are depressing to read.

  84. Angry Kem
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    Alas…Canadians cannot see the clip. Damn you, NBC. Daaaaaaaaaammmmmnnnnnn yoooooooooooouuuuuuu!

  85. kman
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:32 pm [Reply]

    7 and 54 Max Z. The Steve Canyon strips have moved again. Here’s a current link: http://riphaywire.com/stevecanyon/

  86. Jim
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    Hey, we have to read “LuAnn,” but we depend upon you to snark it. As the Brits say, keep your pecker up.

  87. dyslexic dog
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    Now that this thread is dead I can finally say:
    Brad and Toni were planning to run off and get married, but they can’t elope.

    Gad, that’s terrible!

    “Toni, I’ve got a lovely bunch of kumquats….”

  88. Toronto
    December 8th, 2008 at 11:28 pm [Reply]

    Bats Naked Ladies – Bravo!

  89. dougrogers
    December 8th, 2008 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    is that Elvis in the last panel of Dick Tracy?

  90. Black Drazon
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    Detective Collins has worked it all out, Margo, the “jig” as they say, is up! It works like this: Margo sends her erstwhile fiancée into Tibet, a country known worldwide for its only export: crack cocaine. He smuggles it out of the country using the named successor to the Panchen Lama as a mule, with the plan to turn him in to the Chinese for a bounty if they’re caught at the border. If the drugs do make it into Europe, he cooks them up in a meth lab, because that’s what meth’s made of, after all, and mixes it into coloured paints, which he uses to create drab landscapes, which helps get them across the Atlantic into the States where Alan would strip the paint and gives it to Tommie who grades the street value using her medical skillls, who gives it to an unwitting Luann to create NEW drab landscapes that are sold for millions to a buyer “in the know”. It’s so simple a child could do it!

  91. Flotsam Jetsam
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:57 am [Reply]

    Do I detect a look of profound sorrow on the face of Mary Worth?
    When Lynn said Greg ‘was’ her best friend, Mary immediately caught on that he might just be beyond the reach of even her meddling, and that she would be unable to complete the hat trick of ruining the lives of Lynn, daddy, and now Greg.
    Or can she?

  92. mollificent
    December 9th, 2008 at 1:02 am [Reply]

    #6 Tom the Pirate: Or, as Rory of Gilmore Girls fame once said, “Umm…Father, the ‘special gift’ ship has pretty much sailed. It’s probably in Fiji by now.’”

    DT: What exactly did TRAZE-R do, other than get the shit kicked out of him? I suppose one could argue he kept Le Brut Forcé occupied until reinforcements arrived, but really…not that impressed. Although he does look tragic in that last panel.

    FC: Wash your mouth out with soap RIGHT NOW young lady!

    GT: Clearly the “SwiftiMart” is a Simpsons homage. But where’s Apu?

    MW: Oh, for a pair of virtual scissors to reach into the screen and lop that goddamn ponytail off. Then get started on Mary’s orange jacket/pink psychedelic shirt combo. Pain…the pain…

    MG&G: I for one don’t want to imagine Charlie Brown aging in the style of the FOOBs. He would still be bald, but his bittersweet, innocent smile would have been replaced by the haggard grimace of the damned.

  93. sak
    December 9th, 2008 at 4:32 am [Reply]

    Toni, if want to make polite small talk with Brad for 10 seconds without him mentally undressing you, I recommend that don’t talk like a MadLib.
    Well, what girl doesn’t dream of _____(noun) under her _____(noun)?
    The raw ambiguity of the resulting statements will send his feeble mind straight back to its one place of comfort, the gutter.

  94. Talking Squirrel
    December 9th, 2008 at 8:00 am [Reply]

    #65 Idols of Mud says:
    “3G: Black tar and china white are lucky guesses. The detective doesn’t know what he’s talking about, either”

    Yeah, since black tar and china white come from two entirely different regions of the world, it’d be pretty tough for “Mr. Mills” to be out shopping for both at once. It’s not like going to a deli, or, y’know, “I’ll be right back, I’m just gonna run over to Drugs’R’Us.”

