Quite the crowd on hand in today’s strip, with the first panel serving as the Batiukverse equivalent of the semi-famous crowd reaction photo from the 2017 Academy Awards’ wrong envelope incident. While the crowd of stars watching Marianne are not quite of the same wattage as those in the 2017 audience, I still spy some big names.
OK, I don’t know who this is, but his mouth is huge
The shirtless Nazi who gets shredded by a propeller in Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Dorothy Hamill (what’s with all the sports people?)
Hey, do you remember that sketch on The Muppet Show where Florence Henderson played the teenage son of a Ronald Reagan Muppet? I sure don’t, and I’ve seen The Muppet Showepisode with Florence Henderson, but apparently Funky does, if today’s strip is to be believed.
I certainly can’t blame Morton for wanting to avoid these two bores the way a teenage avoids his parents. Given that Funky and Holly are back in the car driving who knows where instead of talking with the authorities about locating Morton and about Bedside Manor’s gross negligence, I guess the feeling is mutual.
Over the river
And through the woods, to Morton's
Nursing home we go
Funky knows the way
As he skids on through Copley
In the driving snow
But wait, he's not there?!
As we learn in today's strip
No, he's got a gig
That blonde has not mistaken
Funky for Morton
A front desk message?
Who communicates like this?
They're father and son!
OK, to be fair
This weirdness is typical
For this comic strip
If he has a gig
Does that mean we won't have to
Endure skeezy Mort?
Morton the creepster
Has become a Batiukverse
So, if you’re lucky enough that you don’t follow Crankshaft, you’ll have no idea who these people are or what’s going on.
I rarely look at it; Batiuk is insufferable enough when he’s trying to be serious, but he’s unbearable when he tries to be funny. The short version is that a church organist died right in the middle of a service, and the much-loathed Lillian was drafted as a replacement. Although based on today’s thing, it looks like she’s not so much a replacement as a downgrade.
My question is this: when we see Crankshaft in Funky Winkerbean, he’s a barely sentient pile fastened to a wheelchair in the assisted living home. In Crankshaft, he and Lillian appear to be roughly the same age (if anything I’d say she’s older). So why isn’t she in Bedside Manor in a similar condition? “Well, we’d have no story.” That’s no excuse, we haven’t had a story in years.
Let me say, too, that the timeline is very confusing here. The “organist dies” bit just happened in Crankshaft. I suppose it’s possible that today’s strip is happening years later, but the scheduling of the two strips makes it seem like it’s all happening at the same time. Not even a fig leaf of dialogue, “Well, I’ve been the organist now for ten years” or something (I don’t claim to be a writer). If you’re going to be confusing, it’s a good idea to have something of substance to make it worthwhile to unravel.
“Lillian” sure does have a lot of squiggly L’s. Good thing her last name isn’t Llewellyn.