Perfect Tommy April 17, 2022 at 11:23 am
At least Crazy didn’t run up to Lisa and loudly insist that she get a certain part of her anatomy examined. That might trigger some alarms.
Guess we’ll start calling you Prescient Tommy! Yep, Crazy, almost as an afterthought to brokering the eventual marriage of Lisa and Les, remembers something important that he probably ought to relate to young Lisa Crawford. Our security guard Cliff seems to have administered some kind of Vulcan Nerve Pinch, which renders Crazy Harry mute before he can blurt out “…a mammogram! Ask your doctor or your Mom but you must listen to me! Please!”
And kudos to you, Spiff, for the past fortnight of great posts!
Listen: Harry Klinghorn has come unstuck in time. Harry has gone to sleep a befuddled boomer and…well, he’s still a befuddled boomer but he’s revisiting his high school years. He has walked through a door in 2022 and come out another one in…‘78? ‘88? Who the fuck knows?
Oh yeah, nothing sketchy at all about a graybearded stranger accosting a teenage girl outside the high school to talk about boys. But hey, that’s Crazy Harry! Mousy Lisa, for her part, is not the least bit fazed to find herself chatting with this weirdo.
Les’ teenaged penchant for hanging out alone in the bleachers (during lunch…after lunch, he would probably be expected in class) actually is a recurring Act I theme. And, speaking of Act I, who else remembers Westview High School’s Cliff the Security Guard? Me neither! But I’ll bet he and classic Crazy Harry were well acquainted, and they’re about to meet again…across…the Time Zone!
Hey Snarkers! Amidst all the “excitement” of Tom Batiuk’s 75th birthday, and Funky Winkerbean‘s 50th anniversary, I sort of let the 12th anniversary of Son of Stuck Funky go by unremarked. Yep, on April 9th, 2010, we picked up the sputtering torch of the original Stuck Funky, and kindled it into a blazing…well, into a very niche comics snark blog. A long-running comics snark blog, and this never would have happened without the contribution of Epicus Doomus, billytheskink, ComicBookHarriet, spacemanspiff85, beckoningchasm, and everyone who over the years has guest-authored, commented, or just read and enjoyed. Batty is showing no inclination to putting down the Funky Felt Tip, so stick with Team SoSF, the web’s premiere source for Funky Winkerbean snark. Thanks all!
Of course, you can’t have a time travel story without Lisa. It’s inevitable.
It’s already creepy enough for sixty-ish Harry to be walking up to a high school girl who doesn’t know him and address her by name, but telling her he’s been to the school before doesn’t help. Lisa really should know better than to stop and engage some random old guy who’s approaching her, but this is Lisa after all, she clearly has bad judgment when it comes to men.
I’m positive someone Harry’s age is bound to have friends or family who aren’t alive in 2022 anymore, but apparently he doesn’t care at all about seeing them. All he cared about was himself (literally), and visiting high school again, which is so typical of characters in this strip. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he somehow enrolled in high school again (it turns out he’s missing a credit!) or becomes a teacher, and that lets Batiuk reboot everything.
It’s been great being able to comment on one of the weirder recent arcs. TFHackett gets to take over tomorrow, when Harry probably tries to make Les and Lisa get married as teenagers or something.
“There are gaggles of geese, pods of whales and murders of crows. What term would do justice to the special nature of black holes?…The question was crowdsourced on Twitter recently as part of what NASA has begun calling black hole week…Among the many candidates so far: A crush. A mosh pit. A silence. A speckle. A hive. An enigma. Or a favorite of mine for of its connection to my youth: an Albert Hall of black holes.” –Dennis Overbye, “What Do You Call a Bunch of Black Holes: A Crush? A Scream?”, New York Times, April 22, 2021
Thankfully we’ve survived the week-long shipwreck that is Tom Batiuk’s imaginary Hollywood, to find ourselves in the more familiar confines of Westview High School. Jim shares his dismay over his students not picking up on his referencing a fifty-five year old Beatles lyric. Which would be akin to 1970’s high school kids recognizing an Al Jolson reference. Which, come to think of it, we 1970’s high school kids might’ve picked up on, so maybe Jim’s pupils are deserving of his disdain after all.
Today we learn the name of Westview High’s janitor. Is Harley his first name or last? It Harley matters…
When I first saw today’s strip, I thought, ‘Isn’t that kind of racy for kids to be playing?’
But that is, of course, because the song ‘Unchained Melody’ has for more than 30 years been chained to a certain famous, and much parodied, pottery making scene in the movie Ghost. To the point that playing the first few notes of the Righteous Brothers cover of the song instantly cues many brains to expect slow motion montages of wet, spinning clay.
