Take off, eh?

Hey, do you remember that sketch on The Muppet Show where Florence Henderson played the teenage son of a Ronald Reagan Muppet? I sure don’t, and I’ve seen The Muppet Show episode with Florence Henderson, but apparently Funky does, if today’s strip is to be believed.

I certainly can’t blame Morton for wanting to avoid these two bores the way a teenage avoids his parents. Given that Funky and Holly are back in the car driving who knows where instead of talking with the authorities about locating Morton and about Bedside Manor’s gross negligence, I guess the feeling is mutual.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

34 responses to “Take off, eh?

  1. William Thompson

    “And did you have Alzheimer’s when you were a teenager, Funky?”

  2. Epicus Doomus

    This whole “the elderly are exactly like unruly teenagers” trope was clearly lifted from some long-forgotten 1990s-era soda commercial, where a bunch of sullen geezers suddenly start break dancing and surfing after drinking Mountain Dew or whatever, and it was briefly kind of cute the very first time you saw it, but quickly became tiresome and stupid.

    Tiresome and stupid. Morton is not a teenager, he’s a ninety-year-old former dementia patient. It’d be way more interesting if they talked about that, but oddly enough no one ever mentions it. It happens all the time in this strip, too.

    “Whaddya mean you were talking to Lisa? Isn’t she dead?”
    “Cory sure has radically changed over the years, you know?”
    “Whatever happened to Wally’s dog?”
    “Isn’t it annoying how Dinkle never actually retired?”

    I would think overcoming Alzheimer’s would be a way bigger deal than it is. If you remember that arc (and I sort of do, unfortunately) you’ll remember that Morty was barely a step above “total vegetable”. He was always muttering incoherent things and they drew him all dead-eyed, droopy and sullen, like he was just waiting to die at any moment. I liked him better that way, too.

    • Sourbelly

      “Boxcar!”. It’s amazing that Batdick is handling this dementia arc with even less sensitivity/accuracy than Lynn Johnston. I didn’t think that would be possible.

      • Epicus Doomus

        It might just be the single most ludicrous and inexplicable event of Act III. It wasn’t like BatYam mentioned Morton’s dementia in passing one time, it was a whole big thing that led directly into a whole other big thing that begat even more tangents, and then he did semi-regular follow-ups too. And then one day bam, Morton was fine. And no one even batted an eye. Funky was actually more alarmed by Morton’s smoking than he was by his incredible recovery. I was baffled then, I’m baffled now.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          It might just be the single most ludicrous and inexplicable event of Act III.

          ….until Lisa rises from the dead. And that day is coming, because it’s all Batiuk has left.

          • The Duck of Death

            That ridiculous outcome can be averted by having a VHS tape for literally every eventuality.

            For example, what if Summer buys a sweater she thinks is unflattering and she wants to return it, but Les and Keisha think it looks good, and Summer is wavering because the store is 30 minutes away and has odd business hours and the sweater was only $29.50 but she doesn’t like it, and yet on the other hand is it worth an hour of total driving time?

            NO PROBLEM! Just find the tape the dying Lisa recorded for times when Summer buys a sweater she thinks is unflattering and she wants to return it, but Les and Keisha think it looks good, and Summer is wavering because the store is 30 minutes away and has odd business hours and the sweater was only $29.50 but she doesn’t like it, and yet on the other hand she’s puzzling over whether it’s worth an hour of total driving time.

            Lisa will surely have sage, motherly advice to solve this problem. Not a dry eye in the house as her gaunt, bald, benevolent face fills the screen and her lecture From Beyond the Grave enlightens all who hear it.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @Duck But there is a problem. More Lisa tapes aren’t going to get Tom Batiuk any new, fawning coverage in the New York Times or the Akron Whatever. After the awfulness of the CTE arc, I think even those papers are going to file FW “prestige arcs” under Not Newsworthy. He’s going to have to do something spectacular to get anyone to pay attention to him now. Unless this Dinkle Rose Parade appearance gets FW the attention he thinks it will BWAHWHAHHAHAHAH I can’t even type that with a straight face.

          • The Duck of Death

            Apparently the idea of canceling the Rose Parade due to Covid is currently being bandied about. It seems more likely that they’d do it with fewer or no spectators than that they’d cancel it completely. TB must be on tenterhooks.

          • The Duck of Death

            Answering myself to add… I just peeked at the Tournament of Roses/Rose Parade website and I don’t see anything about the Dinkle float. I did a search of the site, too.

            I’m sure it’s still there, it’s just that it’s obviously not something the organizers find important enough to describe on the website. In other words, BJr6K, something tells me this isn’t going to be the blockbuster franchise-reviver that TB thinks it will.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Oh, it would be spectacular if the whole parade got cancelled, in light of whatever masturbatory dreck TB has scheduled to run next week. Pass the popcorn.

        • I guess I missed the Cocoon/Funky Winkerbean crossover arc. Next week Funky will come to pick up Mort and the receptionist will cheerily tell them “Oh, Mort left on a spaceship with the rest of the band this morning.”

        • It might just be the single most ludicrous and inexplicable event of Act III.

          Eh, not as ludicrous and inexplicable as Les showing up at Montoni’s a couple days after we saw him depart for Kilimanjaro. But certainly up there!

          • batgirl

            I’m inclined to excuse that teleporter malfunction, on the grounds that Sunday strips are often a separate continuity from (or a complete recap of) the weekday strips.
            Mort’s recovery – and especially the lack of in-strip acknowledgement – was an ongoing and recurring head-shaker.

