A Sparkling Reception

“Mixmaster Entertainment”? Are they pitching a movie or hiring a DJ? When we met Mason Jarr (before he added the “e”), he was this insecure, superstitious, rather dumb B-movie actor. This was before Starbuck Jones paid for his house in the Hollywood hills. Now he’s this savvy movie mogul.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

55 responses to “A Sparkling Reception

  1. William Thompson

    Oooooh, Mixmaster Entertainment! Watch Todd relive his happy boyhood days when mommy dumped all the cookie ingredients in a big bowl and stirred them into a bland, toxic dough with her Mixmaster!

  2. William Thompson

    Now watch Les sweat as Mason Jarre asks naive double-entendre questions about Cindy.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    The Big Pitch Meeting! Wow! I wonder if the producers will show “Lisa’s Story” the respect and awe it merits? What do YOU think?

  4. It’s all garbage meant to highlight the fact that Les is a Sensitive Genius, whose Genius Cannot Possibly be Understood by the crass and common.

    Please, let’s just cut to the strip where Les stands up and says “This is an outrage against ART, and this cannot stand!” and everyone everywhere–including the (reluctantly but secretly glad) crass Hollywood producers and their (secretly supportive) secretaries–cheers at this stand for artistic integrity.

    We all know this is what’s coming. Batiuk is an idiot if he thinks we’re fooled.

  5. Hitorque

    1. Is Masone wearing A FUCKING SALMON COLORED POLO SHIRT TO A BUSINESS MEETING? And why doesn’t Les have a tie on??

    Yes, I’m a lifelong East Coaster and I’ve been told the office vibe in SoCal is *different*, but first impressions still matter…

    2. Mixmaster Entertainment? So some record company is getting into the movie racket?

    3. It’s funny because Masone is some seasoned player now, but just two years ago (in Funkyverse time) HE CONFESSED THAT HE GETS STAGE FRIGHT DURING TABLE READS(!)

    3a. Yeah, and out of all the insider dope you could have given, being made to wait a few more minutes ain’t all that insightful, Masone

    4. I don’t understand how Batiuk’s Hollywood works… Everything now seems to be regulated and controlled by mid level executive gatekeepers? But when shooting “Starsuck Jones: The Prequel Reboot!” Masone has unlimited leeway to put whoever he wanted on the payroll, he repeatedly left Hollywood in mid-production to fly to Westview and read the entire Starsuck Jones anthology, getting his greasy cookie crumb fingers on the only complete SJ collection in existence, he went to New York to track down Cliff Angere for a fanservice cameo (which somehow morphed into a co-starring role), he went to fuckin’ Cleveland to host a fan festival he and Pete Rizzo organized (and that was nothing but a bunch of senior citizens drinking Ovaltine and gumming some PB+J sandwiches, which beautifully illustrates that neither Pete nor Masone have the first fuckin’ clue about who their prime demographic is), then he decided to shoot some scenes in Cleveland/Westview because reasons, since they could have easily been shot in SoCal, and THEN Masone decides to premiere this movie two years in the making and $500 million over budget in some small, old timey theater in Crankshaft’s town.

    • Hitorque

      5. My point is Masone had 100% unlimited free reign from the studio to do whatever the hell he wanted to with ZERO oversight in regards to budget or deadline… He was already the de facto producer and he regularly gave the director orders… FFS he even put DSH John’s worthless ass on the payroll as a “consultant” just because he was able to guess the general plot from some publicity stills leaked online! Yes, I imagine anyone familiar with SJ comics would have a pretty good idea on how a movie based on Starsuck Jones origin story would go… Yet Mason still agreed to pay DSH John some hush money to not spill the entire plot on Reddit a year before the official release. And this was a production that the studio invested well over a billion dollars into…

      So now that Masone is a Global Megastar A-lister with more clout in L.A. than Magic Johnson, why is he going through channels with these nervous tense pitch meetings? Why is he even pretending The Lisa Movie has to “win over” some inconsequential skeptical mid-level execs?

