Tag Archives: Mason

Opinions are like Les Moore. If you don’t want one, don’t ask.

Hottie Budd got a nose job? Click here for the stunning evidence!

I stared at today’s strip for hours. Trying to decide if I was amused, offended, or bored.

On the one hand, valued commenter The Dreamer foresaw this strip yesterday.

I’m waiting for Cindy to show up. At the 50 year reunion, standing with all her old geezer classmates, still looking 25 years old with her great body and younger movie star boyfriend Mason Jarr…..

And I’m getting sick of Holly Budd Winkerbean being so mopey and self-conscious. A single strip of it is relatable, a week of it is exhausting.

On the other hand, it’s at least a structured joke. Again, the nature of my own parents’ relationship skews how I’m seeing things. They tease each other mercilessly. My mom once joked that my dad was going to leave her for his old college girlfriend, and my dad just scoffed.

“It would take too long to train someone else.”

And they laughed, sitting in their cluttered dining room wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts, sipping coffee from out-of-season Christmas mugs that never got put away. They were both in on the joke, that learning to put up with someone new, a whole new set of pet peeves, failings, wants, and triggers would be too exhausting. And beneath the ribbing is always the stubborn kind of unconditional love that has them picking ditch side tiger lilies and cooking enough pot roast to last a week because they know that’s just the thing to make the other smile.

But when I peeled the lens of my own experience away, I was lost. My sense of objectivity completely wrecked. I was seeing, but I had completely lost the ability to understand.

Is this humor?

So I asked some of my normie friends. All women between 29 and 40. Some single, some in relationships. None with kids. People who know of Funky Winkerbean, and this blog, because of me ranting at them. But not people who could tell a Jessica from a Mindy at 100 paces. I sent them today’s strip and just said.

PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS STRIP. Positive, negative, neutral, confused, whatever I just want some normie outsider perspective on it.

  • “It feels like he’s making like a lame mid-90s, sitcom joke about how women are difficult. Because two wives would be double the nagging and emotions or something?”
  • ahem Wifey here is exhibiting a behavior promoted by our culture where women are encouraged to fight or tear each other down because #thepatriarchy. She is heckin intimidated by Cindy and is asking for reassurance from hubby. Hubby, instead of giving her blind reassurance that he only has eyes for wifey, ~apparently~ gives the wrong answer. – Signed, the token liberal (What this means coming from this comic in particular heckin idk.)
  • “I am now overthinking it. I think my initial thought was “I’m not sure I get the joke.” Upon further reflection, It is hard to say if he was going for ha ha two wives how silly or a sweet I’d have always have fallen in love with you sentiment. I’m going to be charitable and say he was going for sweet & snarky.”
  • “Blah. That’s my reaction to this. Just blah. If my partner said that to me, I’d feel pretty gross about the relationship.”
  • “If he’s fully joking, man is he playing with fire. Let’s reverse the roles. Husband is all “Man Steve is looking like a million bucks today. Do you still wish you were married to Steve?” And then wife says: “Don’t be silly! Then I’d have two husbands!” I don’t think husband would appreciate that response.”
  • “Side note, I do think him saying “well then I’d have two wives” might be an attempt to poke fun at her for even asking about wishing he was still married to Cindy. It’s pretty lame, but it somehow has the same energy as five-year-old me asking my Dad how he did something that, at the time, seemed incredible but wasn’t really. He’d always tell me that he was a wizard.”
  • “The second thing is that some of the guys I dated in Utah always liked to float the idea of having more than one wife.”
  • “Based on everything I have ever heard about Utah this, somehow, super doesn’t surprise me? God, why is Utah so weird.”
  • Also also. Because apparently I’m not done yet, damn you. Like, look at this face.”
  • Image
  • “It is quite a face. Little dots for eyes. But like for me, in a way, her comment kind of comes off as more casual? I don’t think she’s fussed specifically about Cindy.”
  • “But also I can see the 50th anniversary banner for the reunion in the background. Which just makes Cindy seem more jarring to me, considering the subject matter. Because they’re all pushing into their 70s at least. Which means Cindy has one hell of an exercise routine and a love for Botox, probably. Which, you know. Bodybuilding grandmas are a thing.”
  • “Side note – it’s kind of funny to me that big Hollywood stars like Cindy and Mason Jar would care to kick it back to podunk small town whereveritisville for a high school reunion. Iunno. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never made it to a reunion myself and the last one they tried to put together fell apart because no one was gonna show up.”

