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A pensive moment with Dick Tracy, before the killings

Dick Tracy, 12/2/09

So it turns out that one of my earlier assumptions — that Dick’s reference to “long hair stuff” meant that he and his wife would be attending one of those subversive rock and roll shows, put on by some damn hippie band — was off by several centuries. It turns out, intriguingly enough, that up until the 1960s “long-hair music” denoted classical music. You can find the etymology here, but the gist is that 19th century artists and intellectuals (the damn hippies of their day, like this shaggy-haired punk here) tended to wear their hair long; by the 20th century, the term came to denote intellectuals generally, most of whom by now had gotten respectable haircuts, and by the 1930s it was being used by jazz musicians and journalists to refer to classical musicians, who apparently appealed to a more high-falutin’ educated audience.

Obviously this whole association between classical music and long hair in American vernacular English was abruptly and definitively ended by the advent of the aforementioned long-haired hippies and their rock and roll music. Thus, Dick’s persistent use of it is revealing. Like all right-thinking American law enforcement officials, he hates hippies with every particle of his being; in his fight against what they and their dope-smoking have done to this nation’s moral fiber, he simply refuses to even acknowledge their existence, and will speak as if the 1960s never happened and everyone associates long hair with tempestuous 19th century German artists.

Almost as interesting as all this social etymology is how depressed Dick looks in panel two. “Am I ready for long-hair music?” he asks himself, as if this was the last stage in a man’s life before death. “Normally the only music I listen to is made up of perps begging for mercy as their bones are shattered. Has it really come to this?”

Mary Worth, 12/2/09


272 responses to “A pensive moment with Dick Tracy, before the killings”

  1. Spotted HØrse, Jungle Steed
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Wow. I’m lost, just swimming in Wilbur’s starey baby blues. Does Wilbur ever take off those glasses? I’ll bet he’s beautiful when he takes off his glasses.

  2. Hal Jordan
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    DT: Actually, the villain in panel 3 has really, really long hair. He is presumably a musician (and needs a good killin’)

  3. Ellie
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Is that a piece of chalk in Mary’s hand? Looks like she’s getting ready to write KICK ME on the back of Wilbur’s shirt.

  4. Honeypot
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    I know quite a few classical musicians, and most dress fairly conservatively. Long hair has definately gone out of style. I’m looking forward to someone being beaten to death with a violin.

    I’m also depressed about the recent spate of Food Network references on Cathy – that’s pretty much what I watch, although not so obsessively. I liked it better when she was ack’ing at the mall. Hate to think I have anything in common with any of those people.

  5. Cranky
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    Ah, Wilbur Weston, treading that fine line between “bad intentional comb-over” and “ignore those stray strands blown in place by the wind.”

    As a counterpoint: Maestro McHair, who can use his ass-long locks as a bathrobe and tie them in place with his scarf.

  6. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:39 am [Reply]


    Belated congrats to the float-riders. Was out of commission yesterday.

    RMMD: Adolf Hitler receives a poignant reminder of the Aryan ideal of which he falls so short.

    A3G: And the award for “Pickiest Suspicious Wife of the Year” goes to Bobbie Merrill. “No, forget this floozie. Bring me pictures of a first class floozlie.”

    9CL: “Inasmuch as I’m supposed to be in love with you”? There’s a love story for the ages.

    BB: God help me, Gen Halftrack’s cluelessness actually made me laugh today.

    SFx: 4) If your field of vision is filled with bubbles when you brush something, your toothpaste is laced with something. 4) True.

    Archie: Every time Archie gets better than a C+ on a test, he has to excuse himself and change his shorts.

    DtM: “Anyway, it was mom’s idea to borrow it. Since it didn’t work, she called the cable guy over. I’ll need someplace to stay for the next two hours.”

    GT: Look out! That midriff may be loaded!

    Luann: Maybe it’s the breasts. Nancy is jealous that some other woman may be nursing her baby now. Admit it. That’s not even the sickest interpretation of her behavior.

    MW: Screw Wilbur. I want to know more about the guy in the background shooting darts at his neighbors from a blowgun. He’s got spinoff potential.

    Blondie: That kind of looks like a place where you should bring your own silverware anyway.

    H&L: Seriously Lois. If the best you can do is microwave Dawg’s Alpo and put it in front of Trixie, sprinkling some sugar on it is the least you can do.

  7. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    Is the to-be villain in Dick Tracy holding a briefcase or a violin bag? THE SUSPENSE IS LITERALLY KILLING ME!

  8. Mollie
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    This is amazing. God, I love Dick Tracy. Not only is the strip blithely forging ahead with slang that stopped making sense many decades before I was born; it’s now building a plot around characters who are defined by said nonsensical slang. See, that guy (?) in “The City” has long hair! It tells you everything you need to know about his personality, provided you’ve been in a coma since 1955! In future episodes, Dick will insult a medical doctor by calling him “Sawbones,” and solve a crime on a college campus, populated entirely by male undergrads who smoke pipes and wear fur coats. (The colored maid who cleans their rooms is the killer, obviously.)

  9. Dragon of Life
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:48 am [Reply]

    “I may miss Iris, but you cannot miss my irises!”

  10. wossname
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:51 am [Reply]

    MW – I really really REALLY hope the intergenerational conflict between Wilbur and Dawn is not going to have anything to do with the Internets, or Twitter, or texting, or any of those other newfangled devices the kids are so crazy about.

  11. Chyron HR
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    Mary Worth – Now we pull in for the extreme close-up and see Wilber kill a fly with his eyelashes.

    9 Chickweed LaneDid anything resembling this cockamamie plot actually happen during WW2?!

    Edge City – Wow! The “Speedcutz” haircut was so fast that relativistic effects made her hair longer than it was before!

    Curtis – “I am a child born for the limelight! In touch with some reality beyond the gilded cage!”

    Hagar the Horrible – “Hagar was here… and killed our chefs in a bloodthirsty frenzy, of course.”

    Plugger – You’re a Plugger if give your Family Circusesque grandchildren looks of seething contempt.

    Spider-Man – “[The Sandman] was the best cook I ever had!” “What did he make?” “GRITS!”

  12. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    MW: I am sorry but when Wilbur says “he needed Dawn’s help” sick thoughts come to mind. This man needs to be removed from Chaterstone. Wossname I hope some sort of texting is involved so Terry Bryson is back in the forefront!

    Side note: in the first panel is that a miniature man on Wilbur’s shoulder hitting him?

  13. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    MW: It looks like we have found Josh’s EVILSCARYCLOWN!!! equivalent.

  14. anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy has been around, since, oh, about 1931. That makes him 78 years old. Is he JUST NOW trying to wrap his head around the concept of “symphony” and “long hair music”? Cripes, a little out of touch with the real world, are we? Probably some of those “long hair musicians” are his contemporaries!

  15. gleeb
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:05 pm [Reply]

    Dick: Dick Tracy, like the Bat-Man, is haunted by the past. The past in which Paganini killed his grandfather.

  16. Niall
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:08 pm [Reply]


    Archie could be easily modified to show Archie blowing his wad in class. It certainly would fit better the different expressions: Weatherbee’s shock, and Grundy’s world-weariness. (She’s old enough to have probably been a hippie and nothing much fazes her, but it doesn’t mean it won’t displease her.)

    Beetle: ow can it be Humps-day when she doesn’t even have a speaking role? Also: if that’s what they think young people say today, they’re a good ten years out of date. Aren’t basbeball caps now worn sideways?

    Curtis: I honestly did not expect the last panel. See, Billingsley? Once you start going for the full exaggeration, you start getting actually creative and interesting. Stop taking half-measures!

    FC: I’m starting to feel for Gramma: no matter what she does, she’s stuck with them. She wouldn’t hurt the porr littel dears, it’s not as if their stupidity was their fault. Stupid genes from the father’s side. Stupid men. Never good for anything. But alas, she’s too rigid inher ways to experiment with anything now, so happiness will always elude her.

    Parker: The only important question is: is the security guard pretty? No. Therefore the blatant schoolyard lie (“Yes I was!”) will work.

    Mary: Gyahhh! PULL BACK!! and now.. flashback! See? I told you there would be one!

    Morgenergency: Awwww, Sad Hitler is moping. No stalking for you!

  17. Buck Ripsnort
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    Prediction: Wilbur’s “I needed Dawn’s help” will lead to a storyline about his computer. Or erectile dysfunction.

  18. thehollis
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:13 pm [Reply]

    I think the title of your post should’ve been “A pensive moment with Wilbur, before the killings”

  19. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    Ask your sawbones if long-hair music is jake for you.

  20. Lawyerbob
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:22 pm [Reply]

    Little does Dick know that what Scarfy McLonghair “got” was the score to “In C”, the minimalist masterpiece by Terry Riley, which he will perform instead of the Brahms 3d Symphony that everyone thought they would be attending, thereby making the “old man” (i.e., the manager of the orchestra) go ballistic. Now, I love this work, but I imagine that oh, about 40 minutes into the pulse of a repeated middle C and the repeated short musical phrases by the other musicians, Dick will be ready to pull out his gun and kill everyone on stage. In other words, contrary to his expectations, he will have no trouble at all relaxing at the symphony!

  21. imperturbe
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    MW – Twitter? Waaayyy too up to date!

    Wilbur – “I swear, these kids today, what with their rock-n-roll music and fax machines!”

  22. Lucky
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    9 Chickweed Lane – Did I get this right, Edie is supposed to pretend to be Bill’s German girlfriend? This isn’t a secret mission, this is fulfilling his secret fantasy! I understand that sleeping with the enemy would be… well, sleeping with the enemy, but picking up innocent young girls and making a nonsense story about how their country needs them in order to get under their skirts is really bad form.

    Spider-Man – Why did I misread that as “the best cock I ever had”? Oh, right, because there was a hot dog and the name Willy in the first panel.

  23. tb4000
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    Tracy’s Dick: Damn longhairs always trying to put Baroque sensibilites into an obviously Romantic era sonet…..a good hitch in Vietnam will straighten that out.

  24. mollificent
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    Y#134 bats: Oh man! I so wish I wasn’t totally busy this week…that would be a fun parody to add to my Youtube collection. Remind me about it in a few weeks when my life calms down, will you? :D

    Rex Morgan: Augh. I’m going to see Tim’s creepy eyes in my dreams tonight! I may have to watch naked Ewan McGregor movies to clear out my mental cache. (Luckily there’s a smorgasbord of options…;))

  25. Lolsworth
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    FC: Is poor Grandma Dennehy ever going to escape that house? Is she a new regular character or something?

  26. Stu
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:32 pm [Reply]

    Wilbur’s a fake. Those phony glasses are meant to make us think he actually has eyes.

  27. Ned Ryerson
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

    Wilbur Weston’s whispy hairs are actually an EEG readout for the collective mental energy of those gathered at the Charterstone pool party. I’m an amateur EEG interpreter in my spare time. The current readout on the Wilburhead 5000 looks to me like it would be consistent with a subject who has just had a pretty intense session of Electroconvulsive therapy.

  28. Joe Blevins
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    DT: I see Dick is wearing his extra-thick black outline to protect him from the longhair music he’s about to endure. That’s an impermeable membrane of manliness which no fruity “culture” can possibly breach.

  29. Mustang
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:46 pm [Reply]

    “The generation gap was obvious when I needed her help the other day.”

    I can’t wait for the next strip. What was Wilbur asking Dawn for help with? Dialing a rotary phone? Removing a bottle cap? Reading an analog clock?

  30. Jacob
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:47 pm [Reply]

    Marmaduke: The kid touts Marmaduke’s refusal to chase stationary vehicles as a mark of honour. I guess he isn’t aware that hell-beast that he is, Marmaduke thrives off of the hunt- the exhilaration of chasing, and then ripping the larynx out of someone is just what gets his adrenaline going (and therefore what he does for fun).

    Mark Trail: So, Mark drives his station-wagon, say, ninety kilometres an hour off a ledge at least two metres up, and all it suffered was a broken tire? Maybe he stuck his arm out the window and punched the air below to soften the impact or something.

