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Hagar the mildly unpleasant

Hagar the Horrible, 5/14/05

I’m not even going to dwell on the ostensible humor content of this strip. I mean, I really think a pair of bloodthirsty Viking warriors and one of their Valkyrie-like mates could think of “something” to get the attention of the waiter that’s a little more forceful than standing on the furniture. That “something” should at a bare minimum involve the severed head of the maître d’ and a rusty pike if any of our diners want to have a hope of entering Valhalla in gore-soaked triumph.

But what I’m really worried about his the The Horribles’ domestic situation. Specifically, what kind of married couple goes out on a date to a fancy romantic restaurant and brings the husband’s dorky sidekick along? Couples in trouble, that’s what kind! Are Hagar and Helga so terrified by the prospect of staring across the table at one another with nothing to say that they’ve dragged Lucky “Third Wheel” Eddie (or maybe that should be “Lucky” “Third Wheel” Eddie) along to break up the long, painful silences with his patented brand of deliberately-missing-the-point comedy? Or maybe I’m coming at things from the wrong angle: maybe Lucky Eddie has become so well-beloved by the hardcore Hagar the Horrible audience (which, against all logic, I feel must exist somewhere, or else why does the strip persist in existing?) that every time he fails to make an appearance in the strip, angry letters pour in to King Features Syndicate. Perhaps some day, after Hagar and Helga have converted to Christianity and gone off to raise sheep in Iceland, the strip will follow the lead of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith and be called Hagar the Horrible and Lucky Eddie, with decades passing between appearances of the former. It’ll be just like Joey, but (and I can’t believe I’m typing this) not as funny.

43 responses to “Hagar the mildly unpleasant”

  1. wednesday white
    May 14th, 2005 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    No, no, no; I think it’s perfectly obvious why Eddie’s come along on their romantic dinner.


  2. Ron
    May 14th, 2005 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    “Lucky” Eddie indeed!

  3. E-man's world
    May 14th, 2005 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    The lack of comments for this post disturbed me. This is just to pad the count a bit.

  4. Danny Joe
    May 14th, 2005 at 5:03 pm [Reply]

    Hey what about Judge Parker? When was the last time ANYONE saw Judge Parker in his eponymous strip?

    Danny (at least Mary Worth shows up!) Joe

  5. violencejackal
    May 14th, 2005 at 5:19 pm [Reply]

    Personally, I like how the snooty socialite on the left is looking back at them through her head like one looks at a car accident or Michael Jackson. She’s embarassed to be sharing the same space, obviously, but she doesn’t really know what to do about it. Whether it’s because they’re standing on the furniture, because they happen to be, y’know, VIKINGS, or because they’re, y’know, Hagar the Whoreable and his entourage (my bet) is anybody’s guess. OH GOD NOT THE FURNITURE! Though I guess if I had vikings at my establishment and the worst they could do is stand on the furniture, we’d be in good shape. The last vikings I had at my restaurant (“restaraunt?”) set some poor guy on fire when he ordered a tennis shoe souffle.

  6. Bill Peschel
    May 14th, 2005 at 5:36 pm [Reply]

    It’s a sad commentary on my life that I should be reduced to editing “Hagar the Horrible,” but my first thought on seeing the strip was, “Why is Helga up there? Shouldn’t she be seated, hiding her face in shame at her husband’s boneheaded hi-jinks?”

  7. Hysterical Woman
    May 14th, 2005 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    How come all the non-Viking men wear full body sacks? And the woman wear any old looking clothes. Oh wait, this is lame comic.
    And yes, Lucky Eddie is going to get lucky. Well, if getting it on with overweight middle-aged Vikings can be considered lucky.

  8. glubb?
    May 14th, 2005 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    The sight of vikings on stools has apparently caused the maitre’d to lose control of his bowels.

  9. Adouble
    May 14th, 2005 at 6:34 pm [Reply]

    Ever go out to a restaurant on a date, and halfway through notice that their is someother couple that hasn’t said a single word to each other the whole evening? They just stare awkwardly at each other. And now suddenly you and your date just stare at them staring, and it makes you so depressed, worrying that that is your future. That’s why some doomed couples bring along comic relief sidekicks. Now all the other couples just wonder things like why are maitre’ds losing bowel control and why some men are wearing burlap sacks.

