Universal Dullifier

Wow, if Holly uses her one line for the year to endorse Lisa’s Story Done Right, then it must be real important to her. I mean, yeah, her story might be interesting too, since it’s a story of raising a kid by yourself, overcoming cancer, and finding love again and remarrying, but this is all about Lisa.
Actually Holly’s story is way better than Lisa’s, to be honest. Lisa’s story is “Lisa got cancer and died”. Holly’s is about overcoming something horrible and finding new life. Which really does sound like it would make a much, much better movie. I really don’t get what’s so important or inspiring about “a fairly unlikeable woman gets cancer and dies from it” where everyone thinks it would just be amazing movie and cultural touchstone, but whatever, it’s all Lisa Lisa Lisa. Lisa. Lisa.

Can someone please explain what the deal is with Montoni’s and coffee?  Cindy and Mason don’t have coffee so it’s not breakfast time, and I don’t think Montoni’s even serves breakfast anymore.  I’d say the majority of what Cindy and Funky do there is carry around a carafe.  I think it’s just Batiuk’s way of showing “hey, these people are in a restaurant” without actually showing any real work.  Really though, “Let’s go to the pizzeria for some coffee” sounds kind of gross to me.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

44 responses to “Universal Dullifier

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Get a load of f*cking Batiuk up there on his high horse, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd as he takes another “Lisa’s Story” victory lap. Les didn’t merely write a book about his wife’s tragic death, he magnificently encapsulated a shared human sorrow, a sad universal truth we’ve all had to face in one way or another. Apparently everyone who reads it is forever changed by its beauty, which might explain why the town continues to tolerate the presence of the smug bearded dick with ears and his insufferable smirking angst. They’d love to run him out of town but they’re just too f*cking moved, dammit.

    Of course I’d be remiss if I failed to once again mention that the real “Lisa’s Story” isn’t actually a “book” at all but merely a collection of previously published comic strips re-released in book form. And not even good comic strips, mind you. Unlike Dick Facey’s unimaginably beautiful delicate fictional masterpiece, the real “LS” is fairly predictable, trite, maudlin and trope-laden, but you already knew that. So don’t be fooled by these weeks of blatant advertising, it’s all just another sleazy BatYap scam.

    “Let Mason make his movie”…yeah, actor, director, executive producer, screenwriter, key grip…it’s all the same shit anyway, right?

    “I know I’ve only been in one movie that made any money, but I’d like to produce, direct and star in an adaptation of a book about a saintly and somewhat preachy woman who dies from cancer as her smug dorky husband looks on angstily.”

    “We’re not paying for that. Get out.”

    “I’ll use my own money!”

    “Uh, whatever. Get out.”

  2. William Thompson

    Yes, Lisa’s Story is a universal story, if your life is in the hands of a weasel who takes no responsibility for his bungling, then cashes in on your death by playing the victim. Then craps himself at the thought that the story might be told in a way that exposes him for the lowlife he is. I think it’s a universe in which the Ferengi bought out the galaxy.

  3. William Thompson

    “I couldn’t help overhearing . . . I said, I COULDN”T HELP OVERHEARING DESPITE THE ROAR OF WALLEYE’S LEAF-BLOWER . . . “

    • Epicus Doomus





  4. spacemanspiff85

    I’m kind of surprised Holly didn’t take a different approach. “Lisa’s Story is almost a universal story. Death comes for us all. Like that old bully what’s-his-name we went to high school with. Lisa’s Story ends the way all our stories end, in the grave. Every breath we draw is one more leaf fallen from the tree of our mortality, one more brick on our tombstone. Top off your coffee?”

    • Epicus Doomus

      “I couldn’t help overhearing. Les, you wuss, either cash in or don’t but seriously, shut the f*ck up about that f*cking book already. The entire town was sick to f*cking death of it ten years ago, man. And stop handing them out for Christmas too, I already have like nine of them.”

      • spacemanspiff85

        I’ve got to imagine Montoni’s has some promotion like “Upgrade to a large pizza or else we’ll throw in a copy of Lisa’s Story”.

        • Epicus Doomus

          “What the…hey honey, this pizza box is a hollowed-out book of some kind! “Lisa’s Story…The Other Shoe”…hmmm, sounds stupid. Let’s eat!”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I imagine that passage being read in a Fargo accent. “Leeesa’s stohry ends the whey all are stohries end, in the graaave, doncha know. Tahp off your cahffee?”

    • Charles

      Thing is, if Batiuk really looked at what he’s produced with Lisa’s Story, he’d realize it’s not even about cancer. It’s about medical malpractice and giving up to crushing despair. If the mixing up of records leading to Lisa forgoing treatment for months, leading to a recurrence, that’s really what killed her. It’s not about dealing with cancer, because blatant horrific medical malpractice is not a standard experience people who die from cancer have happen to them.

