Comic Book Harriet here! Ready to aim aim high and kick it off, hopefully without slipping and breaking a leg. I wanna thank our resident Spaceman Spiff for caring for us all over the last couple painful weeks. He brought us comforting sarcasm, and a barrel full of witty insights to dull the ache of Batiuk’s broken humor.
Today we get a real treat. The Passion of the Dead St Lisa movie bombed. So all of our comments about Funky Winkerbean gradually morphing into a Judge Parker, where characters are gifted success without merit, must have struck a nerve. Or Batiuk just finally remembered who he was, and is back to his old yanking-the-football ways.
But today is just PACKED with non sequiturs.
The only thing that confused me at first, but that I could make sense of after thinking about it, is that the release date of Lisa’s Story got pushed back. The movie just wrapped a few months ago, so it didn’t have any time to sit on the shelf mostly finished ala No Time to Die or Wonder Woman 1984. But then I remembered that movies get release dates well before they are finished, or have even started filming. And the great LA Firedemic of the vaguely defined ‘last year’ apparently shut down movie production long enough for Marianne Winters to be treated for early stage breast cancer. So yeah, the release date would have been pushed back significantly.
And it is an accurate and believable rendering of what did happen to a bunch of movies in the last couple years. There’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to the movies, cancelled, delayed, suspended, and/or dumped to streaming because of the pandemic. I’m actually surprised Batty didn’t decide to go topical-to-the-max and have it released directly to PicFlicks or Hula or whatever the Funkyverse equivalent of a streaming service would be. But apparently it was released in theatres.
And that is what is confusing me. There is no way Les and CauCayla would be learning about the movie bombing from an EMAIL from MASONEE. They went to a wrap party, but didn’t go to the premiere? They didn’t bother to check Box Office Mojo, or Rotten Tomatoes to see how the movie was being received critically or financially?
Les knows what it’s like to drop an anvil in a lake?
It that a popular idiom? I didn’t really know. So I went to grandpa Google and did a phrase search.
It really isn’t that common. Only four pages of results. I found it used a couple times in news articles because Judge Napolitano said it about Russiagate. A really sad blog about a sick kid. A few links to some fanfictions on wattpad…
And then things got weird.
What does this mean? What does any of this mean? Is it poorly translated from a language with ideogrammic elements? Is it some kind of secret code? Some kind of communication between hidden agents among us? It Funky Winkerbean PART of whatever this is? When Tom Batiuk ended today’s strip with “an anvil in a lake,” was he sending a message, recognized only by the few, that now, at last, was the time?
If you’re interested to see what dropping an anvil in a lake looks like, may I suggest this video. Where two Finnish people speaking nearly unintelligible English drop a red hot anvil into a lake and film it, just because, why not? Why not do that? Why not watch that? It makes a lot more sense than Funky Winkerbean most days.
67 responses to “How the Mighty Have Fall In.”
It’s yet another example of how “Lisa’s Story” (and Les Moore) are too pure, and too real, and too awesome to be appreciated by this fallen, sin-filled world.
In other words, YOUR FAULT.
Yeah, I’m sure that strip is coming up this week.
So those Hollywood scumbags f*cked up Les and Mason’s masterpiece/passion project with their typical Hollywood ineptitude and stupidity, thus the cancer movie was a big fat dud. Those CME executives were right, “Lisa’s Story” really DID need sexing up. Les should send those guys a nice muffin basket with a tasteful apology card. He won’t, of course, but he should.
And get a load of Batom here, seemingly preparing to wrap up a lengthy mega-arc (that spawned spinoff arcs of its own, no less) with an OFF-SCREEN UNSEEN EMAIL. That’s as low-effort as it’s possible to be. If this was 1975, perhaps Mason would have sent Les a telegram,
“Movie dud. Stop. Anvil, lake. Stop. Bad promo. Stop. Not your fault. Stop.”
And Les didn’t mention any of this big movie news to his wife…his WIFE…for a few days, instead opting to off-handedly drop it into casual conversation while they were shopping for gourds. That’s really straining credulity there, Tom.