  31. Digger
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:56 pm [Reply]

    I’d love to hear what Dick Tracy considers to be good “short-hair music.” Or perhaps he takes it a step further and prefers “balding music.” If so, he may enjoy listening to the off-key bleatings of one Wilbur Weston. Of course, Wilbur would first have to trim those long comb-over hairs.

  32. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    6 AFKA Ben: I, too, smiled at BB today because it reminded me of a number of men the buckyhusband works with: guys in their 40s and 50s who believe that if they wear big, baggy sports jerseys and jeans, 23-year-old chicks will dig them. Ranks up there among the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

  33. Master Softheart
    December 2nd, 2009 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    JP: I would attribute Steve’s stunning, effortless lack of professional ethics to Sam’s bad influence, but since we already know that he was involved in black ops, illegal interrogation, and torture in Afghanistan, I think we have to give Sam a pass on this one and put the blame on Dick Cheney. It’s sad, but I suppose that all of Steve’s JAG colleagues who cared about the law were weeded out by 2007. Compared with the things Steve’s done, tampering with evidence and lying to police are barely misdemeanors.

    Based on the fact that his lies would embarrass a fifth grader caught cheating on a math quiz, though, he has definitely picked up Sam’s casual contempt for the intelligence of almost everyone else in the strip. Either that or he learned the Jedi mind trick from George Clooney’s character in The Men Who Stare at Goats – not to be confused with our distinguished goat wrangler here at the CC… who may well look like George Clooney, but to my knowledge has never used any goat-related psychic powers he might have to tamper a police investigation.

    In any case, unless that cop wandered in from Mark Trail, Steve’s day is about to get much worse.

    9CL: And speaking of portraying military intelligence badly in the comics, I have learned two things from this plotline. Thing the first: unless Edie Ernst was quite under-age in 1944 (and I presume that Ms. Hayworth would not be impressed by the virginal demeanor of a 13 year-old), the generation gap of the Burber family is very strange. Thing the second: it is amazing that the allies in the weird alternate dimension of the Chickverse (a reality where global media attention is grabbed by amateur Belgian cello porn) managed to win the war.

    Or, much more likely, blob-faced Lt. O’Malley has made the whole thing up to nail a naive USO performer and is about as poor a liar as Steve Shannon. He is even now gleefully imagining what he will tell his pals in the latrine-digging platoon that he commands – he never believed that this line would actually work!

    Which, come to think of it, might help explain Edie’s character in the normal timeline of the strip.

  34. Gold-Digging Nanny
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    True Fable — Goat! Goat with laser eyes on Dr. McNinja!

  35. Bitter Scribe
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    I’ve always understood “long-hair music” to refer to music by contemporary classical composers–Philip Glass and the like. It makes a certain sense, because calling something “classical” that was written only a few years (or even decades) ago seems oxymoronic.

    Of course, I may be completely off-base. I don’t much care, because in most cases, modern compositions are the stuff I sit through to get to the Beethoven and Mozart I crave.

  36. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

  37. Patrick
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    Is this year’s Charterstone pool party theme “Hold Your Food And Beverages at an Awkward Angle?”

  38. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    #18 – Hahaha!

  39. odinthor
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    Love Is . . . — Escaping from the harsh realities of today into the bankrupt fantasies of the past!

    Baldo. — “And on much the same premise,” he said, grabbing a cleaver and edging closer to Gracie, “considering that the world’s population is about 6.8 billion, there being one fewer person would make no difference to anybody!”

    Luann. — Ha ha! It’s funny because Toni doesn’t realize that, subconsciously, Brad likes her precisely because his mother doesn’t! Better put out that match, Toni . . .

  40. Chibigodzilla
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:25 pm [Reply]

    Apparently the British are Pluggers now too.

  41. littlestevie
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    MW: Seeing in the last story how up to date the medical technology was in Santa Royale General, I have a feeling that Wilbur is having some trouble with his 8 track.

  42. Steve S
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    Dick looks suicidal about this concert. The silver lining is that it’ll lead to the only kind of music he truly likes, gunfire.

  43. It's time to pay the price
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:40 pm [Reply]

    I predict that Dick’s eyes will quickly light up when he reads the description for the 1812 overture in the program. This will only set him up for a huge disapointment though when he realizes that they won’t actually be shooting cannons into the audience.

  44. Fashion Police
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    We had thought that the outbreak of orange suits in Apartment 3-G and Mary Worth was disturbing. However, seeing Peter’s electric-blue leisure suit jacket in its full glory we understand why Becka would spend the evening gallivanting about in the rain with even such a second-rater as Mr. Tim Howard.

  45. BigTed
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm [Reply]

    Seen close-up, it’s obvious that Wilbur is actually Allan Sherman, the famed Jewish-style popular music parodist of the mid-’60s. I can’t wait to hear his new song, “Meddler on the Roof.”

  46. Darkefang
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: I assume another one of Michelle’s talents is building time machines. The Muppet Show has been off the air for thirty years and I’m pretty sure that nobody’s listened to El Debarge since 1986.

    GT: Revenge is a dish best served cold boring.

  47. John Small Berries
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:48 pm [Reply]

    What the hell happened to Tess’s face? It looks like the bastard love-child of western comic art and manga.

  48. TheDiva
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 pm [Reply]

    Curtis: The Muppet Show went off the air in 1981, meaning that even if Michelle was slated to appear at the tender age of two during the final season, she should be thirty now. She might be referring to Muppets Tonight, but really, who remembers that? (Of course MIchelle’s parents could be lying to her or she could be delusional, both of which would make perfect sense in the strip’s context.)

    DT: So what kind of music does Dick listen to? Classical is obviously not his thing, and as Josh pointed out he wouldn’t dream of touching that “rock and roll” stuff The Kids These Days seem to be so interested in. Country is too sentimental, jazz probably has too many colored folks involved in it, and new age is obviously right out. Maybe he believes music itself is frivolity and thus an abomination unto the Lord.

    MW: The combover is always an act of delusion and/or desperation, but Wilbur’s is surely the most delusional and desperate example of the breed I’ve ever seen. Perhaps the “help” he needed from Dawn was with his daily ritual of arranging those five strands of hair to cover the maximum amount of scalp possible, followed by reassurances that his bald spot really hasn’t been growing these past few years, no more than his spare tire has.

    PBS: It’s working. I want a Bippy dodgeball now.

  49. gleeb
    December 2nd, 2009 at 1:58 pm [Reply]

    48 (The Diva), re Dick: I dunno. If Jack Webb could love jazz, and he did, Tracy could. I’m surprised he’s not an opera fan, though. Lots of killing in the grand opera.

  50. Pozzo
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:01 pm [Reply]

    “At least you still have Dawn around. Its patented grease-fighting formula will come in handy, now that Iris isn’t around to scape the remants of microwave burritos off your dishes.”

  51. willethompson
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:03 pm [Reply]

    MW: “Well, Wilber, at least you have DAWN® around! That way, you can use its Power Scubbers™ to scour the crusted sorrow out of your WimpyMan TV dinner pannikin and have enough suds left over to mop that Wachovia logo off your pate!”

  52. willethompson
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Dammit, #50 Pozzo, get out of my brain!!! ; p

  53. wossname
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    48 the Diva – I’m thinking Dick Tracy likes Sousa marches.

    Or maybe Rogers & Hammerstein musicals. Just think of the hilarity that could ensue if he and Charley started trading tapes.

  54. Jorge Barnes
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:08 pm [Reply]

    Oh, come on, Josh. No mention of the funniest Crock ever?!

  55. Ethan Shuster
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    I was gonna come up with some snarky comment about Wilbur, but… Jesus, he is one depressing, sorry son of bitch.

  56. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:11 pm [Reply]

    #27 – Ned Ryerson

    So we have a subject who has just had a pretty intense session of Electroconvulsive therapy? All of his childhood traumas washed away – along with most of his personality! Why, it’s the perfect time for potato(e)aid! Or its companion product, Spuds – the only beer made from potatoes! Spuds – the beer to have when you just can’t tell the difference.

  57. Ethan Shuster
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:12 pm [Reply]

    Damn, I meant to say “son of A bitch” earlier. But I actually kind of like “son of bitch” better.

  58. littlestevie
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    RMMD: Does Becka have what a 10 inch waist? and is poor sociopathic Tim slowly aging before our eyes? He seems to have lots more grey than last night.

  59. Chuckunit
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    RE: Dick Tracey, 12/2/09, Panel 3

    “Tom Baker, driven mad by the success of David Tennant, prepares to detonate a suitcase nuke and ruin Doctor Who’s reputation forever!”

  60. Sequitur
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    54. Jorge Barnes
    Funniest Crock ever? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  61. The Scientist
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:29 pm [Reply]

    If DT doesn’t even listen to long-hair music, then what does he actually consider music?! The jitterbugs are all suffering withdrawal symptoms so swing is right out, anyone with a stringed instrument is automatically suspect in the big city which eliminates practically every form of folk music, and primal chanting just doesn’t mesh with a communicator watch. I suppose that leaves Christmas carols… but I’m not ready to see Santa and his elves mangled under the twisted wreckage of a contraband-carrying sleigh while Dick callously kicks yellow snow in the fat man’s face.

  62. Baka Gaijin
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    #Y171 bourbon babe: Meddlesphere. Without which Mary Worth would suffocate and die.

  63. Alan's Addiction
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:30 pm [Reply]

    I love how wildly anachronistic today’s “Dick Tracy” is. Even assuming that phrase “long-hair music” refers to jazz and rock ‘n roll and not classical music, the thought process is still intriguing; “Am I ready for a style of music that’s been wildly popular for 60 years?” I only hope DT goes through a similar thought process any time he contemplates a brush with modernity; “Am I ready for modern antibiotics and anti-virals? Am I ready to drive a vehicle with vulcanized rubber tires that goes faster than 30 miles per hour? Am I ready for this new-fangled television I keep hearing about?” Of course, he’s still not ready for civil rights, Miranda rights, or even trial by a jury of one’s peers.
    It would be the greatest thing in the world if Wilbur became a Dick Tracy-style mad scientist driven by his loss of Iris. “I miss Iris so much, I’m going to build a copy of her, to have around forever! And Mary Worth called me mad, but I’ll show her! I’ll show all of Charterstone! By this time the next pool party, my plans will be complete!”

  64. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:33 pm [Reply]

    Carmina Burana, Les Troyens, Billy the Kid, and William Tell. Tess won’t take him to that last one after the “Hiyo, Silver!” incident.

    But not Resphigi. There is just no freaking way. Dick, above all, needs structure.

  65. Danny B
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:34 pm [Reply]

    9CL : So the Brits used to entertain their Geman pows by having concerts for them in the camps? Who knew?
    Now a British officer is going to vist the camps disguised as a German officer along with his Bimbo opera singer. She will sing Mozart arias to the men and later sleep with them in a trade for vital war secrets?

    “Hey Wild Bill Donovan, those guys of yours decoding transmissions for the OSS? Tell them to take a break . We are working on something much better.”

    And our guys in Geman camps were busy digging tunnels and annoying their captors. Did Adolph send American singers in to entertain them? Don’t know. My research only includes watching The Great Escape and Stalag 17.

  66. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:36 pm [Reply]

    63 Alan’s Addiction: Oooh, I’d pay good money to attend the pool party where Wilbur introduces everyone to his “lady” friend, Iris 2.0.

    The big question: Do androids dream of electric salmon squares?

  67. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:37 pm [Reply]

    Also — is it too much to hope for a Dick Tracy/9 Chickweed Lane crossover? Bullets for Burbers, maybe?

  68. Écureuil Écumant
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:55 pm [Reply]

    (WTF)DT: A pensive moment? More like an Alzheimer’s moment. Is he? Isn’t he? Our swingin’ Dick’s gotten all knotted up in a real quandary!

