Mesh-uggeneh!

The waiter has fetched the…uh, red champagne, and the discussion turns to the rest of the Best Actress field. Which for some reason consists of only two other actresses, when IRL there are five Best Actress nominees. We should be grateful that Batiuk’s given the pair names which are actually plausible sounding, and not jokey or punny (before I wrote that, I had to say “Cordelia Rama” out loud, ten times fast, to be sure).

Is Mason being coy when he claims to “forget” who the other nominees are? Also, someone please come up with a tag we can use where, in the last panel, one character delivers the punchline, and another character chimes in with a gratuitous rejoinder (never mind, I just came up with a tag!) that adds nothing to the joke. In this case it’s Mason’s “Nope!” Unless he’s grown tired of Marianne’s mesh mask meanderings, and instead is excited about the upcoming horror flick from Jordan Peele.

48 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

48 responses to “Mesh-uggeneh!

  1. billytheskink

    Mesh mask drama is so last year… Oh yeah.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Interesting. It’s a Very Topical COVID gag AND a “Hollywood is so phony” gag, all at once. He definitely took a victory strut around the studio after he nailed this one. Apparently Marianne is moving into her new role as the only non-phony person in Hollywood, which means her transformation into Lisa 2.0 is nearly complete. She did it all in the wrong order and she didn’t die (yet) but otherwise the similarities are striking, right down to the pragmatic, sensible haircut. Somewhere Summer is looking on, muttering to herself…”it was supposed to be me!”.

  3. erdmann

    Let’s see… the real nominees are Jessica Chastain, Olivia Coleman, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and… Kristen Stewart?!
    Geez! Maybe this story isn’t so outlandish after all.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      Kidman is the one that really confuses me. It’s not that I don’t like her but there is just no way that botoxed-to-infinity face could convincingly depict Lucille Ball of all fucking people.

    • I kinda rolled my eyes when I saw Kristen Stewart in there too, only because the Mrs. has to watch the Twilight flicks any time they’re on cable.

    • Hitorque

      No matter what the hell movie they were in, I either never heard of it or I had zero desire to go see it…

    • Maxine of Arc

      Gonna defend KStew here; she is an excellent actress. Is that the project I would’ve nominated her for? Probably not.

  4. RudimentaryLathe?

    As much as “Mary Worth” has come to infuriate me over the last couple years, I do sincerely appreciate that Moy opted not to work the pandemic into that comic’s universe. If you’re going to be completely out of touch with reality, then FFS don’t try to comment on current real-world problems like you have any insight to shed. (Also giving the side-eye to Terry Beatty and that one with all the vowels in his name that’s currently sludging up “Judge Parker” 😒)

  5. Hitorque

    Until a few hours ago, Marianne didn’t even know she’d been nominated until Masone read it in Variety and called her… So how the hell would she know the other nominees?

    And why the hell is Masone even asking when he could have just brought the issue of Variety with him and checked the nominations himself?

    And this is a *really* long lunch date given they ordered a bottle of white wine, one calamaro (plus a second helping), and some sparkling grape juice… Shouldn’t the waiter be bringing a check about now and offering some take-home bread sticks and “Big Gulp” take-home cups for the sparkling grape juice? Or is Musso’s one of those joints where it takes 90 minutes to get your food after ordering?

    Just your daily reminder that countless people out there wore proper masks everywhere, practiced social distancing or just stayed home whenever they could, slapped on hand sanitizer every half-hour and/or wore gloves and took every other possible precaution and the STILL got Covid-19…

    • billytheskink

      Your last paragraph really highlights how poorly this strip works, and how utterly terrible of an idea it is for TB to try and comment on COVID when writing strips that, as he himself has led us to believe, won’t be printed for close to a year. It’s hard enough to comment on current events when working 4-6 weeks ahead of print time as most cartoonists do (the subject of last Sunday’s Pearls Before Swine, incidentally), for a year you had better be really sure that what you’re commenting on has staying power in the popular imagination.

      Mesh masks (which generally weren’t supposed to look mesh… the point of them was to satisfy mask requirements by looking like a regular mask) do not have staying power and they don’t land at all as a gag (heyooooo!) or an issue du jour. There was a brief time in which they were a popular subject of controversy, but that time is not now. Certainly not in the ongoing pandemic experience that has had two notable variant waves and whole lot of other associated things happen in the past year. Not to veer my comment wholly into a subject I am far from an expert on, but the omicron variant in particular did exactly as you said, infecting a lot of people (usually mildly, thank goodness) in general and even many who took all of the recommended precautions and then some.