At least “the book will still be there,” Sparky.
(from May 2011:)
I cannot mention this enough times to do it justice — Les Freaking Moore didn’t think enough of his $100 million movie production (a movie which HE co-produced and his based on HIS book, and starring two A-listers with allegedly better romantic chemistry than Newman and Woodward) to even promote it in his shitty little hometown… You know, the same hometown where the title character was born and raised, lived and died, and presumably had friends and family who knew and loved her…
You know, instead of always falling in line and trying to salve her husband’s fragile ego, I’d pay real American money to see Cayla slap the ever-living shit out of Les the next time he’s in the middle of one of his self-pity parties…
We can dream:
Oh, I don’t know, Les. Maybe the movie failed because it was an amateur, unwatchable pile of dreck. Maybe the movie failed because you micromanaged it to death. Maybe the movie failed because you and Lisa are horribly unlikeable characters, and there’s nothing interesting about your story. Maybe the movie failed because it’s the most dishonest, self-serving, hypocritical movie since United Passions. Maybe the movie failed because viewers wanted to watch a protagonist actually *fight* cancer, and not just mope in circles and selfishly die from it, while her soulmate encourages her in this. You want me to go on, Les?
Hey, “United Passions” was the best soccer movie since “Ladybugs” with Rodney Dangerfield! Out of idle curiosity I went to one of my local multiplexes on the last night of “U.P.”‘s one-week one, and was the only person in the theatre for a 7:30 or so showing. I probably would’ve done the same thing for “Lisa’s Story: A Park Bench Runs Through It.”
One time I was out of town on business. To kill an evening, a coworker and I went to see a movie at a multiplex theater near our hotel. We were the only two people seated for a particular showing of a film. The projectionist actually called down to us and asked if he could skip the upcoming attractions trailers. It was late, and I’m sure the projectionist just wanted to go home. We told him “yes.”
I don’t remember what film we saw, but I sure do remember that projectionist.
Ok so I’m confused, didn’t Les think Hollywood was shallow and unworthy and generally didn’t like the place and never wanted to go back?
He’s got his cheque so he should be happy the movies bombed so he won’t get invited back?
What the hell is going on (not for this specific strip but this entire strip)
Mason told Les this in an e-mail?! In the Batiukverse?! You know, the place where characters frequently fly thousands of miles just to have brief conversations…
The most believable thing about this story arc is the most unbelievable thing about it.
A major plot development is relayed by a character talking about an email he got “a few days ago”. You rarely see such an anti-climactic anti-climax like that.
I mean, I thought this story was going to end with a whimper and not a bang, but this… it would be an insult to whimpers to call this one.
Except in this strip…
Hahahahahahahaha. Good you asshat. That POS “story” should never have seen the light of day in any format. Book, movie, graphic novel, carved stone tablet, free insert in the Centerville paper, none of it. Now maybe pay attention to your current wife a little and try to actually be less of an insufferable dick-with-ears.
Batiuk has a weird problem with movie success. The first Starsux Jones movie came out, had huge publicity, and the last we heard of it was a Variety headline that announced its boffo box office–with the newspaper being dropped in a wastebasket. End of first SJ movie arc. And whatever happened to “The Rise of the Xanax Warriors?” Why didn’t Mopey Pete and Dullard parley their work on the SJ movie into successful Hollywood careers, instead of ending u at a dead-end vanity publisher? For that matter, why did Funky’s Great NYC Pizza Adventure fail? It’s as if he defines success as “does well only with the small-town, Main Street USA crowd.”
On the bright side, maybe this means Harry Dinkle will get trashed during the Rosa Parade.
