Opening Ceremony

We interrupt your Frankie Pierce Expose to bring you this special presentation.

Ladies and Gentlemen and Friend Fluid people of all ages, the Son of Stuck Funky team is proud to present:

THE 2022 FUNKY WINKERBEAN AWARDS!

The 2021 Funky Awards was our first ever awards presentation, and it was a great success enjoyed by all who attended. At the closing of the 2021 Funky Awards, we supposed that Tom Batiuk had no plans to retire, and hinted that we hoped to bring you many many Funky Awards to come.

A statement, I guess, Mr. Batiuk took as a threat.

But let us not mourn the ending of Funky Winkerbean, but instead celebrate all it managed to accomplish in it’s last year.

And no one accomplished more by doing less in 2022 than our favorite smirky widower, Les Moore.

 So, your nominees for:

The Backpfeifengesicht Award for Most Punchable Les Moore.  

1.) The Best Actress

2.) Hopeless Bystander

3.) The Wedding Basher

4.) Pay to Play

5.) 50 Years of Smirking

6.) Nasty Neon Nostaliga

7.) I Know You’ll Die First

8.) Deep Resignation

Before I announce the winner I would like to give special thanks to my crew of Video Game Gal Pals. They were the committee helping me to narrow down the nominees in several categories. And I came at them with a listing of about 25 potential punchable Les Moores. They only know about the strip what I have been compelled, Ancient Mariner style, to tell them, and yet, what little they know is enough to hate Les Moore. One of them scrolled through the list and just said, “All. Punch them all.”

However, to my shock one face hovered above the rest. Winning by the highest margin of ANY category this year.

Your winner for Most Punchable Les Moore is:

THE BEST ACTRESS

During last year’s awards the Les Moore race was one of the closest, with nearly every face being equally punchable. So for this year’s race to be so overwhelmingly won…

You all had feelings about Les Moore ‘winning’ his Oscar for Best Actress. Violent feelings. Feelings I respect.

Join us tomorrow! As we celebrate the Funkyverse latecomer who rose to hateable heights almost to rival Les himself.

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58 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

58 responses to “Opening Ceremony

  1. Bill the Splut

    Ah, the Oscar Gifting! Just like how Marlon Brando refused to show up at the ceremony, and had the Academy give his award to John Wayne and Custer.

  2. J.J. O'Malley

    Okay, so who is going to pick up this award and drive it to Westview so that a smirking Les can accept it and put it on the mantel next to his Oscar statue?

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Just having Marianne thank Les during her Academy Award acceptance speech would have been way, way more than enough, but, as usual, BatYam had absolutely no capacity for preventing himself from taking it all too far. Then again, Les did save her life twice, so perhaps he really did deserve her “Best Actress” Oscar.

    The unbelievable part was how he didn’t immediately insist on giving it back to her. That bearded dick with ears actually kept it. I remember reading those strips for the first time, waiting for the one where he says “oh, I can’t accept this”, but nope. Just jaw-dropping.

    And Marianne. I frequently goofed on BatHam’s stable of “strong female characters” over the years, but Marianne was something else again. First, she nearly killed herself over a photo of her kissing a man, then she had to be rescued from a fire by Les of all people, then she needed to be rescued by Les’ magical cancer book, then she needed to be coached on how to navigate Hollywood by her older male co-star, and THEN she gave all the credit to yet another male mentor…mother f*cking Les Moore again. Not herself, not her mom, but Les f*cking Moore. Just a pitiful, pitiful display. I can’t imagine what he was thinking when he dreamed up that cockamamie, regressive drivel, and honestly, I hope I never find out, as the thought makes me queasy.

  4. Phillip Craig

    I dunno. Less’ Best Actress face seems to genuinely thrilled. Less sincerely loves unearned praise. For true ironic shittiness, I still have to go with the pizza smirk, replete with the douchey hand gesture.

    But I, peacefully, yield to the majority vote.