      6. Lemme guess — Les hasn’t written word one of that fuckin’ script yet, has he?

      • Hitorque

        7. “Les Moore? THE Les Moore? You mean you’re the jerkoff asshole who ruined a production with some bullshit about a ‘kill fee’? I’m surprised they even allowed you through the door son, because you gotta lot of fuckin’ nerve. No wonder you dragged in someone of Masone Jarre’s stature to ride shotgun with you on this… What, he owed you a Godfather-style favor or something? Whatever, not my business…

        MISTER Moore, perhaps you’d be so kind as to wait out in the lounge and leer at my assistant for a little while longer while us grown folks talk business… Please enjoy a complimentary bottle of Perrier…”

    • Christopher Robin

      Wait… he actually did seek out a full run of the comics? I was joking two days back. Did he also make that photo-scouting tour of Mars?

      Sweet Chrimbus. Did the Serious Actor really need to read all the comics to truly get the character? He’s a spaceman, he shoots ray guns at the aliens. This is the kind of character you do from audience suggestions at an improv session, it’s not Shakespeare. It’s barely Ed Wood.

      • Wait… he actually did seek out a full run of the comics?

        To quote Les (whose idea it was): “Yep.”

        • Christopher Robin

          That’s just sad. Although I do like how Less takes effort to make sure Masonê stays at arm’s length.

        • billytheskink

          And the trip Masone took out to Ohio to read all of Holly’s Starbuck Jones comics was when he met Cindy. All of this is Les’ fault!

      • hitorque

        Nevermind the fact that you’d think Marvel/DC or whoever would have generated a nice little synopsis narrative covering all of Starsuck’s history or if Masone just had to read the comics themselves, then the publisher probably could have put them all on .PDF saving Masone the trouble of flying all the way out to Cancer County, Ohio….

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    This looks like another “run the bases” strip.

  7. billytheskink

    12 years into Act III and Chien finally surfaces, right?

    • Hitorque

      I thought that “goth” thing was something girls grew out of eventually?

      And is it even trendy anymore? Goths were everywhere around here in the 90s and early 00s but these days I maybe see one per year…

      • William Thompson

        The look died the true death when that crime-show used it. And I hope it took clove cigarettes with it.

        • hitorque

          I watched NCIS back when it was new in ’03-’05 and yes, back then I did literally rub my crotch up and down the TV screen when she was on it. I didn’t know she was still rockin’ that role when she was 50(!)

      • Doghouse Reilly

        “Something that girls grew out of eventually”? Have you seen “On the Fastrack”? Dethany has become that strip’s raison d’etre!
        Don’t get me wrong, I still think she’s a hottie.

        • gleeb

          Friends don’t let friends read Holbrook.

        • Christopher Robin

          I never encountered that strip in a paper, and it wasn’t until the third or fourth time it showed up in Fruhlinger’s archive that I realized she was meant to be a goth human and not a cartoon panda.

          She is kinda cute though, yeah.

        • hitorque

          I haven’t seen Fastrack for years…. I didn’t know it was still in circulation?

          And to be fair, even when it was in my local paper, I wasn’t that big a fan

    • Christopher Robin

      What does “mostly black but more stylish” even mean?

      • billytheskink

        Who knows. The only real distinguishing thing I recall Chien regularly wearing in Act II was a black choker, which her 28-year-old self is also wearing.

  8. Doghouse Reilly

    Mixmaster Entertainment is–I assume–one of the many companies that snapped up the assets of the now-defunct Ronco corporation of TV infomercial fame, distributing such fine products as Ronco’s Mix-o-Matic, Veg-o-Matic, and Super Bass-o-Matic ’76, to say nothing of the Pocket Fisherman, Glass Froster, and Rhinestone Stud Setter. Now they’re looking to branch into motion pictures, and will guarantee Les that every moviegoer to “The LisAgony and the LisEcstasy” (working title) will leave the theater with a free Cap Snaffler (“Snaffles caps off any size jug, bottle, or jar…and it really, really works”).
    Either that, or they were founded by party DJs, and their head is none other than “Hershey Barr.”