FWIW, Pete and Darrin left Hollywood because Chester Hagglemore offered them an obscene amount of money (presumably more money than they would have made had they stayed, which easily makes Pete+Darrin the highest paid mooks in the comics industry) and 100% editorial control to join his niche faux-retro comics publishing company…
Chester Hagglemore is a three-dimensional character… He’s a greedy money grubber, a cheapskate, and a guy who throws tons of cash around like it’s Monopoly money all in one…
Hagglemore reminds me of the character in one of (I think) Alfred Hitchcock’s old TV shows, where a millionaire bets a man that he can’t get his cigarette lighter to fire up ten times in a row. Huge reward if he tries and gets ten lights, but each misfire means chopping off a finger to keep playing. The man carries through, and then it’s revealed that the millionaire is really a lunatic with no money.
I don’t know why I thought of that one. Maybe it’s a deep-seated desire to see the whole AK bullpen lose their fingers so they’ll stop writing and drawing.
I didn’t see the episode but I read the short story. He bet his Cadillac against the guys lighter but the rich guy’s wife stopped it after a few lights to say that it was her car and it cost her a lot. It was then revealed that she was missing several fingers. Off topic, but I’m happy that others remember these obscure cultural nuggets.
That Hitchcock episode starred Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.
The original short story is called “Man From The South”, and it’s by Roald Dahl. The Alfred Hitchcock Presents version was directed by Norman Lloyd, and it’s since been remade a number of times, including once by Quentin Tarantino!
Another Roald Dahl story, “Lamb to the Slaughter,” turned up on the show,and Alfred Hitchcock directed it himself.
Highly recommended: Dahl’s “Taste,” a great story about wine..
And the same man also wrote about chocolate factories and giant peaches!
Also a raging anti-Semite, fwiw
Lamb to the Slaughter is a great story and is my favorite Alfred Hitchcock episode.
It’s Tom Batiuk’s real-life relationship with Hollywood. He desperately craves their validation, but he also wants to act like his work is too good for them. So he writes this fantasy around Les, where Hollywood caters to his every whim. Because that’s how Batiuk wants Hollywood to treat him. He doesn’t grasp that all he has is a long past its prime, sub-Marmaduke property, and nobody’s going to put up with his planet-sized ego and ridiculous demands just to make it.
And so it was that the great “Lisa’s Story the Movie: Take Two” storyline that TB was foisting upon us for about a year–from discussion to dealmaking to pre-production to on the set–gets tossed and dropped like…some heavy object into a large body of water. No glitzy premiere at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre or Centerville’s Valentine Gentleman’s Club; no shot of the Westview locals tearing up (save for a smiling Uncle Fester) at a local screening; no talk on whether Marianne Winters will play Summer in “The Last Leaf: The Sequel.” Un-frickin’-believable.
I would have loved to see Battyuk’s script for “Avengers: Endgame.” I assume it would open with Spider-Man, Falcon and Scarlet Witch walking through a cemetery as Peter says “Gosh, it sure was nice of Mr. Stark to figure out time travel, bring everyone who died from “The Snap” back to life, and then sacrifice himself to eliminate Thanos, wasn’t it?”
Also…if I were Cayla, I’d worry about Lester’s new obsession with sinking anchors in lakes. It sounds like he’s planning how to get rid of evidence as he sets up a new marital tragedy that will form the basis of his next best-seller.
That “anvil in the lake” video was a dud also. They drop it in, and it just sits there.
Yeah. It’s almost like an anvil disappears in a lake, and then you can’t see it any more. Then it’s just two people trying to figure out if the water is getting warming and commenting about how much the air stinks.
It’s a metaphor, you see. A metaphor for this plotline.
1. How did Les go from a “co-producer” with decisions over casting getting to attend all the pitch meetings with potential funders and distributors to even meddling with actors to get a scene just right then jetting out to the wrap party like some big time Hollywood player to some mumbling mope talking about the movie as if it was his fantasy football team?
“Masone texted to happily inform me that Odell Beckham Jr. got injured again against the Arizona Cardinals… He still doesn’t have a single TD this season! Man, his fantasy value has really gone down the tubes and I can’t even get rid of him! If he was a Wall Street stock he’d have like, a negative price or something…”
2. Yeah Les, bravo, well done… Way to fight for the movie version of your bestselling book… I mean, it’s not like you had a personal or financial stake in this movie’s box office success or something, right? Well your emotionally detached indifference will sure show them!!
