Tag Archives: lame wordplay


Link to today’s strip.

Here’s something I like about today’s strip.  No, it’s not the idiotic word-play.  It’s not the artwork, the falling leaves, or the grotesque slab of Les’ greasy hair in panel two.  (Seriously, look at that.  I mean, we all want him to melt in agony, yet here it is and it isn’t any fun at all!)

No, what I like are the expressions in panel three.  Those are three of the most bitter, most miserable people in the world.   Even the guy who’s delivering the pun doesn’t look pleased with himself–he looks as if he’s really loathing himself for having to do this.

What we see here are three people realizing that they are mere toys in the hands of an angry god, and they must dance for his pleasure or burn.  They have one freedom left:  the freedom not to smirk at a pun.  They can withhold their approval in this one thing without fear of annihilation.

No wonder both Les and Cayla envy Les’ dead wife.  Even though the dead can never rest, they can’t die again. either.

Of course, Les’ expression in panel three is typical of him when someone else delivers wordplay.  It just galls him when someone beats him to the punline.  I recall Barry Balderman’s remark about “Life is like masking tape, the more you use, the less you have” (or whatever he said).  Les’ face then was just Boy do I hate you.  Boy do I hate you.  Lisadamnit, I’m supposed to do the clever stuff. 

Given what passes for “clever” in these parts, I suspect most cast members would be happy to pass it off to Les.  “Happy” being the completely wrong word, of course….


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Fake Punt

Who else had to look up what it means to “outpunt your coverage“? Obviously it’s a football analogy (so of course it comes out of Bull’s mouth), but in football, when you outpunt your coverage, you’re giving your opponent a chance to return the punt and gain good field position. However, according to urbandictionary.com defines this as “when a guy with no looks and no money lands a hot chick.” What a nice compliment to pay a girl about her father.


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The Peak of Douchebaggery

I summited Mount Kilimanjaro and all I got was this lousy certificate. Back in “civilization,” the climbers enjoy a last meal together. Naturally, Les (in his trademark  yellow shirt) and Summer are seated near the head of the table.  So pleased is Les with his latest clever bon mot that in panel 3 he has smirked himself into unconsciousness.

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Lay Off, MacDouche

Summer: “Dad…the line from Macbeth is ‘Lay on, MacDuff’, not ‘Lead on…’ You’re an English teacher? That’s a sad comment on the American education system.”

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Clobberin’ Time

I gave myself a migraine trying to decipher the tin-eared dialogue in today’s strip. “There’s a couple of tick-tocks before class starts”? This is bully-speak? Sounds like baby talk. “Kick your butt off“? “Off” doesn’t follow “butt” in this construct, unless I’m “kicking your butt off the team”, or “off the bus”, etc. Never heard of anyone getting his “butt kicked off”. Oh, I see: this is setup for Cody’s retort: “No problem, I’ll just share yours.” Share his butt? ‘th hell?!?

And what skinny teenage nerd confidently cracks wise in response to a verbal threat, however clumsily it’s worded? This is the same tactic that teenage Les used with teenage Bull. Of course now we know that that wasn’t real bullying at all. Mr. Black Shirt Hatchet Face appears to be serious. Given his renown for “tackling serious real-life issues”, you’d expect that TB would at least attempt to treat bullying a little more thoughtfully. Instead he goes for “funny” but it just comes out “wrong”.

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Dese Nuts

Oh, you just know that somewhere in Batiuk’s studio is a napkin, from Luigi’s of Akron, on which TB has jotted “idea for strip punchline: academia nuts!”

Tell me if reversing the order of panels doesn’t make it funnier:

Cayla, who’s been disparaging the team since the start of the season, decides she’s gonna lighten things up with her little nut gag. The “joke” goes over like a turd in a punchbowl, and she sheepishly puts away her bag o’ nuts, mumbling to herself while Les and Linda offer pitying glances.

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One for the Books

Lots to be said about today’s strip, gang!

  • The red title text in panel one really stands out against the muddy, muted greens and pinkish browns of today’s panels.
  • TB casually drops into this otherwise run-of-the-mill, throwaway Sunday setpiece the fact that Pete  is moving back to the big city, nearly four years after he inexplicably moved back to Westview.
  • The name of this secondhand bookstore is sorta clever (certainly more clever than The Village Booksmith). Reminds me of a bar in Bayonne where I used to live that was called He’s Not Here.
  • TB sure has a thing for bookstores and their uncertain fate. In addition to the now-shuttered Booksmith, earlier this year Les recalled a now-demolished bookstore in Kent, Ohio (Les also shares Pete’s proclivity for “haunting” secondhand bookstores).
  • With his balloon head and scrawny neck, Bookstore Guy in the last panel really resembles South Park‘s Mr. Mackey, mmkay?

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Much a Douche About Nothing

Naturally, Les is the only one who “gets” the concept of Owen’s costume. Takes one to know one, right? Be careful, “Ben Reilly”: Mr. Moore’s pet peeve about mixed metaphors is well documented. Anyway, if Blonde Sailor Girl despises Owen so much, why has she been following him around all day?

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Millage Idiot

It’s not a punchline-worthy pun if I have to Google the meaning. Oh well, at least Les is nowhere in sight. It’s also heartening to see that not only has the senior class gone to the trouble of repainting “Senior Rock” (remember how lazy the Class of 2011 was?)…they’ve actually picked it up and moved it about twenty yards, to a spot behind the school sign. Now that’s Senior Spirit!

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Usted es Tonto*


Pink attire, bald head…yep, she’s got the cancer, all right. But what’s her husband afflicted with? His friggin’ head is enormous!

*Spanish for “You’re silly”. “Chemosabe”? “Tonto”? See what I did there?

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