    • billytheskink

      You have a good argument, but our opinions on face punchability are going to be colored by the story arc that surrounded each of these panels. Les being particularly insufferable at the wedding of a former student he once blackmailed just isn’t going to raise hackles like Les being presented, completely unearned, one of the most prestigious awards on the planet… an award that belongs to the infuriatingly worshipful person handing it over to him as if they aren’t worthy to be in his living room. It just was never going to be a contest once that happened.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        I also picked a minority choice: ‘I Know You’ll Die First.”

        Funky has been struggling with his weight all of Act III. Despite being seen jogging, playing tennis, and working with a personal trainer. For Les to tell him with a grin that he expects him to have a heart attack first is just cruel.

        Also. It reminded me of how the last time Les and Bull spoke, Bull told him to keep in touch, and then Les didn’t talk to him again for the three years leading up to his death.

        Les being given the Oscar showed how Les is given unearned accolades from everyone and everything in the narrative.

        But Les talking to Funky shows exactly WHY the guy deserves a punch in the face rather than an award.

      • Bill the Splut

        Was this one about Les being punchable?
        Or Batty’s unending ego trips?
        Tom’s the guy I want to punch.
        Marissa Picard would want to punch him, with Gonterman next in line.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      “Nasty Neon Nostalgia” was hard to pass on. All three faces in that panel badly need a slap, for different reasons.

      Les, because he’s still fantasizing over his long-dead wife to the point that a pizza sign still gives him a boner. Summer because she’s ineptly trying to change the subject back to herself. Funky, because he’s smirking at this appalling behavior. And slap all three of them a second time for to being so self-absorbed they don’t even care that Montoni’s is closing.

      • KMD

        Looks like somebody already beat you to the punch when it came to Funky in that panel. I mean somebody must have thrown a right hook that did so much damage that it obliterated half of his mouth from existence.

    • Green Luthor

      It’s Les’ look of proud joy at receiving something he did absolutely nothing to earn that really told me “Best Actress” was the one to vote for. He’s just SO smug, and it’s just SO out of line with reality. That’s a look that says “THIS is the praise I deserve”, which is punchable on its own, but only moreso with the context.

      Though, really, just about any panel of Les would be a contender in this category. The tricky one would be finding enough nominees to fill out a “most UNpunchable Les Moore face” ballot.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      I picked Best Actress, although it was kind of a toss-up between that and Beleaguered Bystander. I find Les particularly hateable when he thinks he’s being deep.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    The icing on the cake that confirms the Oscar Les to be the most punchable is that TomBa seems to find Marianne’s presentation to be totally fitting.

    I guess I should expect nothing different from a writer who gives no agency to any of his own characters. He probably thinks that real actors’ performances are totally controlled by the director.

  6. be ware of eve hill

    I’ve never been so pissed off about a FW story arc.

    Les accepting the Oscar just confirms that the movie was never about honoring Lisa. It was all about Les inflating his ego and looking for attention.

    Other than write the book the movie was based upon, Les did nothing to help the production of the movie. More of a hindrance than a hero. Everybody bent over backwards to make Les happy, and he repaid them by acting like a spoiled brat.

    Most punchable Les? Forget punching. I want to strangle him until his eyes explode.

    —————————–
    How could any decent person accept the Oscar? It makes me imagine what was left out of the comic.

    Les: (whining) What? Just the Oscar? What about a parade? Where’s the paparazzi?

    Les: (more whining) I’m just a poor school teacher. You’re an Academy Award-winning actress. How about reimbursing us for the trip? Airfare, hotels, transportation, tux rental, tickets for the show? It wasn’t cheap, sister!

    Les: (still whining) Damn. I wish I never let her take that faux-silk Netbusters gift bag.

    ————————-
    That story arc was so stupid.

    Marianne flies across the country. Rents a car and drives to Westview to personally drop off the Oscar. After visiting for a handful of minutes, she hastily departs to fly back to La La Land. Did the pilots leave the plane running while they were waiting for Marianne to return?

    Why ship the Oscar when you can travel across the country and hand it to Les in person. What a waste of fuel.

    ——————————-
    Presenter: Congratulations, Miss Winters. You just won an Academy Award!
    Marianne: That’s nice, but not as nice as my new faux-silk Netbusters gift bag! Have you seen it? Squeee!!!