So, there you have it. Some normie opinions on today. As close as we can get to that hypothetical newspaper reader who occasionally catches a strip or two while flipping through the paper. The only thing skewing the sample is that all of my friends are just as into hyper-analyzing media as we are here. You give us something to dissect and we start gleefully pinning it down and pulling the wings off.

But what do THE EXPERTS think?

I’m eager to find out.

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Clap on! Clap off!

Marianne does NOT look like someone who is willing to give away her Oscar in the first today’s strip. No, she’s looking at that Oscar the way most characters in this strip look at comic books.

The rest of this is as rote and pat as an Oscar acceptance speech can be, so let’s have some fun with another crowd shot of “famous” faces. Help me fill in the blanks and fix the mistakes where my corrective lenses deceived me.

  1. A replicant
  2. NO NECK JOE!
  3. Alana Haim deserves better seats than this
  4. Stanley Tucci on a ski trip
  5. David Duchovny’s face
  6. HAL 9000 putting on its best gold
  7. Debra Jo Rupp
  8. General U.S. Grant again
  9. A cumulonimbus cloud
  10. I don’t know, but her body language is appropriate
  11. David Duchovny’s hair
  12. Cousin It
  13. Beldar Conehead
  14. Hogarth Hughes
  15. Maria, from Sesame Street
  16. Cassidy’s sister, Alexus Kerr (see, I can do it too, TB)
  17. Yoko Ono
  18. Harold Lloyd (I mean, if Phil Holt is alive…)
  19. The Chinless Contessa
  20. Given her glare I’m guessing this is either Gretchen Gold or Cordelia Rama
  21. Burt Reynolds (again… Phil Holt)
  22. Jennifer Anniston’s hair
  23. Sid, from accounting
  24. We have General Grant, so why not Robert E. Lee too?

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Special Enragement

In today’s strip, Marianne is coming off as not simply composed but rehearsed, belying the nerves and words she had just a few days ago. Or maybe Marianne is just that good of an actress and really is worthy of that Oscar… I have to admit, only a great actress could say that Mason and Lisa’s Story deserve Academy Award nominations without breaking out in riotous laughter.

Let’s look at some odds on who this Oscar-worthy “very special person” is:

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Naked and Famous

OK, three weeks until the actual Oscars ceremony, plenty of time to build suspense. Will Marianne beat out Gretchen Gold and Cordelia Rama for best actress? We won’t know for sure until…

The first panel of today’s strip?!

Uh, points for brevity, I guess, though in this case it is most certainly not the soul of wit… or any other word positively associated with writing. In the absence of anticipation as to whether or not Marianne will win the little golden man statuette, we have the ridiculousness of professional actress Marianne (and no stranger to public speaking and media attention) not having any remarks prepared despite having an apparent one-in-three chance of winning. This is compounded by the ridiculousness of her asking advice on accepting an award from a guy whose work outside of Lisa’s Story and Starbuck Jones consisted of Dino Deer, My Dog Pookie, and being incredibly nervous about simply doing a table read (!!!) for the unfinished masterpiece that was Lust For Lisa.

At least Cindy’s shtick is consistent.

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Shmucks in a row

Today’s strip begs the classic 5 Ws (and an H) of writing. It also begins the Oscars story Variety promised last month. Yeah, I thought that maybe if I buried the lede it would stay in the ground, but alas.

Who is Mason talking to on the left? Wait, he calls her Marianne… that’s supposed to be Marianne Winters? The lady with the pentagon head and the pigtail-bun hairstyle my niece insisted on wearing when she was a toddler is Marianne Winters?

What is with TB’s willingness to use Hulu and HBO’s trademarked names but still insist on sticking to the eyeroll-inducing “Netbusters”?

When does TB think the Academy Awards ceremony takes place? We’re three weeks out from this year’s Oscars broadcast… Does that mean? Oh no, please no. I really hope TB just got the dates wrong.

Where is the “chateau” where this “real party” is happening? Chateau Marmont? Haha, really? I guess if you don’t know… then you don’t know. I’m in no hurry to find out, either.

