Sunday, September 10, 2006

Family Circus Isn't Funny

Apparently, motherhood saps some of your brain power. Or, at least, lack of sleep does. Today that was most obvious when I did not get the Sunday Family Circus. I can never find them online, so I will have to describe:

Panel 1: Daddy Keane is driving the car, looking to his right and his mouth is open. It looks a little like he may be singing along with the radio.

Panel 2: DK is still driving, but now looking to his left and seems to be shouting in anger. Looks like a road rage incident.

Panel 3: DK still driving, now shouting angrily to his right and gesticulating with his right hand (no, he's not flipping anyone the bird). It looks like the road rage incident may be escalating.

Panel 4: Still driving, but this time he seems to be happily shouting . . . maybe singing again, or shouting hello to a neighbor (the background shows that he is now in a neighborhood).

Panel 5: Daddy Keane is in the driveway, and opens up the door, letting one of the dogs (Barfy?) out.

So, I didn't understand. Did DK not know the dog was there? What was the joke? My husband had to explain it to me. See, all along he was talking to the dog. That bit of humor gold isn't revealed until the last panel. According to the hubby, "The point is you think he's a weirdo for talking to himself in the car, and then -- HA HA HA -- you find out that all along he has been talking to his dog." I had to ask, "Do you think it's really that weird to see someone talking to themselves in the car?" And the answer, of course, is no. He could be on a hands-free cell phone, singing to the radio, yelling at fellow drivers, etc. People talk to themselves ALL THE TIME in their cars. So, it's not funny.

It's actually just strange. Where was he with the dog? He looks like he is coming home from work. Was it Take Your Dog to Work Day? Why is he so angry with the dog? Did it pee on the back seat? Poop? So many unanswered questions.

One thing I love about the Sunday paper is the Parade insert. I love to read the ridiculous questions people send to Marilyn Vos Savant, Parade genius-in-residence. My favorite today was a question asking her what would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth. Anyway, in today's insert, there was a list of books that had been banned by school libraries. Along with the usual suspects (Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird) there were also some newer entries (i.e., the Harry Potter books - SATAN!). But, most intriguing to me . . . some school, somewhere, has banned a collection of Garfield cartoons! Why? The column said I could go to to find out more, but unfortunately, that site is down right now. Well, I will wait and wonder, and report back when I find out more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question is, is DK talking to his dog any less weird than him talking to himself? I say NO. He should have let Billy or Dolly, or hell, even PJ out of the car for this strip to make any sense at alll.

-- Austin

8:41 PM  
Blogger Marc said...


Marilyn Vos Savant is the redneck/smartass savior. I hate the questions where people are like

"Can you find the connection between the following letters: l m a o y o u a r e s o s t u p i d?"

"Okay reader's sharpen your pencils! The answer is at the end of this column!"

PS: Howard Huge and assorted other "comics" are drawn by the Lockhorn people, but these are funnier than the Lockhorns will ever be.

PPS: And I want to believe FC Daddy is just being a schitz.

And Isadore Rosenfeld's intellegence report has been lacking lately.

11:08 PM  
Blogger uglinessman said...

Here's how I interpreted the Family Circus strip...

In all the panels except the last, it's apparant that he's speaking and/or singing louder than he normally would if there were another person in the car with him. Then when he's letting the dog out in the last panel, the dog has this "get me the fuck out of here" look on his face, and dad seems to be saying "why's he in such a hurry". So I think that he knew that the dog was in there, and basically decided that since it wasn't a person, he could let loose (we can pretend he was cursing like a sailor if it maybe makes it funny), but the dog obviously didn't like it so much. The reason we don't see the dog until the last panel is not only so that the "reveal" provides the weak punchline, but also so we don't realize that the poor thing is probably cowering in the back seat with its paws over its ears.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous dale said...

uglinessman is absolutely right. didn't miss a point. i wish i had read the comments before i burned up the little gray cells trying to formulate such an articulate explanation.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Dave P. said...

I know this one! I know this one! The banned Garfield book was "Garfield: His Nine Lives." It's a comic book treatment of Garfield by nine different artists and a couple of the segments are rather violent. And I think it's the best Garfield book ever made, because it actually shows some creativity.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Dimestore Lipstick said...

I understood that he was talking to the dog, but I couldn't figure out all the hand gesturing.

Family Circus can be viewed online at the Houston Chronicle comics page.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't get it on Sunday, and despite all your theories, I don't get it now. I thought Daddy Circus was singing an AC/DC song and the reveal was of a now-hearing-impaired dog running for his life.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have any of you seen the recent Sunday (October 22) panel of The Family Circus where the backyard was a pet sematary (with apologies to Stephen King)? Perhaps this comic panel was prophetic . . .

9:01 PM  

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