Crazed.

Link to Today’s Strip.

You know what?

No.

I spent an entire week working really hard to transmit my enthusiasm for how wonderfully dumb the Phil Holt resurrection arc was; and THIS is how I’ve been rewarded.

With HIM.

Well, jokes on HIM.

I refuse.

For the rest of my shift, I’m going to be lazy. And for the rest of my shift, I will not mention a thing about HIM. It’s what he wants. Attention. And I refuse to give it. The rest of you feel free to savage at will in the comments, as is deserved. For once, I can’t stomach the rightfully earned dismemberment.

So what I’ll say about today is that I really like the porch swing in this strip. I like how it shows up off and on as a gathering place. It gives the strip visual continuity that rewards long time readers, but as far as I remember it doesn’t have the same verbal attention drawn to it by the characters as other locations like Montoni’s. It’s 100% better than that stupid bench that gets talked about all the time by…

Whoah.

That was close.

Cutting it short today so I don’t mess up again. Until tomorrow folks.

51 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

51 responses to “Crazed.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Didn’t he already do this “star-struck Cayla” thing once before? When they went to Hollywood to visit Mason and Cindy? Of course the smug bearded dick with ears is just way too jaded and cool to be fazed by Cayla’s wild marking out. But hey, she’s a girl and you know how superficial and silly THEY are, amirite fellas? Sigh. Every time he features a female character he just spirals down the fail hole yet again.

    • Hitorque

      I’m only surprised Les bothered to mention it to her instead of leaving her ass home again and flying out to Los Angeles by himself…

      • Rusty Shackleford

        And then spend the day with Cindy where she expresses her secret admiration for him and how she wished he asked her out and other made up BS.

  2. William Thompson

    “Oh, yesyesyes I want to go to the wrap party! Will it be held in what’s left of Hollywood? Does the air still reek of ashes and scorched earth? Do dazed refugees still poke around in the smoldering rubble? Can we see the great blackened expanse that reaches deep inland from the coast, a horribly burned scar so large that the crew of the space station says ‘Nuke it from orbit? Somebody beat us to it!’ What I’m saying is, is this new wasteland still better than Westview?”

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    My head canon is that he-who-shall-not-be-named had a mental breakdown after Act II, and everything we’ve seen since then is in his imagination. It would explain why every single plot involving this character is a paean to his ego.

    Today’s strip seems almost sarcastic. “Yay, I get to go to Hollywood, even though you’ve been there at least three times without me?” But we know that’s not the intent.

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    But, what about The Subterranean!?

  5. billytheskink

    Well, at least we didn’t have to see any more of the filming of Lisa’s Story

    • Epicus Doomus

      For that we can be thankful. Conversely, however, we’re apparently skipping right to the part where The Delicate Artist will spit disdain toward the glib Hollywood phonies looking to cash in on Her Story and his unique transcendent pain and grief…the very same people he continues to agree to work with. Which will continue until his doubt and angst is extinguished with copious amounts of effusive fawning praise from the very same people he thinks so little of. Because we all know this is headed toward a big premier at that stinky old movie house in Centerville and a huge Sunday group shot of the entire cast leaving the theater dabbing at their tear-filled eyes with that stupid weak sincere grin on their annoying faces. There’s just no way it can end any other way.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “Because we all know this is headed toward a big premier at that stinky old movie house in Centerville”

        Possible, because continuity isn’t a thing for TomBa. He’ll conveniently ignore the Crankshaft timeline that has the theater sold to a strip club operator, just like he resurrected Phil Holt.

        • William Thompson

          If Batiuk remembers the sale, his remembery* will tell him that the club’s owner was a diehard Radio Ranch fan. Gene Stringfellow will give restore the Valentine to its former gory when he discovers some old-time posters stored in its basement.

          *–he seems about as creative as a Keane Kid.

        • billytheskink

          I mean, he already ignored the fact that the first Starbuck Jones film premiered at The Valentine in FW when he wrote that Valentine-is-closing-for-good-’cause-I-gotta-do-some-COVID-stuff arc in 10-years-in-the-past Crankshaft. But, of course, TB reserves the right to retcon things while telling you he didn’t retcon anything.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            The Funkyverse has Schrodinger’s Continuity. Every prior plot point, from 50 years ago to last Sunday’s strip, is in constant state of half-mattering and half-not. It is impossible to know for sure until Tom Batiuk decides to open the sealed box and use it again.

