You’ve come a long way, baby

Ah, the classic tug-of-war between privacy-invading exuberance and false modesty… who wins that race to the bottom in today’s strip?

Les’ false modesty does, of course. For one thing, it’s coming from Les, which makes it an additionally off-putting version of an already off-putting behavior. The biggest reason, though, is that Cayla’s desire to “let people know” is essentially moot, everyone already knows. Anyone who cares saw Marianne tell the television cameras that she was coming to give her Oscar away to Les this week. Yeah, if she’s trying to organize a mob to meet Marianne then that might not work if by “on the way” Marianne means that she’ll be there within the hour… but with Marianne’s very public announcement of her planned visit and the relatively specific time frame she gave, the Taj Moore-hal should have been descended upon by pushy celebrity obsessives and Starbuck Jones fans days ago. Where are they? Where’s Lenny and Frankie and (ugh) DMZ? Why am I asking you?



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “You’ve come a long way, baby

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Happy birthday, BatHam. Guy looks fantastic for seventy-five, doesn’t he? We like to give ol’ Tom a pretty hard time around here. That’s all, I’m finished.

    Anyhow, yeah, Cayla is yet another ditzy, star-struck girl, swooning over the BIG MOVIE STAR who’s coming by, even though she already knows Marianne, from the big “LS” wrap party. The women in FW are just so easily impressed. It bears no resemblance to real life at all…amirite there fellas, or what? Sigh.

    • Sourbelly

      That banner pic of Batdick at age 75 is a joke, right? It has to be. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to look at my younger self in the mirror again.

  2. William Thompson

    “Because I’m tired of telling everyone that I have a washed-up Pull-shitter Prize runner-up in my house!”

  3. Y. Knott

    Judging by the photo, maybe Batiuk shouldn’t have given up his career as a 70s lite-rock recording artist. Lookin’ smoooth, Tommy!

    • Charles

      He looks about ready to bless the rains down in Africa.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        From the Academy Awards web page:
        “Academy Award winners have no rights whatsoever in the Academy copyright or goodwill in the Oscar statuette or in its trademark and service mark registrations. Award winners must comply with these rules and regulations. Award winners shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the Oscar statuette, nor permit it to be sold or disposed of by operation of law, without first offering to sell it to the Academy for the sum of $1.00. This provision shall apply also to the heirs and assigns of Academy Award winners who may acquire a statuette by gift or bequest.”
        Marianne not Todd bothered to read it.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but the coincidence that TomBa turns 75 on the 14th, that Les is receiving an Oscar this week and that the strip’s 50th anniversary comes on the 27th (the same day as this year’s Oscar Broadcast) makes me again wonder whether he will be retiring on that date.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I don’t think he will, as if he was planning on retiring anytime soon, I don’t think he’d be able to shut up about it. I honestly don’t see why he couldn’t just keep going indefinitely, it’s not like it’s grueling work or anything.

      • billytheskink

        I would be shocked if TB retired without an announcement well in advance, with time for a fanfare-filled victory lap. Not that such a retirement plan would be unique to him among cartoonists, of course, who generally get some level of treatment like that unless felled by cancellation or health issues.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      He’s already talked about a story later this year, where they’ll go to the Palm restaurant in New York, which has cartoons affixed to the wall. Won’t that be a rare thrill.

      • Gerard Plourde

        True. His practice of putting things together a year in advance would mean that the earliest he would retire is most likely to be next year.

        And another thing to consider is his recent response to CBH in which he said he was re-merging the FW and Crankshaft timelines, which implies an intent to continue. I just wonder how the fact that he’s a cancer survivor who also was involved in a serious auto accident may affect that intent.

  5. Sourbelly

    Another week of this. Meaning another line-up of people at Voldemoore’s door, where everyone will introduce themselves and their relatives in a confusing and incorrect manner. Like the Dinkhole Thanksgiving debacle. And as the guests finally filter out of the house, we’ll have a close-up of Voldemorre, spewing a single manly tear, mumbling, “Lisa, this one’s for you, babe. This one’s…sniff…for you.”

    Or something far worse.

  6. be ware of eve hill

    That’s a young Batty in the banner? The hair? The Beard? The lack of gray? No glasses? The smile? He reminds me of late 1980s Billy Crystal. I think somebody is pulling my leg with this one.

    Is Marianne going home to change, or will she just hop on a plane, wearing the same dress, statuette in hand?

