Stroke and a Joke

At first I thought it was just the toilet seat falling…but [Fred] would always fake a loud scream whenever that happened, as if…” As if? As if what? What? As if Fred’s schlong had gotten crushed by the falling toilet seat? That old gag?

Who knew Westview’s former principal was such a jokester? We’d always figured him for something of a square! And now, just as we come to appreciate funny Fred, his Creator (TB) has laid him low with an affliction that will likely make him Pa Winkerbean’s new roommate. Obviously Fred at some point made the mistake of letting the universe know he was feeling happy.


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35 responses to “Stroke and a Joke

  1. Epicus Doomus

    My reaction too…”as if…” WHAT??? It isn’t like we know the Fred character very well and can fill in the blanks ourselves. Now, thanks to BatFace’s awful writing, we’re left with the image of an old man falling off the toilet…and it’s almost kinda sorta being played for laughs! What a f*cking hack. This reads like a “For Better Or For Worse” outtake.

  2. bayoustu

    I suppose it’s far too late to hope for “Crazy Harry’s Happy Dance- The Extended Edition” arc?

  3. I was all ready to abuse the “Other” option when I realized there was an 80 character limit. I’m either guessing long death or unrealistic recovery. Either one assumes we know the character well enough to care about his fate.

  4. BeckoningChasm

    “I heard loud noises in the toilet, but for me, that was totally normal…except that there weren’t any screams. No noises of torment, suffering, torture…it was way weird!

    “Then I found my husband slumped over. Well, I simply assumed there were more than five cocktails, so when it seemed there were only two, naturally I phoned you. You have a car, yes? Capable of hauling an old man, his wife, several volumes of newspaper comic strips and a paperback, ‘The Comic Book Guide to Irony–Even if You’ve Never Done It Before! Third Edition–Sorry About Those Others!’ to the hospital where Darin’s real father works? Oh Good, I can die now!?

  5. Merry Pookster

    Durwood would have arrived quicker at the hospital but they had to drive by the old Feelgood homesteads.
    Ahhhhh good times.

  6. Merry Pookster

    …and the “Lighthouse” where all those terrible abuse cases occured.
    But the good news will be that Durwood and his roomie might get a house out of all this.
    See…Good News.

  7. What, you didn’t realize Mr. “I Helped With the Delivery” was the laugh-a-minute wit of Westview?

  8. Jeffcoat Wayne

    I think it would be hilarious if the final poll choice read: “Will Benson care?”

    I wonder if the clunking toilet combo scream is Fred’s best comedy material. It’s certainly not Batiuk’s, as it reads as if he wasn’t sure what joke he was trying to go for, or was too embarrassed to follow through with it. And since when does an old man falling to the floor sound like a toilet seat slamming? That’s more of a thump than a clunk. Ladies and gentlemen, Fred has left the building. Thank you and goodnight.

  9. flappy

    thanx Diva i forgot about that help with delivery gag that was used about 5times by goodold Freddy

  10. O.B. Dan

    I think Curtis Mayfield said it best: “Freddie’s Dead”

    This isn’t cancer, so the end will come soon. So, mercifully, will this thread.

  11. John

    If the universe punishes happiness, shouldn’t Fishstick Annie be the one dying a terrible, painful, lingering death?

    She went from obscure, forgotten character to Westview’s Greatest Past Female Athlete, arcs upon arcs dedicated to her intense joy as being able to give direction to the suddenly incompetent and clueless Nanny Goats B-ball team.

    And how insane was her glee when they won.

    But no punishment. Nothing, until her adopted son dared to say he kind of, sort of, MIGHT be accepting his wife of ten years as an equal.

    What. The. Hell.

    Tom, you can’t even follow up on your own damn foreshadowing and story seeds without half-assing it all to hell!

  12. Charles

    On the toilet? Really?

    There’s no such thing as death with dignity when Tom Batiuk is involved.

  13. Batominc’s is an Old Testament Universe. It punishes not those who blaspheme it by expressing or experiencing forbidden happiness, but wreaks its awful retribution upon those the blasphemers love. With slapstick & toilet humor.

    I tell ya, there oughtta be a commandment against this kind of writing.

  14. Beanie Wanker

    Yow, must have been trying to pass a dookie the size of a football. UNNNHHHH! I think Elvis checked out that way.

    Wait, doesn’t EVERYBODY let out a scream every time (!) the toilet seat comes crashing down? Jesus, something ELSE disturbing rattling around in Batpoop’s pointy little skull.

    Fred Fairgood’s condition has been downgraded to Fred Seriouscritical. BOXCAR!!

  15. Sgt. Saunders

    I’ll take “Other”: After this week of terrible dialogue, and no resolution of Fred’s health crisis, Fishstick Fred is forgotten. Adios, Sabata.

  16. Señor Tortilla

    Right, I picked “Other” too, in which Fred is somehow “put on a bus” and never returns. Maybe they’ll mention it in one strip (“We’re going down to [distant relative we’ve never heard of] in [state that is far away from Ohio–think anywhere between, and including, Texas and California] to help Fred recover”)

    As for the current storyline, I’m psyched. It turned from a week of McSmirks and his airheaded wife who inexplicably has been married to him for the last decade to back to the grim Funkiverse, complete with hatchet-style writing. Yay!