Why are Cliff Anger and Vera Nash here? Neither one was involved in the Lisa’s Story movie at all… well, other than inexplicably being at the film’s wrap party.

How is this story going to end? Insufferably, no doubt. I don’t think any other outcome is possible.

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Only the Wrong Survive

Nice of Mason to let Les know that their film project has drawn an Oscar nom for its leading lady. And kinda nervy of Cayla to denigrate “Lisa’s Story: The Movie” in front of Les. And speaking of nomineeds, a note to our Comic Book Harriet: we already have our first candidate for Most Punchable Les face in panel 3.

.

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Mesh-uggeneh!

The waiter has fetched the…uh, red champagne, and the discussion turns to the rest of the Best Actress field. Which for some reason consists of only two other actresses, when IRL there are five Best Actress nominees. We should be grateful that Batiuk’s given the pair names which are actually plausible sounding, and not jokey or punny (before I wrote that, I had to say “Cordelia Rama” out loud, ten times fast, to be sure).

Is Mason being coy when he claims to “forget” who the other nominees are? Also, someone please come up with a tag we can use where, in the last panel, one character delivers the punchline, and another character chimes in with a gratuitous rejoinder (never mind, I just came up with a tag!) that adds nothing to the joke. In this case it’s Mason’s “Nope!” Unless he’s grown tired of Marianne’s mesh mask meanderings, and instead is excited about the upcoming horror flick from Jordan Peele.

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Real Pain for My Sham Friends

J.J. O’Malley
February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm
[A]t what point in this week’s proceedings will the paparazzi show up at the restaurant to snaps photos of Ms. Winters and Mr. Jarre canoodling in their private booth, with the resultant publicity throwing Cindy into a violent, shoe-throwing fit of jealousy and sending Marianne on a nighttime visit to the Hollywood sign for a cord-free bungee jump?

This friendly luncheon between the two costars does seem to be taking a decidedly datelike turn: Mason’s arm is now around or at least behind Marianne, and he orders another “calamaro” and some champagne. Wonder what they bring you at Musso and Frank when you order champagne without first perusing the wine list? Especially when you tell your waiter “You can bring us a bottle of champagne” like he’s the butler.

When Mason’s right, folks, he’s right:
Unless you consume it by the gallon, choosing Champagne over wine or beer represents the diet option. Sort of. A small flute of brut Champagne…is usually 80 to 100 calories, fewer than in a [6 oz.] glass of wine and far healthier than a pint of beer. –Guy Kelly, “5 reasons Champagne is surprisingly good for you,” New York Post, December 9, 2015

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Keto-Sabe

At least the dialogue in today’s strip sounds like it’s coming from two hip Hollywood adult types, and not from a couple of awkward teens on a first date. Mason has somehow managed to gain thirty pounds after five months of keto. And Marianne’s macro-meals are prepared not by her mom, but by a chef. Alas, as befits her waiflike persona, she’s still “always hungry.”

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Leave the Gun, Take the Calamari

Banana Jr. 6000
February 18, 2022 at 8:06 am
[E]veryone in Funky Winkerbean is just a schlub from Westview. Even the people who are supposed to be celebrities. And aren’t from Westview.

As lame as yesterday‘s punchline was (“She was a real hair-devil!”), it did meet the requirements of a joke. Barely. But I can’t tell what’s supposed to be funny about today’s strip. Panel one shows some promise: for a Hollywood movie star, that Mason “Crappy Internet” Jarre is a cheap bastard, all right. When the waiter (the mystery mug in this week’s masthead!) confirms his order, Mason appears stricken, and then proceeds to pointedly “correct” his server: “No…no appetizer!” as Marianne sits, smirks, and simpers. What the hell does Mason think comprises “one calamari”? Cut into rings, battered, and deep fried, with a side of marinara, squid can indeed be tasty. But a whole, cooked squid on a plate would appeal only to the most adventurous foodie, and that ain’t Mason. Calamari (or as we say it in Jersey, galamad) isn’t even on the appetizer menu at Musso and Frank, where this lunch is supposedly taking place. Nor is it  on the menu [PDF] at Luigi’s of Akron, which is just as well because their galamad would probably suck.

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