At first I thought Les was admonishing Naughty in his office, in a private conference so as to steer her away from Chullo’s former crime (I seem to remember “It says Wikipedia right at the top.” “So that’s what gave it away.”).
But then I note Nice sitting there, and I realize he’s actually berating her in front of the entire class. Apparently being a dick is nothing compared to being Les Moore. That’s quite a level of ass-hattery to deploy against a student who’s barely been in his class for a week. I guess when Les has to smug his superiority (“I am familiar with all the Pulitzer-award winners…as well as several deserving nominees…”) woe betide those who happen to be in his view-finder.
Which is what makes the third panel so…delicious. Naughty is full-on denying Les his ability to give a half-lidded-eye smirk! She is being a dick right back, almost effortlessly! And look how Les, denied his pun-portunity, takes it! Look how he is practically boiling with rage, barely able to contain his fury at being de-punned. If this strip was set 100 years in the future, his next line would be “Jetson! YooooOOOOOOOOOOOuu’rre FIRED!!” You might think the impact of panel three is lessened by not seeing his full squeeming visage, but I would offer instead that it allows us to imagine it. And what I imagine is glorious.
I think I have a new favorite character in the Funkyverse.