  10. Mibbitmaker
    May 14th, 2005 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    Hagar: “I’m not sure what it’s called, but I believe it’s….. manage a tois?…”

    “Lucky”: “Hey, that’s just like on ‘Seinfeld’!”

    Helga: “You idiot; ‘Seinfeld’ won’t exist for centuries, yet!”

  11. Anne Nonymous
    May 14th, 2005 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    More ménages à trois, mule!

  12. Anne Nonymous
    May 14th, 2005 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    P.S. But will they need more Cialis?

  13. RememberByronFrost
    May 14th, 2005 at 7:34 pm [Reply]

    Possible crossover alert!

    GARFIELD: Bad date.

    I was seated next to a Viking trio who stood on the furniture in the ritzy restaurant, and then the guy with spikes on his helmet tried to make a shish-ka-bob out of ME!

  14. CBrachyrhynchos
    May 14th, 2005 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    There are a couple places where we are regulars, but the service can be spotty at the start of the School Year with an influx of new waitstaff. As a result, we hit on the 10 minute rule. After waiting a reasonable amount of time, we set the timer for another 10 minutes, then if we still don’t get service, we wear the menus on our heads.

  15. Incident
    May 14th, 2005 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    This strip made me laugh, only because it reminded me of the “Spam” sketch.

  16. J. Po
    May 14th, 2005 at 9:20 pm [Reply]

    Hagar? I got nothing. Sorry.

  17. PizzaBagel
    May 14th, 2005 at 9:59 pm [Reply]

    I’m the first to admit that I’m not the sharpest tack in the box. So I attributed that fact to my WTF response to this unintelligible where’s-the-punchline (Chris Browne: What’s a punchline?) Hagar. Glad to see that it perplexed Curmudgeon-Pope Josh I, too. And he skewered it far better than I ever could.

    On a totally different note: I discovered another comic-strip faux pas, in today’s Soup to Nutz.

    Babs, playing Bingo with her dorky/sissy brother Andrew, calls out “G-32.” But numbers in the “G” column run from 46 to 60. The comics writers and editors seem to be slacking off with more frequency lately. “Restaraunt,” indeed!

  18. Islamorada Girl
    May 14th, 2005 at 10:09 pm [Reply]

    I got nothing either.

  19. MrPerson
    May 14th, 2005 at 10:12 pm [Reply]

    My God… This brings a whole new dimension to Monty Python’s “Spam” skit! The singing Vikings were actually fed up with the waitress not paying any attention to them!

    So they, y’know… Did something!

  20. sickboy
    May 14th, 2005 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    Was the noise from the apartment in Saturday’s FBOFW supposed to be Michael and Deana’s “mattress dancing”?

    My first thought was it was the kid running around, but after the other cartoons this week, I’m not so sure.

    FBOFW has me thinking everything’s straight out of Grandpa’s filthy fantasies. Thanks a lot, Lynn!

  21. PizzaBagel
    May 15th, 2005 at 12:27 am [Reply]

    Mark Trail, world-renowned gum historian and sapodilla expert (Who are you callin’ a sapodilla?), enlightens his young charge that 1928 saw the introduction of the first pink-colored bubble gum, called Blibber-Blubber. Also that Thomas Adams, after realizing that chicle was useless as synthetic rubber apparently decided to chew the stuff (in a fit of rage?). A real “Aha!” moment.

    Note: Beware of giant rabid racoons who take a fancy to your provisions. Hack! Sputt! Blibber-Blubber!

  22. daChipster
    May 15th, 2005 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    Yes, the spam sketch, of course, but really I thought more a rip-off of the Blues Brothers.

    “How much for the little girl? You’re women, we want to buy them.”

    The waiter rushing in from stage left is a Medieval “Mr Fabulous” Alan Rubin.

    Hagar: “We’re putting the raiding party back together.”

    Lucky Eddie: “We’re on a mission from Odin.”

  23. Monkeys Uncle
    May 15th, 2005 at 10:19 am [Reply]

    When it comes to “Lucky Eddie” or should that be “Lucky” Eddie! or “(Lucky) Eddie”! anyway my question has always been why does he wear a funnel on his head? A close second is how has he avoided being eaten by Hagar when trapped on one of those tiny tropical islands on which they are always getting marooned.