      And that really makes today’s strip land with a grating splort. This is the kind of “news” that gets shuffled to the bottom of Yahoo! News’ entertainment page in minutes, if it winds up there at all. Next to no one cares about mesh masks anymore and next to no one finds a it interesting or poignant or even remotely unusual that a less-than-cautious Hollywood jet-setter tested positive for COVID at some undetermined point in time.

      And that’s another great flaw in this strip, there is no context for when Cordelia Rama tested positive for COVID (didn’t even necessarily get sick, get hospitalized, or inconsiderately spread it around, just tested positive… sheesh). If it was recently, then these two look like dumb shmucks for venturing out unmasked to a restaurant with unmasked waiters (in California no less… there’s that year-ahead thing biting again). If it was at some point in the distant-ish past from this strip’s on-again off-again post-COVID reality, then these two look like petty shmucks for bringing it up at all.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    Wait a minute. Why does Marianne know who the orher nominees are, and Mason doesn”t? Mason was the one who brought it all to Marianne’s atyention in the first place! It would have been in the same issue of Variety!

    • gleeb

      She has access to more immediate forms of media than a week-old newspaper. She doesn’t check them regularly, but she knows how to do so. Mason Jar the movie actor is a komix-readin’ fossil.

  7. Charles

    Only three nominees?

    Count me surprised that Batiuk allowed Marianne a small bit of knowledge that she could share with Mason, even though it doesn’t make any sense considering the rest of this stupid sequence. Marianne doesn’t know she’s been nominated but she knows who she’s up against? Also note that neither one of them mentions what they were in or how their performances stack up against Marianne’s, because if Batiuk doesn’t care, it doesn’t exist, no matter how absurd it is.

    Even with today’s strip, I’m fully expecting Mason to break the news about Marianne’s nomination to everyone.

    “Hey Les! Marianne’s been nominated for an Oscar for her role as Lisa!”
    “Mope…. Whine…. Complain…Contempt…”

    “Hey Funky! Did you hear that Marianne’s been nominated for an Oscar?”
    “Who’s Marianne? And Mason, pay your tab, you shithead.”

    “Hey Marianne’s mom! Marianne’s been nominated for an Oscar!”
    “Oh wow, Mason! I’ll have to ask her about it when she comes down for dinner!”

  8. In Crankshaft, Batiuk’s pivoting to the only audience he can count on: newspaper print people. Good lord, the shilling this man does to keep his subscription numbers…I just can’t imagine being so utterly helpless and idea-less.

    • Hitorque

      As I mentioned before, as a former newspaper reporter I’m all for small communities seeing their local paper as an institution or a public trust, but the time for these smiling idiots to actually do something was probably a decade ago.

      They’d probably be better off starting a new paper from the ground up…

    • Jeff M.

      True, but today’s strip actually has a punchline – dad-joke level but an actual punchline- that isn’t undercut by another character. Shocking.

  9. William Thompson

    Tomorrow, Mason Jarre looks at his watch and thinks “Come on, paparazzi, get some pictures of me sitting here with an Oscar-nominated actress! Get some buzz going for me so I can break out of my career-stifling Starsux-Jones infamy! Damn, how did the Academy miss me playing opposite this nitwit in the Dead Lisa movie?”

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    Speaking of horror….today the role of Masone Jarre will be played by The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth.

  11. Y. Knott

    I’ve chimed in to defend Ayers from time to time — the guy’s got 347 recurring characters to draw, and not a single one of them is especially interesting. And clearly NO-ONE at King Features ever looks at the strip, let alone edits it or offers notes. So, y’know, if he goes off-model, or hurries through a panel now and then … well, he’s still giving this strip way more effort than the writer.

    But I must comment on the embalmed corpse of Mason in panel two — the man appears to have aged some 50 years in the few minutes it took to drink that red champagne. Is this Ayers losing the ability to draw? Or is it a comment on how he — and ALL of us — feel after spending any significant amount of time in the Funkyverse?

    • Y. Knott

      And hey, I just noticed — the work is signed Batiuk and “Art”.

      Who is “Art”? Is this an attempt to make sure everyone knows that Batiuk and “Art” are inseparable?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Ayers still seems to be able to draw if he wants, as his Sunday Strips always have a little more effort put into them. And looking at the strips from the last couple months there were enough things drawn adequately. I think he just didn’t feel like trying this week.

      Melty face seems to be a house style. Some very good work in other comics has been done with melty face. But it is NOT FORGIVING of carelessness.

    • be ware of eve hill

      How about the featureless screentone void in panel #1? How lazy is that? Close enough for Batiukwork, I guess.

      I hope that poor waiter hasn’t fallen into it.

  12. Lord Flatulence

    Wouldn’t he invite his significant other to dinner with them?

    • none

      But then how would we get the hilarious upcoming strip where we see Mason grimacing at the doorway as Cindy stands within it, arms akimbo, frying pan in one hand, curlers in hair, and glowering without showing any wrinkles that a 60+ year old would exhibit?