  69. Chyron HR
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy – Dick prefers the tripped-out stylings of groups like Emerson, Lake and Palmer or King Crimson. Their songs about apocalyptic armadillo-tanks and innocents raped with napalm fire seem soothing and pastoral compared to his everyday life.

  70. Dr. Weird
    December 2nd, 2009 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    68 Écureuil Écumant -

    That’s the best Crimestopper’s Textbook EVER!

  71. ChristianPinko
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    DT – Tracy’s got to be into death metal. No other possibility.

    #58 – Yes; yes, her waist is 10 inches. And she has a 40-inch bust. Why do you ask?

  72. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy’s musical tastes? Easy. He’s clearly a product of the Rat Pack era. Frank, Sammy, Joey, and Dean. And that Angie Dickinson, now she was one swingin’ chick.

  73. Bart
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:04 pm [Reply]

    #30 Yes, Jacob, I can understand why you would want to offer an explaination (and a humerous one, at that) for the big non-sequitur that is today’s MT. However, we must remember that all things in MT Universe ultimately boil down to a single cause –
    Jack Elrod. I’m guess’n that he got carried away with the fast-paced action, hurled M&R off the cliff and then suddenly realized that if he killed-off Mark he was throwing all away: the blondes, the yacht, cottage in Taos. Who could blame him for abruptly changing physics in mid-air? No one could stand up to that kind of pressure.

  74. Larry McAwful
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    Does Wilbur draw all his hair on with a Sharpie, or just the combover part?

  75. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:05 pm [Reply]

    #69 Chyron HR – Indeed. And while he considers most of Yes’s output too lovey-dovey and mushy, Dick does have a special place in his heart for that song about “burn their children’s laughter onto Hell.”

  76. Farley's Revenge
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:06 pm [Reply]

    MW: The horrifying close-up of Wilbur has me feeling like Baka Gaijin feels about clowns. Granted, the shot looks remarkably like my father, which probably has a lot to do with that urge to run screaming from the room.

    Family issues? Why do you ask?

  77. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    #72 – I sort of see Dick as being a Mitch Miller fan.

  78. Farley's Revenge
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    And the sad sack “Poor me” attitude…

    *all over shudder*

    Thanks loads, MW writer.

  79. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:11 pm [Reply]

    #53 – But not Gershwin. That music is simply too revolutionary for a man like Tracy.

  80. heideronymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:12 pm [Reply]

    Why is Scarfy McLonghair standing in front of the World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle in panel 3 of today’s DT? I guess you must be a really hard-core baddie if you stand at the ominous intersection of the classical music and crossword puzzler underworlds.

  81. Larry McAwful
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:13 pm [Reply]

    #75 commodorejohn–That’s “Gates of Delirium” off the Relayer album. One of my favorites. I’m kind of a Yes nerd, too. I can’t help but think that Tracy would punch me if I let that record play for more than a minute in his presence, though.

  82. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    #81 – Relayer – one the most insane but awesome albums ever.

    Personally, I prefer “Fragile” for *ahem* easy listening.

  83. Jumper
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    Pondering Tracy’s dislikes in music may be less entertaining than what he might actually like. WE can agree it is likely ’30s music. I don’t see him as a jazz lover, race music must certainly suggest unseemliness to him, nor would he be an aficionado of hillbilly music, or cowboy music. Certainly not of commie-socialist Woody Guthrie paeans to solidarity with the working classes, for he knows which side of the bread has the butter on it. And double entendre in pop music would make him sweaty and uncomfortable. By the process of elimination, then, we arrive at this quintessential example of one of Dick Tracy’s faves.

  84. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:21 pm [Reply]

    You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of “flailing out randomly hoping against all odds to strike humor” than today’s Better Half. It’s the sort of comic that looks up to comics that have a mechanical joke generating laugh unit.

    Also, Dick Tracy has heard only one piece of music in his life that he truly enjoyed, and that was a lesser known work of Stockhausen titled Concerto for Orchestra and Steam Roller whose final movement consists solely of the stage direction, “Soloist engages viola section, ad libitum.”

  85. Edgy DC
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:26 pm [Reply]

    It’s nice to see Wilbur can talk without the straw being actually in his mouth.

  86. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    #81 Larry McAwful, #82 Calico – Yep. I’m not too big on “To Be Over” or the last five minutes of “Gates,” but the rest of Relayer is hands-down the best thing Yes ever recorded.

  87. Niall
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    Y99. Eau de Plugger: Seeing Daniel Clowes try a serial strip would break both his and our brains in a week. But it would not be dull!

    Y173 gleeb, on Archie: “The drums, the drums, the never-ending drums…” If Mr Weatherbee turns out to be a disguised Master, it would not surprise me. I mean, it’d one hell of a hiding place, where no enemy would dare look for you.

    Y175 bourbon babe: well, considering your recent tribulations, I would wish that on you in spade. May you cross paths with a tall, dark and handsome man as soon as possible. Or whatever combination you like.

  88. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:30 pm [Reply]

    DT — On the very rare occasions when I read the phrase “long-hair music,” classical is what I think about. Apparently that was branded into my brain at an early age.

    As for Dick, I’m trying to picture a life in which classical music has been utterly absent. No school field trips, no occasional concerts with parents (in outdoor venues if not symphony halls), no pauses while flipping radio dials, no gift CDs, no classical-music-using TV ads, no nuthin’. Perhaps he was born without the ability to hear or comprehend music. That would fit with some of his other mutations.

  89. Peanut Gallery
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:34 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy: “Yeah, I got it. The answer to 7 Across!”

  90. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:36 pm [Reply]

    Dick Tracy acquired his musical tastes in elevators. His favorite artists are Lawrence Welk, Andy Williams, and Mitch Miller. He has never heard of Ray Charles.

  91. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:39 pm [Reply]

    9CL — I really don’t understand how this plan is supposed to work.

    Wait a minute — “Eva” is a Burber Woman (fall down and worship!) And she’ll be singing classical music (grovel and moan in ecstacy!). So naturally even the most intelligent and suspicious German officers will lose their minds and spew forth cultural and geographical information. I get it now.

  92. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    Wilbur Weston: The generation gap was obvious when I needed her help the other day. I asked her how to program my VCR. She didn’t know what it was or why I couldn’t Tivo. …Mary, what’s this Tivo?

    Mary: I think it’s that band with flower pots on their heads.

    Wilbur: No, that’s Devo, I’m pretty sure.

    Mary: I only listen to long hair music. So your girlfriend left you and your daughter ignores you. At the end of this wretched pool party I expect that you’ll be floating dead drunk face down in the pool. Give my regards to Aldo on the other side.

    #80 – I’ll give you a crossword clue. 14 Down: A 13 letter word for “pre-emptive stealer of my snark about Dick Tracy” Answer: heideronymous

  93. Farley's Revenge
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    #90gnome de blog: If DT acquired his musical tastes in elevators, wouldn’t his fave artists be Muzak?

    An aside: I had a medical appt. yesterday, one that required riding an elevator. Fortunately for me, the hospital’s music is provided by satellite radio, tuned to classic rock. One of my favorite songs came on. I was alone in the elevator so I started dancing to the music. So engrossed was I that I wasn’t paying attention to the fact the elevator had stopped and the doors opened…to the waiting room of the clinic I was attending.

    Surprisingly enough, the only one who saw me was the woman behind the check-in counter(She grinned at me. I grinned back. It was our secret). Everyone else was either watching TV or reading.

  94. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    I think this is a pretty safe bet as to where Tracy’s musical taste lies (scroll down to play).

  95. LP2004
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    #84 One-eyed Wolfdog: Tracy also likes the revised version of Stockhausen’s ‘Helikopter-Streichquartett’ – you know, the one that specifically calls for attack helicopters. The finale is just to die for.

  96. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    I love Archie’s rabid expression as he maniacally jams his pencil into the desktop like the mythical Sword in the Stone. Reggie, on the other hand, looks a bit put off that his butt-buddy is experiencing some orgiastic extacy without so much as providing him a reach-around. Be careful what you wish for, Reg.

  97. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:51 pm [Reply]

    #83 – Oh my.
    Somewhere in the album collection at my Mom’s home, there is an orchestral album featuring Jackie Gleason (as conductor? Not sure). No kidding.

  98. Blue Castle
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    #59 Chuckunit- is my personal COTW.

  99. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2009 at 3:58 pm [Reply]

    Dick: “Wagner, Waggoner — what’s the difference?”

  100. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    Montovani — because 100 strings just aren’t enough!

  101. Écureuil Écumant
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    DT: Uncle Lumpy is right. Dick loves big string sections because he believes the strings actually are made from cat’s guts. Hepcats, that is.

  102. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    JP: Steve manages to encounter the least competent police officer on the force. What part of “Bingo! We’re in business!” can be mistaken for “Oh, I found a piece of paper on the floor which is in no way relevant to this or any other homicide investigation.” ?

  103. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    FC: Jeffy discusses his afternoon shopping plans. Oh, how funny! This is going on my refrigerator! Ha ha, what a zinger!

    Meanwhile, PJ looks up his grandma’s skirt.

  104. Calico
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    Farkin’ longhairs, part deux
    (That unknown dude in front is now totally bald, like Wilbur!) ; D

  105. Jumper
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    Red Greenback you are on the frequency too. (So’s Gnome de Blog) That’s outstandingly awful. Good show!

  106. hogenmogen
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:20 pm [Reply]

    Oh man, I cleared my cookies today, and I’ve been posting anonymously. Oh the embarrassment. If you liked a post by someone named anonymous, it was me. If you didn’t, then it was obviously written by another ignorant someone who lacks the sense to notice when their name isn’t in the box. That loser.

  107. Mardou Fox
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    #90 Lawrence Welk?! With that accent? And those fanciful champagne bubbles? I don’t think so. Some kind of damn European spy, that’s what Lawrence Welk was.

    Andy Williams? Yes.

    Mitch Miller? Didn’t he have a beard?? Also, the bouncing ball just seems too playful.

    When I try to think about Dick Tracy and music, I keep hearing The Doors, “Riders on the Storm”:

    There’s a killer on the road,
    His brain is squirming like a toad…..

    If you give this man a ride
    Sweet memory will die…”

    I think Dick would like that. But then, those damn hippie Doors and their drugs and their long hair and tight pants! No, Dick wouldn’t like them after all.

    When all is said and done I have to agree with those who say that the only sound Dick loves is the sound of gunfire.

  108. Farley's Revenge
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    Perhaps Tess is taking Dick to hear the “1812 Overture”, complete with cannonfire over the heads of the audience.

    Surely Dick would like that, especially if one of the cannonballs was aimed low and took out some oddly named citizen..

  109. Larry Fine
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:34 pm [Reply]

    DT — In panel 2, a little editing of the text could turn it into an ad for any erectile dysfunction drug. I’m not proud that I think of such things.

  110. Farley's Revenge
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:36 pm [Reply]

    Gah. I need to go outside and set up lights and it’s 49 freaking degrees outside.

    For those who think that’s downright balmy for early Dec, I live in southern Texas. Let the temps fall below 60 and we’re bundled up like we’re hunting for seals on Arctic ice floes.

  111. Larry Fine
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    DT — A little text editing could turn panel 2 into an ad for any erectile dysfunction drug. I’m not proud that I think of such things.

    [edited for clarity]

  112. Mardou Fox
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:40 pm [Reply]

    Yikes! Dick Tracy, spokesman for ED drugs?

    *head explodes*

  113. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    #109 Larry Fine – I dunno. Does it count as dysfunction if the only thing that gets Tracy hard is the death gurgles of criminals and subversives?

  114. Amateur
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:48 pm [Reply]

    Josh . . . you’re joking. You didn’t know “longhair” stuff meant classical music? Seriously??

    Dagnabbit, quit making me feel like a geezer! I’m only 34!! :-(

  115. Niall
    December 2nd, 2009 at 4:51 pm [Reply]

    6. Artist formerly known as Ben: That GT midriff is loaded, and that shirt above be packin’ some serious heat!

    10. wossname: by “other newfangled devices the kids are so crazy about”, are you talking of Electric Typewriters? Mary only uses Underwoods.