    • William Thompson

      Worse; Mixmaster is a name of an old kitchen blender. They were used to mix batters for cookies, cakes and bread. Think of them as a slow-motion food processor. They’re going to take “Lisa’s Story”, add their own bland ingredients, and turn out a dull, homogenous mess. Don’t ask me how that will make a difference to Les Moore’s writing.

      • Doghouse Reilly

        Maybe Les will get his tongue stuck when he tries to lick the beater.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        This is the kind of depth and richness Batty adds for the benefit of his older readers. But I’m not sure they care about it. Most older people I know don’t have this fanatical devotion to the good old days of yore.

  9. Charles

    This isn’t a funny punchline when you control what the person says, Batiuk.

    “Bet ya he says ‘Purple Monkey Dishwasher’!”
    “Purple Monkey Dishwasher.”

    You know, the only thing preventing me from seeing this as some guy from a small town making fun of all those effete urban sissies is that every male Funky Winkerbean character is a complete wuss.

  10. Paul Jones

    Let’s not forget what inspires his animus against the entertainment industry: his hatred of the campy sixties Bat-Man and his fury that he was told that Crankshaft needed to have a hidden soft side so as to not alienate the audience.

    • hitorque

      Batiuk hated Adam West Batman? Why exactly does he hate America? So if Batiuk hates the ultra-gritty dark, messy, humanizing realism of modern comics, and he hates 60s Silver Age camp, where does that leave him? 50s Golden Age?

      • Christopher Robin

        Still too modern. Starfucker Jones is a blatant mishmash of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, so we’re talking 1930’s (although admittedly both continued to run until much later, they’re very much creatures of the 30’s).

      • Gerard Plourde

        Here’s TomBa’s reaction to the Adam West Batman. (Reprinted from his blog.

        Match to Flame – 73
        posted on MAY 10, 2018

        “It was the heart of the winter of January 1966 and there I was sitting in the front row of seats in the TV room of Kent State University’s Stopher Hall about a minute away from something that I felt was going to be Earth shattering. . . I was waiting to catch a new television show that was premiering that night. . . Being a comic book aficionado from almost before I could read, the prospect of seeing Batman on TV was beyond exciting. I was in heaven, and then the show started. I had anticipated a drama that took the Batman premise seriously and was prepared to tell an exciting and straightforward story framed by that context. What I saw unfolding before me was a horror show. Insipid, foolish writing coupled with garishly colored costumes and sets, and, worst of all, sound effects that popped up graphically in special effects comic balloons. ABC had decided to turn Batman into an exaggerated, Pop Art, silly piece of camp. I guess the calculus was that it would make it amusing for adults. Well, it wasn’t amusing to me. As far as I was concerned they had blown it. Completely, irrevocably, without even a silver lining of a saving grace blown it. They treated the art form that I aspired to as some sort of lower caste illegitimate that would only be palatable to adults if you made fun of it.”

        From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume

        • Christopher Robin

          He was expecting a serious drama, taking the Batman premise seriously… in 1966. Did… did he stop reading Batman comics shortly before he was born? Did he somehow have early access to comics from the mid-70’s onward?

          Which precise part of Rainbow Batman or Zebra Batman or Batman and Robin Turn Into Babies or Bat-Mite or Ace the Bat-Hound were the TV people supposed to take Super Serious?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Oh my God, is he serious???? He was in college in the middle of the Haight-Asbury era, and his idea of “earth shattering” is sitting around a lecture hall, being offended about the aesthetics of the Adam West Batman TV show???

          “They treated the art form I aspired to as some of lower caste”? Uhh, you mean CHILDREN’S LITERATURE??!! That’s what comic books are. They are Children’s. Literature. Yes, I know the art form has matured, but this was not the case 20 years before Watchmen. I can even appreciate being interested in comic book art if that’s the field you want to go into, but this was a TV SHOW. It’s nothing for an emotionally stable adult to be this upset about. Especially FIFTY YEARS LATER. Sheesh!

          My lord, this man has lived his whole life with some SEVERE maturity problems. It explains so much about the world of Funky Winkerbean.