2a. And I thought money didn’t matter, only that the story “got told the right way”? Fuckin’ hypocrite…
2b. And LOL at Cayla talking about “lack of promotion”… THAT’S WHAT YOUR WORTHLESS ASSED CO-PRODUCER HUSBAND WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING!! IT’S HIS BOOK AND HIS FUCKING STORY!! Serious question: Did Les even go so far as to tell his friends, neighbors, hell even his students that his book was just made into a $100 million movie? Did he get on social media? Did he try to organize a local preview? Did he spam press releases to every news outlet in Ohio? Did he even sprinkle around a few free movie passes? This is basic “Marketing 101” shit here…
2c. This is the part where Cayla reminds Les that the movie still has yet to open over in Communist China and it still could be a success…!
3. Seeing Les go from micro-managing everything on the set to going back to Ohio and totally forget he was co-producing a fucking $100 million movie to the point where the only information he gets now are from periodic emails makes me wonder why he even went through this bullshit in the first place…
3a. So are Darrin and Summer getting CC’d on these emails? Of course not… They’re only Saint Lisa’s direct descendants from her holy cooch yet Batiuk never gave a shit about them in this storyline…
4. The best part is this fiasco of a flop is all on Les… He had two of the biggest stars in Hollywood to act in it, a top tier director, he had final approval over script, scenes, dialogue, everything, AND he “protected” the holy memory of his Saint Lisa and the whole thing was still an utter shitshow… And Les has nobody to pin the blame on and it’s burning his ass up from inside…
5. The funny part is not only were those smug sandals wearing trust fund Orange County hipsters correct about the limited potential audience for Lisa’s Story; but we now have to wonder if those cable TV producers who wanted to make “Lisa’s Story” into some kind of Cinemax softcore weren’t on the right track all along…
6. The other great part about this is for all his slick talk, for all his insider lingo, and for all his smug “trust me, I know how the game’s played” bullshittery, Masone Jarre is a total fraud and isn’t going to be let anywhere near spearheading another major production ever again… He’d better stick to his typecast comfort zone, cash his Starsuck Jonese sequels paychecks and forget about the Oscars…
6a. And any time is great for Masone Jarre to finally email Les the truth, which is he never gave a flying flapjack about St. Lisa, he didn’t bother to read the book, and the only reason why he was interested in that melodramatic schlock was because he hoped it would net him an Academy Award… And now that it’s over, please don’t call him again ever…
TLDR: Les failed!
I am happy for that. I absolutely love this strip!
PS: I did actually read your post.
So WE had to suffer through casting trauma, flubbed waiter lines, Hollywood burning, and the stupidity of 2 square feet of a park built on a soundstage only for this crap “film” to tank???
The movie was a flop, but it wasn’t because of anything Les did, or anything Masone did,or because the movie was bad. No, it was a flop because the faceless studio executives didn’t spend enough money on advertising. So now we get to see a week of Les moping about how “the universe” is being unfair to him—er, Lisa. Wonderful.
Oh wait. One of the studio executives does have a face. Cassidy Kerr from Pink Entertainment, remember?
Dredge her up, Batiuk! Make her the villain! I’d rather see Les yell at someone than wander around making sad faces.
CBH, an alternate title for your blog could be How the Mighty Have Phoned it In.
Batty has taken Tell-Don’t-Show to epic proportions. I think a lot of readers, myself included, thought Lisa’s Story would have swept the awards. I would love to have seen Les’s face when he heard the news of the movie tanking.
I tell you what, if there was an FW
comicstrip where Masone was pictured telling Les (in person or over the phone) that tanked I might even purchase a print from the Comics Kingdom. Or at least print the strip out and give it a prominent place on my fridge.
I might even have settled for Les reading the email but Batty probably would have stretched that out over a week or two. Can you imagine a week of strips where Les is shown debating about whether to open the email or not? Includes a lot of pensive looks and whining to Cayla, who is ever-supportive. Ugh.
