Fill Harris

There’s no preview available for tonight but it’s not like we’re going to leave Montoni’s My-Tunes recommendation discussion for something more interesting like, say, how Summer is doing in college. So here is today’s strip for those of you still hanging around!

It occurred to me this whole week like like closing time at a bar when they turn on the lights and play terrible music to try and get everyone to leave. I’ve seen adult-situation pr0n of Heathcliff. It’ll take more than a lame storyline to scare this snarker off.


                               For the love of God, put some pants on!



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

38 responses to “Fill Harris

  1. So were these four days of “Grumpy Old Men” merely set-up so that Funky could deliver a Superman-related punchline, since lead is the only substance his x-ray vision can’t penetrate?

  2. Oh for…NOBODY IS SUGGESTING THAT. NOBODY HAS EVER SUGGESTED THAT. Even Pandora, which is the closest thing I can think of to an automatically-generated playlist, accepts input from the user about what they do/do not like and incorporates that knowledge. Which makes it a lot smarter than anybody in this strip.

  3. billytheskink

    Lead-lined ceilings? I take it that means there’s lead paint in Montoni’s. That… actually explains this week fairly well.

  4. SpacemanSpiff85

    I guarantee “sortware”, whatever the hell that is, could write a comic strip better than at least one person.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    I said this yesterday, it’s like they think these playlist suggestions are somehow mandatory, like they’re being forced to subsist on inferior playlists by some powerful outside hand that disables their ability to delete an unwanted song and replace it with another one they like more. “Sortware”? Am I seeing that right?

    Then just to throw the whole stupid thing into total muttering anarchy, Harry goes off on another one of his pointless and never funny “stoner zen” tangents, while Funky hatchet-facedly (blurgh) fuels his demented friend’s paranoia by cracking wise about Montoni’s lead-lined walls, which REALLY accounts for an awful lot when you stop to think about it.

    And get a load of John, desperately trying to add his worthless opinion into the mix, like he’s Harry’s new sidekick or something. Then in panel two he’s sporting that strangely-sympathetic smirk, like he’s concerned about his friend, but not enough to do anything about it other than mindlessly agree and smirk bemusedly at his idiot pal’s demented antics. What a bunch of assholes these guys are.

  6. @SpacemanSpiff85 – “sortware” could be another candidate for the list of Battyisms.

  7. SpacemanSpiff85

    @Epicus Doomus:
    I really wish we’d seen the immediate aftermath of the song recommendation. If Harry’s still this worked up about it THE NEXT DAY, he must have been screaming profanities at that monitor for a long, long time.

  8. Psh, yeah, what a travesty! These dumb computer softwa–wait, did I read that right? Sortware? I’ve never heard of that before, EVER. And I’m one of these damned kids

  9. “Sortware,” in the real world, happens to be a computer store in Spain. But don’t take my word for it, ask Granpa Google.

  10. Epicus Doomus

    I don’t know what sortware is either, this is the first I’ve ever heard of it. Was that an error that no one caught or was it intentional? Either way, it’s amazing.

  11. SpacemanSpiff85

    @Epicus Doomus:
    I kind of assumed it had to be a typo at first. Which it might be actually, because F and R are right next to each other on the keyboard. But it really seems like it could be another Batiukism. “ITunes sorts your music-I bet they call it sortware!”.

  12. Addenda to the list of things Batiuk knows nothing about: software, proofreading. To be fair, it’s not like calling Pete Rockmanrock by the wrong last name, or calling Cindy Holly, both of which he’s done. But if you’re going to have a year’s lead time on your comic strip, maybe spare a few minutes on quality assurance. Judt ti cathc mistaks and misppellings.

    Heck, there’s even sortware for that kind of thing!

  13. What Batiuk can’t get through his thick skull is that the computer doesn’t actually KNOW anything. All that’s happening is that its algorithms successfully matched two text strings (Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris) and provided output to a web address in Ohio. It has no opinion about anything and does not and cannot understand stubborn old men who ascribe to it an instinct towards tyranny it cannot have.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    And here it is, as expected, Batty bemoans technology.