    • Bill the Splut

      “Is this a JOKE?! You come here, to ME, with this?! To my FRONT DOOR? Are you Al? Are you FRED?! NO! NO! You’re some CHICK! It’s not even GIFT-WRAPPED!! You even want–THE PRECIOUS GIFT BAG!!”

      Headline: “Local Man Beats Oscar-Winning Actor Delivering Him His Nobel Prize; Bail Set at TEN THOUSAND RAVEN #1’s, and a Miss Marple”

  7. Paul Jones

    The context behind the punchability is what really sells it. Les did everything he could to tank the damn thing because it wasn’t ‘true’ to ‘his vision’ but he has no problem accepting the awards that come with it.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And he never even did that. Not once did Les ever help them “tell Lisa’s story correctly” (barf), or even say what that entailed or what anyone was doing wrong. He wasn’t even there for the second half of filming. Then he gloated when the movie failed financially.

      Batiuk should lean into his strengths. He’s really good at making characters the audience wants to see beaten into a pulp. The WWE should hire him to coach heels on their stage presence.

      • none

        Oh but there was that time that Marianne couldn’t figure out how to portray Lisa until Les coached her, remember that?

        It was the equivalent to Scarlett Johansson getting acting help from Billy Whitetoast, English teacher at Don Knotts Elementary #158 from Council Bluffs, Iowa. And there was a rousing round of applause after the take!

        Les also made sure that he got his cameo speaking role secured, union regulations and story relevance be damned. Whole week for that.

        • billytheskink

          Lest we forget, Les’ “coaching” was basically telling Marianne “Think about how Lisa’s battle with cancer made ME feel.”

          Vile.

          • Paul Jones

            Which reminds me of the great big stupid thing about the whole blasted arc: it’s all about how just Les is affected by all of this. Most (if not all) of his objections or reservations as to the purity of the narrative are predicated on his fear of being cast as what he actually was: an ineffectual and dispensable side character.

          • Green Luthor

            Alternate script: Panel 3: “Just remember that the person who’s saying ‘I love you’ is someone who knows all of Les’ secrets, lies and prayers.”

            Panel 4: Marianne punches “Les” right in his stupid face.

            (Just remove Les’ thumbs up in panel 5, and the applause totally works, too.)

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @Paul Jones Les’ need to control the narrative betrays his guilty conscience. Anyone who looks into the story would quickly realize Les isn’t the all-suffering Byronic hero he makes himself out to be. His marriage was an exercise in toxic co-dependency, and he was useless as a husband and father. Lisa’s Story might as well have been called If I Did It.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Les Moore and The Miz in the same room…

  8. Bill the Splut

    I’m glad we have these awards as a way that we can all ignore this week’s Cranky Shafterbrain. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who muttered “Yeah. This will be a week of one joke. Groovy.”
    Cranky is the most likely comics character to die in a fire–and yet also the least likely. Burn, Blackhead Nose, BURN!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The main problem in Crankshaft is the severity of it. Ed’s hijinks cross the line into being dangerous, hateful, and destructive. He’s abusive to Lena, he puts children and parents in danger, and he regularly does 5 figures’ worth of damage to Pmm and Jff’s house. People wouldn’t say “oh, that wacky bus driver,” they’d sue him and/or press charges for the stuff he does.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Wow that opening ceremony was crazy, I can’t believe Batty just walked up and slapped Chuck Ayers. 😜

  10. hitorque

    1. If you wanna know why your homeowners insurance is so high, you can thank the Krankenschaaftens of the world…

    2. Are we sure that Edd isn’t somehow related to our favorite little sexy pyromaniac, Holly Budd-Winkerbean? Because let’s be honest here — Everybody in Batiuk’s universe is related to everybody else either through blood or marriage.

    3. Even in Ohio, you’d think that Edd would draw some FBI attention over the oddly alarming things he regularly buys online: — Industrial quantities of pesticides, fertilizer, turpentine, charcoal, rubbing alcohol, painkillers, ether, sedatives, hydrogen, liquid nitrogen, nitroglycerin, nitrous oxide, sulfur, tar, potassium nitrate, adrenochrome, napalm, red baseball caps, the list goes on…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I wondered about #3 when I saw today’s strip, in which Ed mail-orders a flamethrower. Apparently, you can do that. They’re not considered “firearms” under the federal law, and few states have taken steps to regulate them.

