Tag Archives: Channel One

Hey Is For Horses

Link To Today’s Strip

“Hey!”…that’s some mighty fine foreshadowing there, Pulitzer (nominee) Boy. As always, the master craftsman builds the suspense one panel at a time, very, very slowly, over the course of many days and weeks and sometimes even months. I sometimes think it would have been pretty cool if he’d have just made the entirety of Act III into one ultra-mega prestige arc, which he’d wrap up with a Saturday panel three word balloon full of wry expository dialog at some undetermined future date.

“A physical memento”…as opposed to what, a mental memento? A metaphysical memento? An ethereal memento? And again, if Mitchell is going to be so standoffish, why did he bother with letting them in to begin with? Is this a Midwestern thing, where you’re obliged to invite strangers into your home even if you’re all hostile toward them? We don’t really do that out here, back east.

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He Also Owns Darling’s Drawers

Link To Today’s Strip

“He likes to collect things, so surely he’ll have John Darling memorabilia!” seems like a bit of a stretch to me, even by Westview logic. I would’ve liked a line about how Mitchell’s dad was a newscaster, or that Mitchell was comforted by watching the show after he quit Batom. Just something more than “he collects stuff, so he’ll have what you want”.

And that is quite the strange looking spaceship that Phil drew. If I didn’t know that’s what it was supposed to be, I really don’t think I’d ever be able to tell.

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Memento of a Murder

Link to today’s strip

Is it just me, or does it seem a little weird that Jessica is apparently only now thinking that she wants a souvenir of the John Darling show? I feel like she would’ve maybe thought of this sometime before, just because she lost her dad at such a young age. Or that it maybe would have occurred to her in the dozens or hundreds of hours she spent creating the documentary about him. I mean, she had to have watched some footage of him when she made that, I would think. But it took stumbling across random reruns of the show to make her think about wanting a piece of the set or his chair or something.

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Darling All Day

Link To Today’s Strip

Wow, it is always intimidating to follow up the amazing CBH! If Kent State University wants to start offering courses on “The History of Funky Winkerbean” I know who should teach it. Not for long, sadly, since that would probably mean the school was about to go out of business, but it would still be the right choice.

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Snow Job

Phil is implored to give the viewers one more forecast in today’s strip, a forecast so far out that even a good meteorologist would just be guessing.

And that’s… it? We spent a week watching the fifth or sixth most-prominent character from a decades dead comic strip get ceremoniously fired from a job we didn’t know he still held.

A lot of Funky Winkerbean story arcs make we scratch my head, but this one may have me wearing in a bald spot. I mean, I like a good deep cut reference as much as the next person but that doesn’t mean I would subject anyone to a week of posts consisting of nothing but Tonio K lyrics and Cattanooga Cats references. Well, at least Les wasn’t involved in this one.

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Comic A-trophy

Apologies for the late post, but after reading today’s strip you may want me to apologize for posting at all.

Phil gets a final farewell for 45 years of (poor) service at the station. OK, I get that.

He is given a gag award (swiped from a cameraman’s daughter’s bedroom no doubt) for said service. I’d get it if it was played as an inside joke, but it is clearly intended to be an insult, so… what?

Then an anchor airs some of his dirty laundry on the air. Uh…

This strip took 100 steps and went nowhere. Phil’s award, at least, was better than the gift Coach Stropp got at his (forced) retirement party.

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A Special Denouncement

It’s about time! I was wondering if we’d ever get there, but today’s strip finally gives us the call back to John Darling we’ve been expecting. Yes, Phil is terrible at his (former) job, just like he was back in 1979. Back then, making fun of the local weather forecaster was a comedy trend surpassed only by making fun of Billy Carter…

JD7-30-79
This strip appeared opposite an ad imploring you to come test drive the all-new Chevrolet Citation…

Oh, for Pete’s sake!

I remain baffled by the pie case at Montoni’s. Who eats pie there?
That’s a rhetorical question of course, nobody eats anything at Montoni’s. Not even Crazy, who is only ever seen there sipping a bottomless coffee or soda and avoiding his job. But still, what’s with the pie case?

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Poor Poor Piti-Phil Me

Today’s strip finds Phil having skipped the bargaining phase of grief over his firing… moving right on to depression, acceptance, and Jim Boeheim impersonation.

Producer Jan Murdoch Darling’s sympathy for Phil is an awfully kind gesture on her part, considering that he once pulled a gun on her late husband. Frankly, I find it somewhat difficult to sympathize with Phil when he’s sharing a panel with Jan. Yes, his 40+ year career is coming to an end and not by his choice. Too bad. Meanwhile, Jan:

– grew up with an awful, abusive mother, one of the comics page’s most vile characters
– sees her only child visit on rare occasions, and never to actually see her
– has fallen from producing The “Today” Show to once again slumming it at the dying Channel One
– oh yeah… and famously saw her husband murdered right in front of her

But sure, we’ll shed some crocodile tears for you too Phil.

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The position has been Phil-ed

Poor Phil the Forecaster is still getting fired in today’s strip and Alex (the bearded news director who is probably supposed to remind us of smarmy John Darling regular Reed Roberts) seems awfully chipper about replacing him with an unpaid intern. Firing Phil as a cost-saving move (rather than for a variety of good reasons covered below) tells me that Channel One will soon be one of those stations that airs Family Feud reruns in primetime. Alex might want to start worrying about his own position.

That Phil remained Channel One’s weatherman into 2017 is remarkable, in both positive and negative ways. He debuted in Funky Winkerbean in the mid-70s, giving him a 40+ year tenure at Channel One that would be a legitimately impressive career in real life.

He also kept the job for decades despite the running gag that he was terrible at it. And if Brenda Harpy is to be believed, he also kept the job despite being a certifiable nutcase who engaged in terrifying workplace violence on at least one occasion.

FW4-9-97

He wasn’t wrong about John Darling and the ozone layer, though.

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Too early for flapjacks?

Oh, did you come here for Funky Winkerbean snark? Sorry, but today’s strip is a John Darling comic, presumably part of a JD revival that few will get and surely fewer asked for.

Yep, this is “Phil The Forecaster”, weatherman for Channel One.
JD5-14-79

Well, former weatherman for Channel One now, apparently… Back in the JD and early Act I FW days, Phil was the subject of a running gag where, get this, his forecasts were always wrong!!! And everyone made fun of him for it! Ha Ha! Oh man, can you believe it? A TV weatherman getting the forecast wrong… Brilliance.

Anyways, Phil just got fired.

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