    Except, since he is too busy playing with comic books, he hasn’t noticed that most music services today provide stations which play hand curated music. Oh well, he will just bithc about it not being a real radio station.

  15. jp

    Again with the lead-lined ceiling. What a weird fetish. But by the come-hither look John is giving Funky in panel 3, it may be code for “Back room, ASAP!”

  16. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    When BatBore gets on a soapbox, he really gets on a soapbox. Whether or not the issue is something anyone living or dead cares about doesn’t seem to matter. Hey Tom, how about a whole month on those “do not remove” mattress tags?

  17. bad wolf

    “Software” vs “Sortware”. It is so hard to tell what’s on purpose and what’s accidental here. As Spinal Tap put it, “It’s such a fine line between genius and stupid.”

    I remember something about the Montoni’s ceilings protecting you from karma or something in the past. Was that also credited to lead? Asbestos?

  18. Chyron HR

    Hey, Crazy, iTunes just called. It said, “If you don’t like My Suggestions, you might enjoy Sucking A Dick.”

  19. sgtsaunders

    Yeah, the ceiling in Montoni’s is lead-lined under simultaneous orders from both the Health Dept. and the Atomic Energy Commission to protect the tenants in the apartment above from the ghastly pizza fumes from below.

  20. Jimmy

    I don’t want to know the context of the Heathcliff porn.

    Suggested future topics for future FW:

    * Didja ever notice how potato chips are sometimes next to pretzels in the grocery store? What’s up with that?
    * I was researching Jeep Cherokees, so suggested I might like the Toyota Camry. The horror!
    * Harry Dinkle tells the story about how Becky one-time lined up a trombonist and a flutist in the same section of the big W. What a complete maroon, amiright?*
    * Montoni’s is finally shuttered for an unsafe environment when someone finally catches wise to its tagline “Montoni’s: Come for the breakfast pizza, stay for the Cancer”.

    * Note: I had to look up Becky’s name, but it wasn’t easy. Google kept turning up Harry Dinkle as the band director, but I did come across a defunct tumblr page called “Funky Winkerbean Must Die” (


    Two things I hate in this strip:

    1. Malapropisms worked in Pogo because it was whimsical and had a wit to it. Here..I can’t tell if it’s an error or Batiuk being his usual patronizing self. Walt Kelly used a mix of southern dialect, child talk and his own great humor to come up with his wonderful wordplay. I doubt Batiuk used anywhere near the effort to come up with ‘sortware”.

    2. This is another “Technology is evil” storyline that really doesn’t work. The mere fact that Crazy could listen to music online is a miracle in itself. Having lived in the pre-computer era, being able to find music via a search engine would have been a godsend. It also doesn’t work since this type of error could have happened with a friggin human being.

  22. Smirks 'R Us

    This is absolutely the stupidest conversation that any FW characters have ever had, and that is really saying something. Again, BatHack proves excellent at grabbing a shovel after he’s hit rock bottom. I especially like how p1 has Funky’s father in an apron and, boom, he’s gone and Funky takes his place in p2. Consistency and quality, the two bellwethers of this great strip.

  23. billytheskink

    For those that haven’t see today’s Crankshaft: Rocky Rhodes (not to be confused with Cory’s fiancé of the exact same name) is visiting our pal Jim Kablichnick back in Act II to discuss how Lena’s brownies have morphed from a series of repurposed inedible fruitcake jokes into human existence-threatening antimatter.

  24. Jim in Wisc.

    @billytheskink: Lead is the secret seasoning in the pizza sauce. Has been for years.

  25. Try Montoni’s new lead-lovers pizza!!

    Anyway, I think maybe TB was trying to avoid a C&D from the Free Software Foundation?

    If anything, the nonsensical conversation that these assholes have been wasting our time with all week has proven that “sortware” is more effective than humans in suggesting playlists, since THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN ROBERT FUCKING PLANT AND EMMYLOU GOD DAMN HARRIS, AND IF YOU PAID ATTENTION TO ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTER 1980 YOU WOULD KNOW THAT ROBERT PLANT HAS HAD A VERY DIVERSE MUSIC CAREER AFTER LED ZEPPELIN!!! (Sorry for yelling, but this guy is really pissing me off this week).