    I know when I am getting bad service at a fancy restaurant I usually start to whisper about the bad service to my dinner companions, rattle my ice in the glass, and place my closed menus by the edge of the table. When the server finally arrives I politely place my order, smile and then when the server walks off I roll my eyes and shake my head ever so slightly. That will teach them to ignore me!

  24. violencejackal
    May 15th, 2005 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    Maybe I’m giving too much thought to this (probably more than the hagar machine did), but is the joke supposed to be that it’s funny to stand on furniture or that it’s funny that VIKINGS are standing on furniture? Because….well, Hagar would have to have participated in more viking-like behaviour in the past for me to really see the irony. Perhaps it is a sad commentary on the politically correct nature of society that these days, a once-proud warrior is reduced to standing on chairs in protest as opposed to being allowed to participate in his gods-given berserker rage. This is what has become of society, a watered-down sham in which it is no longer possible to be true to one’s self. I am sad for Hagar. So very sad.

  25. Timbo
    May 15th, 2005 at 3:25 pm [Reply]

    “See? I told you it would work!”

    What, did Helga and Eddie argue at length with Hagar that standing on furniture would fail to gain their server’s attention?

  26. fluffytufts
    May 15th, 2005 at 3:57 pm [Reply]


  27. perfesser
    May 15th, 2005 at 5:15 pm [Reply]

    As someone who always starts reading the comics page with Hagar just to get the disappointment out of the way, I have to applaud Chris Browne for his progressive and apparently misunderstood allegory on polyamory. This Horrible outing is no seedy threesome: Could the lack of sexual tension be portrayed any more plainly on Helga and Lucky’s faces? Instead, Browne asserts that loving relationships can overlap in harmony. With the exception of the waiter (the social establishment rushing in to draw attention away from patrons he can only regard as “horny”), their fellow diners are… curious! Standing on furniture is a literal “stance”, and “See?” is a comment on the predictable response of those who have been stuck in the past (i.e., the dusty kitchen).

    In defense of my interpretation I offer Browne’s response to an interviewer’s question: If you were to cast a movie entirely with cartoon characters, what movie would it be and who would star in it?

    “… there are plans afoot to make a Hagar live action movie. If asked, I would cast Danny Devito as Hagar, Bette Midler or Katy Segal as Helga, Paul Reubens as Lucky Eddie, Hillary Duff as Honi and myself as Dirty Dirk.”

  28. Jay Nickola
    May 15th, 2005 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    “. . . the hardcore Hagar the Horrible audience (which, against all logic, I feel must exist somewhere. . .)”

    This phrase reminds me of the most baffling order I ever filled while working at a custom framing shop. Customer brought in about fifty panels of . . . The Lockhorns, cut out of the paper. Wanted ‘em matted and framed. The Lockhorns. I couldn’t get over it. I still can’t. The Lockhorns. What in God’s holy hell possesses a person to COLLECT the LOCKHORNS? In the face of such facts, it seems plausible, however disturbing and unaccountable, that there would also exist a dedicated audience for Hagar the Horrible.

  29. Lysana
    May 15th, 2005 at 6:20 pm [Reply]

    What do you mean, when Hagar and Helga convert to Christianity? Consider this:

    I can’t locate it online, but I also distinctly remember a strip that consisted of Helga doing bedtime prayers by kneeling down and folding her hands in supplication. Browne’s always drawn that strip as modern America in bearskins. Not that anyone ever asked for historical accuracy in a comic strip *cough*Prince Valiant*cough*.

  30. Islamorada Girl
    May 15th, 2005 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    I went to a meeting, hosted by consulatants, a couple of years ago where all the presentations and handouts were centered around a Hagar cartoon theme. Everyone there but me thought this was cutting edge and trendy.
    I was afraid, very afraid that they would make us all wear Viking hats or worse and escaped down the fire exit stairs at lunch.

  31. Islamorada Girl
    May 15th, 2005 at 7:02 pm [Reply]

    Let’s all pretend that was the Norse spelling of consultants. Humor me.

  32. J. Po
    May 15th, 2005 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    Hagar? Consulatants? I still got nothin’.