    When Marianne hands the statuette to Les, will she just curtsy, or will she go all the way and prostrate herself before Les.

    The Academy Award is the highest achievement a Thespian can receive. Wouldn’t any decent person tell Marianne to keep it?
    Oh, that’s right. We’re talking about Les.

    Did any at ceremony get a chance to affix the engraved plaque with Marianne’s name and category, or did she wave them off? Will Marianne affix a post-It marked with a Sharpie that says, “Les Moore – The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.”

    The DMZ reporter’s name was ‘Beverly Hill’? *headdesk*

    • be ware of eve hill

      Meant to type…
      Did anybody at ceremony get a chance to affix the engraved plaque with Marianne’s name and category, or did she wave them off?

      It’s really sad because I reviewed my post several times before posting. And still missed it!! 🤡

      • Mela

        I’m with ya. I’m generally good about proofreading before I hit post/send but recently I’ve missed catching my own typos!

        • Sourbelly

          I typically wind up proofreading my posts AFTER hitting Send. It’s not as effective as it sounds.

    • William Thompson

      They’ll attach the plaque as soon as somebody finds a roll of tape.

    • Charles

      It is pretty remarkable that now Les has two of his own superstar actors serving him. They both cater to him and lavish praise on him. And they’re even willing to give up their highest aspirations in order to give him what they’ve unilaterally decided he deserves.

      At what point does Les end up owning Cliff and Vera too? Or because they’re has-beens do their supplications not really matter as much as Mason’s and Marianne’s?

      So yeah, any time Batiuk feels bad about himself, he’ll just have one of Les’s pet superstar actors come in and ask if there’s anything they can do for him. If Batiuk’s feeling really bad, he’ll have Les turn them down in the snottiest fashion imaginable.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      OK; glad I’m not the only one who saw Billy Crystal. I thought maybe I was having a covid-vaxx-induced brain fog.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    “Because I just can’t get enough of being reminded of your first wife Dead St. Lisa, who died of cancer, of course! Now come over here and whisper to me about how I’m nothing like her and never will be!”

  8. Charles

    It will always be a point of shame for me that I share a birthday with Batiuk, which is the same day as arguably the worst comic strip marriage proposal in history. March 13th is a fraught date for comic strips.

    • Charles

      And now I just realized his is on the 14th and it’s not a matter of TFH posting his wishes late. For some reason, his birthday’s been advertised as the 13th for years now.

      Dodged a bullet there, although there still is the time Anthony and Elizabeth guessed they were engaged, they guessed.

    • bad wolf

      If it makes you feel any ‘better’ I have the honor of sharing a wedding anniversary with Les & Cayla (October 15th). Well, at least both couples have made it so far!

  9. Green Luthor

    I’d like to think that amongst the crowd descending upon the Moore-ons would be a representative of the Academy, to remind Marianne that recipients aren’t allowed to give away their Oscars, but that would’ve required Batiuk to do something akin to research, and, well… we know THAT ain’t happening.

    • billytheskink

      Maybe someone from the Academy will come by in a couple years and repossess the Oscar like the state of Ohio did with Coach Stropp’s championship trophy back in 1996.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I want to see it get stolen. Les is naive enough to display his authentic Oscar trophy someplace with no security, and then tell everybody in Westview where it is. It’d only a matter of time before someone does a smash and grab on it. Remember what a complete breakdown he had when Cory Winkerbean stole the lousy $300 or whatever it was from the Lisa’s Legacy fundraiser? He couldn’t function. Funky had to solve the problem. Imagine him losing Lisa’s Oscar.

        Hell, as important as Lisa’s Story is in this world, Lisa’s park bench plaque in New York should be getting stolen all the time.

      • hitorque

        I hope to Christ that Coach Stropp took their asses to court, since no new ruling from the OSHAA could be applied retroactively…

        But since Jerry Bushka in later years as coach somehow legally won games using a quarterback still wearing her Homecoming Queen gown, and Chullo Kid catching a game-winning 50-yard Hail Mary while wearing the Scapegoats mascot costume like he was that kid from “Lucas” (and he wasn’t even on the fucking team roster to begin with), let’s just call it even…

  10. The Dreamer

    And of course Les’s Best Actress Oscar will be displayed in a case at Montoni’s for all eternity so anybody buying the famous pizza can gawk at it (and even get a tour of the upstairs apartment where the Oscar possesor and the Great St. Lisa once lived…

  11. Dood

    Uhm, yeah, hey, jazz hands?