  26. ComicBookHarriet

    I’d like to think that these three guys are part of some kind of Indignant Rage Club, which meets once a week to complain about inane things like turn signals or the Dewey Decimal system, as a form of cathartic transference of the negative emotions due to living in Westview. This week it was Harry’s turn to find something to be pissed off about.

  27. HeyItsDave

    @Smirks ‘R Us – I thought T-Bats was giving us a cameo by Mr. Magoo.

  28. Found this: BD FACS Sortware fundamentally improves the way cytometer software supports cell sorting. The software captures all the information about an event such as time, position in the sorted drop, position relative to other events, firmware classifier status, etc, and makes it available to researchers on demand as needed for quality control, or for post-sort analysis.”

    So now we know. I will be sure to use “sortware software” in a sentence 10 times today so it can be mine.

    So my bet is that the “sortware” was an actual goof in TB’s lettering. Given that “software” is hardly an obscure term even to a senior citizen, and that “sortware” is VERY obscure, I doubt Harry is making a malapropism. It’s certainly not even remotely a pun. Which means we are left with the very obvious conclusion that TB either does not have an editor or, more likely, none of his editors actually give a shit enough at this point to even proofread what he submits.

    Incidentally, as Harry is purportedly the most tech-savvy citizen in town – not only did he know how to digitally transfer VHS tapes, he knew what an easter egg was (I realize this ain’t saying a lot, but you know what I mean) – the fact that he he is going all this-newfangled-stuff-just-mystifies-me on us is doubly ironic. You could almost say it makes me laugh, but then, that would be admitting that I was laughing at a FW strip, which ain’t gonna happen.


    –I don’t want to know the context of the Heathcliff porn.–

    Think Cleo the Cat. Which when I say that now makes me want to look up said porn. Yup, going straight to hell.

  30. Jimmy

    @HeyItsDave: Does that mean DSH John is Charlie?

  31. @Westview Oncologist. Great. Rule 34 strikes again.

  32. If you like Heathcliff cat porn, you may also like Cassandra the Cat.

  33. ComicBookHarriet

    Bravo….my good sir….bravo

  34. @Fred Blurt – it sounds like “Sortware” might be used in post offices, so it’s possible Harry knows something about it…but it’s rather unlikely he does, or that he’d use the word in this context. If Batiuk wanted to be “clever” I’d suggest something like “SuggestWare.”

  35. “Even humans can fail to make a perfect playlist!!”

    Uh… How, exactly? YOU’RE MAKING THIS PLAYLIST FOR YOURSELF, MORON!!! If you LIKE the goddamned SONGS, then it is “perfect!” — How much more complicated does it need to be than that??

    Of course in my day, we had to make playlists without the help of computer algorithms… It’s not rocket science…

    Of course had he just done this himself, he wouldn’t have any excuse to run down to the pizzeria and complain for a week…


    Cassandra the Cat.& Cleo the Cat.

    That needs to be a thing.

    Get to work on it internets.

  37. Charles

    This conversation now reminds me of the Louis C.K. bit about complaints about airlines.

    This is a conversation to these guys. That’s a story. That’s a fricking hardship. This is a complaint that someone will stop washing to dishes over (or stop running his pizza restaurant, although to be fair Funky never seems to ever be doing anything when he’s standing around behind the counter, so he’s as much a layabout as Crazy).

    “I asked My-Tunes to give me a playlist based on Robert Plant and it gave me Emmylou Harris!”
    “Oh! That’s AWFUL! You should SUE them!”

    And then what happened? Did the thing instantly give you an hour long playlist extracted from ALL the digital music you own? And if you didn’t like it, you could have it instantly make another? And if that didn’t suffice you could actually modify it or even make one yourself? Using technology that you couldn’t even conceive of?

    Good thing the time pool sequence was just a vision from Les’s fevered imagination. I can only imagine Crazy going back to the 80s when Karlheinz Brandenburg was creating the MP3 format and tell him that the playlists it would become a part of weren’t perfectly perfect. No doubt Brandenburg would have told James Johnston to shut it down because someone got Emmylou Harris when they wanted something more similar to Robert Plant.