Gagging Run

(“Running Gag” has already been used twice…had to come up with something for a title…[hangs head in shame])

Link to today’s strip.

Say, do you ever catch yourself thinking, “You know, those Sunday strips with Funky and Les jogging are great and all, but why are they so darn short?  I’d like to see a week of those!”  Well, brother, you’re about to get your wish!  Have you ever considered therapy?

The joke in this is always the same:  Funky’s a fat old doofus who hates exercising and is unequipped to survive it.  Les is an up-and-at-’em type who always outperforms.  There’s only so many variants on “Funky is a fat lazy loser” and, let me tell you, none of them are funny.  This one is just stupid, and poorly presented.  It should show Les and Funky speaking on the phone, the night before; then Funky’s dumb non-something would at least make a certain amount of character sense (any excuse to avoid getting up early).   Saying his line now, after they’ve been out for a while, makes Funky look genuinely stupid.  Talk about low-hanging fruit….

Here’s an idea, Funky.  If you hate exercise so much, if it’s nothing but a burden, why not stop?  You’ve been doing it for years and it is clearly not benefiting you in any way, other than making you even more miserable (if such a thing is possible) and thus able to commiserate with everyone around you.  Your *cough* best friend Les seems to use this time to remind you of how superior to you he is in every way.    Let’s face it–you’re never going to lose weight, you’re never going to feel good about yourself, and what you see right now in life is all you will ever have.  Your creator clearly despises you.  Everything else in the universe is punishing you; you don’t need to join in too.  You might die sooner, but you might die happier, too.

Admittedly that’s a stretch, but in this strip, any death seems like a happy occasion.  Finally, someone is free of the dark clutches of this strip.  Free to rot and molder, and–I think I’ll stop typing now.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “Gagging Run

  1. spacemanspiff85

    You know how there’s a Funky Winkerbean musical? Here’s my idea for a better, newer Funky Winkerbean play:
    Two old guys playing Les and Funky jog around a stage for two hours. Funky just ad-libs bitching about how fat he is and how much pain he’s in, and Les just smirks.
    This would be the most accurate adaptation of any fictional work, ever.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    A funnier gag would have Funky saying “there’s something about the fresh early morning air that really makes me sick”, but a) “The Office” already used it and b) FW doesn’t really “do” funny. Yeah, if Funky has been doing this for years and derives no benefit from it, why is he still doing it? And if Dick Facey tried to nag me into doing something with him at six in the morning I’d laugh immediately before decapitating him with a rusty hacksaw blade. Then I’d laugh some more.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    I think someone mentioned recently how this strip makes a lot more sense if you just assume the characters are having affairs. That’s definitely the case today.

  4. billytheskink

    Nothing about Les having an affair with anyone makes sense to me.

    So Funky, who operates a restaurant that serves breakfast daily, thinks being awake at 6:00 AM is torture…

  5. DOlz


    “Two old guys playing Les and Funky jog around a stage for two hours. Funky just ad-libs bitching about how fat he is and how much pain he’s in, and Les just smirks.”

    So basically a more depressing and less action filled version of “Waiting for Godot”?

  6. spacemanspiff85

    That’s what I was thinking, yeah. I mean, if you told me there was a literary work where a significant recurring storyline is two friends jogging while constantly complaining about their pain and the futility of exercise, and never getting healthier or skinnier, I would swear you were talking about some depressing 2000 page French or German novel, not a daily comic strip.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Obviously the most annoying thing about these “Les and Funky go jogging together” strips is that Les is in them. The way he revels in Funky’s physical pain and all-around woe just sickens me. It’s bad enough that he’s never winded or sweaty or injured in the least but the way he’s just blatantly basking in his own inflated sense of smug superiority is completely enraging. The paragon of virtue, the trim and fit early-riser pretending to prod his pal into improving himself but actually just exploiting him for his own amusement and a few cheap laughs at his expense…it’s always just so appalling. Every single Les appearance always instantly reminds me of just how much more awful he is than every other character in the strip combined. It’s like getting a migraine, you always know and remember how much they suck but it isn’t until you get another one that you really remember how bad it is.

  8. ComicTrek

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for once Les’s condescending smirk is not all that punchable. You can almost feel how he’s suppressing the urge to unleash a savage attack upon ol’ Lumperbean.

    Really, who talks like that, even joking? The early morning is when the air seems to be the most pure, IMO.

  9. On this side, Dick Facey taking pleasure in the misery of the BMOC who outshone him back in high school. On the other side, Batiuk bitching that everyone but him seems to get an award.

  10. sgtsaunders

    No air in Westview before 6 AM? Now that I can believe.

  11. Frank Bolton

    It’s possible that Funky is pigging out on pizza at his restaurant, losing any benefit he gains from jogging. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: unless you’re already controlling your portions or you train daily for a marathon, you can’t lose weight just by exercising.

    If Funky ran for three miles, he’d burn about 600 calories at his weight. Which he would immediately gain back just by eating two extra slices of pizzas.

    Les doesn’t eat anything other than the occasional cookies and glass of milk/Ovaltine with his comic. He just goes to Montoni’s to smirk condescendingly at everyone else. You know he spits out every bite of pizza when no one is looking because that’s filthy working class cuisine. So that’s how he stops from getting plump.

  12. – Maybe Funky really died in that car accident a few years ago, and this is his hell.
    – Funky, consider this – If you’re out in the park this early there won’t be any witnesses when you club Les to death and drag his body into the woods.

  13. Gerard Plourde

    Good storytelling has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Funkyverse storylines begin, meander about and then evaporate. Then we get one of these stock asides, like Funky and Les running (an homage to The Flash?) before Batty picks up one of the threads he’s discarded to start the process over again.


    …and the raced to the cartoonishly rendered sun and burst into flames.

    The End.

  15. Why the hell doesn’t Funky just find another form of exercise that’s more enjoyable? I’ve always hated running, so instead I swim, bike, do yoga, etc.

  16. Comic Book Harriet

    I didn’t understand the Crankshaft at all. Why is Jeff looking dejected, did HE not get a prize? Did he enter anything? Was Crankshaft’s jar of ‘honey’ actually a concentrated urine sample? Does he suffer from Maple Sugar Urine Disease?

    And since when is Crankshaft a Beekeeper?



    I think Jeff is puzzled because it’s actually his piss in that jar.

  18. Saturnino

    “And since when is Crankshaft a Beekeeper?”

    I think they did something on that a year or two ago.

    These “comics” need an FAQ to explain everything like was done in today’s LUANN.

  19. I took today’s Crankshaft to be (yet another) commentary on the participation trophy culture, since it looks like every jar of honey has a ribbon on it. Never mind that they just spent a whole week with Crankshaft being given a Coach of the Year trophy for basically doing nothing with a group of youngsters who apparently regularly strike out playing tee ball.