Hooray? For Hollywood?

Link To Today’s Strip

Uh-oh. Looks like BatHam isn’t ready to shut the coffin lid and shovel dirt on “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” just quite yet. Back around Halloween when Les was sneering derisively and shrugging disinterestedly about how the cancer movie bombed, it looked like that whole sordid episode was over, but if I’ve learned one thing over the course of Act III, it’s that Lisa and her story will never, ever, completely “go away”.

I have to believe that given the time of year and the subject matter here, most of our readers probably have a pretty fair idea re: where this could be going. Sigh. Hopefully it’s not entirely Les-centric, but it would seem that he’ll be involved somehow, and any Les is too much.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

60 responses to “Hooray? For Hollywood?

  1. Sprawlmart. McArnolds. Fleabay. Pineapple computers.

    Does it strike anyone else as odd, that he has to have these fictionalized names for real world entities…but every award has to have its real-world name lovingly and perfectly mentioned.

  2. bayoustu

    Judging by panel 2, it looks like Mason is preparing to star in “The Harry Dinkle Story: The Early Years”…

    • ComicBookHarriet

      The art is just AMAZINGLY inconsistent lately. That face looks TRACED.

      Chuck Ayers is just a few years younger than Tom himself. And while some artists remain consistent and productive well into their eighties…(Looking at you Joe Giella)… I dread the thought we’re heading into Apt 3 G territory.

      • be ware of eve hill

        You’re right. Mason’s face is not what we’ve become accustomed to lately. Mason’s appearance in today’s strip appears to be from another era. He resembles the beefcake ‘Lust For Lisa’ period Mason in today’s strip.

        Where’s the omnipresent spit curl?

        • The worst Mason face was when he showed up for the Lisa’s Run. He looked like he was auditioning to play The Incredible Melting Man.

          Speaking of, I guess the Lisa’s Run thing has been abandoned? We haven’t seen any of it in a couple of years, at least.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Damn. I would have liked to check that Mason out.

            Two seconds after my Comic Kingdom free trial ended, the jerks decided to update their database. As a result, I’ve lost some of my premium subscriber perks. Even if I found the story arc using the SOSF search, I currently can’t search the Winkerbean archive by date. I can start with today’s date and page back 28 days at a time. That’s not exactly feasible if the comic I want is from 2018.

            I’ve been a pain in the ass to the CK all week by creating numerous service tickets. This feature doesn’t work anymore! What happened to this other feature? I’m a paying customer! Fix it, or I’ll quit!

            The University Hospitals of Cleveland took over the administration of the real-life Funky Winkerbean 5K Walk/Run. The University Hospitals’ website indicates the event was last held in September 2019. The event hasn’t been held recently, most likely due to COVID.

            Perhaps Batiuk hasn’t featured the event in his comic because there hasn’t been a real-life event to promote.

          • I was trying to see if I could find that strip in the archives, but looking over past installments of Funky Winkerbean is a real downer. The Lisa Run is usually held in October, I think. It might be something I saved, but that would be on the home PC.

          • Suicide Squirrel

            @be ware of eve hill.

            It just goes to show what a nickel and dime operation The Comics Kingdom is. They made significant changes to their website without utilizing a testing environment. It is inexcusable. In effect, all of the readers who have accessed the Comics Kingdom website over the past week are ‘website testers.’ Is the website a hobby venture somebody runs out of their mom’s basement?

            Also, if the changes are a mitigated disaster, there should be some method of backing out the modifications.

            I sincerely doubt I will be renewing my subscription in a few months.

          • be ware of eve hill

            BeckoningChasm, thank you for finding that strip. It was more recent than I thought. Nobody was drawn in a particularly flattering manner that day. Mason looks drunk and OMG those teeth. Cindy looks old. Marianne isn’t very attractive. And then there’s Les. Enough said.

            SuicideSquirrel, I’m not sure if I want to cancel the Comics Kingdom yet. I have a feeling I wouldn’t get my money back anyway.

  3. billytheskink

    “No I haven’t, Mason. I’ve had broadband internet since 2004.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      Seriously, Marianne is supposedly a twenty-something Hollywood superstar in the year 2022, it seems highly unlikely that she’d be sitting around waiting for the newsboy to toss her copy of Variety on the front stoop. The idea that Mason would need to CALL HER to clue her in on the big Hollywood news seems a little stupid, to say the least.