    11. Chyron HR: I want to both hug and kill you for that Grits pun. May I do both? Simultaneously?

    30. Jacob: I smell a float-worthy entry in your second half.

    32. bourbon babe: oh god, that’s saddening more than funny.. pitiful, really. I mean, I’m in my 40s and I’m NOT trying to pick up 23-year old chicks when I’ve gone dancing at raves. (That I once kind of ended up doing exactly that is really not what I was trying to do, honest!) I’d much rather catch the eye of an intelligent woman my age, in enough shape to have fun all weekend if the mood hit us. It would make the conversation much more fun.

    43. It’s time to pay the price: I think Dick would much rather watch the cannons be fired into the orchestra. In fact, he’d gleefully ask if he can help.

    50. Pozzo/51. willethompson: Oh, I love when that happens. I’ve done it a couple of times myself. :) :)

    88. Poteet: I have never heard the term “long-hair music” until Dick Tracy used it this week.

    93. Farley’s Revenge: I’d not have cared, except that hospitals are bad places to strutter as you walk – there’s too much chance of a staff mistaking it for some seizure and giving you care you don’t need. (Okay, I guess the way I dance, some would think seizures. or drugs.)

    (wheeee, caught up with the funniness of other people!)

  116. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:06 pm [Reply]

    #32 bourbon babe, unbuckled,
    In Providence, you see many middle-aged men similarly attired for pretty much the same reason. In some cases, it actually seems to work. Whether it’s ever worked when the twentysomething female is sober is a whole nother question.

    #46 darkefang,
    The other possibility is that Michelle was embraced by vampires in late childhood/early adolescence, a la Claudia, and has actually been around for at least 50 years. Thus Curtis isn’t just crushing on her, but actually hopes she’ll give him the kiss of eternal life. Of course when she grants his wish it will be in the cruelest possible way, as she’ll make sure Barry remains his little brother for all eternity as well.

  117. Carbunicle
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:08 pm [Reply]

    I am pretty sure that 9CL has an itty bitty kernel of accuracy underneath a tectonically inactive layer of horseshit.

  118. dyslexic dog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    All things being equal, it’s likely Dick Tracy likes best to lie back and relax with his “Q’ed up” sound effects.

  119. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    93 Farley’s Revenge – for years, Dick thought m-u-z-a-k was how you spelled “music.” And I’ve done some stuff in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever been far out enough to dance to elevator music (tip o’ the Hatlo hat).

    97 Calico – my parents had that album, too.

    100 Uncle Lumpy – right you are, Unc!

    107 Mardou Fox – the accent may be funny, but what could be squarer than all those freshly-scrubbed young people in pastel suits and chiffon dresses? As for Mitch Miller, he was head of A & R for Columbia Records, thus part of the capitalist cabal. Besides, Dick’s no Mark Trail. His buddy Diet Smith has a mustache.

  120. Muffaroo
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    anonymous @14 – 1931 is when Dick joined the force, but if you look at the early strips, he was not a newborn infant. Not only are those ‘long-haired musicians’ inevitably his juniors (lower case), but he was probably blowing a hole in crime when many of the pieces on the program were not yet written.

    Master Softheart @33 – I think you’re getting close to the truth about 9CL, but take it to its conclusion: the difference in age is way too great for this to have happened in 1944. What really happened is that Edna was drafted for a fake mission to blow Hitler in 1972, and made her future hubby — and a Swiss actor named Billy Frick — very, very happy.

    Anonymous @92 – Not so fast there: five letters too many. “Muffaroo” is the correct answer.

    Mardou Fox – Mitch Miller didn’t have a bouncing ball. He waved his arms. C’mon, now! “Yellow Rose of Texas” and a chaser of “Be Kind To Your Web-Footed Friends”!

    But here’s a little number Dick’s sure to enjoy! It reaches across the generation with an inspiring message and an ending that’s sure to warm the cockles of his violent little heart.

    gnome de blog @119 – Mitch Miller was also an oboe player. There are still records out there of him soloing in concertos. (Speaking of Cue, John DeLancie was another oboist — Richard Strauss dedicated a concerto to him — and his son, who played Q on Star Trek:TNG looks just like he did at his age.)

  121. Mr. O'Malley
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    97. Calico. Jackie Gleason composed music, including the theme music for his show. He didn’t have any formal musical training, so presumably he didn’t orchestrate or conduct it.

    Charlie Chaplin, similarly without formal musical training, composed all the music for his films.

    It’s not hard to think of other comedians who, while not composers, brought a lot of knowledge of music into their acts: Ernie Kovacs, Ackroyd & Belushi …

    I was listening to some radio comedies from the 1940s and I was surprised how much mention there was of classical music—parodies of operas, etc. Of course the same is true of the Warners cartoons from that era. Classical music was much more prominent in the public consciousness then than it is now.

  122. Mardou Fox
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    OK, so maybe Dick could “get down” (as the young folks say) with Mitch, if he was really part of the capitalist cabal. But! Mitch definitely had bouncing balls. I’m not too clever with this linking and texting and Twittering, but … he had a show on NBC in the early 60s, “Sing along with Mitch.” Google… the balls were a prominent part of the show. Fun times!

  123. Mr. O'Malley
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:31 pm [Reply]

    “Sing Along with Mitch” was just a sideline for Mitch Miller. His big influence was as head of A&R for Columbia.

    Mitch Miller thought that rock music was a passing fad, so he kept Columbia from signing any rock artists until his retirement in the mid 1960s, which was not a successful strategy from a business standpoint.

    Mitch Miller was also instrumental in changing the focus of hit songs from the songs to the arrangement. There used to be a show called “Your Hit Parade”, on radio and later TV, that featured the Top Ten songs of the week, as performed by people other than the ones who had recorded the hit versions. It didn’t matter because everyone used pretty much the same arrangements, so the emphasis was on songwriting.

    Mitch Miller created a lot of innovative arrangements for his bland whitebread artists like Rosemary Clooney. For example he used unusual instruments like harpsichord.

    With the emphasis on interesting arrangements, the record company benefited because people were more likely to purchase the original recording than a cover version on a different label. It also killed the long-running “Your Hit Parade”.

    Sadly for Mitch, it also helped in the success of rock music, because people began looking for better performances of songs, so they started buying Ray Charles and Little Richard instead of Pat Boone and the Four Lads.

  124. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    115 Niall and 116 AFKA Ben: From what I’ve seen, it’s a lose-lose for these guys: The 23 year olds think they’re too old, and the women their own age think they’re too ridiculous. Time to start hitting the high-school graduations or the rest homes!

  125. Josh
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:34 pm [Reply]

    #114 Amateur — I’m a year older than you, and honestly I had never heard the phrase before! Perhaps it’s just a gap in my education…

    #33 Master Softheart — While I’m sure everything about the coming 9CL storyline is bound to be pretentions, annoying, and improbable, I’m thinking the year problem isn’t so bad? Say it’s 1944 and Edie is 21; that puts her birth year in 1923. Edda is supposed to be, what, 21? 22? That puts her birth year in 1987 or thereabouts. 64 isn’t such an unusual age to become a grandmother, is it? Edda’s mother is probably supposed to be in her 40s or early 50s; if she’s 48, Edie was 38 when she was born — not out of the question, especially if she’s a younger sibling.


  126. AmazingThor
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    Why is Dick Tracy refering to classical music as “long-haired music”? Clearly there are only two explanations:
    1. This strip actually takes place in the 19th century.
    2. That term no longer denotes hippies because Dick has literally killed every last one of them.

  127. Mardou Fox
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:58 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Mr. O’Malley, you’re a veritable Encyclopedia Mitchiana!

    I didn’t know anything about MM’s cultural influence. I just dimly remembered “the ball” from the TV show.

    A subspecies of the Jackelrod Ball, perhaps?

  128. Santa Royale Is For Lovers
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:04 pm [Reply]

    Wilbur Weston is one of the best characters out there. The person who puts him into the strip probably giggles every time they have to draw him…even if they are doing it from a Korean sweatshop.

  129. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    121 Mr. O’Malley

    …Steve Allen…Steve Martin…Jack Benny (he made a joke of it, but he really could play).

    123 Mr. O’Malley:

    Bette Midler did a Rosemary Clooney tribute album (Rosemary may have been bland and whitebread, but she was actually pretty good) on which her cover of “This Old House” featured Herb Pedersen (Dillards, Flying Burrito Brothers, etc. etc.) on banjo.

  130. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    # 91 — Sorry, that shoulda been “ecstasy.” I was too overcome by the thought of a Burber woman singing Mozart to think straight.

  131. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:19 pm [Reply]

    #128 SRIFL –

    No giggles for Mary, though — she’s drawn under special contract at a North Korean sweatshop.

  132. Ranger
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

    So this MW storyline will be about Wilbur not being able to work with modern technology? I bet his Betamax still flashes 12:00 and his lack of knowledge prevents him from recording Matlock reruns.

  133. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:24 pm [Reply]

    # 107 Fox — It’s “memory”? Not “Emily” or “family” or “homily”? Huh. Now I know.

  134. Mardou Fox
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:32 pm [Reply]

    #133 Poteet: Yeah. Memory. I’m pretty sure about that.

    Another Doors lyric Dick might like:

    “Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill
    This is the end.”

  135. zerowolf
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    No Dick, the real question is, “Is ‘long haired’ music ready for you?”

  136. Aleph Null
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    Given the pace at which the plots move in this strip, Tracy might enjoy John Cage’s composition, “As Slow as Possible,” which will take over 600 years to complete.


  137. Mustang
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:51 pm [Reply]

    DT- It appears that the artist looked at the hair he drew in Panel 3 and said “Crap, this hair looks like a scarf! Now I’ll have to draw a scarf so readers will know that it’s actually hair. Or should I just make THAT the scarf and draw some hair?” We’ll never know what he finally decided.

  138. zerowolf
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:53 pm [Reply]

    FW: Pun Fail Alert, Pun Fail Alert! Male reindeer lose their horns in December, while the females lose their horns in the summer. Those reindeer have horns So you didn’t save some bucks, you saved some doe.

  139. zerowolf
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Barney Google: Wow, teeth sightings two days in a row.

  140. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:01 pm [Reply]

    FW, while terrible, at least reminded me of one of my (inner 2nd grader’s) favorite jokes, which involves the phrase “beer nuts are a dollar fifty”. Perhaps you have heard this joke and also agree that it’s better than anything FW has to offer.

  141. cj
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:02 pm [Reply]


    Can Dick afford a ticket to the symphony on an honest cop salary? Since he’s an FBI agent now, he doesn’t have to answer that question, or any. Well, at least not until the conduct review.

  142. zerowolf
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:04 pm [Reply]

    What is Wilbur drinking that sits uneven in a glass? Tang without water?

  143. Uncle Cheese
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:06 pm [Reply]

    The bad guy in panel 3 is standing in front of the world’s largest crossword puzzle because he is working on the puzzle. Long-hair is obviously in a contest with the “old man”, who is going to go ballistic because long-hair has just figured out one of the entries (“yeah, I got it”).

  144. Numbat
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    #125 The age thing in 9CL does work. My grandmother was in her early 70s when my kid sister was born and my other grandmother – who departed from this mortal coil 6 months before my sister arrived – would have been 78.

  145. MWDG
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:26 pm [Reply]

    MW–hoping Dawn gets to hook up with Charlie or Terry Bryson or both… also would be cool if Dawn broke up Del and Lawrence’s “marriage.:

  146. Jamus the Bartender
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:28 pm [Reply]

    81. ” In The Presence Of” is the title of another song from Yes. I don’t know why i’m bringing this up.

  147. Aviatrix
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:37 pm [Reply]

    Y191: The Horsemen of Montoni’s: A one act play by Thomas B. Yes! Now I know how a movie director feels when she tells the actors her vision and then it appears on screen. I wrestled with the issue of Famine eating a pizza, but you’ve solved it masterfully.

