The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Elderly Jazz Band

Link To This One

It’s funny, because just a few years ago Morton didn’t have an imagination at all! At least they’re still both clothed and for that, we should be thankful. Obviously BatYam caught part of some rock band biopic and thought it’d be “very funny” if yadda yadda yadda and so forth. At least Morty finally stopped with the demonic sex offender leering, at least for now. The whole “aren’t depraved randy old coots hilarious?” thing is around 98% less funny than BatNard thinks it is and I really wish he’d leave those gags for his other, lesser known (chortle) comic strip, as I don’t read that one.

It’s funny how usually FW characters are heavily into pop-culture references from thirty years before they born, but today Morton is referencing rock and roll tropes from seventy years AFTER he was born. It’s amazing how his advanced dementia didn’t seem to affect his memory at all, which is, uh, highly unusual, I guess you could say. The way he just totally blew off that early Act III Major Prestige Arc remains one of Act III’s greatest and dumbest mysteries.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

35 responses to “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Elderly Jazz Band

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    Sheesh, I guess walking 25 feet to the van was out of the question?

    • Green Luthor

      He’s probably had to get Morton out of the van before, and wasn’t willing to get close enough to see inside the windows. (I mean, if YOU thought Morton and Lillian were doing a “solo van date” in there, would YOU want to risk catching sight of that?)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        True, but that just raises another problem. Mort and his groupie have no expectation of privacy here. It’s not Mort’s van, it belongs to the old folks’ home. And the two of them are here to do a job. Go open the door and tell them to get their asses back to work. And if Walt won’t do it, then the World’s Greatest Band Director should. Part of a band director’s job is getting his “talent” to show up and perform as expected, or dismiss them if they don’t.

  2. William Thompson

    FFS, Mort, don’t ever say “banging” again!

  3. What the heck is he doing in panel two? Is he singing opera?

    • billytheskink

      Looks like someone dumped toxic waste on Statler and Waldorf.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        To which Statler says “We did have toxic waste dumped on us: the script to this strip!,” at which point he and Waldorf start laughing from their balcony seats.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Shadow puppets? If so, I echo Halo’s question to Metamorpho:

      “Can you ,make a unicorn?”

  4. Sourbelly

    Panel 1: Hey, it’s the old guy who hates playing music indoors or something. Maybe he should just stay out there and play his parts in the parking lot. Nobody will care.
    Panel 2: Lovingly depicted masonry. No matter what, folks, we’ll always have the bricks. But it took me awhile to figure out what’s going on in the van windows. It looks like Rapey McRapeface in the throes of ecstasy, a rubber chicken, and a silhouette of Abe Lincoln.
    Panel 3: I guess Lillian was a willing participant in this…horror? Does that make it all better? Most importantly, WHY? WHY? WTF, Batshit????

  5. A recap for readers of this blog who maybe weren’t following FW for all of the last decade: the reason Funky’s dad lives at Bedside Manor is that Funky had no choice but to put him in a home.



    Father’s Day, two years later:

    It was only when Mort took up smoking in March 2014 that his miraculous recovery began…

    …and by June of ’16 Mort’s rock and roll fantasy was in full swing.

    • billytheskink

      Cigarettes not only cured his dementia, but they enabled him to walk again?! I’d forgotten about that! Gotta be regulars, right? No way menthols are strong enough.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Batiuk’s retcons:
      6/14/10-Actually, Morton can’t stay in his house anymore because he sleeps around so much he never gets any use out of his own house.
      6/16/10-Actually, Morton is busy fantasizing about all the sweet, sweet tail he got last time they went to the nursing home and how many chicks he’s going to lure out to the parking lot when he goes back.
      Father’s Day-Morton is just intentionally screwing with Funky because he hates him.
      And the leather jacket and smoking were just a way for him to look cooler. The wheelchair was so he could roll up to ladies and ask if they wanted to take a ride on his lap.

    • batgirl

      Damn, I remember that Father’s Day strip annoying the heck out of me. Funky, just humour the old guy and take half his sandwich once he’s asked a second time. You don’t have to eat it, just cut it in half and take some.
      The strip could still play out – Mort complains that he only got half a sandwich, Funky gives him back the other half, Mort says it’s too much, etc.

      That said, it’s a decent strip, even somewhat moving with that last panel. Why does TB retcon his best work? Lisa going with Frankie because she was flattered he was interested in her and didn’t know how to say no when it got physical is a decent storyline. Lisa being snarky and superior about Frankie’s van decor and being date-raped doesn’t make sense – that Lisa wouldn’t even have had lunch with Frankie, let alone gotten into his tacky van.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Why does TB retcon his best work?