      • Charles

        Mason, the freaking co-producer of the movie, has to hear about it being nominated for an Academy Award through Variety. And Marianne, the star of the film, has to hear about it from Mason, who read about it in Variety.

        I can only just imagine this:

        “And the Winner for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Poopsie John! For The Soil!”
        “Poopsie isn’t here tonight.”
        “God damn it, did Curiously Pink let her know she’d been nominated?”
        “Curiously has been on set of the latest SciFi blockbuster ‘Galaxy Blaster Superstars in War’ in Indonesia for the last seven years, since that’s how long it takes to shoot these films. He’s been out of the loop. He’s also changed his name to Incuriously Pink because he thinks it makes him seem more dignified or some shit.”
        “Well damn it. Next year we should let their management team know or something.”
        “Yeah, and then maybe more than a quarter of our nominees would actually show up to the ceremony.”

        And you know it’s going to be an acting award for Marianne, because the performance of Lisa in Lisa’s Story, the Greatest Story Ever Told About Lisa, The Greatest Person Ever Named Lisa, Who Died, is definitely something that Batiuk believes would win the most prestigious award on the planet. It won’t be Mason for playing Les, because Batiuk’s contempt for him is so central to the character that him winning the most prestigious award in the world would make his characterization untenable. Les might have to start respecting him!

        It also allows Batiuk to have Marianne give Les a giant tongue bath for everything he’s done for her, most importantly letting her see Lisa’s fourteen thousand hours of tapes for every conceivable occasion in her family’s life.

        And it’s because she’s a complete cipher. I wrote before that before Les galumphed into his life, Mason was nothing: an action figure that had never been taken out of its box. Marianne has the same arrangement with Mason. Has she ever been shown having an opinion on anything beyond thinking Lisa’s Story was really sad? Has she ever done an affirmative act not including the time she contemplated (but didn’t) killing herself because some anonymous people were mean to her online? Odd how she’s up to date on that, but not what’s going on in her industry, where she’s a major player.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Mason and Marianne are also fourth-tier characters, that have no reason to be in the strip anymore now that Lisa’s Bore-y is done.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            To be fair, Masone is married to Cindy. Which doesn’t explain why he shows up MORE than her. Cindy had TWO lines last year. TWO.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Cindy doesn’t need to be in the strip anymore either. She’s another story that’s ended and doesn’t need to be rehashed anymore. After her journalism career ended, she married a much younger Hollywood actor and moved to California to live a life of luxury. The end.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Marianne is a strange character. At first she was supposed to be the sexy vixen, parading around in her Jupiter Moon get-up and posing an immediate threat to every marriage in the vicinity. Then we learned that actually she’s just a wholesome small-town gal who lives with her mom in a humble place right beneath the Hollywood sign. Then she became even more pathetic and waif-like, needing to be saved all the time.

          And quite frankly the strip could have really used a somewhat bitchy, seductive, manipulative female character, as it’s already loaded to the gills with guileless innocent flowers and good-natured doormats. At least it’d have been different. It’s indicative of that gutless approach that’s worked out so well for ol’ BatYam. No conflict or “edge” ever, just wry friendly banter, week after week after week.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Also, “today’s Variety”? The sole print version of “Variety” available now is a weekly edition; the show biz trade’s daily iteration ceased publication in 2013 and is only seen online. Not that Batiuk would pay attention to such mundane matters.

      Still, maybe it will turn out that “Dead St. Lisa’s Story: Topic of Cancer” was the leader in last week’s Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst films of 2021. I could imagine Lester flying out to accept his Worst Supporting Actor “Razzie” in person.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Thanks for confirming that Variety is on line. I thought this might be the case.

        It never ceases to amaze me how TomBa neglects to do a modicum of research (or even entertain any speculative thought that might cause hm to Google for information).

  4. William Thompson

    Variety? The last time it appeared, wasn’t a copy being dropped in a waste basket? Apparently Dead Fricken’ Lisa isn’t the only monster to return from its grave.

  5. Sourbelly

    “To what do I owe?” Is this something real people say in real life? Or is it just another Batdickism? Regardless, I dread what comes next.

    It’s always the same: I’m happy that the previous dogshit arc is over, and then I’m presented with something even worse. When it comes to FW, Hope is our worst enemy. I guess we all must, as the saying goes, “Abandon Hope, all ye who enter.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s always like that. When I first saw this one I was like “YES! No Dinkle! No comic books!”, but that feeling has already dissipated. By tomorrow I’ll be dying for this story to end, and so will everyone else.