  95. mrskryan
    December 9th, 2008 at 9:31 am [Reply]

    So, Luann is finally scraping rock-bottom and stealing seduction tips from melon-happy Heidi Montag and the kids from MTV’s The Hills. How long before we see Brad and Toni’s fake Mexican wedding, or TJ’s creepy flesh-colored beard?

  96. bartcow
    December 9th, 2008 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    I’m sorry; I wasn’t listening. I was too busy ogling Brad’s man-melons.

  97. Holden
    December 9th, 2008 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    I’m ashamed to admit that the melons joke is exactly the kind of joke I usually tell.

  98. Comrade Denny
    December 9th, 2008 at 10:40 am [Reply]

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned yesterday’s DtM, but I find its Family Circus-esque pun quite menacing.

  99. cubiclemonkey
    December 9th, 2008 at 11:56 am [Reply]

    I can’t search for it because I’m at work, but you know that by now this whole Brad/Toni plot line has surely inspired some of the saddest fan fiction in the world.

  100. nowukkers
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:14 pm [Reply]

    Without wishing to overanalyze, it appears to me that the entire LuAnn strip is a clumsy metaphor for Greg Evans’s own adolescent awkwardness. In which case I would like to suggest to Mr. Evans to leave us the hell out of his angst-ridden weltschmerz and actually write something funny – like, say, #6 Tom the Pirate who caused me to paint my monitor coffee-flavor.

  101. Paul1963
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:15 pm [Reply]

    Margo actually knows more drug terminology, but she’s kept it to herself ever since the time she used the phrase “shooting up with marijuana” and a nearby twelve-year-old laughed so hard he had an asthma attack and had to be rushed to the hospital.

  102. Jumper
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:28 pm [Reply]

    Au contraire, Maestro. The melon rant had me laughing aloud, even before encountering the prime Lovitz plum.

  103. Lord Chubbington
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    Tales of Ribaldry was one of my favorite sketches from 1980s SNL. So appropriate for the ongoing pseudo-romances in Luann. So what’s the deal here – is Brad dating Toni? Its so odd.

  104. teenchy
    December 9th, 2008 at 2:10 pm [Reply]

    ## 6, 92: That ship having weighed anchor, perhaps it’s time for Brad and TJ to board the Raging Queen!

  105. Peter
    December 9th, 2008 at 2:25 pm [Reply]

    There’s a whole Flickr site devoted to people holding melons like Brad is:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/nicemelons/

  106. Phoebe Katz
    December 9th, 2008 at 3:24 pm [Reply]

    Even though Margo was confused by Detective Collins’ question (“Huh? Aren’t tar black and china white paint colors?”), her distended collar, much like the neck of the hooded cobra, warned of danger.

  107. Max Z.
    December 9th, 2008 at 3:38 pm [Reply]

    Kman @ #86: Thanks for the update!

  108. bobk
    December 9th, 2008 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    Thanks for bringing back Tales Of Ribaldry. Though I must note that the Tom Hanks one (in which he plays a lusty bootblack) is even funnier and will be even more of a revelation for those only familiar with his later career.

  109. Canuckguy
    December 9th, 2008 at 6:36 pm [Reply]

    $20 says that, thanks to those damn “Truth In Advertising laws” that even affect the sleepy little burg of Milford, the tagline for NUT BOY is “It’s shitty!” It sells well in Milford because they really don’t care about their food. Or quality of life.

  110. AtomicDog
    December 9th, 2008 at 9:55 pm [Reply]

    Just as long as Brad and Toni don’t run into each other at the taxidermist’s.

    “Nice beaver!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yImshz4FHoE&feature=related

  111. survivor
    December 10th, 2008 at 10:58 am [Reply]

    Sex in the comics has the same taboo nature as spousal abuse did a half-century ago on ‘The Honeymooners’. You may threaten it – but don’t actually do it.

    On that note, I would actually chuckle at ‘Luann’ if Brad ended each strip with a frustrated, wide-eyed, “One of these days, Toni, one of these days BANG! RIGHT IN THE VAGINA!”

  112. DownwithOPP
    December 10th, 2008 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    If Luann (the strip, not the character) had any balls whatsoever, Toni would have replied “Me too” whilst cradling a large English cucumber near her ample bosum. Ok, maybe that goes too far. But, you’ve got to admit, for a comic, Toni is totally hot.

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