        This is a damn good question. I would phrase it as “why does he trivialize his best work?” Because you’re right: some of those Alzheimer’s strips are on-point, and emotionally powerful.

        Lisa’s teen pregnancy was Batiuk’s first foray into Serious Issues. And it worked! Readers bought it! But his ham-handed retcons have destroyed it. Not in a “Ghostbusters is ruined forever now” way, but because he destroyed the emotional weight the story had, by turning it into a bad soap opera. Oh, she was actually raped! Oh, this random character is actually her son and is apprehensive to meet her! Oh no, he lost the envelope with her address on it! Oh, her rapist is a Hollywood guy now wants to make an embarrassing TV show about her for some bizarre! To say nothing of the cancer. It’s like a parody of daytime TV. Maybe Calculon can play Les.

        Tom Batiuk simply doesn’t know how to mix comedy and tragedy. (Well, he doesn’t know how to do either by itself, but one thing at a time.) That half-sandwich strip works well, because it’s not at Mort’s expense. It’s an observation about the damage Alzheimer’s does to your relationships with your loved ones. Too often, Batiuk’s joke is at the expense of his victims. In the CTE arc, every other punchline was “LOL, Bull can’t remember stuff anymore.” The humor can’t trivialize what we’re supposed to take seriously.

        • Mort Winkerbean’s current state is the biggest sign that Batiuk has turned his back on trying to tell stories somewhat relatable to the readers. “Screw this, I’m going to turn the world into one where everything works the way I thought it should work when I was ten years old. Les is regarded as a genius and a hero, everyone loves comic books, and Lisa recorded ten million hours of videotapes.”

          Batiuk is a lot like Anthony in “It’s a Good Life.” Look how Bull got wished into the cornfield.

          • Anonymous

            Mind his wet, purple gaze.

            It’s still a good life, you know. Or it was in the 2002 “Twilight Zone” revival, anyway.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I would argue that the endless comic book wanking in FW is the biggest sign that Tom Batiuk has turned his back on trying to tell stories. And by extension, bringing Phil Holt back from the dead so he can tell his precious little Jack Kirby-Stan Lee Silver Age story that absolutely no one else on earth cares about.

        • batgirl

          Re Lisa’s cancer – A while back I followed a link to the original Stuck Funky coverage of that arc, and (like the Mort sandwich strip) it had moments that were at the time genuinely moving. Commenters then found it relatable and that it spoke to their own experiences with serious illness and loss of loved ones.
          Looking at it in retrospect, and seeing how much it focussed on Les and his emotions, tainted by our knowledge of Les’s later status as the Monument of Loss and Grief, the story feels much more manipulative and shallow.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Actually, we don’t know they’re clothed. All we can see is the very, very top of their shoulders in that third panel.
    I do think it’s extremely weird that Lillian is only now giving Morton a hard time. Why exactly are you alone in the van with him when you’re supposed to be practicing for the choir?

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    Saturday’s Single-Panel Strip: The Bedside Manorisms are in their van on the way back to the nursing home (in typical Battyuk fashion, we never actually see the New Orleans-Style Jazz Funeral). In the back seat a poop-eating-grinning Mort brags to Carl and Walt, “So, you know that teasin’ little choir tart who looked like Woodrow Wilson in drag? I did her, right here on this very seat!”

    • spacemanspiff85

      I feel like this week would actually make more sense if after that, one of them asked Mort if he hid her body in the usual place. It would explain the leering.
      My money now is on Morton being the pizza monster, and next Halloween we’ll get a tip of the Funky felt tip to Psycho as he ambushes Lillian in the shower.

  8. Hitorque

    I don’t get it… He lured her out to the van just to talk?!

  9. Gerard Plourde

    Could TomBa actually have been trolling us, his most faithful readers?

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    Isn’t anybody going to react to this? Where’s the pastor? Why isn’t he blistering Dinkle’s ass right now? “Dammit, Dinkle, your nursing home band has been here five minutes, and one of them’s already dragged one of our sopranos into a van! Send him home NOW, or I’m sending you home, permanently!” He’s already ignored Dinkle’s making the choir practice until 1 AM. What is this, The Church of Generous Out Of Court Settlements?