  6. newagepalimpsest

    “My Dog Pookie 2 won an Oscar for ‘Best Makeup’! Oh, and that cancer wife movie might get picked up by Hallmark… Timbuktu.”

  7. be ware of eve hill

    Many comic strips leave their readers with a cliffhanger last panel. In most of those strips, the readers anxiously anticipate reading the next installment.

    Only with Funky Winkerbean do the majority of readers dread the release of the next strip. What wish fulfillment will Batty grant upon the strip’s most hated characters? When will the bearded dick with ears make his first appearance? When will the name of the movie (and book) from hell first be uttered? What will Les say or do to piss us all off? Will tomorrow be a wall-of-words strip, a sideways strip, or both? Will Cindy find out Mason is talking to Marianne and act like a jealous Idiot, yet again? How will Batiuk murder the English language?

    The strip will most likely be worse than I expect, but in what way? Until then I’ll be wincing.

  8. be ware of eve hill

    Many comic strips leave their readers with a cliffhanger last panel. In most of those strips, the readers anxiously anticipate reading the next installment.

    Only with Funky Winkerbean do the majority of readers dread the release of the next strip. What wish fulfillment will Batty grant upon the strip’s most hated characters? When will the bearded dick with ears make his first appearance? When will the name of the movie (and book) from hell first be uttered? What will Les say or do to piss us all off? Will tomorrow be a wall-of-words strip, a sideways strip, or both? Will Cindy find out Mason is talking to Marianne and act like a jealous Idiot, yet again? How will Batiuk murder the English language?

    The strip will most likely be worse than I expect, but in what way? Until then I’ll be wincing.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Oops! Sorry for the double post. There’s normally a message that says, “You already posted that message” when I’m too impatient. My Wi-Fi can be kind of spotty at times.

      (Sounding like Marty Moose) Soooorrryy! Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh!

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    BatHam isn’t ready to shut the coffin lid and shovel dirt on “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” just quite yet.

    Someone should have buried it for him. Someone should have put their foot down and said “That’s it, Tom. No more Lisa stories. And no more comic book stories either. And no more awards. All of this shit is light years past tiresome.”

    • Green Luthor

      “And no more Dinkle stories. And no more ‘Funky does his stand-up act at an AA meeting’ strips. And no more… wait, that’s actually all of your plots, isn’t it? Hm. Oh, that’s right, there’s also the Pizza Monster. Yeah, no more of that, either.”

      • William Thompson

        “And forget about Les and Kablichikov dealing with underbrained, ill-mannered students! No matter how much you want to relive your student days!”

  10. Hannibal’s Lectern

    I’m astonished that Masone called Marinara on the telephone. In the Funkyverse, all news is delivered by driving over and showing up at the door unannounced.

    Preferably holding a frozen turkey.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That’s next week’s arc. Mason will fly to Westview unannounced to tell Les. Or buy Les yet another plane ticket to L.A. to tell him there.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Wow, so a month and a half into a new year and we are back to Lisa’s story.

    He could have done something related to Valentine’s Day, like maybe showing Les doing something nice for Cayla.

    • “Happy Valentine’s Day, Cayla! I bought you a sweater that is just like the one Lisa wore. Also, two more copies of Lisa’s Story since you seem to have mislaid yours.”

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    We can only hope the Variety article is naming Lisa’s Story as one of the worst films of all time but we know that is unlikely.

    While using Grandpa Google to search for the worst movies ever made, I stumbled upon a list that included this title:
    The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964)

    This is a title that looks like Batty wrote it. It just might be obscure enough that he would also like the movie.

  13. The Dreamer

    Maybe this is Mason getting ready to leave indy for Marianne, starting by inviting her to an awards shplow After all Cindy is Funky’s ex- and is in her sixties and Mason is a younger movie star. In real life it would have long been time for Mason to trade Cindy in for a twentysomething starlet like Marianne This way Cindy can move back to Westview and rejoin the rest of the members of the aging gray haired Funkyverse Then she can finally steal Les from Cayla. Les of course has been secretly in love with Cindy since high school

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Mason should never have hooked up with Cindy in the first place. Even 10 years ago, it was an inappropriate and unrealistic age difference. An insecure, well-past-her-prime high school queen bee with no other discernible qualities wants to land a hunk Hollywood actor? Get in line, Cindy.

