Just two strips ago, Funky was being a pill to the office’s receptionist for a joke he completely walked into… and yet here he is in today’s strip indignant that Dr. Droopy won’t sanction his buffoonery. Stay in your lane, Funky. Les is supposed to be the guy who gets huffy when other people make jokes but then expects everyone to laugh at his pathetic stabs at humor.
I was going to suggest that Dr. Droopy here was being presumptuous here bringing up Captain Kirk, not that it would make Funky any less insufferable. I thought perhaps Funky was referencing the legend of Admiral David Farragut or perhaps he is actually a big fan of the band Pain, regionally-popular purveyors of late-90s pop punk (from whom I pilfered, purloined, and repurposed today’s post-title). But nope… a brief search of the SOSF archives reveals that, in a rare bit of Batiukverse continuity, Dr. Droopy is correctly referencing when Funky previously pulled this miserable excuse for a joke back in August 2019.
Callback or not, Funky ought to be tossed out of the doctor’s office window.
Take a gander at today’s strip. Truly fowl, it swan of the worst yet. Remarkably, it manages to come across more dated than the similarly-themed 43 year-old strip seen below:
Dinkle can’t write despite making an honest(ly awful) effort, Les couldn’t-can’t-won’t write unless it is about someone who died a decade prior, the late Livinia wouldn’t write… I’m starting to see a pattern here.
Claude Barlow’s “tectonic scale” could probably be applied to today’s strip, and this week in general, which feels like it has been going on for eons.
What really throws me in these Dinkle-Barlow strips is that they come across simply as vehicles to deliver TB’s puns. That concept struggles when Dinkle is a character who otherwise isn’t at all disposed to being a mirthful pun-maker. It struggles further when Barlow, as an unseen character, seems to slide from being an unwitting pun set up to an unwitting pun-maker to a “humorously” terrible composer just to suit Dinkle’s TB’s mood. I get that the Barlow shtick was supposed to add to Dinkle’s over-the-top nature, and that kid of worked back in Acts I and II when he was an over-the-top character. Now, though, he’s a character that used to be over-the-top, like a guy who still wants his nickname to be “Animal” even though the only time he really got crazy was at a couple of parties in college. Now, this is just listless and out of whatever character Dinkle has remaining.
Today’s strip features a pun so tremendously corny that Dinkle had to pause for a second while typing it up to… uh, take notes on it? Maybe he had to write it down because it was so bad it crashed his WordPerfect AND broke the “oy” tag on Comics I Don’t Understand.
Oh, and here’s a remarkably prescient strip of Dinkle doing his Clade Barlow shtick way back in 1981, shortly before Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.