      I don’t look ahead so this may or may not happen.

  13. none

    The names are not terrible Batiukianese but they do sure sound like adult entertainers.

    “Dude, you should check out Gretchen Gold’s Onlyfans” sounds like a real sentence, particularly if that plays into the implied kink with that specific case.(shudder)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Could be worse. It could have been Hershey Barr’s OnlyFans.

      • none

        It’s funny how once in a while he’ll have a strip or panel that’s so tone deaf it’s screaming … and there’s zero internet response to it otherwise. Like, if it was from some other more relevant pop culture property or some worthless streamer who said something similar, there would be some kind of outraged response from multiple people. Not a peep here though.

  14. Scott Lovrine

    Nothing to do with today’s story, but it relates to the Funky blogs hyping of Elemental Force.

    Does Tony Isabella (Tom’s friend and neighbor) get any credit for The Elemental Force? They seem “inspired” by The Elementals.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementals_(Marvel_Comics)

    • Can’t believe I just noticed, but it isn’t “Elemental Force.” Because that is easy to say and generally flows well. No, it’s “Elementals Force,” because naturally one would want to pause in the middle of saying it in order to sound out that “s.”

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Wow, Batiuk ripped off his friend’s creation? Even the team members are almost exactly the same. And one of them is called “Hydron” which fits in with the naming convention of the strong force.

        That is LOW.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    I’m happy for Olivia Colman. She was great on That Mitchell and Web Look, a British sketch comedy show, but left it to do more serious roles. I’m glad it worked out for her.

    In the live show version of Numberwang!, there’s a line that she and her male counterpart were replaced with “less expensive actors.” I guess that aged well.

  16. be ware of eve hill

    It must be nice that Masone and Marianne have the entire restaurant to themselves. Can we assume their obnoxious behavior and inane blather has driven out all the other patrons?

    This poor waiter must have pulled the short straw.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Unlike this place, Musso & Frank Grill was a busy place. Where is the ever-present maître d’ making sure everything is great? Why is Masone ordering things that aren’t even on the menu? Why is the waiter wearing a gray jacket when it should be a brilliant red? The rounded booths should form a complete semicircle. The seating surfaces are supposed to be cardinal red, not bordello pink. The furniture, flooring, and paneling are a dark wood, like walnut or teak. The tablecloths and napkins are exceptionally white, not light blue.

      It’s named Musso & Frank GRILL for a reason. Where’s the massive grill in the center of the restaurant? It was fascinating to watch.

      Musso & Frank Grill is famous for its steaks and martinis. Why not have M&M order them? (Oh, that’s right, they’re both on the Half of One Calamari Pink Champagne Diet 🙄)

      Come on, Bats, why name-drop a famous Hollywood establishment just to half ass the details? Beady-eyed nitpickers, like me, who have been there, notice.

      Bats, is your internet down? Did Grampa Google close up shop? How can a writer be so averse to simple research? Couldn’t you afford another trip to Hollywood for research? Did the IRS refuse to let you deduct your last “business trip” to Hollywood?

      Bats, was this a hatchet job because Musso & Frank Grill refused to comp your meal or let you hang your picture on the wall like your favorite hokey pizza joint?

      I’m glad Bats never used the restaurant’s complete name in the comic strip. Let’s all pretend this little soirée took place in a restaurant named Musso & Fred.

      Somewhere in his home office, Batiuk laughs at me, sounding like a braying donkey. His portrayal of the restaurant has been so disappointing. I’m sorry I brought attention to the real restaurant the other day.

      Rant over.
      —————————————–

      Damn, two rants in two days. T.G.I.F. (a glass of wine for Mrs. bwoeh, please!)

      • Suicide Squirrel

        Half-assery, a Batyuk house specialty.

        Would you like your half-assery served with lazyassery or dumbassery? Or both?

        • I seem to recall those two old actors meeting for lunch or something at The Brown Derby…a famous Hollywood eatery chain that’s been gone for decades. “Research” is apparently to Tom Batiuk as garlic is to a vampire.

  17. Merry Pookster

    they are drinking “Cold Duck”

  18. Come to think of it, why isn’t Cindy there? Wouldn’t she want to get an exclusive interview with the nominee? And wouldn’t Marianne want her there as a member of the press she could trust? Since we were just hearing about how the media treat those poor celebrities.

    It’s called “writing.” And some people are really bad at it.

  19. Suicide Squirrel

    I think Batyuk is driving me insane. I’ve never been so happy to see Mopey Pete in the SOSF banner in my life.

    This has been two weeks of blather signifying absolutely nothing.

    Coming next week: Comics-related blather signifying absolutely nothing.