            Phil Holt sure seemed dead, didn’t he? We saw his ghost, and we heard about his death from credible sources. The Valentine theater closed, even though we’ve seen strips where it exists in the future. Linda argued to Les that Bull was his friend, almost immediately after Les trashed him at his own funeral. But it’s true because of a one-week arc in 1980 where Les tried to play football. Their adult friendship, which went for many years, had nothing to do with it. As you can see, almost anything can be rendered relevant or irrelevant at any time.

            I consider this different from what shows like Family Guy do. They acknowledge that negative continuity happens, and get on with today’s story. It’s like the difference between a negatively charged atom, and an atom whose polarity can never be known.

  6. erdmann

    Check out that expression on the face of HIM in panel 2. That’s the look of a man who was hoping his wife would tell him something stupid like “you have to be there to protect Lisa” so he would be free to go to Hollywood alone and try to score with Marianne Winters in her bald wig.

    • Charles

      Nah, he was hoping she’d say something like “We can’t go! You have to teach your students who you otherwise neglect over the slightest thing!”

      And then Les would have an excuse to not go.

      As it is, he’ll have an excuse to go and be a massive turd in Mason’s punchbowl.

  7. erdmann

    Oh, and I almost forgot: Wrap party? I thought work on the movie was finished ages ago.
    How long has this damn thing been in production? Did they lose all the previously shot footage in the holocaust that destroyed most of the west coast and have to start over? Or is it longer that the extended cuts of all three “Lord of the Rings” films combined?

  8. Mr. A

    Hey Cayla, remember when he promised to take you to Hong Kong? And then he didn’t? I know this sounds like a sure thing, but maybe don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

  9. louder

    I thought Hollywood burned down when Less was last there, even had to carry out what’s-her-name out of a burning apartment building. Gee, a couple of weeks of watching Cayla be treated like dirt because she’s not Lisa — pure entertainment! Nothing creepy going on here, just keep moving and pretend this is a “healthy marriage” and not a dumpster fire of a relationship.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This is one of the main reasons I think Act III is all in Les’ head. No person would put up with a partner who acts like Les does. Certainly not Cayla, who was not introduced as a doormat. Les marrying Susan Smith, and her immediately adopting his endless need to “protect Lisa”, would have made a lot more narrative sense.

  10. Hitorque

    GOD DAMN IT TO HELL FUCK SHIT PISS TITS BALLS!!!

    1. So it wasn’t enough to bring Phil Holt back from the dead, let’s resurrect the entire metro area of greater Los Angeles after it burnt to a crisp because why the hell not at this point?

    1a. I called it years ago that the Lisa Movie was going to clean up the Oscars and Les would be on stage to snatch the trophy and give the acceptance speech right around the Funkyverse 50th anniversary… I really hope I’m not right.

    2. So last summer the Lisa Movie Project ver. 2.0 was interrupted in the earliest stages of filming by the wildfire… When the hell did they finish it?

    2a. And if filming was still going on, why wasn’t Masone flying back and forth to Westview so he could periodically shadow Les 24/7? You know, all for the sake of “research” and “getting into character” or some such bullshit? Why didn’t the production do any on-location filming in Northeast Ohio? I thought Les was trying to make the most realistic and accurate movie possible??

    2b. And what about that grand suspense about Les letting someone else finally see the sacred holy Lisa videotapes?

    2c. Wait a goddamned minute… Didn’t Masone officially sign Les on to be a “co-producer” or partner or whatever? Masone made it a point to make sure Les was painstakingly involved in **every** major and minor decision from pitching the movie to investors, negotiating with distributors, selecting the director, approving the script, having the final say on who would play St. Lisa (to the point where he was actually *coaching* a $20 million dollar actress on how to show some Lisa-style emotions!) and so on… Am I supposed to believe that after that night on the boat with Marianne Les just went home, abandoned the production and forgot about it completely? Les getting a freaking phone call from Masone about a wrap party sure implies that he hasn’t been to the studio since that day… Did Masone just make his own decisions without him? I thought the whole fucking purpose of Les allowing a second go at a Lisa Movie was because this time he’d have much more control, creative authority and ‘ownership’ over his precious book?!

    3. In what bizarro universe does a dude whose book is getting made into a big budget Hollywood movie (a movie he’s also co-producing, no less) HAVE TO CLEAR GOING TO A WRAP PARTY WITH HIS WIFE??!

    4. So, are Darrin (with wife and brat in tow) and Summer invited as well? Or did Masone forget about them in his months and months of backstory research? I mean fuck it, they’re only St. Lisa’s direct descendants and carriers of her holy bloodline….