  33. Peaches
    May 15th, 2005 at 9:41 pm [Reply]

    Fun MT factoid: General Santa Ana of Alamo fame ended up in exile in New Jersey. He brought chicle with him, and is the founding father of chewing gum. Blow that out your shorts, Jack Elrod! You can run to high ground from unpleasant bits of history, but you can’t hide!

  34. daChipster
    May 15th, 2005 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    N-to-the-ickola: My bet would be that the person was a marriage counselor, and he somehow thought that the Lockhorns would be representative of something. “Aww, you two aren’t that bad. Look how bad Leroy and Loretta have it.” And the unfortunate couple was thinking “Does he think the Lockhorns are real?”

    Needless to say, he didn’t make it as a marriage counselor so, using his “people skills,” he became a meeting facilitator. He decided his previous problem wasn’t the use of comics, but rather which comic to choose. “Hey, what about Hagar?” he wondered.

    “Brilliant!” said the guys who are now doing Guiness commercials.

    The perk of getting Islamorada Girl into Honi’s metal bustier didn’t occur to him until much, much later.

  35. Zanzibar
    May 15th, 2005 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    The metal funnel hat was frequently worn by doctors and surgeons in the middle ages, although I’m not exactly sure what its function was, if there was one. Here’s an example in Hieronymus Bosch’s The Extraction of the Stone of Madness:

  36. PizzaBagel
    May 16th, 2005 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    By gosh, you’re right, Zanzibar! So could Lucky Eddie be a former physician (a la Theodoric of York) who has gone mad? Maybe he was driven out of business by Dr. Zook, or had his pants sued off by Koyer the Lawyer. (Apparently, Hagar’s recurring minor characters have burrowed their way deep into my tiny mind. Begone, Sir Whatshisname!) And what’s the significance of balancing a book on one’s head as the rightmost gent in Bosch’s painting is doing?

    Meanwhile, in today’s RMMD, those two dopes, Rex and June – her words, not mine – realized what we Curmudgeonites knew all along, that Pus-Boy gave her a letter to mail to his Mama in Missoula. (“What did you do with it?” “I put it in my purse so I wouldn’t forget to mail it!” “So you mailed it?” “Nope, I forgot!”)

    Lastly, Mary Worth is counting her blessings that she has so many desperate folks in her otherwise humdrum existence into whose affairs she can poke her nose. If only they’d keep their distance from her maybe she’d shrivel up and die, but I’m afraid there’s no such luck of that happening.

  37. Islamorada Girl
    May 16th, 2005 at 6:55 am [Reply]

    Bosch’s paintings are filled with visual puns on cultural references only Mary Worth is old enough to remember.

    On the other hand, why is that surgeon trepanning Archie Bunker?

  38. J.Po
    May 16th, 2005 at 8:49 am [Reply]

    I think we have broken new and exciting ground in drawing connections between Bosch and the comics. How exciting!

    Or maybe I’m just excited by the phrase Islamorada Girl into Honi’s metal bustier .

    I’m just not sure.

  39. cz
    May 17th, 2005 at 1:31 am [Reply]

    i must be losing it but i didn’t even notice that they were standing on stools at first

  40. x.
    May 17th, 2005 at 6:55 pm [Reply]

    Following the comics’ route of going for the most overplayed concepts to aid in attempts at humor, it seems like maybe they’re pretending they saw a mouse and are standing on their stools in horror, ala Tom and Jerry’s unseen maid.

    That said, I’ll take Hagar the Horrible any day over the gloriously cancelled horribleness that was Raising Duncan.

  41. Holden
    August 28th, 2005 at 6:46 pm [Reply]

    Wow, that waiter is REALLY shocked, to the fact that they’re only standing on chairs.

  42. PInk Haired Girl
    November 30th, 2006 at 9:42 pm [Reply]

    What kind of person names their kid Lucky Eddie? Hmmm. You know, I had never thought wery deeply about the comics like this before I knew about this site. Hmmm.

  43. Roger M. Wilcox
    May 26th, 2013 at 8:00 pm [Reply]

    Amid speculation that Eddie has come along on their romantic dinner to get “lucky” with the both of them, my speculation ran along a very … different line.

    They brought Eddie along to be SERVED UP AS THE MAIN COURSE! Run, Eddie, run!!

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