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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.

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