    • Green Luthor

      As it turns out, Morton was just faking dementia so that he could get away from Funky. (Really, can you blame him?) (Probably a more plausible explanation than anything we’re going to get in the actual comic.)

  3. So, who’s the blonde in the flashback? Can’t be Funky, since he was always portrayed as a red-head.

    –oh, so we’re totally post-continuity now? So anything can lead to anything, and there don’t have to be ties to the past at all? Wow, sounds like Tom Batiuk’s ultimate playground.

    “I say all that will happen, I say all that has happened, and I say all that happens now. And all of them are perfect, and aligned, and agreed that Lisa’s Story is the ultimate harbinger of reality, and all that has been, and all that will become. Because like the Flash is totally boss, and like, my spirit animal. So, like, uh, Flash rules, and stuff.”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Doh, I posted before reading your comment!

      Yes, Batty has all the creative freedom he wants now, and this is what he creates. Well we can see why those awards remain elusive.

  4. Phil

    I imagine Morton in his dying moments.

    Funky leans in to smugly deliver one final zinger. With preternatural effort, Morton strangles him before Funky’s brain can complete the thought balloon. Fade to black.

  5. billytheskink

    Man, if you laid Mort down and looked at him in profile from his other side, his head would look like the state of Washington.

    Whatever comes out of that mouth has got to be a Puget Sound.

  6. The Dreamer

    Morton, being a dirty old man, probably went off to a strip club and is throwing dollar bills at the dancers on the stage

    • The Duck of Death

      Well, that’s not how they do it at the Valentine in Centerville. They throw penny socks at the strippers.

  7. Hitorque

    1. It’s funny because a teenager going out has Jack Fuckin’ Shit to do with a care home where a professional staff is paid a lot of money to look after and monitor senior citizens who can’t take care of themselves…

    2. I wasn’t reading the strip at the time, but do I have this correct? Morton was not too long ago suffering from full dementia, couldn’t speak and could only get around in a wheelchair? If he’s this healthy and independent now, why is he wasting money for a care home?

    3. It’s funny because 86-year-old Dinkle is driving the van in a full snowstorm…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      a teenager going out has Jack Fuckin’ Shit to do with a care home

      You’re right, and Batiuk’s underlying assertion that it does is so bad that it’s actually a fallacy. “False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which an equivalence is drawn between two subjects based on flawed or false reasoning.”

    • gleeb

      Well, Morton rarely spoke, but the only person he spoke to is his son. Given how little love and respect there are between those two, so you can’t really go by that..

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I Present, The Resurrection of Morton Winkerbean.

      June 2012, A wheelchair bound Morton has a cyclical conversation with Funky where he repeatedly offers his son half of a sandwich.

      November 2012, Morton does not recognize his own son.

      October 2013, Morton has a habit of ordering pizza delivery from Montoni’s, and is impatiently awaiting the pizza he remembers ordering.

      March 2014, Morton takes up smoking. Morton speaks in a complete sentence to a direct question, and has a logical reply that shows recollection of past decisions. Funky talks to a doctor at BM, who indicates Morton is declining.

      September 2014, Morton is now actively pursuing women at the old folks home by gifting them cigarettes.

      December 2014, Morton is still in a wheelchair when at Funky’s home, but seems lucid and aware of what is going on around him.

      May 2015, Dinkle starts the Bedside Manorisms.

      December 2015, Morton now always speaks in complete sentences, clearly remembers past events, and doesn’t appear to be wheelchair bound.

      July 2016, Morton, along with the Bedside Manorisms, play the 4th of July concert at the gazebo in the park.

      December 2017, Morton participates in a long bus journey to record a CD in Memphis. While in Memphis he enjoys a walking tour of the city. Funky does not believe that this trip took place, until he sees the CD himself.

      December 2018, Morton is now so sexually active that workers at the nursing home worry that he will become a super spreader of STDs.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Between this and this year’s resurrection of Phil Holt, it really is only a matter of time before Lisa returns as unaged as Cindy. The only question is whether she will return from Murania or Shangri-La.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    As much as I hate to take the side of a pervy octogenarian, Funky, your dad didn’t just “take off like that”. The Bedside Manorisms did, and Mort left you a message with Ditzy the Receptionist. If you want to be mad at someone, why not Harry Dinkle, who must be behind all this? You know, the guy you and your pa just had Thanksgiving dinner with four weeks ago, and who might have mentioned that another St. Spires gig was in the works? As today’s flashback demonstrates, no one in this strip has ever attempted communicating with anyone else!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I can kind of believe that Dinkle didn’t mention it, because he sees his band members as his personal property. The way he abused high school kids should have gotten him fired, and the school sued. The ways he abuses senior citizens should get him arrested.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Man does this artwork suck. For a moment I thought that was teenage Holly in panel 2.

  10. The Duck of Death

    I can’t wait to find out who that young whippersnapper is in the header wearing the Brooklyn Dodgers cap. The Dodgers left Brooklyn in ’57, so if this guy was a fan, he still may be several decades younger than Crankshaft and Lillian (who canonically must have been born no later than about 1922 and 1925 respectively).

  11. The Duck of Death

    Well, that’s interesting. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I am a Brooklynite, so I recognized the logo. The UCLA Bruins hat, while very similar to the hat in the masthead, doesn’t have the “hole” on the left side of the B, like the ’32-’36 Dodgers logo. https://www.sportslogos.net/logos/list_by_team/82/Brooklyn_Dodgers/

    Of course, all this analysis is much more work than anyone puts into the strip itself, so it’s perfectly possible it’s just a muddled Bruins logo. Time will tell. I can’t wai….zzzzzzzzzz