      Seriously. “I didn’t kill him when I pushed him off the cliff. He actually died from the impact after he fell 100 feet.” Yes, it’s technically true, but to suggest *that’s* the story is quite a bit off.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I mean if she simply got cancer, didn’t respond to treatment and died that’d be a story that would ring true to a lot of people for certain, as it does happen all the time. But he had to throw that needless dramatic twist in there and take his limp, half-assed little dig at “the medical profession” just to indulge his insatiable thirst for that classic Act II shock value gimmickry. In doing so he ended up with a story no one could relate to at all.

        Unlike the fictional “LS”, which is obviously the literary touchstone of an entire bearded generation. I imagine it’s quite different from the stupid comic strip version. I can’t wait for the movie, though.

        Incompetent Cancer Doctor (Will Ferrell): “Uh, Mr. Moore? We have some bad news. Uh, well, we mixed up your wife’s records with Mrs. Lisamo Ore, a Norse national, and, well, uh, you know how you thought everything was gonna be OK?”

        Les: “Yessssss…?”

        Doctor: “Oh, that’s my pager, gotta go. Stage four and a half, six months tops, maybe more if she gets a lot of mail.”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And nobody was on Team Crushing Despair more than Les. Like this strip where he gives Lisa permission to die:


        That is absolutely vile, and not something I think would happen between any two people who love each other. He gave up on her behalf. Some hero.

        • spacemanspiff85

          I kind of expected the third panel there to be Les actually pushing the pillow down over her face.

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    “I’m sorry, I just happened to be facing this way, and I saw your thought bubble from yesterday’s cartoon.”

  6. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “SILENCE, OBESE AND ELDERLY WOMAN!! THE MEN ARE SPEAKING! Besides, I have already received validation from the most popular girl at Westview High! Your opinion is not required! REFILL MY COFFEE AND BEGONE, WENCH!!!”

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Calm down, this is just Batty’s Munchausen by Proxy prestige arc!

    Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP) — or Munchausen by proxy — is a psychological disorder marked by attention-seeking behavior by a caregiver through those who are or were in their care.

    Like with his other arcs, we are sure to learn nothing about this. But Batty can have another chance at an award!

  8. Gerard Plourde

    So now we know that five weeks of what was advertised as a serious look at CTE is actually being used to resurrect Lisa’s Story. If TomBa really wanted to do something interesting in the Lisa vein, he could recon the disposition of her remains from cremation to standard burial and bring her back as a zombie to stalk Les.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I still think he’ll go back to the CTE thing eventually. It’ll be at the most confounding and baffling time, too, like just as Les is boarding the private jet to head to Hollywood for the casting call. Monday will roll around and everyone will be stunned into “duh?” silence when suddenly Linda is taking a week and a half to read Bull’s will. Batom always insists on chopping up his stories like that, he almost never plays a long one straight through without going off on some dumb tangent.

      But yeah, it was without a doubt one of his cheesiest and most self-serving segues ever. Absolutely no one cares about that stupid long-ago arc anymore. But like with the Pregnancy Arc he has to trot it out every few years to prove to everyone that this “serious cartoonist” tag isn’t just something he babbles about in those perfunctory puff-piece interviews of his.

      • I think he was counting on the New York Times piece to gain a larger audience, and decided to expose more people to his Greatest Hit. Gotta be that some of those people sit on award juries.

        The abandonment of the Bull Suicide story is just baffling otherwise.

        • spacemanspiff85

          “How can I get rid of all these unsold ‘Lisa’s Story’ books in my attic so I can squeeze in more Flash comics? I know! I’ll kill off a random character and find some topical issue to tie it to, then bribe a journalist to interview me about it then turn the strip into ‘All Lisa’s Story, All The Time”! Batiuk, you’re a genius! Gorilla Grodd would love to get a piece of your brain!”

  9. billytheskink

    I’m genuinely surprised TB remembered that Holly beat breast cancer. Of course, Holly’s real interest in seeing Lisa’s story “done right” may well be self-serving, seeing as she played about as big a role in it as Les did. Aside from Les, Holly was the person Lisa confided in the most during her bouts with cancer and one could argue that Holly did nearly as much as Les did when it came to caring for her once she became terminally ill.

    At the very least, Holly will want to see that time Lisa hijacked her trip to Washington DC portrayed correctly.