  11. KMD

    Man. The older, more jacked version of Doug from the old Nickelodeon show “Doug” clearly has it out for Les in “Deep Resignation.” While I can’t say I saw it coming, I welcome his support in our efforts to see Les in physical pain.

    • billytheskink

      You can’t constantly be talking about how comics don’t need to be funny and not draw the ire of Doug Funnie, I imagine.

  12. Miskatonic Sophomore

    I’m gratified (sort of) that Oscar Les has run away with this first award, because it is richly deserved. Punchable as he is in every other nominated panel, his self-satisfied smirk in this one calls for a 2″x 4″ across the back of the skull.

  13. The Duck of Death

    The enraging thing is that the Oscar is not for best movie or anything similar. It’s for the best actress. How embarrassing for a man who’s never acted to accept someone else’s “Best Actress” Oscar. Les should be thanking her profusely, turning it down, and saying that she earned it, and all the suffering she’s endured ultimately helped make her the acclaimed actress she is today.

    Instead, he’s gloating.

    Repulsive.

    • Bill the Splut

      It makes on wonder what Bats in the Attic’s thoughts were about the Pulitzer. “Surely, whoever wins for Best Collection of Recycled Comic Strips will see that they didn’t deserve it, and give it to ME!”

      Don’t tell me that wasn’t a thought he had. If not, then why’d he write that crap? After it had festered in his skull for years?

  14. The Duck of Death

    One thing I’ve never understood: Why didn’t Batty give Les the “Best Original Screenplay” Oscar or otherwise have him earn an Oscar himself?

    And why did Les not think Marianne deserved to keep the Oscar for so brilliantly embodying Dead St Lisa? That’s gotta be worth an award, right? She honored Dead St Lisa, the highest achievement a human can attain!

    • Green Luthor

      Minor point: it wouldn’t be eligible for “Best Original Screenplay”, but rather “Best Adapted Screenplay”. (Well, it wouldn’t really be eligible for that either, because it was crap, but this is Batiukworld.)

      Otherwise, the best I can figure is that Batiuk reads the comments, knows people hate how he heaps unearned praise upon Les, and decided to just troll us. It’s about the only thing that makes sense.

      And is honoring Dead Saint Lisa truly the greatest achievement, when you can heap accolades on Les instead?

      • be ware of eve hill

        Batiuk has remarkable self-control if he never read any comments here or on the Comic Kingdom and the Comic Curmudgeon.

        • Bill the Splut

          I was a long time contributor to “Duck and Cover,” a strip about an angry talking pantsless duck that wasn’t named Donald. Every so often, he’d very obviously pop up in the comments under a fake name. He wrote in the same style he used in the strip, even using bolded words. Once, there was a comment from Totally Not Him as “Nick.” Then, 2 minutes later, was followed by the exact same rant from “Rick.” Creativity at work!

          Sadly, for fans of The Young Ones’ game show episode, it was not followed by one from “Prick.”

      • Joshua K.

        Did Les actually write the screenplay to the film? The writers of the source materials for the Best Adapted Screenplay nominees get mentioned at the Oscars, but the nominations and the Oscar go to the person who actually wrote the film screenplay.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    And giving Les the Oscar isn’t even the most ridiculous thing Batiuk did in 2022. That would be the words “a science of behavioral-patterned algorithms that will one day allow us to recognize humanity as our nation.”

    Then he goes on to describe how he made sure Les got everything he wanted all times, just so his daughter the All-Being could be born. Then he made sure her child was born, so the fourth generation could find The Dead Lisa Story in a post-apocalyptic book store. So she could do what else? Write another book.

    Hell, that makes the Oscar look like small potatoes.

  16. be ware of eve hill

    The Crankshaft store is still up on the Comics Kingdom.

    $36 trucker hats aside, Batiuk and the CK really dropped the ball on this one. What they should have offered is a ‘Les Moore Stress Doll’. Complete with velcro detachable arms, legs and head. Special feature: Les’s tongue and eyes bug out when you squeeze his neck.