Also, as fired up as Masone was badgering Les into allowing him to make the movie, isn’t sending an email gutless? PULL UP YOUR PANTS. TAKE OFF THE LES WIG AND BE A MAN!
It’s still possible that LS could sweep the awards. Take a look at, say, the last twenty years of Academy Award “Best Picture” winners. A great deal of them were obscure films that no one had heard of before they were announced as nominees.
Good point. Mason Jarre, a major movie star in this universe, routinely drops everything he’s doing and flies to exurban Ohio to kiss the ass of this nobody high school teacher. And now that he’s got actual news to convey, he does it through an email?
The important thing to understand is that the failure of Lisa’s Story is absolutely, positively, 100%, completely, unequivocally not Les Moore’s fault in any way whatsoever. And to let him explain it to you himself, just so you’re not confused by anyone else involved in the project who might think his constant, ridiculous demands may have been have been an obstacle to its success. Or that Les Moore is anything less than the most talented, exemplary human being who has ever lived. I mean, Mason Jarre might inadvertently raise an eyebrow, or something, and we wouldn’t want you to misinterpret that.
The King James Bible isn’t this protective of Jesus’ reputation.
Indeed, Les won’t accept/receive any of the blame but unlike the ‘Lust for Lisa’ fiasco, he isn’t getting any profit from it (yet) either. In reality, Les and his story would be toxic to Hollywood.
For now, Les got nothing and it bothers him. No kill fee. No Lisa’s Story as an instant smash success. Nothing this time (yet). Just go back to being the selfish, over-entitled lazy prick from a podunk town.
Les makes no effort and gets the world handed to him. He sulks when he doesn’t get what he believes he deserves. I’m reveling in his misery (for now). Go back to doing your damn job. Go back to teaching those kids and try not to be such a smug, condescending asshole.
The movie tanking and Les not getting anything out of It is the best of both worlds to me. I’ll enjoy this feeling while I can.
I think we all know this isn’t the end of Lisa’s Story. I fear where Batty will take it next. As @BeckoningChasm says, there may be success down the road for Lisa’s Story. Batty can make Lisa’s Story a cult favorite where it can win awards as an “art film”. Ugh.
Batty, please have mercy on our sensibilities.
In reality, Les and his story would be toxic to Hollywood.
In reality, Les and his story would be toxic to Westview.
In reality, Funky Winkerbean should be toxic to the Comics Kingdom.
To be serious, I’ve read some people say Batiuk should be kicked out of the comics page to make room for fresh new artists. It’s a nice sentiment, but have you read some of the newer features on the Comics Kingdom? Have you read Funny Online Animals or Rae the Doe? The artists of those comic strips appear to be on some kind of mind-altering substance. They’re just plain weird.
I agree. We haven’t heard what the critics had to say about the movie, and that worries me. There’s no way Batdick would allow the critics to pan the movie. This has Underappreciated Masterpiece written all over it.
And don’t forget, Masone dropped everything to secretly fly to Westview and stalk Les around (in the most stupidly obvious manner possible) for a day in a rental car all in the name of “character research”, as if Les Freaking Moore was some kind of complex enigmatic character role to decipher…
…Except Masone was too fucking idiotic to do the thing right and actually shadow Les though the mundane vagaries of his daily routine. No, ladies and gents… Mister Starbuck Fucking Jones fresh off his $450 million grossing blockbuster LITERALLY TAILED LES TO WESTVIEW HIGH, AND THEN PROCEEDED TO WAIT IN HIS CAR IN THE PARKING LOT FOR TEN GODDAMN HOURS FOR LES TO LEAVE AND THEN HE STARTED TO FOLLOW HIM HOME… Yeah, tell us which school of method acting you learned that stunt from, Masone?!