  17. billytheskink

    Faking a scream when dropping the toilet seat? Sounds more like a dorm than a marriage to me…

  18. Lynn

    Maybe he was reading Lisa’s story while sitting on the crapper, and from the intense boredom, fell asleep and fell off.

  19. Helskor

    I forget which I voted for in today’s poll, but Fred isn’t going to be allowed to depart in peace until Batiuk’s gotten another award or a book out of him.

  20. Jimmy

    I filled in other and wrote that Batiuk will use this as a prestige arc regarding the “right to die”. Fred will survive as a vegetable, but who has the right to tell whom when to pull the plug? It will all be handled in a very ham-fisted way, of course.

    I’m no scientist, but I have to critique the art today. Darin and whathername’s faces look identical to me. Is the switch from panel 2 to panel 3 one of those “six differences” strips?

  21. Professor Fate

    “When Fred didn’t let out a scream of existential horror at the gross physical nature of life I knew there was a problem.”

  22. Rusty

    Jimmy-Not only as a “right to die” stor arc, but then the high school will put on a play regarding the right to die theme. And Les will be the faculty advisor.

  23. $$$Westview Oncologist$$$

    This strip just proves to me that nobody edits Funky Winkerbean.

  24. Señor Tortilla

    Didn’t Batiuk mention a “long lost character” would be returning in 2013? Is this the lead-in to the return of Frankie?

  25. BeckoningChasm

    I think the poll answer has to be “bedridden but responsive.” A vegetable can’t smirk and make snide remarks, nor speculate on the cruelty of existence. What’s the point of having a character suffer if you can’t get any Batiuk-style mileage out of it?

  26. Smirks 'R Us


    Darin: So let me get this straight, “Dad’s” junk is so big that he can pretend it could get caught in a falling toilet seat?

    Ann: *sheepish grin*

    Jessica: Wow, Darin, you really MUST BE adopted!

  27. Charles

    The poll needs revision. Everyone in Winkerbeanworld is dying a lingering death.

  28. Flummoxicated

    Since my uncle had a stroke in November, I feel certain that this arc will be especially poignant irritating.

  29. Beanie Wanker

    See, here’s what gets me. The plot is to have Fred Fishstick have a stroke. Then whatever this develops into, we’ll see. But WHY did BatNuts have to tell us Fred has this BIZARRE game of dropping the toilet seat and screaming? Picture an 80 year old man doing something like this! Yeah, it’s pretty messed up. Just weird. Couldn’t just let it go with “I heard him fall?”

    Batcrazy probably also considered having her say, “He always pounds his fist on the wall and sings the theme from “Mister Ed when he needs to take a particularly hard crap. When I heard the thump then no TV theme song, I thought he forgot the words.”

    Dare I ask — Does anyone here, or anyone you know, scream when the toilet seat falls?? I didn’t think so. WHERE does Bats come up with strange crap like this?

  30. Jason

    I guess the toilet seat falls on the just and unjust alike.

  31. Epicus Doomus

    Wow, I completely missed Batom’s attempt at a dick-size gag…ugh.

    Senor Tortilla: Good call re: Frankie. Fred will eventually croak, then Annie will suggest that Boy Lisa go out and “track down” his “real dad”, which will lead to (what else?) two weeks of letter opening.

  32. Duane

    I’m not going to invested in this story arc, because Tom will change gears without a clutch and we’ll never hear from these characters again this year.

  33. BeckoningChasm

    To everyone who wonders about Tom Batiuk’s strange sentences, I’ll repeat what I’ve said a few times here: the art, including the word balloons, is drawn a year in advance. Tom Batiuk gives himself plenty of space for those word balloons, because the words that go in those balloons are written about a month before publication. (I’m guessing.) And while he might’ve had an idea of what should go in there, it’s long forgotten now so he just has to shovel things in there until the balloon looks full. (Recall, if you will, Les’ long-winded bilious pre-wedding prattle that said, “I’d rather have pig than turkey.”)

    I wanted to share a quote I read today, from Jim Shooter (who has worked in the comic book industry since he was a teenager in the 1960s):

    “The comic book industry today is rife with creators who don’t know their craft — creators who are in love with their ignorance and defiantly cling to their destructive self-indulgence. That’s the greatest reason for the decline of the industry. It’s not poor distribution, lack of promotion or anything else. If there was a comic book shop on every street corner with big neon signs, people still wouldn’t buy un-entertaining, impenetrable, rehashed, derivative masturbatory crap.

    Ill-conceived storylines, reliance upon “shocking” or sensational events, dependence on gimmicks and marketing ploys, oppressively derivative material and the dearth of new ideas are all evidence of visionless, clueless creative leadership at the top and untrained, clueless (though often very talented) creators on the firing line.”

    This kind of sounds like someone we all know.

  34. johnnycanuck

    Can a long-awaited return of Masky McDeath be in the offing? Will Lisa’s Ghost offer advice on how to pester loved ones from the afterlife? Stay tuned!

  35. Adam Bahm

    As if what, McHale? What, what, what?