Harry finally succeeds in finding a CD in today’s strip. As Willy Nelson fills Snowball’s interior with music, Harry comments: “Its nice to see someone else still plays CDs.”
Why is that nice, Harry? You’re old enough to remember vinyl and vacuum tubes, aren’t you? If it’s obsolescence and inconvenience you’re nostalgic for, why not a gramophone, Harry? Why not Edison cylinders, Harry? Why not freaking sheet music, Harry?
In today’s strip, Craaaaaaaaaaazy Harry says, “The one-armed trombone player looks a little creepy.”
What about a one-armed, mouthless band leader, Harry? What about that? Is that creepy enough for you? What about your “employer”? Are you serious?
Today, DSH John suddenly appears, which is always unsettling. We can be grateful, however, that he has nothing to say, although he does smirk in the final panel.
BanTom favors us once again with unnatural dialog that exists only to introduce a pun. When Stephan Pastis does this in Pearls Before Swine, however, he builds elaborate chains of verbiage—so you know what’s coming, and the fun is in trying to anticipate the pun line.
The structure of today’s joke is much different. (To paraphrase the magnificent Alice from The Vicar of Dibley, and as a reminder, a joke is a story with a humorous climax.) Panel 1: Funky delivers the straight line, which contains the curious phrase “the band box is R.I.P.” Do people use R.I.P. as a synonym for dead in Ohio? If so, I haven’t heard it during my visits there. Anyway, he delivers the straight line: “Either the band box is R.I.P., or I bite the bullet and get it repaired.”
In Panel 2, in a case of premature jocularity, Crazy Harry delivers the punch line: “Biting the bullet would make you a very high-caliber person.”
And aye, here’s the rub: there’s still one more panel to fill. There has to be a second punch line, which I’ll not deign to reproduce here. And that utterly ruins the structure of the joke. Also, there’s smirking.
In today’s strip, we learn that Funky’s inept efforts to maintain the band box at Montoni’s have killed it. That’ll put a damper on the Cinco de Mayo festivities surrounding the pizza special advertised in Montoni’s window. You know, Cinco de Mayo, the world’s most pizza-oriented holiday.
My research into the band box a couple years ago revealed that the real band box at Akron’s Luigi’s has similarly deteriorated.
Bonus: See Tom Batiuk’s
sole IMDb role (complete episode): Cardinal Adventures #6: Terror in the Pines. Things to look for:
- Early on: one of the characters name-drops Les, Cayla, Summer, and Keisha.
- Mr. Batiuk is one of the better actors in the production
- Everyone—I mean everyone—including the 19-year-old protagonist, gets their news from newspapers. Printed ones, on actual paper.
- Whenever you see a newspaper, you see the comics page.
- Astonishing video-editing.