I don’t understand why Masone needed to perform any research on Les at all. Just act like a smug, condescending, overentitled, whiny bearded dick with ears. I think that would have covered it perfectly. 🤣
Come to think of it, that’s most likely why the movie failed. Masone played Les too well. Like us, the audiences couldn’t stand the character either.
I think it’s the Richard Becker School of Method Acting. Check out Harlan Ellison’s “All the Sounds of Fear.”
Did I miss the arc that had the movie’s big premiere, in (choose one: Hollywood, somewhere in mid-Ohio)?
Don’t worry, Les; you’ll get your time in the spotlight when the movie gets an Oscar nomination, either for Adapted Screenplay (which will be introduced as “based on the book by Lee Smore” or something like that) or, in the Batiukverse, will be allowed to be entered as a Documentary Feature (“because it’s a reenactment of a true story”). Even if it doesn’t win, somebody will do a news story of some sort on “the story behind the movie,” and everybody involved will consider it a win after all.
Cindy did such a good job with Cliff Anger, remember.
Yes, I didn’t expect the movie to be a flop, either. I really thought that in the overwrought fantasy world Les exists in, Lisa’s Story would surely get an Oscar nomination, and that Les would get to speak at the Academy Awards. But then again, I also really thought Phil and Ruby would become a couple, so I guess trying to predict where FW is going next is a losing game.
On another topic; I’ve come across that strange gibberish on Google searches as well. I’m sure it has to do with some kind of scam, but does anyone have any idea what?
All I can tell is that it’s cut and pasted from snips of anything a spider bot can grab off the internet. Sometimes I get spam emails with similar word salads. Not sure what the point is but my guess is that it’s creating text to get past spam filters somehow.
A likely explanation, but I like mine better. I like to believe that every one of those word-salad phrases means something to someone.
At least Cayla can take comfort in the fact that Mason will almost certainly appear in “My Dog Pookie 2.”
Don’t worry, Les. I’m sure Lisa’s Story has some future. Mostly when Cinema Sins or whoever gets a hold of it and you become meme fodder. I mean, if they left that “the playground’s open” prattle in there, you’re guaranteed to be mocked for months to come, that’s the kind of unintentional hilarity meme makers live for.
So, how long do we think it will be before Lisa’s Story, the Movie, Take Three happens (“This time, we’ll make it right”)? This time with the script written by Skip, the One-Armed Newspaperman from Crankshaft, and the movie entirely filmed by Rach and produced by Atomik Komix somehow? And directed by and starring Les himself, possibly featuring Summer as Lisa? (I was going to say Cayla as Lisa, but she’s clearly not worthy of that).
I stopped keeping up with Crankshaft over the last year or so and had no idea that that strip also had a character with a pinned up sleeve. Holy crap.
I sat through the movie. I’ll be discharged in three weeks, one pill two times daily, and counseling indefinitely.
Doing Lisa’s Story the “right way” resulted in failure and financial ruin? That’s a shame.
Don’t lose heart, Les. I see “Lisa’s Story” as a future cult favorite. I foresee midnight showings where fans recite the dialogue along with the actors, sort of the way people might with “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” Only instead of Criswell intoning, “Future events such as these will affect us… in the future,” it’ll be Lisa telling Les, “The playground is closed for repairs.”
There’s actually something close to this in real life. The original 1970 Love Story, which was filmed and set at Harvard University, gets the MST3K treatment as part of new student orientation at the school. Too bad there’s not a YouTube version of this I can find.
Lisa Moore is dead,
And somebody’s responsible!
Solaranite and Cavorite were found at the scene of the crime.
I’ve always something more akin to Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room,” where audience members would come armed with props: napkins to throw at every scene in Montoni’s, footballs to pass around when Bull Bushka appears on-screen, and leaves to toss during the Central Park bench sequence. And of there’d be shout-outs of “Oh, hi, Funky!” and the inevitable “Your cancer is teahh-ring me ah-paht, Lisa!”
“I got the results of the test back – I definitely have breast cancer.” A quote from The Room, or from Lisa’s Story?
I love all the hate sent Les’s way. It always makes for very entertaining reading.