    As War enters I want an establishing shot of his red-flecked horse hitched next to a gaunt horse and a fly-covered horse.

  148. commodorejohn
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:39 pm [Reply]

    #146 Jamus the Bartender – True, but…in my humble opinion, that was after Yes stopped being Yes. (I’d peg the original recordings off Keys To Ascension 1 & 2/Keystudio as the last true Yes album.) But pay no heed to my ramblings…

  149. Alfred E. Neuman
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    #97 Calico, #121 Mr. O’Malley, Re: Jackie Gleason— Jackie produced over 30 musical albums from 1952 to 1969. At one time I owned his Riff Jazz album. It was pretty good, and not something Dick Tracy would probably like. Here’s a good review of Jackie’s musical career:

  150. bats :[
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:48 pm [Reply]

    138. zerowolf: I did not know that (about the time shifts for reindeer losing their antlers based on gender). Huh! I do know that they are the only deer species in which both males and females have antlers, and if they’re domesticated they’re reindeer — if not (or likely, sorta kinda domesticated, they’re caribou).

    This makes sense, since naming one of Santa’s reindeer “Vixen” would’ve made for embarrassing introductions at various and sundry reindeer games.

    And Mitch Miller lives! He’s 98 years old! Good for him!

  151. Zla'od
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:53 pm [Reply]

    What era does Dick Tracy take place in? Could it be the 1930′s or ’40′s?

    I dimly recall that at a time when U.S. army officers were expected to sport long hair, George Armstrong Custer rebelliously got himself a crewcut (and later scalped, haha).

  152. UncleJeff
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    144 numbat & josh: indeed the math does work.
    I had a high school classmate who was a grandmother at the age of 33.
    She had a kid at 17 and that kid had a kid at 16.

  153. Écureuil Écumant
    December 2nd, 2009 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    @142 zerowolf says: “What is Wilbur drinking that sits uneven in a glass? Tang without water?”

    SweetPotatoAde™ Jello™ shooters?

  154. Alfred E. Neuman
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:04 pm [Reply]

    #123 Mr. O’Malley— Mitch Miller also played a role in one of the most famous jazz albums of all time. He played oboe and French horn while accompanying Charlie Parker on Parker’s classic 1949 album, April in Paris — Charlie Parker with Strings. His oboe solo is about 1:15 into the first song, “Just Friends”. Check it out here:

  155. Mardou Fox
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:07 pm [Reply]

    #152 Why, eff’n you wuz in Hooten Holler, y’all could be a grandmaw by th’ age of twenty-six!

  156. Uncle Lumpy
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:11 pm [Reply]

    Mitch Miller started on the oboe when he “lost” the scrum for instruments in his high-school band. He was a terrific player, and Sing Along used to feature him (in silhouette) playing something serious-ish. He looked great. Strings don’t engage the face at all, and wind instruments make you look like a bellows, but a guy can look hot playing a reed, especially from the middle of a well-trimmed goatee.

  157. gnome de blog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:14 pm [Reply]

    152, Uncle Jeff:

    I have a great-aunt who was a grandmother at 33. At 18, her son eloped with his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend. They’re still married, after 56 years.

    In case anybody is wondering, I live in Oregon, not Arkansas.

  158. spluches
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    i’ve become pretty numb to dim-witted antagonists in Dick Tracy, but this looks to be the least promising ever. unless i’m woefully out of touch and talking into your sunglasses is the next telecommunications trend. talking AND wearing your sunglasses at night? please don’t sue me corey heart.

  159. zerowolf
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    #150 Bats: I’m suprised you never heard that little bit of trivia before. It’s part of a joke with the punch line “Of course the reindeer are women. Who else would cart his fat ass around the world and not get lost?”

  160. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:37 pm [Reply]

    Comment 153 reminds me an Apollo astonaut quote: “Today’s urine is tomorrow’s Tang”.

    I was so disturbed by that, that now, 40 years later I still can’t stand the thought of drinking urine.

  161. Mr. O'Malley
    December 2nd, 2009 at 8:50 pm [Reply]

    129. gnome de blog. Yes, those are some more good examples. Steve Allen had Frank Zappa on his show in the 1950s (it’s on YouTube). I was going to see Steve Martin performing in a strictly musical capacity a couple of months ago, but unfortunately something else came up.

    Rosemary Clooney was pretty good technically, but some of her material (selected by Mitch Miller) leaves me cold. There are some good songs in there though, especially with that rockin’ harpischord.

    132. Ranger. My VCR is flashing –:– now, because it’s supposed to sync itself up to an analog TV signal that isn’t broadcast any more, and the setup menu produced by the VCR has such bad sync it can’t be viewed on the flat panel display I have connected to it. I claim non-Pluggerdom.

    149. Alfred E. Neuman. I didn’t realize Jackie Gleason had such an extensive musical career. One of my favorite stories about him was that whenever he had to travel from California to Florida to do his show, he had the network pay for a private train, which he stocked with all his friends, unlimited booze and women, and a Dixieland jazz band for the three-day trip. He also received an Oscar for his serious acting in The Hustler (1961).

    154. Alfred E. Neuman. Interesting. I’ll have to watch that when I get home. I guess Mitch was a pretty good oboist. I notice that Charlie Parker or any of his cohorts never got invited on “Sing Along with Mitch”. If the story in the Charlie Parker movie about Charlie playing Jewish favorites at an Orthodox wedding is to be relied on, he could have pulled it off.

  162. odinthor
    December 2nd, 2009 at 9:10 pm [Reply]

    NYerCC. — “I said, ‘Piano ma non troppo!’, you imbecile!”

  163. cj
    December 2nd, 2009 at 9:16 pm [Reply]

    Re: 160
    Hahaha! That is float-worthy.

  164. odinthor
    December 2nd, 2009 at 9:19 pm [Reply]

    NYerCC #2. — “When I say ‘Pianoforte,” Watkins, I don’t mean ‘Piano Fort-y.’ “

  165. Alfred E. Neuman
    December 2nd, 2009 at 9:52 pm [Reply]

    NYer CC #3— “…And each of these pianos has been “christened” personally by Edda Burber and Amos van Hoesen.”

  166. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2009 at 9:53 pm [Reply]

    # 33 Master Softheart — You have enabled me to imagine an alternate 9CL story in which Lt. O’Malley airily admits his POW lie right after he boinks Edie. She conceals her real feelings, smiles at him and asks for another very private tryst. There she slips something fatal into his drink.

    She buries him in a shallow grave by moonlight while humming “Notte e giorno faticar.” Having decided that she loathes men but likes sex, she resumes her USO singing, but sheds her “virginal” reputation as fast and often as possible.

    Now I’m imagining Edda’s face as she’s told all this. Har.

  167. Charterstoned
    December 2nd, 2009 at 9:56 pm [Reply]

    MT – What the hell happened to that high cliff Mark was plunging over in yesterday’s installment?? I thought he was pulling an Aldo, the way he was rocketing over the escarpment. But today, the tracks in the sand seem to indicate that he only made a U-turn. What th’?!!

  168. Aviatrix
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    Charterstoned @167 – Long answer: The plunge over the escarpment was from the point of view of a sand louse, for which the slight elevation difference between the road and the beach has always signified the northernmost extent of the universe. The Sunday strip was originally slated to detail the fascinating worldview of the Floridian sand louse, but Elrod was concerned about spoiling the suspense, so substituted an old squid strip. (Doubt that Elrod thinks much about suspense? Notice how he inserted an entire panel between Mark realizing Rusty was missing and Rusty identifying himself as fine. Many readers’ hearts were pounding by the time they reached that final panel.)

    Short answer: Trailian Perspective: The high cliff was about the size of a giant squirrel, right?

  169. sally
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:19 pm [Reply]

    #32 Bourbon babe — I didn’t figure out until today who you were (no doubt I missed the announcement) — great new moniker, and I hope the transition is going well.

  170. SandyH
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    #110 Farley: you must be in Houston. We Houstonians are so pathetic, after 8 months of HEAT, we hear there’s a cold front on the way and practically sit in a lawnchair on the driveway waiting for it. I know I do. And yeah 49 is cold for putting up the lights, but it beats cutting the grass in July by a fair distance. Now get crackin’!

  171. sugarpie
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    Bourbon Babe, Unbuckled, 32 I’ve just called Goodwill. They’re coming tomorrow to pick up a huge donation of denim and sports jerseys. Thanks for the tip!

  172. Vince M
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    MW: Geez, Wilbur looks like Herbie Popnecker grown up, if along the way he’d lost his suave self-assurance and intimidating zen cool.
    A combover is not an easy thing to pull off. The only successful examples I can only come up with are Pickles the drummer in ‘Metalocalypse’ (a dreadlock combover on a redheaded Wisconsinite, no less) and Zero Mostel in ‘The Producers’ (it’s magnificent – combed over from the base of the neck!)

  173. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    169 sally: Thanks! And thanks, it is.

  174. Lisa
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:36 pm [Reply]

    I feel old today. Why? Because Josh apparently (unless he is kidding) didn’t know the old meaning of “longhair” as it applied to classical musicians. Sigh…..(dig my grave with a silver spade, lower me down with a golden chain)

  175. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    Damn! Poor Dick looks so dejected in panel two. Could you imagine his reaction if Tess told him they were going to see Blue Man Group. He’d be panting and yipping like Sweetie Sassy.

  176. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    You know, I really see Dick Tracy as a fan of Stockhausen and 12 tone rows in general. It’s from the 50′s, so it’s not really too new for him.

    It’s the asceticism, the brutality of it. The sticking to the rules, no matter what the costs to anybody. I bet he’s read Babbit’s essay “Who cares if Anybody Listens.” I bet he thinks it’s the most sensible thing anybody has ever said about the arts.

    If Tracy is anything, that’s unflinching. This mathematical, perfect, scientific music would appeal to him.

    So I’m going with the idea that “long haired” means Phillip Glass to him, or any other 60′s minimalist. Is he ready for music that flaunts the rules and tries for emotional appeal?

  177. Lisa
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:56 pm [Reply]

    Or flouts them, even?

  178. Poteet
    December 2nd, 2009 at 10:57 pm [Reply]

    DT — I’m not having a great hair week, but after seeing that third panel, I feel pretty.

  179. Red Greenback
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    Waaaaay off topic: What’s up with the 4 hour time difference? It’s 7:03 on the west coast.

  180. Floridian Sand Louse
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    # 168 Aviatrix — Yeah. I’m pretty bitter. The damn squids always get the press.

  181. TennesseeJed
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    Re: The Mitch Miller discussion
    My family’s christmas tradition has always been to sing along to Mitch Miller’s christmas songs- on an old LP on Christmas eve. I never realized Mitch was anything even remotely famous!! Thats what I get for being 18, I guess.

  182. Toronto
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:26 pm [Reply]

    Aviatrix @ 147: Sir Pterry Pratchett has pretty much established that The 4 Horsemen currently ride motosickles. Pestilence (or Pollution) rides a 2-stroke.

    And they’re not necessarily all men – Apocalypsing is Equal Opportunity these days.

  183. Muffaroo
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    Mardou Fox – I was wrong about the bouncing ball, according to the Great Gazoogle. I guess I was thinking the Fleischers had patented it or something.

    gnome de blog @129 – I really liked Rosemary Clooney in WHITE CHRISTMAS. Some of the songs in that movie are ridiculous, but she was able to sell most of the ones she did. Incidentally, one of her hits, “Come On-a My House” was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin William Saroyan. Bagdasarian was also in Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW (sounds kind of smutty like that) and later found fame and fortune multitracking his voice and speeding it up in triplicate under the name “David Seville.”

    Numbat @144 – The age thing in 9CL may work now. I was thinking ahead to when the story’s finished, some time in 2029.

    bats :[ @150Mitch Miller lives! I keep thinking he was one of the guys Joe Pesci killed in GOODFELLAS. Every time I see the movie, I think that.

