Monkey’s Uncle

Okay, so the absurdity continues today. The storytelling absurdity, not the whimsy of the story itself or anything. Cliff literally lived through something straight out of the Planet of the Apes, which a chimpanzee wielding a weapon at him and speaking, and never told anyone until now? I don’t care if he was literally spying for the KGB, this is by far the most interesting part of his life. Or anyone’s life in this strip. Forget Lisa and John Darling, Les needs to write about Zanzibar.
Oh, and apparently Butter slept with a she-chimp and fathered a half-man, half chimp, which explains why Zanzibar was so talented, and had a burning desire to kill humans.

31 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Monkey’s Uncle

  1. Jimmy

    If I began reading the strip this week, I would be hooked on its avant garde approach.

    • spacemanspiff85

      If you pulled a random strip out of context you could definitely be hooked on it pretty quick. Until you read it with like a week’s worth of context, at least.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I’ve often pondered this myself. IMO if you just took ten years worth of individual panels, mixed them all up and pulled any three at random and used that every day, the strip would be better and not just slightly better but WAY better.

        • spacemanspiff85

          Honestly, I’d say like 75% of the problem with this strip is the way Batiuk drags stuff out forever. I can’t remember the last time a Monday strip accomplished anything more than essentially “Well, as I was telling you. . .”. I mean, take this arc. Whenever Cliff’s retelling is done, in the next two to three weeks, we’ll probably get a week or two of Jess and Cindy asking each other “Gosh, do you think maybe Butter didn’t do it?”, “Gosh, what if Butter didn’t do it?”, and “What’s a chimpanzee?”.

          • Epicus Doomus

            Oh yeah, by BatHack’s standards this is NOTHING. He once needed like three months to show Darin opening a letter. Lisa took YEARS to finally die. And Becky’s mother has been stuck on a scissor lift since like 2012. There are FW characters who haven’t been seen in decades.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    This couldn’t possibly have been any more obvious. I’ve been (more or less) reading this strip for a solid forty-three years and it was just inevitable that eventually it’d feature a talking chimpanzee aiming a prop ray gun from an old 1940s movie serial at a one hundred and twenty-four year old movie star who did time for being a communist. I mean we all saw THAT coming. Something tells me that this BatYak guy isn’t even trying anymore.

    The really funny thing here is that Cliff Anger miraculously came into possession of a talking chimpanzee and STILL managed to slip into complete obscurity for sixty or seventy years. Screw Dashiel Hammett and his commie pals, man, you own a TALKING CHIMPANZEE. How he managed to f*ck that all up is a mystery that’s probably best left unsolved.

  3. “…and then I realized that I had, indeed, drunk all four bottles of gin.”

  4. billytheskink

    Butter didn’t refuse to testify because he was protecting Zanzibar, he refused to testify because admitting to training a chimp to not just hold and fire but actually and knowingly threaten people with a gun makes him plenty guilty in Pond’s murder.

    Though today, frankly, Zanzibar looks like Alley-Oop. He should have beat the Hollywood Argyles to market with his own novelty record.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    So now are we going to have a visit from Grodd, The Flash’s gorilla nemesis?

    So much for the claim that the strip realistically depicts reality.

  6. erdmann

    Wait a minute. Forget the alcoholic, chain-smoking, gun-toting TALKING chimp. Cliff, in the 1940s, has a Starbuck Jones raygun, a prop from a movie serial based on a character not created until 1954. There can be only one explanation: Cliff is a time traveler, possibly even an alternate timeline version of Mason. That explains how he can still be hale and hearty when he ought to be 120 years old and how he can frequently lunch at the Brown Derby, a restaurant long closed.

    Or he’s just spouting nonsense and needs immediately hospitalization.

    • comicbookharriet

      So when he ‘lunches’ at the ‘Brown Derby’ with his ‘wife’ he’s really crouched in a vacant lot chewing on gravel and talking to no one? We’re just seeing things from his perspective? Sounds plausible.

      • erdmann

        Actually, the idea that the last several years of this strip were nothing more than the delusions of a demented old man makes a lot of sense.

        • The big question being, which demented old man are we talking about? There’s Cliff Anger, or someone whose name escapes me….