      • hitorque

        To say nothing of the fact that Cindye has a metric ton of mental/emotional baggage, including kids she never sees for some reason…

        I could understand the initial attraction Masone had in her since Cindye literally looked hotter at age 55 than most women do at age 32… In real life Masone might have found Cindye useful for an occasional romp in bed, but marriage? No way in hell…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          And she’s such an obvious gold digger she might as well have a pickaxe and a mining helmet.

          • hitorque

            I don’t think Cindye really gave a shit about the money (although it certainly doesn’t hurt having the ability to flaunt that shit in front of the nobodies back in her nowhere hometown…) Her ultimate victory was proving to others (but mainly herself) that she was still enough of a looker to reel in a top-shelf husband that would make her the envy of all the girls from her high school graduating class…

            She’s permanently messed up in the head, constantly in eternal competition with female rivals (real and imagined) for the attention of men. Remember, this is the same Cindye who with all her wealth and Hollywood husband confessed to Cayla that she was depressed because SHE WAS NO LONGER ATTRACTIVE ENOUGH TO DRAW LUSTFUL LEERS AND CATCALLS FROM WORKERS AT CONSTRUCTION SITES (yes, Batiuk certainly loves his moldy-ass cliche tropes)… Now you tell me what kind of educated successful career woman of a certain age would actually feel sad about that??

  14. louder

    Looks like BatHam isn’t ready to shut the coffin lid and shovel dirt on “Lisa’s Story-The Movie” just quite yet.

    Of course not! but then again, he hasn’t shut the coffin lid on Lisa either!

  15. hitorque

    1. Well what can I say?? KNEW we hadn’t heard the end of “Lisa’s Movie” and I predicted this Oscars/Golden Globes/BAFTA shit all the way back when Masone Jarre added the ‘e’ to his name because he wanted to “be taken seriously as an actor” so he could finally win that Academy Award since evidently in the Funkyverse, Oscars are the new “Participation Award” that every professional in Hollywood gets sooner or later and they have nothing to do with merit, natural ability, artistic talent or any of that boring shit…

    1a. Should Marianne even be calling Masone at home? Did everyone forget how much of a psychotic jealous paranoid nutbar Cindye is about her dear hubby? Yeah, I know she kinda-sorta gave them a pass the last time around, but that was when they were actually making a movie and it’s not like they’re working together now…

    2. Okay we already know Batiuk doesn’t know how Hollywood works, but I still have to say it — Don’t movies need to have “Oscar buzz” in the months leading up to the nominations? And even if the movie is a commercial failure, doesn’t it at least need to get a shitload of stellar reviews from the glitterati of the criticsphere? And if “Lisa’s Movie” was getting the top critics all orgasmic, THEN WHY IN FUCK’S NAME HAS NOBODY SAID ANYTHING ABOUT IT?? Les moped and pouted for weeks like a petulant child and there wasn’t a single “Well at least it’s getting great reviews” consolation from Cayla, Summer, Masone or anyone else? I think this is TomBa deciding to completely change the story mid-stream again like he did with Phillips 66 Holt…

    2a. Nevermind the fact that if “Lisa’s Movie” had been anywhere on the Oscars radar, Lester would have known, because, you know, he’s the goddamned co-producer lest he forget… But mark my words – Les will have the unmitigated gall to act shocked when he learns about the award nomination(s) even though they are always instantly announced on every media outlet in the Western world…


    4. It’s funny because it’s Lester’s own movie which he co-produced about a bestselling book that he wrote and he still hasn’t given enough of a shit to arrange a local screening… You’d think such a tightly-knit small town would want to see it just out of sheer curiosity to know if characters based on them appear in the movie, right??

    5. Oh who am I kidding? We all know damn well Les somehow managed to write a 450-page book where no friends, family, or any secondary Westview characters appear at all – The only people in the entire book are Les, Lisa and the cancer doctor.

    6. No matter what award “Lisa’s Movie” wins, I’m betting that Les will be the one giving the acceptance speech.

    7. And if Masone/Marianne give the acceptance speech, I promise you they’ll dedicate the award to Les instead of the hundreds of thousands of Angelinos still displaced and living in poverty after losing their jobs and homes in the biggest unchecked wildfire the world had ever seen…

    8. In before Les bitching and moaning about how much he hates fake Hollywood and how much he hates flying back out there and staying at five-star hotels and attending exclusive A-List Oscar parties and after-parties, all on someone else’s dime…

    9. In before Cayla starts getting giddy about buying an Oscars dress and shoes and jewelry and other accessories…

    10. Does Masone EVER do anything with his spare time besides sit on the beach?

    • TimP

      RE: 10, frankly, if I had the money and the house on the Pacific coast, it would take quite a bit of convincing to get me to do much of anything besides sit on the beach during my spare time.

