Porch Wry-rates

Cue the laugh track for today’s strip… because otherwise there’s just this long, awkward pause between non-jokes. It’s like a newsprint manifestation of those “sitcom without the laugh track” videos, only more more cringe-inducing. Why are these two ostensible friends (one of whom is terminally ill) being insufferable to each other? This kind of thing works when you establish that the two characters have some type of relationship and that unbearable wryness is their M.O. As far as I know, Crazy and Lisa never had much of a relationship of any kind (he was Les’ weirdo buddy), much less a whole Gilmore Girls thing going on.

Lisa really let Harry slide on that face after saying she didn’t feel as bad as she looked? Sure, she’s dressed like Crankshaft, but she’s also sick and at her own home. He’s the one who went out in public dressed like Gallagher wearing a Paul Simon Halloween costume.

46 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

46 responses to “Porch Wry-rates

  1. William Thompson

    Lisa should have power-barfed on him, then said “Blame the chemo. Savvy?”

  2. billytheskink

    Fortunately, Lisa doesn’t feel quite as bad as Act III Funky Winkerbean has been.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    So Harry asks DYING Lisa how she’s doing, and Lisa replies she’s feeling better than she looks. Then Harry shoots her a skeptical look, implying that she looks like DEATH. Then a DYING Lisa meekly agrees and admits that yes, she is in fact DYING.

    That’s real normal. Whenever he gets lost in his sick Lisa world, he does gags like this one, that aren’t funny or even perceived as being jokes by anyone else on the planet. This one is perverse and morbid enough to make a Norwegian black metal band cringe. Just look at her in panel three…it’s practically terminal cancer porn. Just absolutely ghastly.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      No part of it makes any sense! Harry asks a bland greeting question, or at least a question you can give a bland answer to. Lisa gives a terse, specific, literal answer, because that’s what Lisa does: make every conversation about her cancer.

      Harry gets annoyed at this, which is a strange way to react to her basically saying “I feel OK under the circumstances.” Now, Harry could be annoyed for some good reasons. It could mean “don’t beat yourself for your appearance.” Or he just now figured out how rude Lisa’s initial greeting was. Or if the statement was an obvious sarcastic lie, like “I feel good enough to run a marathon.”

      What on earth makes Lisa interpret that as “you’re lying about how you’re feeling” and compel her to declare she’s feeling bad? It’s a question only she can know the answer to! It’s the question he just asked! And she gave a specific and positive answer to it.

      That should be good enough to move on in the conversation, but not in the Funkyverse. These people are always escalating the awkwardness when they can’t even handle banality. They’re the most intellectually and emotionally stunted adults you’ll ever met, this side of Rain Man.

  4. Step 1: Lisa got cancer again.
    Step 2: She felt horrible.
    Step 3: She died.
    Step 4: Humor!

    No, really, what does any of this rehashing serve? Misery porn?

  5. Panel 2 Crazy Harry is sassy. I hate sassy.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s a completely inappropriate reaction, too. He should be giving her a “hey, come on, it’s me you’re talking to here” weary-type grin, not striking a somewhat swishy accusatory pose. The woman has CANCER for God’s sake!

      • spacemanspiff85

        Exactly! It’s a ridiculous reaction. Any normal person would just say something like “You look great!” or give a hug or smile, or not say anything. The fact that Batiuk seems to think this kind of thing is normal human behavior really blows my mind.

    • Charles

      Just look at that debutante slouch!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, he has that ummmm hmmmm pose.

      • JimP

        Leave it to the art in this strip to really nail it when someone is being depicted, unintentionally by the writer, as being a reprehensible sh#stain.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Yeah, it’s really clear what a reprehensible sh#stain this person is.

          And Harry’s kind of being a jerk, too.

          • hitorque

            St. Lisa is the only terminally sick patient who can make me say: “FOR GOD’S SAKE WILL YOU JUST **DIE** ALREADY?!”

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            St. Lisa is the only cancer victim who makes me root for the cancer. Metastasize! Metastasize! Go Cancer Go!