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yes, it skips an entire chunk of the story and leaves huge plot holes, but who the hell cares? Certainly not Tom Batiuk. He’s only interested in the parts of the story where his Mary Sue characters get praised, or comic books get made. He’s such an incompetent writer that he is unable to resolve the situations he writes himself into.

  11. The Duck of Death

    Wait a minute… since when does anyone call anyone in this strip? It’s established canon that any important conversation is to be initiated by someone traveling, thousands of miles if necessary, and showing up at another person’s door (or at Montoni’s).

    • William Thompson

      Batiuk can’t wait to get Les to the overdone adulation awaiting him at the wrap party, so he’s going to skip the usual time-wasting rituals.

      • The Duck of Death

        Yes, looks like Less has been practicing his Above-It-All Ennui in the mirror the whole time he was quarantining. I must say, he’s honed his bored-teenager demeanor to an abslolute platonic idea of slappability.

  12. gleeb

    The porch swing always brings back memories of creepy Les getting all pissy at his only friend, then condescendingly forgiving him.

  13. I was confused by Les’ facial expression in panel two. He looks irritated that she said she wanted to go.

    Then I figured it out.

    Sigh. I’ve tried to teach her of the finer, more profound things in life, like Lisa, Lisa’s death, and most importantly my reaction to Lisa’s death. But no, at the mere mention of some silly Hollywood party she goes back to being someone pre-Lisa, someone with interests base and vile. Sigh. Thank goodness my shoulders can hold the weight of this world.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Oh, I would LOVE to see that arc. Les lecturing Cayla about how she’s not doing enough to protect Lisa, when she’s done nothing in the strip for five years but cater to his needs and ego. Any conflict in this obviously unviable marriage would be a positive, but Les initiating it would be Olympic-class cluelessness.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Same here. That arc would be so much more interesting than this comic book nonsense.

        • Mela

          But only if it ends with Cayla running over those tapes with the front wheels of her car and the DVD copies with the rear ones.

    • Professor Fate

      Yes he is irritated. He is the delicate artiste whose special creation – Lisa gets cancer and dies (the greatest and bestest cancer book ever) has been sullied by Hollywood making a film about it. Of course he’s going to GO to the wrap party but he’s not going to enjoy it. He’ll be saying lots of bitter quips about how hot it is in LA or crowded or how phony everybody is and how much he ISN’T enjoying himself – so of course he’s annoyed that his wife is so excited to go. (as perhaps a normal human being would be)
      And again as a side note it has to be killing Batuik inside a little that Ken Wilber’s story of his wife’s eventually losing struggle with breast cancer is now a movie. And the book it’s based on is now per Amazon listed as #71 in breast cancer books (I didn’t know this was a category or a list but there it was) oh yes Lisa’s Story is on the same list – it’s #463.
      is this mean of me? Perhaps but if we have to deal with Les Moore the sensitive I’m going to be a bit mean.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        He can’t turn it off for a second, can he? He can’t be happy that his wife is happy. He can’t be happy that a movie about him is coming to life. He can’t be happy that an A-list celebrity has called to invite him to a very exclusive party. He can’t even be happy that his long ordeal is finally over. He can’t even be happy that the residual checks will start soon.

        Now is ze time on Vunky Vinkerbean ven ve mope. It is alvays zis time.

        • Charles

          I know you’re referencing Jacques Cousteau, but I would actually pay money to see a Werner Herzog film of Funky Winkerbean, provided Batiuk himself had no oversight on the production, which I suppose Herzog would never allow anyway.

          I can’t even imagine the serene, savage portrayal of Les that Herzog would be able to come up with.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          With Klaus Kinski playing the role of Les.

  14. Poor Cayla. She just said the quiet part out loud. Cayla has no life other than what Les (when he pays attention to her) allows her to have. You’re right, Cayla. He doesn’t have to check with you on anything. Your opinion isn’t important to him because after all; he lives with you, but is married to Lisa.

  15. Sourbelly

    I love the idea of not calling HIM by his name. I’m going to start calling him Voldemoore. As in, “nice clown hair, Voldemoore.”

  16. One thing to keep in mind is that a “wrap party” celebrates the end of principle photography*. After that, post production begins in earnest. There may be reshoots (like they have to replace a terrible actor playing a waiter) but the movie is far from ready to hit the cinemas.

    So there’s plenty of time for more adulation and Les-praise.