      • hitorque

        Maybe it’s just me, but real-life Hollywood stars NEVER seem to stand still for long… They’re always in this city or that country traveling the world, hiking in South America, attending Cannes, advocating for their pet causes, etc… Especially A-Listers like Masone who presumably is already heavily involved in his next movie project… He has a large yacht that he never takes out, he’s got multiple Porsche cars in his garage that he only ever uses to drive to and from the studio, he’s got a private jet that he evidently only ever uses to fly to Westview, and so on…

        I can perfectly understand lounging on the beach in Malibu all day and all night, but it just seems like something an actor at the end of his career would be doing instead of the peak…

        Oh who am I kidding? I type all this shit out and we’ll probably find out Marianne Winters is still living with her mother and bumming rides to the studio every day.

  16. Don

    There’s only one way Les can be involved with the Oscars: if the movie got a nomination for Adapted Screenplay – especially as they mention the author of the source material when they read the nominations. Still, since this is one of the “big eight” categories that’s mentioned, I find it hard to believe that this nomination would have to wait until it appeared in Variety before anyone noticed it. Somebody would have called Les by now, even if the movie got nominated for something like cinematography; not only does the Oscars website list all of the nominations, but any number of other websites do as well.

    Who did write the screenplay, anyway?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And even then, the award nominee is the person who adapted the story, not the person who originally wrote it. (Unless the same person did both, like Mario Puzo.) Les would get his name read during the list of nominees at the awards ceremony, but that’s about it. We don’t know who wrote the screenplay, only that Les didn’t.

    • Green Luthor

      Wasn’t Les a producer on the movie? The Best Picture award goes to the producers, so when it wins, Les would then be up at the podium to give an acceptance speech. (I suppose I could say “*if* it wins”, but… yeah, I think we all know better.)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Les was “a” producer. There can be more than one. I don’t know the protocol for accepting awards. But I would think the more important producers, the ones who put up the money and did the work, wouldn’t let the cretinous Les anywhere near a microphone. If they let him on stage at all. Or even tell him the movie was nominated for anything.

        But this is Funky Winkerbean, so no doubt the entire Pacific Time Zone will stop what they’re doing to hear what the World’s Most Put-Upon Man has to say.

        • Y. Knott

          There can be 137 producers of various types in the credits, but the Academy caps the number of producer awards at six . And they must be producers: not associate producers, executive producers, consulting producers, or any kind of producer other than “producer”. Typically, it’s worked out at the contract stage (i.e., well before shooting) if you’ll be one of the six, should there be an Oscar nomination.

          To be clear, more than 6 producers can be on stage, but only six get the award. And after a deadly dull series of speeches from *five* “Shakespeare In Love” producers, the rule is only three of those producers get to speak.

    • Maxine of Arc

      No Hollywood A-lister has agents or publicists or any other employees in this strip, you know that. Probably make their own lunches.

  17. I don’t think there’s a single SoSF reader who didn’t see this arc coming the day that Les sat in Montoni’s and said “yes” to Masone’s desire to make Lisa’s Story “The Right Way©”. TB was totally trolling us with the “Lisa’s Story movie was a failure” arc, and we all knew it.

    I’ve pretty much given up on analyzing the details of this strip after I witnessed Holly taking the time to write and publish her memoirs as a majorette all for the sake of a single bad mid-week punchline, never to be mentioned again.

  18. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    That’s Mason? Mason had the most elongated head of any character. When did he start looking like Dinkle?

  19. Suicide Squirrel

    Marianne: Hey, Mason… to what do I owe?
    Mason: Oh, that reminds me. You still owe me for your share of the wrap party bill from several months ago when you “forgot your wallet.”
    Mason: Have you seen today’s ‘Variety’?
    Marianne: No. Stay on the line while I rush out and buy a copy.

    Tom Batiuk. Barely speaking English since 1947.

  20. Lord Flatulence

    The seven circles of Hell:
    Comic books
    Dinkle and marching bands
    Retired perverts
    Dead Lisa
    Funky’s workout routine
    Funky’s AA meetings
    Montoni’s Pizza
    Feel free to add more.

    • be ware of eve hill

      The ham-fisted off the mark prestige story arcs such as the death of Bull Bushka CTE arc and the Adeela ICE deportation arc.

      Les pontificating to his audio-visual class is always bad too.