    Anonymous @160 – Not exactly comics-related, but a real gem of a comment there.

    NYCC – “Looks like we had another visit from the Piano Fairy.”

    Vince M – You’d best watch what you say about Herbie. He can bop you with this here lollipop at the drop of a hat.

    Red Greenback @175 – A guy I was in several plays with is now an actor working in NYC. I heard he was accepted into something like a traveling company of the Blue Man Group. Whenever I see them on TV, I look for Fred’s face.

    @179 – It’s a one-hour difference on the East Coast. I wonder if the server’s in that one province of Canada or something.

  184. ElkMeadow
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:43 pm [Reply]

    You know, even when I had long hair, as long as that new guy’s in Dick Tracy, I NEVER got it to stream behind me like that.

    I am so jealous.

  185. Andy L
    December 2nd, 2009 at 11:44 pm [Reply]

    I’d love to know what Mary Worth is eating there. If I had to guess I’d say that it’s her new recipe for clam chowder sticks.

  186. True Fable
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    # 34 Gold-Digging Nanny – GOAT! Laser-beam eyed goat! Bow before the awesome might of… Nibbles the ninja goat!

  187. Latka Gravas
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Contest of New York: “Hey! Look at all this piano! Very many!”

  188. F. Cecious Lee
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:14 am [Reply]

    Doh!! Comment 160 was me. First post from the new computer.

  189. Poteet
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:28 am [Reply]

    # 183 Muffaroo — ChattyGenes and I used to have a minor holiday tradition of watching WHITE CHRISTMAS and snarking. (“Sisters” was great material.) Now that Chatty is in Japan, I sometimes watch it alone and think of her. But only if I find it on one of my six channels. Even if it were available at the local rental place, I can’t see paying to watch that ridiculous plot:-).

  190. bunivasal
    December 3rd, 2009 at 1:25 am [Reply]

    I’m just glad Dick has the foresight to use that awkward piece of slang twice in two sentences, to really drive home the point “HEY DUDES GUYS LOOK AT THAT HAIR LONG HAIR BET HE’S IMPORTANT RIGHT!”

  191. Uncle Lumpy
    December 3rd, 2009 at 1:38 am [Reply]

    With what quip will Dick react to this character’s grisly hair-related death?

    - “Hair today, gone tomorrow!”
    - “I guess we can cancel the Wedding March for Longhair (grin)”
    - “Can you guys play Adagio for Strings?

  192. migellito
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    In theatres this holiday season.. Wilbur Weston IS … Rorschach!

  193. Red Greenback
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:05 am [Reply]

    MT: Is Sassy a hyena? I really hope she is because i heard somewhere that they get crazy bloodthirsty as they mature.

    Foob: Whoa! Didn’t see that one coming.

    MW: Where’s Cannonball Boy when you need him?!

    ‘Horns: Leroy enjoys long-hair music.

  194. Citric
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:10 am [Reply]

    Things I love:

    The obsessive detail on Wilbur’s combover and excessive body hair in Mary Worth. It’s like someone had dedicated their life to perfecting the least desirable man, doing years of painstaking research and experiments, before finally arriving at a hairy, pudgy white guy with a combover and badly fitting clothes.

    The first panel of the Phantom. I have no idea what is going on in the Phantom, but legs kicking out of a trunk is the best panel of any comic since forever.

  195. Poteet
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:13 am [Reply]

    12/3 GA — Thanks, Rufus, for showing us exactly how an idiot gormless dimwit fool introduces a new cat to the household — by having it eat the resident cat’s food out of the resident cat’s dish. Gets things off to a great start.

  196. ChattyGenes
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:17 am [Reply]

    #189 Poteet. The year was 1977; the month was October. I was twenty-three, about to turn twenty-four, and I had been in Japan for all of nine months. And boy, was I foreign and HOMESICK.

    There was no bilingual broadcasting in Japan then, as there is now. No cable TV, no satellite dishes, no programs from the U. S. If you wanted to watch TV in Japan, you watched it in Japanese. And that went for foreign movies too. Dubbed (not subtitled) versions were the norm. It drove me crazy to NEVER be able hear the voices of the American actors I loved, but to have to listen instead to “buriko” Japanese female voices, and gruff, samurai-wanna-be voices. And they always used voice-actors whose voices were nothing at all like those of the actual American actors.

    The only time I got to hear the actors’ real voices was in movie musicals. They did not try to dub the songs (thank God), but subtitled them instead. For that reason, every movie song, no matter how terrible a song it was, was like a breath of fresh, American air.

    And then, Bing Crosby died, and the Japanese TV stations scrambled to find movies of his to show in memorium. The supreme tribute to Bing was that they let the audience hear his voice–ALL THE WAY THROUGH. And so it was that I got to watch a sub-titled, not dubbed, version of “White Christmas” in October of 1977. With Mr. ChattyGenes. And that was before he WAS Mr. ChattyGenes–we were still dating.

    I just LOVED it, stupid contrived plot and all, and I sang along with all the songs–especially “Sisters,” to Mr. ChattyGenes’ great amusement. I was so homesick that I bombarded him with tales of how I would watch this movie every year with my siblings, all of us snarking the hell out of it, yet loving every corny minute. Let me tell you, just like the song says, “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.”

    That was the year that I truly enjoyed and appreciated “White Christmas.”

  197. commodorejohn
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:20 am [Reply]

    #180 Floridian Sand Louse – If 6 Chix is to be believed, they get all the ladies, too.

  198. thebirdgirl
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:26 am [Reply]

    Did Mary really just respond to the problem of “I miss my girlfriend” with the advice “Why doesn’t your daughter take her place”?
    Maybe this explains why everyone in Charterstone is so dumb. And so ugly.

  199. Poteet
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:31 am [Reply]

    # 196 Chatty — Awwww. How nice.

    You may recall, however, that there were a few terrifying moments one year when WC was shown very late and we were snarking rather loudly and Mom came boiling out of her bedroom at 1 am and told her beloved children to SHUT UP so she and Dad could get some sleep. Late-night snarking online is easier on family harmony:-).

  200. Farley's Revenge
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:41 am [Reply]


    I’d not have cared, except that hospitals are bad places to strutter as you walk – there’s too much chance of a staff mistaking it for some seizure and giving you care you don’t need. (Okay, I guess the way I dance, some would think seizures. or drugs.)

    Funny you should say that. While I was with the medical type, I heard the hospital PA system announce a Code Blue…for the clinic I was attending. I found out that a woman experienced a seizure in the elevator and when the doors opened, the other elevator passengers yelled for help.

    #119Gnome de Blog: Hey, it was classic rock, not Muzak schlock. Even I would wonder about my sanity if I boogied to some saccharine version of a Yanni piece.

    #170SandyH: Nope, not Houston. I’m down IH10 a ways, down around San Antonio. I did get the lights in place and they look great.

    The weather forecaster was positively giddy that we have snow forecast for Friday. Snow. Snow! In Texas! Might as well just shut the damn state down now and save time.

  201. True Fable
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:42 am [Reply]

    Chatty & Poteet The Fabulously Fiery Fable Sisters used to do the same thing; snarkin’ the hell out of Bing & Danny & Rosemary & Vera. And of course the plot was contrived! It’s the 1950′s and a fuckin’ MUSICAL. If I was talking to someone and they suddenly burst into song with a hidden orchestra chiming in from somewhere, I’d check myself into the Hotel Silly within the hour.

  202. Mr. O'Malley
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:45 am [Reply]

    MW: The never-ending pool party … and next … Facebook! This could be right up there with Enormoushop. Too bad they used its real name and not MyFace or BumBook …

  203. Farley's Revenge
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:59 am [Reply]

    My mother would watch those movies every year and by God, us kids better not bother her when Bing sang any song but particularly “White Christmas”. Silly or not, she loved those films.

  204. gnome de blog
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:04 am [Reply]

    183 Muffaroo – I didn’t know that about Ross Bagdasarian. Me I want a hula hoop. Wasn’t his David Seville hit the first Christmas song to outsell “White Christmas?”

    And you’re right about Rosemary’s material.

  205. True Fable
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:07 am [Reply]

    #203 Farley’s Revenge – I used to sit in the kitchen while Mama Fable prepare a meal during Advent season, and she would have me sing White Christmas for her. I’d have to adjust it to my key but it was not a bad way to sing for my supper. :)

  206. ChattyGenes
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:14 am [Reply]

    #199 (Poteet said…)

    “You may recall, however, that there were a few terrifying moments one year when WC was shown very late and we were snarking rather loudly and Mom came boiling out of her bedroom at 1 am…”

    Do I ever! She practically had laser beams shooting out of her eyes. And if I recall correctly (to Farley’s Revenge @230), part of the reason she was mad was because we were coming down pretty hard on a beloved movie from her era. She just did not understand that we snarked out of fondness for it.

    Which (considering your comment at #201, Truman!) makes me wonder how many of the comic-snarking Mudgies here cut their snarking-teeth on old movies?

  207. Mibbitmaker
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:30 am [Reply]


    9CL: “…That is, until you start singing for Schickelgruber’s boys!”

    A3G: “I need facts, not proven situations that are happening!”

    Archie: “I believe the janitor has a shoe fetish — the slyboots!”

    BBlues: “Girl, there’s no need to quote Tiger Woods’s statement.”

    HotC: “Okay, you can have the part — if you STOP PUNCHING US!!”

    Luann: “Brad, that wordplay was actually clever! You know that’s not allowed in comic strips anymore!”

    MT: “I’ve never seen Sassy so excited…” Hey, you idiot, you ARE Sassy!

    NS: “Sadly, yes”, indeed.

    (snark without quotes in the morning…)

  208. Farley's Revenge
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:32 am [Reply]

    #206ChattyGenes: My sibs and I used to stay up late to watch cheesy horror shows and we would snark away until one of the parental units would stagger out and tell us to be quiet and/or go to bed.

    We were our very own Mystery Science Theater group.

  209. KarMann
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:42 am [Reply]

    I think in my case, it was probably listening to Dr. Demento every week as a child that led me to the Snark Side. Maybe a little bit of late-night sci-fi/horror TV, too.

  210. True Fable
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:46 am [Reply]

    Apartment of Doom This looks like a job for that slimy guy from Cheaters!

    Sam Driver’s Pretty People Posse! Ah, there’s nothing quite like a timely phone call. Nothing in nature, that is.

    Bradann Mama DeGroot is leading the pack in nominations for Bitchiest Woman on the Comics Planet in the 2009Third Annual Bee-Grinding Awards. Make your nominations known!

    Fist O Justice theater I’m going to leave the obvious crab jokes to everyone else. I just hope there’s a good rip current.

    Rex Morgan, MIA Tim’s eye wants to be friends. By the time this story drags to an end, June will be already pregnant and about ready to have Rex Jr. Or Whoever Junior.

  211. Ed Dravecky
    December 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 am [Reply]

    Rex Morgan, MIA 12/3: So, Becka gives Tim the “happy ending” he craved and now he’s telling her they should stay “in touch… as friends”? When exactly did this strip turn into Bizarro?

  212. Farley's Revenge
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:16 am [Reply]

    Dr. Demento was our regular Saturday night entertainment when we were living overseas. His show was better than TV. Way better.

  213. Farley's Revenge
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:20 am [Reply]

    Luann: Wait. TJ cooked the meal and now he’s stuck doing the dishes. By hand, no less. He may be a grinning prat but even he deserves a break from the kitchen after spending all those hours feeding the assembled losers.

  214. KarMann
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:10 am [Reply]

    @Farley’s Revenge #213: And don’t forget the seven minutes for the risotto!

  215. True Fable
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:10 am [Reply]

    #34 Gold-digging Nanny – GOAT! Goat with laser eyes! “They will never be slow in feeding me Goat Kibble again!”

  216. cermak_rd
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:12 am [Reply]

    Maybe one of you longtime Mark Trail fans can inform me, what’s up with the aspect in panel 2. Is the shot supposed to be taken from up near the eagles/geese/ernes/birdtype lifeforms or is the Mark Trail world really populated by frighteningly oversized animal life?