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Oh look, Les is being given yet another amazing gift that he’s too cool and brooding to enjoy.

  13. billytheskink

    Young Tom Batiuk looks like he’s about to deal with another one of Barbarino and the Sweathogs’ shenanigans…

  14. Maxine of Arc

    Well, I do sincerely wish Tom a happy 75th birthday, and in the spirit of the day I will reserve every single one of my comments on Marianne’s “speech” until tomorrow.

    • Mela

      Yes, a sincere Happy Birthday to Tom. My dad is about to turn 75, and I’m very thankful he is still here. So I’m truly happy that Tom is still around to enjoy being with his loved ones and I hope he has a nice birthday celebration!

  15. hitorque

    1. Is that 1980s Billy Crystal in the header?

    2. God, like people don’t already know after SHE JUST ANNOUNCED HER INTENTION ON WORLDWIDE FUCKING TELEVISION… (Well, wait a minute it IS the Funkyverse so it’s a fair bet that most of the populace have no idea who’s coming unless Les and Cayla tell them face-to-face.)

    2a. I presume fans are already camping out on Lester’s lawn?

    2b. Where the hell is the national or entertainment (or even the LOCAL) media on this?! Shouldn’t Lester have been interviewed a hundred times already since Oscar night? Shouldn’t there be some kind of live broadcast for Good Morning America? (because they just lap up stories like this)… Shouldn’t Michael Strahan and Lara Spencer be setting up the cameras, microphones and lights in Lester’s living room right now?

    2c. Can Lester and Cayla at least look presentable for their honored guest? I mean, it isn’t every day some Hollywood superstar rings your doorbell to hand you her Academy Award… Would it kill Les to put on a tie? And even if he was hellbent on staying casual, isn’t this the perfect PR opportunity for him to wear one of his damned “Lisa’s Legacy” t-shirts?? Does he not know he’s about to be on television and shared on social media around the world?

    2d. Even though this isn’t his even and he has Jack Shit to do with it, we all know Masone Jarre is going to be front and center of this publicity stunt because reasons…

    2e. Doesn’t Westview have a mayor? For such a high-profile visitor, shouldn’t Westview’s city/county government be coordinating security and some kind of police escort so geeks, stalkers and horny 15-year-old boys don’t throw themselves under her armored SUV?

    2f. Another thing I hate about Les is to his friends, neighbors and students he’s always playing up this intellectual worldly highbrow urbanist persona, but when he’s dealing with anything outside his Westview Bubble, its the “Aw shucks they’re making this much fuss over lil ol’ ME??” smalltown midwestern humility… Even the fictitious Mayberry, North Carolina didn’t play its ‘local yokel’ card this often…

    2g. I just want to add that even after the movie (which he co-produced) based on the book he wrote scored an Oscar win, Lester O. Moore *STILL* doesn’t give enough of a shit about his own project to arrange a local screening… Because motherfuck all the other local residents who admired or at least knew Lisa and might want to celebrate her life too.

    2h. Marianne Winterse is going to instantly regret her little attention-whoring decision the moment Lester starts telling her the gospel of the bird feeder and trying to “introduce” her to St. Lisa’s Force Ghost…

    2i. You know, today would be a good day for Lester to introduce Marianne Winterse to Lisa Moore’s biological children, Summer and Darrin (after all, it’s not a stretch to presume Summer’s character was in the movie, right?) A nice touch would be Marianne bringing along the actor who played Summer as a child so she could meet her real-life counterpart. Oh who am I kidding? No chance in hell Lester shares this spotlight with anyone! He sure as hell hasn’t shared a dime of his book sales and movie revenues which is why Summer has to spend her entire Christmas break at the mall dressed like a fucking elf and dealing with bratty screeching kids…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      2f is spot on. Les has enough performative humility to make three southeastern college football coaches. It’s nauseatingly phony, and the town would see through it. They’d be so sick of Lisa by now the city would already be offering contracts to remove all the monuments Les bought. And people would offer to do it for free.

    • be ware of eve hill

      1.) I made a similar comment. 42-year-old Batty does resemble like Billy Crystal.

      2a – 2i.) Excellent points all.

      Especially 2b and 2f.
      No press? No fans? No security?

  16. That Batty pic is too good not to share in its entirety. Happy birthday, TB.

  17. ComicBookHarriet

    Happy Birthday Tom!