          • billytheskink

            I still think everything since Funky wrecked his PT Cruiser in 2010 being him dreaming in a coma makes as much sense as anything else. A lot of things in the strip took a big shift after the wreck: Cory’s behavior, Funky’s dad’s health, the successes of Komix Korner-Montoni’s-Les’ writing, Les’ relationships, Cindy’s life, the disappearance of most of Act III’s kids, the appearance of “Hollywood” stuff, the appearance of fantastical elements like taking chimps and Lisa calling from beyond the grave…

            Oh, and what appeared in the strip for the first time just before Funky’s wreck? Starbuck Jones, the direct or indirect origin of 90% of the strip’s content the last 5 years.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Cliff is just messing with Cindy, trying to see how far he can string these dumb blondes along.

      Either that, or he has dementia. Cindy puts him in a home, he forms an acting troupe with the residents and they film a starsux Jones movie.

  7. Paul Jones

    “And so I pitched a neato-keano idea to Charlton Heston and made out like a bandit.”

  8. Chyron HR

    “Funky Winkerbean is a reality-based comic strip that depicts contemporary issues affecting young adults in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner.”

  9. Count of Tower Grove

    I guess Dashiell Hammett figured all this out after Cliffy told him about Zanzibar’s raygun.

  10. bayoustu

    Sheesh- between this and the newly released trailer for “Cats”, I have enough nightmare fuel to last me all year!

  11. Just when I couldn’t think TB could make the Goofymeter rise any higher. He does so–not only once, but twice. I think the meter’s at–on a scale of 1 to 10–300.

    Congratulations, TB.

  12. Maxine of Arc

    Should I just send Batiuk the Wikipedia entry on chimpanzees and how, among other things, they CAN’T EFFING TALK?

    *sigh* *rubs temples* Somebody said yesterday that they don’t think Batiuk is a bad guy, he’s just desperate for validation and the strip has long outlived whatever usefulness it might have had. I suppose many of us could say the same. And yet I’m just so weary.

  13. sgtsaunders

    So the talking monkey just negated everything Cliff Not-So-Nobles said before about I-Can’t Believe-It’s-Not Butter Brinkel. The footage is now worthless. Mrs. Butter-worthless. HAWHAWHAW.

  14. timbuys

    “So, anyway, it turns out it was a real ray gun and Zanzibar vaporized me before I could tell him Frankie’s whereabouts. And that’s the true story of how Buttered Bun Crinkle Cut Fries was framed for killing Petunia Lagoon at Ford’s Theater in Chinatown. The end.”

  15. Eldon of Galt

    I must admit, I’m really interested in finding out what happens next. How will Batiuk resolve his totally botched-up mess of a story? Counting theories here and at the Comics Curmudgeon we have a choice of: Cliff is pranking Cindy, Batiuk thinks chimps can talk, Zanzibar is a child in disguise, some LSD was consumed. Also, and leading the list as most likely we have: It was all a dream (likely because it is flat-out the laziest way to resolve things) or “Cliff has senile dementia” (likely because of the potential for cheap
    sentimentality).
    Or Batiuk might go for something else, something so stupid a normal human mind could not predict it.
    Who knew that chronic ineptitude could be so intriguing?

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    My God, this is so many kinds of stupid:
    .
    1. Primates can’t talk. They don’t have the right vocal cords or mouth control to create human speech.

    2. Primates can only form complete sentences after years of training.

    3. Primates can’t convey nuance. They can learn base concepts, and combine them to convey meaning, but they just can’t learn or communicate abstract ideas like “father”. Even worse, this requires the chimp to use a different name for Butter then what everyone else calls him.

    4. Does Zanzibar really expect an answer? How can he understand it?

    5. Wouldn’t this story be better if Cliff was in any actual danger?

    6. Wouldn’t this story be better if Zanzibar couldn’t perfectly communicate what he wanted?

    7. Shouldn’t the existence of a FRIGGIN’ TALKING CHIMP have been mentioned at least 500 times by now?

    8. Taking all of this together: Wouldn’t this story be much better if Zanzibar was holding a real weapon, and simply said “Butter”? Or drew a picture of Butter? That’s more in line with a chimp’s abilities, and raises the dramatic tension. It puts Cliff in real danger, at the mercy of a creature he can’t communicate with, while knowing he can’t give it what it wants. That’s a compelling scene right there. Instead we get a harmless weapon and a suddenly fluent antagonist. Leave it to this strip to make a murderous talking chimp boring.

  17. Count of Tower Grove

    Cliffy is in danger. He’s in the presence of a dangerous chimp, but drunken one.
    That is until Todd puts Cliffy on the time machine in reverse and he’s on a tramp steamer to the Soviet Union.