Your Funeral…My Trial

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Dinkle has agreed to do the funeral music the way the family has requested. How magnanimous of him. And the choir has no idea how to do this, because of course they don’t.

Fortunately, Dinkle carries around the CD he and the Bedside Manor people made, because of course he does, just like he’s always wearing the chocolate medal. Neither of which, by the way, indicate a healthy state of mind.

Can you imagine having to ask Tom Batiuk for directions? By the time he finishes telling you how to get to a place, that place has gone out of business and probably burned down.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

58 responses to “Your Funeral…My Trial

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Ugh. They could have gone online an booked a New Orleans-style jazz combo in a few minutes, but of course Batiuk has to take the dumbest possible path. He’s not even clever enough to write a story where Dinkle happens to know an old New Orleans-style jazz guy who lives two towns over, to at least give his story a smidgen of authenticity. No, instead he’s dragging out the Bedside Manorisms again and flooding the strip with feisty, adorable old coots in a desperate attempt to find a way through this totally insane premise without having to work at it. It’s already just completely exhausting.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk loves to use past stupid stories to justify his current stupid story. Like Les being eternally pissy about the stupid Lisa movie because of the “Lust of Lisa” debacle. Even though that was done by totally different people, and everybody was bending over backwards to give him what he wanted the second time.

  2. Phil

    “By the time he finishes telling you how to get to a place,”
    — you no longer have enough gas to drive off a cliff and embrace sweet oblivion.

  3. Sourbelly

    OK, hang on…. Just yesterday he was imprecating* God for deliberately obfuscating his mission to provide a “traditional New Orleans jazz-style funeral service” to a parishioner. But then, he instantly produces a CD containing music that would presumably fill the bill. What? For the umpteenth time this week, I’ll say, “I don’t get it.” Was this just for the Elvis “joke”?

    *Courtesy of

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      No, it’s very simple. The solution to Dinkle knowing nothing about jazz is the jazz combo he taught in the past. Classic storytelling!

  4. J.J. O'Malley

    In looking at the old strips from the “Road to Memphis” storyline, it appears that one member of the Bedside Manor band was African-American. I hope Old What’s-His-Name hasn’t kicked off himself in the past four years and will be available to perform at the service, otherwise this “New Orleans-style jazz funeral” will look like the whitest thing to happen to black music since Pat Boone’s version of “Tutti Frutti” charted higher than the Little Richard original.

    • Fun fact: many of the original performers thanked Pat Boone for his versions, because it meant they got songwriter fees when his versions played on white radio.

      Yeah, he was the squarest person ever, but he did manage to spread the wealth in the right directions.

      • billytheskink

        Was? He still is the squarest person ever… but kudos to him for making it to 87 thus far, and for having the good fortune to cameo in a Weird Al music video (“Gump”).

      • be ware of eve hill

        Pat Boone is an amazing alchemist. Everything he touches turns into milk.

        Pat Boone put out an album in the 1990s, titled In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy. He and his band covered heavy metal classics such as; “No More Mr. Nice Guy” – Alice Cooper, “Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple, “Enter Sandman” – Metallica, and “Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne.

        • *Shrug* I’ve heard of the album, but never heard the recordings. Still, it shows he was willing to take a risk or two. Something a certain cartoonist is constantly claiming to do, without any evidence of subsequent accomplishment.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Pat Boone seems to have a sense of humor about himself. Something Tom Batiuk really needs to get. Funky Winkerbean wouldn’t be nearly so tedious if it wasn’t so self-important.

  5. Y. Knott

    Even as someone who is a relative newcomer, and who thus does NOT have the copious amounts of FW backstory and lore to rely on, this makes no sense. For the last two days, this choir leader has been completely flummoxed by the very idea of jazz. Familiar R&B and jazz music titles were puzzling to him; the idea of a “jazz funeral” was apparently totally alien to his core sensibilities. He even railed at God, apparently upset about being asked to do this.

    Except, now suddenly, exactly one strip later — whoops, it turns out Harry has previously cut a jazz CD in Memphis? In one of the most fabled studios in the entire world (albeit not a studio known for jazz)? And he proudly carries a copy of it with him wherever he goes?

    Is it me, or can you can build a case for the beginning of pre-senile dementia entirely on the basis of the writing in these strips?

    • Maxine of Arc

      In Batty’s defense (sigh) that did actually happen in-strip a few years ago, so at the very least this didn’t come from absolutely nowhere.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    From the dialogue it’s not clear whether he’s going to bring in the Bedside Manorisms to provide the instrumentals (which at least would make some sense since they play jazz) or whether he’s suggesting that the choir learn the music from the CD and perform it themselves. And when is this funeral supposed to take place? Usually even if the deceased has preplanned the service it’s rare that these detailed instructions would be transmitted to the church before death, in which case the choir would have at most a week to prepare.