But the song was created 35 years before Patrick Swayze ever slid his hands over Demi Moore’s while Bobby Hatfield crooned. American composer Alex North, (most known for scoring Spartacus and the jazz infused soundtrack to A Streetcar Named Desire,) wrote the melody that has no bonds for the movie he was currently scoring. A completely forgotten 1955 prison pic called Unchained. (Which was based on a real experimental reform prison in Chino, California.)
North asked lyricist Hy Zaret, (famous for later writing children’s educational songs such as ‘The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas’) to write the words. The producers had requested that the word ‘unchained’ be used in the lyrics. Zaret refused, so instead the whole song was called ‘Unchained Melody.’
The first singer to record ‘Unchained Melody’ was African American opera singer and actor Todd Duncan, who had a bit part in the movie as an unnamed prisoner singing a shortened version of the song.
Since then “Unchained Melody” has reached number one on the UK four times with four different recordings. It is currently one of the highest grossing royalty earners for it’s copyright holders of any song.
Was that a great musical education? Maybe not. I mean, I stole most of those facts off of the internet and I knew NONE of this before I looked it up today. But I guarantee you it’s a better musical education that Lefty usually provides. And I suspect Batiuk doesn’t care at all about the song, its history, or if it would be appropriate, or even possible, for a high school band to play an arrangement of it. He just heard a song title and thought, ‘Heh, I can make a quick band joke outta this.’
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Three things about today’s strip:
1. Batiuk still depicts signs as being on the inside of the door, which is silly. I’m guessing he’d think people would miss the vitally important detail that this conversation is taking place in the band room, and he can’t think of a way to arrange the layout so you can see the outside of the door. (Also, there’s no hilariously crappy tape holding the sign up. Maybe we’ve made a difference!)
2. Based on my ten seconds of Googling, “finale list” isn’t a thing. I’m assuming it’s a play off of “bucket list”, (“he’s a musician, he wouldn’t talk about buckets, he’d talk about finales!”), but just swapping one word for another doesn’t instantly make comedy, despite what the existence of Crankshaft would have you think.
3. But hey, Dinkle is talking about his finale, which can only mean he’s about to die soon. Here’s hoping for a Sunday sideways “Death of Superman” “homage”, which will be extra awkward when it’s Becky cradling Dinkle’s corpse in her arm.
As someone who has ridden in an ambulance with a parent after breaking a bone while competing in a sport, I found there to be nothing at all redeeming about today’s strip. At least yesterday we had some America’s Funniest Home Videos visuals, solid work from Chuck Ayers for once, but today… today… just get out of here with this tripe!
No one wants to see Holly apologize to her mother for, um, for breaking her ankle?! What?! No one wants to see this whole cruel and miserable experience turned into a nostalgia trip. No one wants to know what kind of hairspray Holly uses that has kept her terrifying hair claw intact despite spending extended periods in a driving rainstorm.
As someone who has broken a bone after slipping on wet grass, I must admit that I briefly chuckled at today’s strip… briefly.
And that brief chuckle is the sole redeeming payoff of a story arc that began (checks phases of the moon) three weeks ago?! That’s… better than a lot of TB’s story arcs to be honest.
But what of Dinkle and the alumni band? OK, I don’t care one iota what Dinkle is doing, but the alumni band has been waiting three YEARS to perform! Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot until today that TB did this whole alumni band thing, complete with majorette performance, pretty much three years ago on the dot. I forgot about how it all started with Holly and her mom reminiscing (though then it was on a car trip from Florida). I also forgot that Holly and Melinda were told “no” on the flaming baton trick back then too. I forgot that it all ended (after taking up a whole MONTH), not with a performance, but with this. And worst/best of all, I forgot all about all of this despite being the blogger on duty when it all happened.
I was going to say “you’re welcome”, but I had to go and remember all of this today.
The day of the big alumni band Holly and Melinda Budd vanity performance has arrived in today’s strip, and the nastiness continues. No, I’m not talking about the weather, though most of us are aware that monsoon rains during band performances are quite possibly the longest still-running gag in this strip (predating even Garfield and lasagna/Mondays, though far far less accessible).
Good crowd on hand, considering the weather, probably the biggest since Bull retired. Whoever replaced him must be doing a good job, crowds were pretty thin when Bull’s teams were struggling.
Sorry, scratch that last paragraph. This is Funky Winkerbean, so I’m sure the crowd is really here to see Holly…