    • Dood

      If this were an old sitcom, Harry would be the flamboyantly asexual next-door neighbor.

    • Count of Tower Grove

      Harry looks like Gallagher having lost his watermelons.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    If the past two arcs are any indication, it looks like we’re in for two weeks of Terminal Lisa Flashback. To paraphrase Margo Channing in “All About Eve”, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy arc!”

  7. Lord Flatulence

    This is horrible.

  8. ComicBookHarriet

    Like BTS said, this joke would work if this type of dark humor was established as in character for Lisa or her relationship with Crazy.

    If we had THAT context, it would be like when the comedian was dying, and his friend said, “This must be hard for you.” and he said, “Not as hard as playing comedy.”

    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/10/26/comedy-is-hard/

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Okay, no, I am going to mildly defend today as being completely in character for End Game Lisa. She said THIS to Darin at the end of their touching mother/son reunion.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Damn those really were the golden days on the comics page. Between cancer Lisa and all the misery at FBoFW, we readers were touched but their loving efforts at expanding their art.

        Seriously, what brings?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, that’s Late Stage Lisa all right: using phony self-deprecation to fish for sympathy. Same thing she’s doing in today’s strip.

    • sorialpromise

      Thank you CBH!
      Knew the story. Followed the link. Great reportage.
      I picture Gwen as the 34th Street Santa saying it in bed with his whiskers out from the covers. The film had no wasted characters. It captures reality with a dollop of fantasy superbly. I choose to believe the quote regarding Gwen is true. But adapted for FW:
      “Comedy is hard, but so difficult to find in Funky Winkerbean.”

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    At least I have Mary Worth to get me through the week. Today we see her guzzling down a Long Island Ice Tea in order to be able to deal with that insufferable Dawn.

  10. ComicTrek

    This strip is as bad as it looks, too.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Can I take a moment to just marvel at what we’re seeing here?

    This strip is a greeting inside a flashback about delivering video tape recordings of a person who died 24 years ago to her 28-year-old daughter, and whose widower has long since remarried. Video tapes which have already been watched at length, shown to everyone in town, guarded like holy relics, transferred to DVD, negotiated over, loaned, used in the creation of a major motion picture, and returned. That movie has already failed once, attempted a second time, disrupted by a wildfire, completed, released, failed at the box office, found an audience in streaming, and won a friggin’ Oscar which was immediately hand-delivered to the curator of the tapes.

    What in the hell is left to say about these goddam tapes? What could they possibly contain that would affect anything? There isn’t even a story going on where they could possibly matter!

  12. What? Lisa Moore was sick. Good grief, I hope she doesn’t die. I don’t know how TB could continue this strip without her.

  13. sorialpromise

    From Comics Curmudgeon: Rex Morgan Md starts a story about a son whose father is the second oldest cartoonist. (Cringe!!!!)
    This cannot be a good idea. It even begins with the artist making a comment full of smirk. There is no humor to be dug here. I believe even Bob Newhart tried it with “BOB” and it only lasted through 8 episodes of its second season. It failed with Betty White, Dick Martin, Lisa Kudrow, and Tom Poston as his cast.
    Don’t these cartoonists read each other’s strips?
    I can name storylines, but I defy ANY of you to find one nugget of humor in all the characters combined from Atomik Komix in FW.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Let’s not forget 1969’s “My World and Welcome to It” with William Windom as a fictional humorist/cartoonist based on James Thurber.

      • Y. Knott

        “Let’s make our protagonist a cartoonist” shows:

        – The Tab Hunter Show: 1960/61. Tab Hunter as a swingin’ bachelor cartoonist! Gosh, how could this NOT be a winner? Yet somehow, it wasn’t.

        – He & She: 1967/68. Good funny show with Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin, unfairly cancelled too soon. “He” was a successful cartoonist whose character “Jetman” had been picked up for a TV series. Worth checking out.