    *It does in the real world. Who knows what it means here. Here, it could be theatrical release, DVD release, and a tie-in comic book are all ready to go.

  17. How much do you want to bet that LA will be 100% pristine and unburnt when they hop off that plane?

    I shan’t be taking bets on whether they stay at Cindy and Mason’s new mansion, because you know we’re seeing plenty of THEM too.

    • Charles

      It would follow with the solipsism that Batiuk has for his characters.

      Mason and Cindy’s house burned down. Look how terrible it is for THEM. Look at how much they’ve suffered because of mankind’s stupidity. But nobody else suffered at all, because they’re not important. This gigantic fire did nothing to anyone not in the cast besides singe the side of a bed and breakfast. Smoke doesn’t cause asphyxiation in men, and fire doesn’t damage anything that doesn’t belong to named cast members.

      Bet we see the Hollywood sign prominently displayed too, despite the fact that the last time we saw it, it was in flames.

  18. be ware of eve hill

    Aw, Puckernuts! May God damn us all and save us in the same breath! A Lisa’s Story movie story arc that will last for weeks? Noooooooooooo!

    When Les’s whiny puss appeared in the SOSF banner, I was hoping to suffer through just a one-week story arc. Like Les’s book signing back in March. The one with the “I Got That Reference” lady. Hopefully, she’ll reappear as Les’s obsessed number one fan and kidnap him. I try to be an optimist with all things FW.

    Oh, well. I think I’ll crop that Les head, resize it, print off a dozen copies, and hang up the dartboard in the garage.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I kind of like the expression on Les’s face in the banner. It looks like he’s saying, “Duuuhhhhhh!” Was he just dropped on his head? Stoned? Just been served a lawsuit? Eaten bad sushi? Abandoned on the expressway? Just lit the other half of Los Angeles on fire? Slapped by Cayla?

      Speaking of Cayla, I hope she meets up with Cindy and melts Les’s credit cards shopping for new clothes to wear to the premiere.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Speaking of Cayla, I hope she meets up with Cindy and melts Les’s credit cards shopping for new clothes to wear to the premiere.

        And it wouldn’t help anyway. Les could go to Saville Row with $50,000 and he’d still dress like a JCPenney’s threw up on him.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Who said anything about shopping for Les? He’s proven that he doesn’t care about the clothes he wears. A couple of years ago, Cayla took Les shopping for new clothes to wear at book signings. Les infuriated Cayla by paying full price for the very first thing he tried on. He can wear that brown suit.

          I meant just the girls.
          Cindy and Cayla Rodeo Drive! Here we come!

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            You’re right, I read too much in there. I was thinking back to that “Cayla takes Les shopping” arc you mention. Everything else in the Lisa’s Story arc is being repeated, so why not that too?

          • be ware of eve hill

            Note to Banana Jr. 6000
            There is no link to reply to your comment, so I’m forced to reply to my own. (Threads can’t be more than five levels deep?)

            My reply to you above was written in haste during a work break. Sorry if it came across as brusque or snippy. That wasn’t my intention. You can tell it was sloppy because I also neglected to add a colon after the last “Cayla.” Didn’t mean to be rude.

            Cheers.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @eve hill I took no offense. Cheers back at ya.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I know it’s not going to happen but since TomBa has set the precedent, can we have Lisa turn up at the wrap party and announce she faked her death?

      • Hitorque

        Too early… Lisa needs to make her grand surprise appearance back from the dead on Oscar night with the whole world watching.

        • Charles

          And since Batiuk has no trouble reusing his old ideas, here how it would work.

          Les gets up to the microphone as Lisa’s Story was announced as the winner for Best Picture: I just wish that Lisa were here to experience this with us.

          Lisa bolts up in the third row: YOU DON’T HAVE TO WISH!

          And then the Academy Awards turns instead into an impromptu panel where people get to say just how much Lisa and Les’s portrayal of her fake death meant to them. Lisa and Les cry tears of joy because it finally means their lives were worth living.

          And later, as they have an afterparty at some crappy pizza place, Lisa admits that she faked her death because it was the only way Les was going to succeed as a writer. She did it for him!

  19. Margaret

    I feel pretty sure that if Lisa’s Story does make it to the Oscars (and that’s a pretty good bet) and wins (also a pretty good bet), Les will get up there on stage, despite the fact, (correct me if I’m wrong, I never watch the Oscars) that the Oscar for Best Picture goes to the producers and not the writer. And when he does, he’ll say something like “none of us deserve this award, here’s the person who does” and play a Lisa tape.