  7. newagepalimpsest

    I am excited to see Dinkle and the choir get egged and boo’ed at for playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” at a small-town Ohio funeral!

  8. Cabbage Jack

    Wait? This is a New Orleans Style Jazz Funeral? I wish Batty had said something earlier in the week about it!

  9. The Dreamer

    Dinkle is leading a *choir* not a jazz ensemble! The only one playing an instrument is him (the organ) How is he going to pull this off? Bring in his nursing home band featuring Funky’s dad?

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Again, the art really drives home Dinkle’s loathsomeness. Look at that smug expression, as he namedrops himself.

  11. billytheskink

    “Memphis, New Orleans… Pretty much the same place.”

    – Tom Batiuk, probably. Way to reinforce that Yankee stereotype, Tom.

  12. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    I like to imagine that the Bedside Manorisms are all seasoned jazz veterans. Back in the 50’s they did stints with the Count and the Duke. Mort plays trombone, and we see several other musicians. They played with J.J.Johnson, Harry James, Benny Goodman…When Harry tries to direct them in his arrangement of “Close to You”, they ignore him and jam their asses off on “Woodchopper’s Ball”.

    • Mr. A

      I’m no doctor, but I’m fairly sure that a guy with an oxygen tube in his nose shouldn’t be playing the trumpet.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Is that really Dinkle overruling the record producer? Christ, what an asshole. Have you ever met a record producer or TV director? Acting like that is a good way to get acquainted with the pavement outside the studio. That goes double for you, Les. And you too, Cindy.

      • Dinkle was probably the producer, the guy in the booth was the recording engineer. Remember, this is Dinkle we’re talking about. He’s always the one completely in charge.

  13. Scott J Lovrine

    This is Westview. How will that CD work in an eight-track player?

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    This just keeps getting crappier. At least Mary Worth has been great.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And did they just talk about The Crown over on Crankshaft? What the…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Mary Worth is great, because it’s fun to see how much of an asshole Wilbur Weston can be, and then watch him get what he deserves. In Funky Winkerbean the asshole characters get everything they want handed to them at all times, and their asses kissed by the entire world. And all they ever do is complain about it.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yeah, what a loser drunk he is. But then again nobody is dumber than that Estelle. She is probably still waiting for Arthur to show up. Pierre and Libby are the only smart ones.

        What makes Mary Worth fun is all of the unintended silliness.

        • The Duck of Death

          The internet is waiting for some Pibby or Lierre slashfic. Come on, MW fanbois & gurls! Give us the pairing we’ve been dreaming of!

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I’d take another strip where Wilbur sits on cat pee.

            Pretty soon it will be time for the annual Worthies awards over on MaryWorthAndMe. We need a similar poll on this site…call it The Battiies.

          • The Duck of Death

            Yes, I second this idea! Could be called the Batties or the Funkies. Categories can include:

            • The most ghastly, melting-wax-dummy drawing of a regular character
            • The most detestable, slappable smirk
            • The least coherent pun
            • The most loathesome use of a copyrighted character without attribution
            • The most egregious, self-important, faux-modest use of an author avatar
            • The most oblivious misunderstanding of how something works in the real world

            I’m sure folks here can think of many other appropriate categories.

  15. Hitorque

    This still does Jack Shit to address the issue that none of these ladies play a single instrument

  16. The Duck of Death

    “I want you to listen to this CD and see if it’s something you can work with.”

    “Work with in what way?”

    “You know, work with.”

    “Work with, how exactly? Sing along to it? Interject ‘hallelujah’ periodically? Clap? Dance in the Main Line of the funeral procession? Or in the Second Line? Learn to play the instruments?”


    “Okay. But as long as we’re doing all of the above, just using a recording, howzabout some Satchmo instead?”

    “NO! It must be the Bedside Manorisms! The finest jazz combo in history because they are led by The World’s Greatest Band Leader!”

  17. Banana Jr. 6000

    Beckoning Chasm said on Monday: “Dinkle is always assumed to be completely in charge of whatever situation he finds himself, with full control of every resource. And he then turns those situations into a celebration of his ego.” Which is exactly what’s happening here.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Beckoning Chasm has an eerie ability to boil down Funky Winkerbean into ominous predictions.

      He’s like a creepy soothsayer, deep in a shack in the woods.

      • Gerard Plourde

        “He’s like a creepy soothsayer, deep in a shack in the woods.”

        Or an FBI profiler of a perpetrator who has come to know the M.O. of his quarry.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          Kay Scarpetta and Benton Wesley would want to adopt him, and Lucy Farinelli would hire him for the Last Precinct.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      He understands the strip and it’s characters better than Batty

      • The Duck of Death

        Damning with faint praise. My great-aunt Enid understands the strip and its characters better than Batty, and she’s been dead lo these 37 years.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          He understands the strip and it’s characters MUCH better than Batty. And he can articulate the difference.