          • Christopher Robin

            “I was dumbfounded that instead of elevating my favorite art form to something mature, they had made it appeal to adults”

        • William Thompson

          He must have been the only art student in the Sixties who didn’t have any concerns about Viet Nam, civil rights, ROTC on campus, the military-industrial complex or the stifling nature of most mass-media entertainment. Did he even try to get laid?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            That reminds me: next Monday is the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. I really, really hope Funky Winkerbean lets it pass without comment.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I don’t know why Batiuk hates the Internet so much. He’d fit right in with the unpleasable Star Wars fanboys.

        • Hitorque

          It was 1966… Exactly what the hell did he want from the networks? NYPD Blue?

          If Batiuk didn’t like it, then fine… But does the creator of Starbuck Jones, The Amazing Mr. Sponge, some Incredible Hulk ripoff made entirely of soggy comic books, etc. really have to be such a douchebag about it?

          THIS is why I don’t go anywhere near Batiuk’s blog… My blood pressure is high enough already

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk seems to have gotten on board with the idea. Ed Crankshaft and his forced “softer side” are just as treacly and stupid as anything in Funky Winkerbean. He has no regard for anyone’s safety, but he delivers babies! He hates kids, but raises money for scholarship funds! He won’t tolerate a woman on his bowling team, but he slept on a bus to support a black baseball player in the 1940s! Give me a break. Crankshaft the character seems like just another manifestation of Batiuk’s maudlin sentimentality.

      • Christopher Robin

        Well, at least today he insults a cute puppy. Maybe tomorrow the kicking will commence.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          No, he’ll just scowl at it for a week. That’s Crankshaft‘s other problem: when it’s not being toned down, it’s not going far enough. TV shows like Seinfeld and Fawlty Towers worked because the main characters are so irredeemably awful, it’s entertaining to watch them be themselves. Also, we actually got to WATCH them, unlike Batiuk’s constant cutting away from the action. Ed Crankshaft just seems bipolar, except that he’s not written well enough to be bipolar.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Meh, Larry David did this much better in Curb your Enthusiasm where he is pitching a show featuring Jason Alexander and how he is tired of being that schlub from Seinfeld.

    Don’t get me wrong, Lisa’s death was hilarious, the bald head, the masked man of death. Comedy gold. But Jason brings something to the stage that Lisa lacks.

    Oh, did I miss the point again. Comics can be more than laughs? Well they are at their best when they make you think and laugh. Sorry Batty.

  12. Christopher Robin

    For the record, top results for a search of “cancer movies”:
    • 12 Best Sad Movies About Living With Cancer
    • 17 Great Movies About Patients & Families Dealing with Cancer
    • Top 25 Movies About Cancer You Need to See
    • 18 Terminal Romance Movies Ranked
    • Movies About Cancer – IMDb (this is a list of 84 movies)

    So yeah, bright new idea you’ve got to work with there folks.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      • Top 25 Movies About Cancer You Need to See

      If Les gets his way, Lisa’s Story will be at least ten of them.

  13. William Thompson

    Batiuk is a big fan of Gene Autry’s “Radio Ranch” serial (which is something about the lost city of Atlantis hiding underground near Autry’s ranch. It was recut into a movie at some point, and played on TV stations in the Fifties and Sixties, usually on Saturday mornings. The Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials had the same history, along with a lot of other kiddie-matinee serials, It was easy to pick up those Thirties/Forties mattitudes if tou watched a lot of TV as a kid.

    • William Thompson

      Huh? I was trying to reply to Christopher Robin’s “Still too modern” comment.

    • Christopher Robin

      The bullet-point takeaway here, it seems, is that Batyuck was looking back toward the good old days when he was five.

  14. Perfect Tommy

    And you tell that hack Michael Bay that if he isn’t onboard we’re outa here!

  15. After the pitch meeting, Les and Mason agree to get a “shopping list” together. Then they’ll talk to Les’ agent, and scout some New York City locations. Then it’ll be time for a pitch meeting.