    They could have made a fortune.

    Comics Kingdom store: How many Les Moore Stress Dolls® would you like to order this time?
    Me: Twelve.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Comics Kingdom store: Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t have that many in stock. It’s a very popular item. We’ll have to put them on backorder.

      • Y. Knott

        Perhaps you’d like our Les Moore punching bag?

        Each bag is made of premium leather, with reinforced webbing that provides long-lasting durability. With heavy-duty nylon straps and double-end loop, you can be sure the bag is secure and functional to withstand even your hardest hits. And hit, hit, HIT you will — because every bag features a detailed reproduction of Les Moore’s smirking countenance, in your choice of expression:

        – Mopey
        – Miserable
        – Martyred
        – New! Limited Edition: Beaming with pride over his Oscar ‘win’!

        A regular punching bag might cost over $100. But this one … well, this one also costs over $100. But it’s got Les Moore’s face on it!

        • be ware of eve hill

          I’ve considered printing off several copies of a smirking Les and using them for target practice at the pistol range where Mr. bwoeh works.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        We can offer you some copies of Lisa’s Story at half price.

  17. Gabby

    As soon as I saw the context of the Oscar panel it took me a nanosecond to vote for most deserving a hobnail boot on the nasal passages.

    Anyway, looking at the panels of the “Les/Lisa” shot with Marianne and Maassonne, the award the film should have won was for best makeup. I’ll bet Ayer’s just did one of CBH’s line art tracing

    • Gabby

      Since I’ve removed the cloaking device: My wife has an MFA from Yale Drama. She was on the Technical track, but her classmates on the Acting track included several actors you have probably heard of. A couple were jerks, but many were nice folks, including one of whom has been an Oscar nominee and won Emmy’s and Golden Globes. Knowing what she did to reach that level, and what work other performers I have met or know of had to do, the whole Marianne/Les Oscar arc is an insult to these professionals

  18. Andrew

    Late to talk about it but as this particular winner is dear to my mind for a less-than-positive reason, I might as well share my thoughts in choosing this.

    2002 may have been an overall light year on Les, but the Moore influence was of course very strong thanks to the ending hyperfocusing on the family dynasty, and a few scattered Lisa stories cementing it further. But as the last major story involving Mr. Foureyes, the Oscar story epilogue to the Lisa Movie film adaptation just stood out for sore eyes for all the wrong reasons.

    Try as he might, it’s impossible not to see Les as an author avatar. Even with a dead wife and a loser streak he’s one of the luckiest sons of bitches in Westview: color in his hair, thin and able to jog, steady teaching gig being secondary to multiple published books with several hits, a goddamn film adaptation and the royalties that come with it, friends in multiple industries, probably gets free pizza for his connections to Montini’s, and with this story, somebody else’s trophy for the ostensible reason that he “gave” the world a beautiful story of someone’s death by cancer and also indirectly “saving” the actress in question’s life at least twice through his indirect actions.

    This is beyond karma cutting a loser a break. Whatshername the 2nd Movie Star won her Oscar fair and square on her own ability (or the Academy’s enigmatic judgements), she has her own Batiukian backstory of momma’s girl, defrosting stuck-up actress idolizing the Hollywood sign and “I’m not suicidal I just like looking over tall heights while on the literal edge!” syndrome. Sharing an Oscar with people who you feel helped your success is fair, but it gives Les WAY too much credit for what’s ultimately her own gig.

    And like it’s been said, Les isn’t even humble about it. He has this smug punch-worthy face about it, puts it among his Lisa-mementos, and also warped time-space so that the Lisa videos returned to him were back to the original VHSs and not the DVDs sent earlier. Cayla even jokes about showing it off. All for a trophy that logically shouldn’t even have his name.

    This is how Act 3 Funky goes down for me. The author avatar being awarded a real-life honor that isn’t even his. If that isn’t riding high on a decade-old success that didn’t even win the nomination of Pulitizer it got says more than it could ever have intended. (Also, for the historians, what awards has FW ever actually won? The marketing did use “award-winning” from time to time, what were those things in reality?)

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