‘Lisa’s Story’ flopped?! Oh no! That was quick. The wrap party storyline started on August 2nd. The mental image I have for the ‘Lisa’s Story’ movie flopping is like Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff, whistling to the ground, and disappearing in a puff of dust.
Does this mean there won’t be a sequel?
‘Lisa’s Story’ will be appearing on the Westview version of MST3K.
I wonder if Les and Cayla bothered to see the entire movie in a theater? That could have been a sure indicator as to how the public received the film.
Theater Patron #1: “I can’t believe we paid good money to watch that movie.”
Theater Patron #2: “I can’t believe somebody greenlit that movie.”
I’m going to go out on a limb and say I think we’re going to be on this “plot line” for the rest of the month. Remember, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Somehow Les is going to find out that it wasn’t just what’s-her-name who was inspired to see her doctor by this “movie” – other women were, too! He’ll start getting letters! The movie saved lives! Smirks will abound! Cayla will suffer through two more weeks of St. Lisa! By which time she’ll probably have gnawed her own arm off in frustration and will join the pinned-sleeve club.
oh god you’re right
Late to the party but oh yes HaHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!
Les did what he always does makes everything about him until it all starts to go south and then it’s someone else’s problem or fault and he gets to act like the delicate genius oppressed by the cruel world of in this case Hollywood. It’s among his more disgusting personality traits.
oh yes can we hope to see that tomorrow he is being haunted in his dreams by headlines telling how badly the film did “Variety: Lisa’s Story Dies at the Box office” “Entertainment: Ohio based Cancer pic a dud”
And oh yes Hollywood has a lot of terms for films doing badly – A dud, A turkey , it closed like a ten cent mousetrap, flop, a dog, a bust, a bomb, a dud for example so he didn’t have to make up this weird anvil metaphor.
And I’d like the Friday strip to be Les angry refusal to let Rifftrax riff the film for a live show. This after being asked to join a panel discussion with Tommy Wiseau, Neil Breem, and James Nguyen and the film being nominated for 8 Razzies.
So all of our comments about Funky Winkerbean gradually morphing into a Judge Parker, where characters are gifted success without merit, must have struck a nerve.
I don’t think so. I think Batiuk’s less concerned about the financial success about things like this because overwhelming financial success would result in changes in his characters he’s not interested in addressing. He’s not interested in having to deal with making Les a multi-millionaire and how that would affect his life, Cayla’s life and their children’s (WHO?) lives. Would Les *and* Cayla still want to live in that crappy old home they do if they could buy an enormous mansion like Chester’s instead? Why would Les and Cayla want to work at jobs that they don’t care about when they’re multi-millionaires? Les clearly hates his teaching job, and while Cayla doesn’t seem to hate her job, I’m not sure she’s been shown getting any satisfaction out of being the principal’s secretary/receptionist/whatever.
Plus, let’s not forget the dynamite storylines that would be foreclosed by such a development, like… Cayla likes to buy expensive clothes and that gets Les upset because he’s not sure how he can afford it! After all, Batiuk heavily relies on stories like these to get himself through the 52 weeks of the year.
Instead, I think Batiuk’s more concerned about the recognition that Les and Lisa’s Story get from Hollywood. It’s not so much how much money it makes, but the fact that they’re eminently worth being paid attention to. Les is important and influential and a great artist, such that he has big players in the film industry sniffing around him for their next big project. He’s just so fascinating and deep and stuff. If he were a multi-millionaire lolling about on his balcony all day overlooking his massive manicured estate, he wouldn’t be as interesting to them. It’s his humility and his struggle that makes him so captivating, and if he achieves massive financial success, he loses that, either by becoming a rich man, or artificially retaining these attributes despite the fact that they’re obviously a phony affectation and not who he really is.
Sigh, we go from wrap party to skipping right over finished film and movie premiere. We don’t even get a shot of the movie onscreen with any sort of audience watching. No “LIsa’s Story” on a marquee-nothing. After all that buildup…