    • Professor Fate

      Yes this. Also in this case he is completely abdicating any responsibility for doing any actual work – as in teaching these women, which makes his arrogance even worse. It’s no wonder that other than Becky not a SINGLE student emerged from his band showing any talent or interest in making music as a profession or just for the sheer love of it. Music is, for Dinkle, something to be made by servile automatons under his complete control. Instead of it being something that raises the spirt above the muck and mire of the everyday, music is simply Dinkle’s way to to exert control over people so he can indulge his sadism. Yes he is that horrible.
      “Can you help us here?”
      “Sure here’s a CD good luck”
      Jesus Wept.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And Becky is just a clone of Dinkle, mimicking all his worst qualities.

        The two of them are a satire of scholastic music education at its worst. Which is why Dinkle worked in Act I: he was an exaggerated version of everyone’s band director. I don’t know where Batiuk got the idea he’s everyone’s hero, especially as he becomes even more selfish and abusive, in a world we’re supposed to take seriously.

  18. hitorque

    Help me out here — What the fuck does Elvis even have to do with Jazz or this storyline?

    • Maxine of Arc

      Elvis recorded a few dozen tracks at Sun Studios/for Sun Records at the start of his career.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Don’t forget the conversation about jazz in “Jailhouse Rock”:

        Prof van Alden’s Male Party Guest #1: I think Stubby’s gone overboard with those altered chords, don’t you?

        Prof van Alden’s Female Party Guest #1: I agree. I think Brubeck and Desmond have gone just as far with dissidents as I care to go.

        Prof van Alden’s Male Party Guest #2: Oh, nonsense! Have you heard Lennie Tristano’s latest recording? He reached outer space!

        Prof van Alden’s Female Party Guest #2: Someday they make the cycle and get back to pure old Dixieland.

        Prof van Alden’s Female Party Guest #3: I say atonality is just a passing phase in jazz music. What do you think Mr. Everett?

        Vince Everett: Lady, I don’t know what the hell you’re talkin’ about.

        Needless to say, Elvis Presley was Vince Everett. (The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang.)

      • hitorque

        Big Dink: “I recorded this with my own jazz ensemble at the Historic Sun Records studio in Memphis because I’m a shameless name dropper and I can’t go 60 seconds in conversation without masturbating to my own ego… See if it’s something you can work with.”

        Random Choir Lady: “Well, Nancy loves Elvis and Elvis recorded at Sun Records for two short years early in his career so I already know she’s going to like this, because reasons!!”

        Nope, I still don’t get the “joke”…

  19. be ware of eve hill

    Question du jour; listen to the Bedsore Manureisms CD where? Does the church have a CD player? Should the entire choir cram into somebody’s Batiukmobile (a.k.a. clown car) that has a CD player? Ask Funky to bring over the world’s last remaining SONY Discman?

    Let’s all stampede the church secretary’s office and commandeer her computer.
    Dinkle: (pie faces secretary) Out of the way! Important choir business! We’re on a mission from God!

    • be ware of eve hill

      Is Dinkle going to pull the CD player out of his ass like the CD? I’m afraid to ask what else he has in there. How about a cure for cancer?

  20. I’ve gathered the strips from the three week Bedside Manorisms Memphis arc here:

    • Gerard Plourde

      I notice that this arc was produced when Burchett was involved. There are some odd anomalies – the story line is coherent with a beginning, middle and ending, there is some actual mild humor in it, and most interestingly, Dinkle plays a subordinate role for most of the time. Burchett’s influence?

      • Mr. A

        The one where Connie rips the X off the floor is pretty amusing, and the no-dialogue strip where they’re leaving the studio at dawn is surprisingly evocative. The whole package is definitely a notch above what the strip has been doing lately.

        But that “fights and gunplay”/”you can’t smell a knife” strip…what the hell?! Is the neighborhood that rough? And if it is, why did the old geezers show up at all?

    • The Duck of Death

      Jeez, between the five of those altekackers, there were at least 4 feet in the grave. I can’t credit that, four years later, all of them are still alive. Even the guy on 24/7 supplemental oxygen who somehow managed to endure two 700-mile bus trips and in between them do umpteen takes of jazz trumpet playing. Playing a trumpet, especially in a 5-piece jazz band where it likely serves as a lead instrument, requres more lung fitness than most average people can muster without practice, let alone people who can’t live without being attached to an oxygen tank.

      Perhaps he’s taken some of those Dr. Batty’s Illness-Reversing Patent Medicine and Snake Oil pills they give out at Bedsore Manure. You know, the ones that cured Mort’s dementia and Dinkle’s deafness.

    • Mr. A

      Can we add that to the “Other Crap” section of the navigation menu?