Funky Winkerbean, 6/25/19
I got some feedback on my joke about Sunday’s Funky Winkerbean and was about to write something whiny along the lines of “Ugh, Funky Winkerbean made me learn things,” but honestly? I love learning things, and telling other people about those things! So here we go: the most famous version of the Buster Keaton house-falling gag is from 1928’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., but Keaton had done an earlier version in 1920’s One Week — and, more relevant to this storyline, Fatty Arbuckle, for whom Butter Brinkel is pretty transparently a stand-in, did the original version of it 1919’s Back Stage, which Buster Keaton also appeared in. As the name implies, Back Stage was a comedy that took place behind the scenes of a play, and so the house-falling stunt was much smaller scale and actually involved a small facade used as part of the play’s set dressing, rather than an actual house as in the Steamboat Bill version; the depiction of Brinkel’s stunt (which you can see better in Sunday’s strip) more closely matches what happened in Back Stage.
There’s one big difference, of course: Arbuckle’s Back Stage stunt, like both of Keaton’s, went off safely; but Brinkel is an inhabitant of the Funkyverse, so his version was botched and left him in agony for years afterwards. That’s the special twist on history we’ve come to expect from this feature, folks!
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/25/19
I sort of assumed I pretty much knew the lay of the land in the small, insular world of Hootin’ Holler, but apparently not? Apparently there’s a high-stakes card game in town that Snuffy has decided he’s ready for? Or maybe Snuffy, unfamiliar with the geography of the flatland world, assumes that “Las Vegas,” a city he’s heard about occasionally from Parson Tuttle’s television, is only a few more hours’ walk past whatever economically imploding mining town of 25,000 people or so is the closest metropolis to Hootin’ Holler. Anyway, we shouldn’t let this speculation distract us from the important point here, which is that Snuffy has gambled away his family’s meager resources and now they’re starving to death.