    Isn’t Walt going to make more of an effort here? Hell, he wanted to be outside. Aren’t any of the choir women even going to react to this? They’re fine with this? Not even Ricca, who looks about 25 years old and way too hip for Westview? Do none of them have #metoo on speed dial?

  11. Over on his blog, he’s touting his books again.

    Can I just say how much I hate the Volume 10 cover? Lisa’s “Li’l ol me?” glamour shot is just nauseating. And it’s more evidence of what Batiuk thinks of women.

    When Lisa was introduced, she was (and let’s be honest) mostly hideous. But then, when she was paired with White Knight Les, you can just see Batiuk thinking “My hero is not going to marry an ugly girl” and she magically bloomed.

    Appearance is everything, right?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Cute, but in a practical way, dripping with sensible piety. Man, was she ever annoying.

    • Professor Fate

      Just FYI here’s the sales info from Amazon for that volume:
      Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
      #4,023 in Comic Strips (Books)
      #42,367 in Humor (Books)
      #43,540 in Graphic Novels (Books)
      The Bestsellers in comic strips are mostly calendars right now but the first Volume of Calvin and Hobbes is #8.
      I mean dear lord how many copies is that? 30? 35? and over a million and half books are selling better than this? Ouch

      oh yes I don’t care what Mort is doing in the van I want him to stop and I want this arc to end.

      Someone being a sexual predator even an unsuccessful one is NOT FUNNY even if he’s an old coot.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

        According to various online calculators, a Books rankings of 7 digits means it sells about 1-3 copies per month. That is abysmal for someone with a daily presence on the American comic strips page. 20-year-old Marmaduke collections sell better than that. I’m not even kidding. “Marmaduke at 50” is ranked about 250,000, which is about 20 sales a month. Even lower-tier daily strips like Sherman’s Lagoon orZits do way better than that.

        To be fair to Batiuk, I suspect Amazon sales data greatly underrepresents him. He probably does better at his little tours and appearances. But even those don’t have throngs of attendees that would make them financially worthwhile. He’s just in it for his ego at this point.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I still say that Lisa book cover reminds me of the soft-focus Kim Il-Sung propaganda photos you see in North Korea.

      And you’re right, that picture is appalling. That face is the yearbook photo of every selfish, stuck-up, alpha bitch in high school. The girl who’s so manipulative she knows how to look sweet and demure when the cameras are rolling. That’s Lisa. She made everything about her at all times, while also playing the eternal victim role. Even other people’s cancer revolved around Lisa. Years after Lisa died, she was still lecturing people from those damn video tapes.

  12. Y. Knott

    The gruesome tote board (volume 9 cracked the top million!):

    Vol 1
    #1,385,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #435 in Comic & Graphic Novel
    #572 in Comics & Graphic Novel
    #1,650 in How To Create Comics & Manga

    Vol 2
    #2,330,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #800 in Comic & Graphic Novel
    #1,036 in Comics & Graphic Novel
    #5,544 in Comic Strips (Books)

    Vol 3
    #2,244,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #5,395 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #57,123 in Humor (Books)

    Vol 4
    #2,836,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #6,348 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #68,486 in Humor (Books)

    Vol 5
    #1,101,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #2,996 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #31,946 in Humor (Books)

    Vol 6
    #2,674,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #6,090 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #65,444 in Humor (Books)
    #73,988 in Graphic Novels (Books)

    Vol 7
    #2,429,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #5,715 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #60,701 in Humor (Books)
    #67,906 in Graphic Novels (Books)

    Vol 8
    #2,168,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #5,262 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #55,621 in Humor (Books)
    #60,985 in Graphic Novels (Books)

    Vol 9
    #965,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #2,653 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #26,797 in Graphic Novels (Books)
    #28,562 in Humor (Books)

    Vol 10
    #1,536,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #4,023 in Comic Strips (Books)
    #42,367 in Humor (Books)
    #43,540 in Graphic Novels (Books)

    BONUS: Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy
    #3,538,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #2,635 in Graphic Novel Anthologies (Books)

  13. be ware of eve hill

    Finished already? Perhaps “Ladies Man” Morton is all in his imagination. A legend in his own mind. Perhaps, the rest of the members in the band gave Morton the moniker as a form of mockery.

    The silhouette in panel #2 makes it look like Morty got his junk stuck in his zipper.

  14. be ware of eve hill

    I realize I’m overdoing the joke about Batiukmobiles being drawn the size of clown cars. This is the last one.

    If you have a bad wreck in a Batiukmobile, how long does it take to extract all of the clowns? How many ambulances are needed?