    Oh and MW, oh no, not Facebook. Can she please leave one area of life free from her platitudes?

  217. True Fable
    December 3rd, 2009 at 5:28 am [Reply]

    #216 cermak_rd – Yes, the world of Mark Trail is filled with ginormous animals that rule Lost Forest like benevolent gods of old. They make commentary from time to time courtesy the Jackelrod Ball and leave all the dirty business up to Mark and his fists O justice.

    What appears to be full-grown animals are in fact, mere youngsters. Smaller animals are actually zygotes.

    Not many people realize these things, but I will impart this knowledge with you, trusting you will use it wisely for worthy snark in the future.

    Truman A. Fable
    historian and chief bullshitter

  218. Sheila Sternwell
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:32 am [Reply]

    Facebook, excited puppies who love crabs, and happy endings. Today was a veritable feast of snarkage in the comic strips.

    Unfortunately, I’m too confused by Phantom to snark worth a damn. A few days ago it was obviously a flashback. Are we still in flashback? Has Mrs Phantom been in a trunk for months? And where can I purchase her sassy pantsuit?

  219. stumps
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:47 am [Reply]

    MT – Defensive Driving 101 – If a deer runs in front of your vehicle, do not swerve as the objects you are likely to hit are more dangerous than the deer. In reality, Mark would have wrapped his car around a rock or tree and he, dingleberry, and the mutt would have exited the vehicle via the windshield. I wonder how many young readers, about to get their driver’s license will now perish as they attempt to emulate Mark Trail in his quest to do no harm (to animals) – their last thoughts – ” but wait! it worked for Mark Trail…” (This is assuming that MT HAS any young readers)
    Phantom – the story was mildly interesting when Diana was dead – now we get to go through an entire year+ of watching purple pants mourn while Mrs (not dead yet) Phantom is tortured, abused, etc. I guess the does of reality that people do die in terrorist attacks was too hard for the writers to handle and that we are led to believe that in reality terrorists do kill hundreds so that they can kidnap one person, saving her from certain death (so she can be rescued and reunited with her family) – Darn, I wonder how many people that happened to on 9-11? Maybe thats why there were so many missing people – they have all been kidnapped and are trapped in a cave in Afghanistan (I apologize for my tastlessness in advance, but this story line really offends me)

  220. Écureuil Écumant
    December 3rd, 2009 at 6:56 am [Reply]

    219 stumps says: “I guess the does of reality that people do die in terrorist attacks was too hard for the writers to handle”

    Yeah, not too surprisingly, they rejected the does of reality in favor of the bucks of bullshit.

  221. John C Fremont
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:09 am [Reply]

    Damn, I missed out on the Mitch Miller discussion.

    #183 Muffaroo – As a kid, I thought it was Rossbag Dasarian. Seemed funny at the time.

    Luann – I don’t remember ever seeing TJ without that horrible grin. He looks kind of like Brad with a Frankensteinian forehead. He should go back to the grin. That evil, evil grin.

    MW (12/2) – Pretty sure I see some MRSA up there.

  222. KarMann
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:10 am [Reply]

    @Sheila Sternwell #218: That pantsuit ended up in the possession of my father, a Bengallan Prince who passed away last year in a terrible attack by giant flying squid. I am seeking assistance in transferring the pantsuit to the United States, and found your profile on this website. You would be handsomely rewarded for your help in receiving the clothing I inherited from my father.

    (If this post gets marked as spam, well, no surprise, but boy will I feel silly for even trying!)

  223. Zla'od
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:15 am [Reply]

    John C. Fremont: “I don’t remember ever seeing TJ without that horrible grin.”

    Yeah, that’s right! He looks like the Joker–or maybe a young Robert Tilton.

    Please God, let Toni commit “paternity fraud” so that Brad will end up having to support Dirk’s baby.

  224. KarMann
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:17 am [Reply]

    @stumps #219: I’ll second that advice about the deer. In my up-close-and-personal with one once, it was one of a handful of times in my life when I’ve really surprised myself (in hindsight) by how quickly I thought things through and acted on them. In this case, I managed to see the deer, knew that the ditch to the right was steep enough it’d probably flip me at the highway speeds I was travelling (50-55 mph, I think), and realized that the oncoming car was close enough that if I swerved left, I’d probably go head-on with it. So, I just kept the car going straight in the lane, and braked as much as I could.
    FWIW, the deer didn’t make it; the car was a(n old) Beetle, so didn’t have much important parts up front there like most cars do. Drove away easily enough, all things considered.

  225. Birthmark Hal
    December 3rd, 2009 at 7:48 am [Reply]

    Note to self: Before conducting the chamber orchestra in the future yell out to the crowd “ARE YOU READY FOR LONG HAIRED MUSIC?!?!”

    Questioning readiness for music has worked for rock and roll. Perhaps this doubt assuaging question is the reasons for rock’s sustained popularity and classical music’s decline in popularity.

  226. Barbara P
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:03 am [Reply]

    What I think you’re failing to realize is that Dick Tracy is set in the FUTURE and that “symphony” now means 60′s rock and roll music.

  227. Niall
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    Thursday fun

    Blondie made a technology that joke that snarked itself. w-w-w-what?!

    Dick: Gyaaaaahh! Keep the man inshadow and no one gets hurt! that means us! Please?

    FC: No human being can bend at that angle this way. This makes me believe Thel made a life-size helium balloon of herself and it just floats around near-horizontally, and the kids can’t even tell the difference. Meanwhile, Gramma continues to deny reality and tries to feel like her younger self again; anything to escape her present ennui.

    Thorp: The Claw hands are back, and this time they’re attached!! I mean, those digits can’t be human…

    PPP: (Pretty People Posse) Saved by the *BLEEP*. We shall be spared no clichés!

    Marm: A hellhound’s body temperature is easily hot enough to turn steel and/or plastics malleable. Thank you for making our snark reality.

    Ghost: On the bad side, the thug got a facefull of foot. On the good side, he got a great panty shot. I think he’s ahead.

    That’s all I have…

  228. smacky
    December 3rd, 2009 at 8:47 am [Reply]


    Ahem. Excuse me. Moy is really missing crossover potential here, a chance to reach “the kids” and warn them about the dangers of social networking. But no, it appears instead that Mary will join up and find some loser friend from her past who has lost her way and needs Mary’s platitudes to avoid an Aldo-type ending.

    (There are TONS of Mary Worths on Facebook, by the way. The majority of them seem to be real and just the result of mean parents.)

  229. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    MT: Yes, it’s all fun and games until someone gets carried away by a giant seagull.

    A3G: I’m a little perplexed by what Bobbie considers “cheating.” Apparently, canoodling on the streets with young women of different hair colors doesn’t rise to the level of “cheating.”

    MW: Mary is so clearly aroused by the meddling possibilities that it’s positively disturbing. “Tell me more about your reasons for joining, Wilbur. Be specific; don’t omit any miserable detail of your life. Oh, yes, that’s it—right there; give me the tale of woe, Wilbur–give it to me now!”

  230. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    228 smacky: I am hoping, fervently, that someone who’s more clever than I and who has more time this weekend will create that Wilbur Weston Facebook page. Of course, it can only be authentic if he has zero friends.

  231. colonial
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:22 am [Reply]

    DT: Unseen fourth panel…

    “So what’s the bad news?”
    “Remember when mom told us that if we kept making funny faces, our faces would freeze that way? Well, it happened.”

  232. tb4000
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:24 am [Reply]

    Luann: When TJ loses his Joker-esque rictus, you KNOW you done fucked up.

  233. hogenmogen
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    Crank: When will this story arc bear fruit? It’s going against the grain. Batuik is trying to plant the idea that a bumper crop of garden variety puns sprouting up is hilarity. All the dirty parts get weeded out. I don’t dig it. I give it the raspberry.

    Marm: Ha ha! That hilarious BIG DOG. You could never make such a joke with a small dog.

    Spidey: MJ generates fart waves of enormous magnitude. That could be a super power right there.

    9CL: Thousands of servicemen are madly in love with the Burbur Matriarch. Why stop there? Half the world population and the populations of several alien worlds bow down to the shrine of Burbur. Wait, I think I confused “madly in love with” and “I’m horny and I’ll give that chick a poke or two.”

    MW: Thank you for the shoehorned in explanation, Mary. When Wilbur said “Facebook”, I thought he was planning on falling asleep while reading, causing his head to slump into the page.

    Phantom: I like the guy in the back who kneels down to be eye level with Diana’s butt.

    Shoe: Girl bird is horrified when boy bird starts hitting on her without the avian mating rituals of removing clothing to fluff plumage, squawking and doing some bizarre dance. But girl bird is sporting cleavage and hair, so maybe boy bird is confused, and wants some hot inter-genus action.

    Slylock: A guy is either going to get eaten by an angry fish or drown and then be consumed by multiple creatures of the deep. How did he fall off the boat to the right, face left, and the fish is facing right? Did it ever occur to this guy that he could simply let go of his pole? This shouldn’t be “Spot the insignificant differences” it should be “What the fuck is wrong with the artist of this picture?”

  234. wossname
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    MT: Are we about to be treated to IRONY? Sassy, having barely escaped death at the teeth of the gator, is carried off to her demise in the beak of a giant seagull!

  235. wossname
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    179 and 183, re the timestamp; I’ve been assuming the server is still on daylight saving time. (Eastern variety)

  236. wossname
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    225 Birthmark Hal: I wonder if there has ever been a time when a crowd was asked “Are you ready to rock… and…. ROLL????” and the crowd responded “NOOOO!”

  237. Thomas B.
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Mary must be nervous because that plate of what I can only call finger foods has switched hands likefour times this week.

  238. Amateur
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    #125 — Josh, sorry about that. I’ve had a series of unpleasant shocks lately from young whippersnappers of my acquaintance, and it makes me sensitive. (“What’s ‘Happy Days’? Who’s the Fonz?” Auuuggh!) But it’s true that “longhair” hasn’t been in circulation much for a long time; I tend to read a lot of books from the early 20th century, and probably picked it up there.

    #196 — Cute story. :-) It’s a goofy movie, all right. Although Danny Kaye always saves it for me — he couldn’t NOT be funny, no matter how goofy the movie. (Now, my best friend loves Der Bingle; I haven’t yet got around to telling her that he’s far from my favorite part of WC!)

  239. hogenmogen
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    #236 – Wossname: I also like the cliche of when the musician calls for crowd participation and automatically says “I can’t hear you!!”

    There’s like 15,000 screaming people, and you’re not receiving? What’s the matter with you?

  240. hogenmogen
    December 3rd, 2009 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    Pluggers are dog men who frequently shed their clothing and eat cast-off food from the floor because they live in filthy, squalid rat-traps.

  241. frippy
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    FW: As I had long suspected, the Funkyverse is a dystopic police-state in which misery is not just a way of life, it’s the law.

    MW: My first thought upon reading the first panel, “I NEED TO ADD WILBUR ON FACEBOOK.” No doubt some wag is already adding the finishing touches to Wilbur’s profile as I type this. Interests: beige blobs, combovers, apartment complex pool parties, self-loathing.

  242. hogenmogen
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:25 am [Reply]

    Crank: I just can’t leaf this alone. It really bugs me. Punny is the root of all weevils. Ye shall reap what ye sow, Batuik, and it’s all corny.

  243. hogenmogen
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    Dick: He went to the casino, and couldn’t relax because some bizarre crime was ocurring. So he went to the circus to relax, except someone got killed. So he has to go to the symphony, where something terribly wrong will again put him back on the job. Maybe Dick should try a sensory depravation chamber, unless some deranged scientist turns it into another mind control device.

  244. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 am [Reply]

    WTF’s up with Mary Worth? Citing an actual real-life online social network AND including identifiable foodstuffs (note the apples) in the same day? Reality- what a concept.