        – My World and Welcome to It: 1969/70. Also a good funny show, unfairly cancelled too soon. Perhaps a little too whimsical to really catch on?

        – Keep It In The Family: 1980/83. Okay British sitcom, very quickly adapted for America as Too Close For Comfort.

        – Too Close For Comfort: 1980/87. Third-tier stuff that Inexplicably ran for years. Ted Knight had clearly accumulated a lot of audience goodwill from his time with MTM.

        – Bob: 1992/93. Scattered good moments, but never quite gelled.

        – Caroline In The City: 1995/99. Timeslot hit (it aired between Seinfeld and ER). Lea Thompson tries hard, but that’s not enough.

        – Woke: 2020/2022. A successful cartoonist begins hearing inanimate objects talking to him. Sometimes heavy-handed ‘message’ comedy, though not without its moments.

        Those are the ones I can think of. Any others?

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          It’s not a TV show, but: Garfield. Jon Arbuckle was initially a cartoonist. Jim Davis had the good sense to abandon this idea early on, though.

          • Y. Knott

            Doing a little on-line research, it appears the “Jon is a cartoonist” idea was used in both TV adaptations of Garfield. So … the Garfield TV shows count!

        • William Thompson

          Blood Ties, from 2007. Henry Fitzroy is a 500 year old vampire who supports himself as a comic-book creator. It never took itself seriously and had some good laughs.

        • sorialpromise

          Great work, Y Knot! And Gerard Plourde.
          I remember “My World and Welcome to It.” Well written. Great art. Likable characters. Good cast.
          There is also a film by Bob Hope, “That Certain Feeling,” where he plays a cartoonist. I remember it so well because my paper, the Kansas City Star is mentioned towards the end of the film.
          Nowadays, Hope has lost his shine. Mostly due to his rivalry with Johnny Carson. Two greats. Saying that, when Hope was bad, he really stunk up the place. Same for Carson. But when they were good, it was gold, Jerry, gold!

        • ian'sdrunkenbeard

          Jack Lemmon is a swinging bachelor cartoonist in “How to Murder Your Wife”. In a drunken stupor he marries a stripper (Virna Lisi) who pops out of the cake at a friend’s bachelor party. Hilarity ensues.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Oh! Horrible Hank is back?

      Horrible Hank actually predates Flash and Phil, so if anyone is stealing from anyone, Batiuk is stealing from Rex Morgan.

      http://www.scaryterrysworld.com/2016/06/

      Horrible Hank has been compared to Phil a couple of times here. Both were comic creators that had a falling out with the industry and left for a very long time before coming back in their twilight years.

      The difference being we have an actual idea of what Horrible Hank did in the interim. An alternate career as a portrait artist, and he raised a family. He’s not great, but there’s a night and day difference in terms of characterization being fleshed out.

    • hitorque

      But RMMD has always been utter shit, though…

  14. Maxine of Arc

    I hate everything about this.

  15. be ware of eve hill

    Questions for the more learned members of the S.O.S.F. jury.

    Does anybody remember the origin of the Dead Saint Lisa tapes?

    Did Lisa decide to record them on her own? Did anyone encourage her to create them?

    Where did she get the camera?

    Did Harry play a role (other than transferring them to DVD)?

    ====================
    Is this story arc the origin of the Dead Saint Lisa tapes?
    😨😱

    Harry: “I’m gonna make you a star!”

    • be ware of eve hill

      BTW, that’s some bad hat, Harry.

    • billytheskink

      Yes, about a month or two before she died and just before her tag-a-long trip to Congress, Lisa lamented to Les that she wouldn’t be there to give Summer advice (mostly about teenager things… foreshadowing the Act III time jump I guess). The moment she made this lament, Les whipped out a camcorder and told her to film her advice like some Isaac Asimov character did. Crazy Harry was not at all involved (he was actually breaking into the old high school with Funky at the time, intent on stealing his old locker before the building was demolished to make way for a new one), but…

      I suspect that this origin story may be changing in the coming days…

  16. Happy Cancerween, everyone!