    • Charles

      God, I hated this part of Lisa’s Story, for the simple fact that from all appearances within the strip, Lisa hijacked this movement that other women organized and made it all about herself and her cancer. We never actually saw Holly or anyone else testify before Congress, but we sure saw strip after strip of Lisa smarmily lecturing Congress about how they need to help people like her.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yikes, the way he’s aged Holly is downright cruel, eh? I mean if Lisa was alive today would she be all dowdy and frumpy? Methinks not.

      I really never cared for that Lisa at all, especially Act II Lisa when she became so annoyingly pious and sanctimonious all the time. Naturally Batiuk had to take it all the way and turn her into a full-fledged martyr, at least in his Lisa-addled mind. God she was always so insufferable, with the righteous do-good-ed-ness and beatific platitudes.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I hadn’t really thought about it before, but making Funky and Holly overweight because they run a pizza shop is another example of TomBa not knowing about things. Running a restaurant is a very active job. Between seating patrons, taking orders, preparing food, serving the food, and bussing and cleaning the tables, there’s very actually little time or incentive to snack.

        • Count of Tower Grove

          Indeed, you’ll be hard pressed to find a restauranteur actually feed the crew before the shift, despite what you might see on Food TV.

      • hitorque

        I’m pretty sure he only aged Holly like that to further contrast her from Cindy, who has eternally remained 30-something and even drops to 20-something sometimes…

        • Charles

          But if he didn’t give Holly that distinctive “bird-butt” hairdo, she’d be indistinguishable from Crazy’s wife Donna.

          He could have given Holly a distinctive hairstyle to distinguish her from Cindy and ended there rather than giving her 100 extra pounds on top of it.

  10. Panel 2, though: when was the last time Batominc heard a human being speak English aloud? Holly seems to be reading from a printed essay.

  11. Paul Jones

    Thus is an addict fed. It’s one thing to think that he’s telling his own story but to make him think he’s telling everyone’s story is going to swell his head to bursting.

  12. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “… let Mason make his movie.” Because any old Joe Schmendrick actor can come along and decide to do a movie about whatever, and the studio will love the idea and give him gobs of money. And the actor can hire the writer, the director, and the entire cast. Oh, and you want to film the entire thing in East Bumfudge, Ohio? GREAT! Just tell us what you want to do and how much cash you need. After all, YOU were in The Starbucks Jones Movie! This is but one of the many doors now open to you, my friend!

  13. bayoustu

    So… Holly used to look just like Cindy and now Cindy looks like a teenager and Holly looks like lumpy, dumpy, frumpy Funky in a wig. Got it.

  14. LTPFTR

    Is Batiuk married? If yes, how disappointed is he that his wife’s not dead?

    • CRM114

      I wonder if she’s disappointed that she’s not dead. Imagine living with this crowing buffoon. “Aren’t I good?”…”You asked me the same thing ten minutes ago, Tom”

  15. It sure seems somewhat crass for Holly to suggest, in the wake of Bull’s death, that Lisa was the really important one around here.

  16. Count of Tower Grove

    This should be a very easy and cheap movie to make. Place the whole Lisa story on slide strips and project them through a Kenner (R) Give-a-Show projector.

  17. hitorque

    As an aside, why hasn’t TB found a way to work a Cindy biography movie project into the plot? It’s clear that’s what he really wants to do…

    And why hasn’t someone as pathologically egotistical and self-serving as Cindy penned her own autobiography yet? She’s already past 60 — How much longer does she want to wait?

  18. The Dreamer

    And Holly is going to suggest that she plays *herself* in the new Lisa’s Story movie, even though she is now thirty pounds heavier and twenty years older than when she first returned to the Act II version of the strip visiting Lisa in the hospital. Well if Mason in his 50’s can play the young Les…

  19. Professor Fate

    Yes the universal story of a vastly improbable absurdly melodramatic medical mix up that was then shrugged off by Lisa and Les, And afterwards Lisa continued to use the same doctor who probably showing the same competence in other areas of her medical practice wasn’t able to save her. Yes so many people have been touched by this kind of story. Actually I think the number of people hit by meteors outnumbers them.
    and @Billytheskink Thank you for reminding me about how Lisa in true loathsome FW tradition made an event all about her. i remember reading that sequence where she was if memory serves in a wheel chair and talking herself and saying how it proved the need for something (research or early detection i think) thinking b-th your doctor screwed up the x-rays this is irrelevant to your case. But we were supposed to applaud her gallant stand because she is St. Lisa and the Author is an idiot

  20. Don

    Wait, don’t tell me, let me guess: it’s February, 2021 (or whatever “about 16 months from the present time” is; somehow, the movie will get a December release and a January nomination), and the movie wins the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay, so of course the writers bring Les up to tell as much of the real story as he can in 45 seconds – and then TB retcons the rules so that, unlike in real life, the author of the “source material” gets an Oscar as well