  245. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:57 am [Reply]

    WTF’s up with Mary Worth? Citing an actual real-life online social network AND including identifiable foodstuffs (note the apples) in the same panel? Reality- what a concept.

  246. Aviatrix
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:00 am [Reply]

    MW: Wilbur paused as he pressed the tip of the cheese stick against his willing lips. Mary’s voice, that piercing look. She knew. Would he be able to refrain from blurting out the truth? Once he knew how to use Facebook, Manbook wasn’t much harder. But he was.

    BB is poignant today. Illogical, unless the airplanes are bombing each other, but its heart is in the right place.

    The past week in MT is simply reduced to the boldest fonted parking job ever.

    Hmm. WordPress tells me this is a duplicate comment, but I refreshed twice and it doesn’t appear on the page.

  247. Uncle Ritzy Fritz
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:02 am [Reply]

    And WTF’s up with the double post?

  248. Bryan
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    I know about the phrase “longhair” from that Bugs Bunny short Long-Haired Hare:

    It’s also how I know the song “Rainy Night in Rio.”

  249. Mibbitmaker
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:09 am [Reply]

    #239 (hogenmogen on #236 (Wossname)): Yeah. They’re supposed to be rockers, not Sergeant Carter (“Gomer Pyle, USMC”, that is)

  250. Bryan
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:10 am [Reply]

    Oh yeah, there was also the blues singer Professor Longhair.

  251. Baron Bizarre
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    Apartment 3G: Say, didn’t this strip used to be about three women sharing an apartment? Whatever happened to them? When did it become “The Adventures of Professor Rastapopoulos’ Drug-Addled Quasi-Girlfriend”?

  252. wossname
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:21 am [Reply]

    249 Mibbitmaker and 239 Hogenmogen – Another thing in that playbook that annoys the hell out of me is “Are you having a good time, ATLANTA???”

    I’d love it if somebody got the city wrong some time. I bet it’s happened.

  253. Baron Bizarre
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    I think it would be funny if the crowd said: “We’re ready to ROCK, but we are not currently prepared to ROLL! Check back with us later on that!”

  254. Mardou Fox
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    #252: Quite recently. Bruce Springsteen was doing a concert in suburban Detroit and repeatedly yelled out stuff like “How ya doing, OHIO??? It’s so great to be in OHIO! OHIO ROCKS!” until one of the band members clued him in. Oops!

  255. Mibbitmaker
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:34 am [Reply]

    BBailey: No, stupid, if the enemy gets drones, they’ll fly them into heavily populated buildings on mainland USA. Duh!

    Cranky: The time for those ladies to become an angry, violent, unruly mob is NOW! GET ‘IM!…

    DT: Jack Cobb? ….Jacob?? Wow, they’re getting really hard-up for awful, contrived pun names, aren’t they?

    FW: The law officially states that “All good things in Westview must be depressingly illegal.” They’re in deep doodoo until a judge is filled in about their miserable lives.

    ReFOOB: As we’ll see in his adult years, his thoughts aren’t worth a lowly penny — but will still lead to huge, impossible book deals.

    MT: “Chasing Crabs” is the name of a really bad porno.

    PBS: You bet your sweet Bippy! (it’s taken me too long to come up with that one)

    RMMD: Don’t approve of her boyfriends? Wha’??? Tim is the Nancy DeGroot of sons.

    Sherman’s Lagoon, you’re no Zippy the Pinhead.

    R=R: New way to stereotype men: Make them (us) just like female stereotypes, but with a “masculine” touch.

    Zits: Omigod, Mama Zits is going to re-enact an infamous scene from a Samantha Eggar movie from the 1960s, isn’t she?

  256. Mibbitmaker
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:38 am [Reply]

    Rocker: “Are you ready to ROCK?!”

    Audience (in unison): “Yes, but we aren’t ready to sing your lyrics for you — you’re the ones that get paid to sing, not us. So don’t ask!”

  257. Mardou Fox
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:41 am [Reply]

    “Are you ready to rock?”
    Crowd: “Yeah!”
    Crowd: “THEN TURN UP YOUR DAMNED HEARING AID! Geeze, this is like visiting my grampa!”

  258. AMC
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:43 am [Reply]

    FW – I do not see this ending well….

    “The name’s Bennie, Bennie the Knife. I’m in for a couple alleged stabbins. Wah ’bout choo?”

    “Uh, I’m Funky Winkerbean. I’m in for improper reindeer display . . . and aggravated punning.”

  259. Calvin's Cardboard Box
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:45 am [Reply]

    We were just driving to the concert down ROUTE 29!!

    Wow! That goes right by my house!!!

    Apparently, Britney Spears has had a number of episodes in her recent concert tour where she misidentifies the city. This is even worse because her scripted,”How you doing …. Sacramento!!!” line is the only time she is required to speak or interact with the audience in any fashion during the entire show.

  260. Uncle Lumpy
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:57 am [Reply]

    Hey, she’s playing Sacramento — it’s OK if she lets the rest of it go.

  261. rocketbride
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    DT: um, hello? am i the only one to realize that this isn’t a musician, this is orlando bloom as legolas, turning traitor after another long day of marching through middle earth. i just can’t believe that he can call sauron ‘the old man’ without calling down some sort of retalitory light show. boom!

  262. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:06 pm [Reply]


    S-M: Showertime MJ shows as much cleavage as much cleavage as she can without forcing the strip to run in only European newspapers. Okay, so she still has the disturbing Bon Jovi chin cleft, but still I won’t think any the less of Peter if he takes his time getting back out there. Not that it’s possible for me to think less of Peter.

    RMMD: This has one of the all time great silent “what the fuck?” panels at the end.
    Becka: Honey, is it okay if we move and change phone numbers?
    Peter: Totally.

    FW: So Westview actually has men in black uniforms patrol the streets making sure no one smiles or shows any other sign of joy? My guess is that leaves them with a lot of time on their hands.

    Blondie: “Oh, and there are still just 48 states, right? Just checking.”

    DT: “I’ll have to break it to him that we’re giving his chair to Ms Vy O’Lynn. Yeah, I wanted to give a guy with a non-punning name a chance, but it just didn’t work out.”

    Luann: In another sign of the impending apocalypse, Brad says something that goes over someone else’s head.

    FB: It’s “flea”, Fred. That’s a pun. Which is a kind of joke. Which is… oh, never mind.

    M-Dawg: The upside of having Marmaduke as a pet? Car salesmen are too terrified to charge you for the heavy property damage he causes.

    Ghost-Who-Delegates-Parenting: Wow, Diana looks absolutely stunning. Don’t be surprised if she makes being abducted and stuffed into a trunk part of her regular beauty regimen.

    Archie: No mystery about the shoes. Mr Svenson just convinced the kids to be respectful of his work, in a Japanese way. As to why there are five pairs of panties on the floor…

  263. mcmc
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    OMG Wilbur friended me! Ignore! Ignore!

  264. Bryan
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 pm [Reply]

    I was working a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert many years ago when I noticed a sign on the back of one of the speakers that said, “STOWE, VERMONT.”

  265. Muffaroo
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:17 pm [Reply]

    Crankshaft – Crankshaft found the Acme Seed Catalog so exciting, he had to stop reading every few minutes and spill his seed.

    Dick – That face… I can’t take it any more. I confess! I killed Kennedy!! Just make the face go away!

    Family – Thel’s at that ‘Aunt Fritzi’ angle. I saw a Playboy cartoon strip that explained it: she’s getting it on (in the biblical sense) with herself just out of the viewer’s sight.

    Marmaduke – “Do you have one with a gas chamber?”

    Pluggers think it’s safe to use jokes from 1960s “Peanuts” collections.

    Popeye – “I ain’t no number! I’m a free swab!”

    Rex – Becka’s speechless reaction in the last panel shows that she is trying to think of a way to get Tim to switch to Dr. “Shucks, Lost Another One” Pete as his primary care physician.

    Rhymes with thinks it’s safe to use jokes from 1950s McKimson Warner Brothers gag cartoons.

    R=R – Jimbo’s rope is fastened a foot and a half too high.

    Speed Bump knows that if enough other people have used a line, it’s part of our rich tradition of humor. (And rightly so.)

  266. commodorejohn
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    BB – …huh.

    FW – “You’re under arrest for public happiness. We don’t need that kind of thing in this community, sir.”

    GT – Fear the octopus!

    JP – !? What is this, Spider-Man?

    MT – Come on, squid!

    MW – Oh. My. God. Mary Worth, Facebook, and Wilbur trying to get together with old classmates. This is going to be a glorious triple-play of utter pathetic failure.

    MC – I’ve been there a few times.

    OBH – I love this. I think it’s the expressions that really make it work.

    PBS – Win.

    Phantom – You know, I totally respect what The Phantom is doing with this storyline, but…panel one was just a little too hilarious to take seriously.

    RMMD – Trying to horn in on a married person and then playing the “well let’s stay in touch, okay?” card? Maybe he’s not Anthony after all. Maybe he’s Liz.

    SM – Peter: Hot. Wife. Clad. Only. In. Towel. Forget. About. The. Damn. Sandman.

  267. queek
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    posting before reading, sorry for any repeats!

    Baka Gaijan warning! Do Not Read Today’s SPEEDBUMP!!! Bad Clown alert!

    RwO: That may be the worst pun that Hillary Price has ever done, and that’s saying something.

    MC: Dishopolis returns! Well done, but not a trope to over-use.

    HotC: continued win.

    BB: wait, what? Vaguely recognizable military hardware?!? WTF! that’s not supposed to happen in this strip!!!

  268. Muffaroo
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:20 pm [Reply]

    ElkMeadow @184 – The hair thing works in Chicago: The Windy City.

    Latka Gravas @187 – Thankyouverymuch.

    Poteet @189 – So, having watched WHITE CHRISTMAS that many times, which song do you think is dumber? “Snow Snow Snow Snow” or “What Do You Do With a General?” I’m inclined toward the latter, because it’s such a strawman kind of thing. (And everyone says, “General Who”? AWWWW, I’m CRYYYYYIN’!)

    gnome de blog @204 – I hope somebody else knows the answer to your query, because I’m trying to race through the comments here. A mudge’s work substitute is never done.

    ChattyGenes @206 – I can still remember my first good snark. We had (I still have) a book called 365 Bedtime Stories and one of the tales concerned a young reader trying to sound out the punctuation… “Oh boy, baseball bat, rabbit ears, said Tommy…” …until a sibling tells her about question marks (buttonhook), exclamation point (baseball bat), quote marks (rabbit ears), and so on.

    Okay. So there we are. It’s maybe 1963, I’m about seven, and we’re watching one of those made-for-TV Disney live-action shows with two kids outside, listlessly reciting lines. The little girl says something, and I add: “…baseball bat, rabbit ears.” And because we all knew that book, I didn’t have to explain it like just now.

    Zla’od @223 – TJ dropped the grin one time, briefly. My view is that he’s consumed with self-loathing and reflexively grins to blunt the impact of his generally bitter, sarcastic words. He’s a house fire waiting to happen. Again.

    Mibbitmaker @256 – “YES! WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!”
    “I’m not.”

  269. One-eyed Wolfdog
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    Lockhorns: I do too. Make something of it?

  270. Calico
    December 3rd, 2009 at 1:08 pm [Reply]

    Wow, Mary isn’t wasting any time today in getting her meddle on, is she?
    She thinks of Wilbur’s Facebook foray as adultery.
    He’ll be forced to wear a giant “F” on his shirt for a year, if not longer.

  271. Jumper
    December 3rd, 2009 at 2:21 pm [Reply]

    It’s quite natural that “longhair music” quit being used for classical in the ’60s. What was clear would have become muddled.

  272. Carly
    December 4th, 2009 at 3:03 am [Reply]

    MW: Mom, I can see Wilbur’s brain from down here!

    DT: Cheer up, Dick. You’ll get to kill someone or several someones soon. Well, “soon” in comics time, but it’ll almost certainly be at the concert, which totally makes going worth it.

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