The position has been Phil-ed

Poor Phil the Forecaster is still getting fired in today’s strip and Alex (the bearded news director who is probably supposed to remind us of smarmy John Darling regular Reed Roberts) seems awfully chipper about replacing him with an unpaid intern. Firing Phil as a cost-saving move (rather than for a variety of good reasons covered below) tells me that Channel One will soon be one of those stations that airs Family Feud reruns in primetime. Alex might want to start worrying about his own position.

That Phil remained Channel One’s weatherman into 2017 is remarkable, in both positive and negative ways. He debuted in Funky Winkerbean in the mid-70s, giving him a 40+ year tenure at Channel One that would be a legitimately impressive career in real life.

He also kept the job for decades despite the running gag that he was terrible at it. And if Brenda Harpy is to be believed, he also kept the job despite being a certifiable nutcase who engaged in terrifying workplace violence on at least one occasion.

FW4-9-97

He wasn’t wrong about John Darling and the ozone layer, though.

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19 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “The position has been Phil-ed

  1. bayoustu

    I’m beginning to suspect this strip is written by an unpaid intern.

    • bobanero

      I really think an unpaid intern would put in a much better effort than this.

      • Comic Book Harriet

        An unpaid intern is looking to pad their resume with top notch work int order to land an actual job. Nope, this kind of laziness can only be brought about by the soporific effects of TENURE.

  2. Billy the Skink, you are some kind of Act II Guru with these choice flashbacks to the era during which I must have been paying less attention to the funnies. I stand in line!

    While hall monitor Les’ desk-mounted machine gun was obviously hyperbole, Phil pulling a gun on a coworker with a handgun is almost Doonesbury-level edgy.

    • comicbookharriet

      Seconded! Thanks for providing background for those who have only jumped on the Funky snarkwagon late in the game.

    • Jimmy

      I couldn’t tell it was a gun until you pointed it out. I just thought it was a poorly drawn puppet.

  3. countoftowergrove

    I’m phreaking out over this Phil phall phestival!

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Bleh, it’s the same thing he did in the “Cindy Gets Fired” arc, except much less sexist. At least with that one I knew who the hell Cindy was, unlike with these JD characters who I don’t know at all. This Batom guy sure does like to re-visit things though, doesn’t he? Lisa, high school, comic strips he deliberately killed out of spite…the list is endless. Perhaps someday he’ll get around to re-visiting one of his seven hundred dangling plot threads, if he can ever stop dicking around, that is.

  5. billytheskink

    What is Phil doing in panel 3?

    Trying to headbutt the news director? Doing his turtle impression? Taking a seat AFTER being fired?

  6. Spacemanspiff85

    I wonder if that “unpaid intern” is going to be Owen or Cody. Or heck, knowing how dumb this strip is now, it’s just as likely to be Crankshaft.

    • comicbookharriet

      Funkytime Crankshaft is a silent, immovable, lump of a potato man in a wheelchair, only capable of squinting through heavily lidded eyes at the people crouching down in front of him to narrate their actions condescendingly.

      He would make an EXCELLENT weather man.

  7. It’s a good thing that only people like us read the strip. Otherwise, there’d be a lot of baffled people wondering how the idiot being fired is and why they should care. We still don’t care that he’s being fired but WE know who he is and why they’re replacing him with Chullo Boy.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    Cleveland News may as well use unpaid interns, for now all we have are goofy, giggly girls who can barely read from the teleprompter.

  9. Hitorque

    1. Phil is a dick

    2. It’s quaint that he thinks he can only be replaced by high price big city talent when it’s just any random 20-something woman with DDD-Cup or larger willing to wear tight fitting outfits

    3. Batiuk should just make his strip non-stop firings because it’s clear this is a topic he really puts effort into

    • DOlz

      “3. Batiuk should just make his strip non-stop firings because it’s clear this is a topic he really puts effort into”

      Maybe its a subconscious plea to King Features to fire him.

  10. Professor Fate

    I think an unpaid intern is editing this strip.

  11. Epicus Doomus

    It’d probably be helpful if maybe he’d run a few old JD strips to get readers “up to speed” on who this Phil guy is, but then he wouldn’t be able to repeat the premise five days in a row…and we CAN’T HAVE THAT! FW is so goddamned weird, on one hand you need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of forty years worth of strips, yet most of the time continuity is an afterthought at best. So many paradoxes.

  12. The impression I’m getting is that–

    a) he’s trying to create an Extended Universe like in the movies. Good luck with that, as your main characters in those other strips are (in FW time) either dead or nearly dead.

    b) he somehow thinks this will create interest in these other strips so that publishers will offer a deal for “The Complete John Darling” or “The Complete Crankshaft” runs.

    The giant flaw with either plan is that Batiuk clearly only likes one character in the entire combined cast.

  13. Gerard Plourde

    Maybe if Owen or Cody replace him he’ll blame Les and we can have “Fallen Star Redux”.