Hey, It's a Start.
Dec. 15-21, 2003
BEETLE BAILEY: Sarge invites himself to go home with Beetle for the holidays. Beetle changes into his Archies-era sweater-and-snap-brim-hat mufti for the occasion; Sarge sticks with his regulation threads. One young member of the Bailey clan answers to the name of "Chigger."
CURTIS: Curtis wakes Barry up with a snowball.
OPUS: The shakedown cruise continues with an over-shaded series of portraits of "history's most romantic newlyweds," including a domestic-violence joke about Liza Minelli and culminating in "Opus & Eunice." Eunice is a towering, fat penguin with glowing eyes. They shrank all the other comics for this?
BLONDIE: Monday, Blondie cadges a C-note from Dagwood before heading over for "coffee with Tootsie." Coffee, she says. Like some fresh-ground Colombian, huh? So that's why they call her "Tootsie."
Sunday, Mr. Dithers, wearing dollar-sign pajamas, has his slumber disturbed by Christmas Carol dreams of Dagwood.
MOMMA: Wednesday, Francis shows rare depths of cruelty toward his sister. "How do I attract boys?" Marylou asks him. "Rub honey on your face," he advises. "That'll attract boys??" she asks. "Boy flies," Francis replies. "Hey, it's a start."
THE PHANTOM: Abandoned by his men and pursued by flames, Prince Condor meets his gruesome end on the horn of an angry rhinoceros. "AAAHHH!!" he screams Saturday, as the beast tosses him in the air in a full-length splash panel.
Sunday, two villains prepare to heave a weakened prisoner over a cliff. "One . . " the first says. "Two . . ." his partner says. " . . . Three and four!" sneers the Phantom, dispatching them--"WAPT! SPTAK!"--with one brutal punch to the jaw apiece.
DENNIS THE MENACE: Monday, Dennis comes running in, tongue hanging out, announcing that "Margaret just showed me what mistletoe is for!"
MARMADUKE: Wednesday, Marmaduke scares off a parcel-delivery man.
APARTMENT 3-G: The Professor has no pulse! Cleaning lady Sara begins administering chest compressions. "Sara, stop! You could hurt him!" Margo shrieks. "Where is the ambulance? We need an expert here! I wish I remembered the CPR class!" "Calm down, Margo," says the cleaning lady. " . . . I'm a doctor. " As the Professor's overeducated heart restarts, the news of Sara's overqualification spreads to the neighbors. "The economy is even worse than I thought," says one. Unsatisfied with the easy punchline, a curious EMT tries to dig deeper, paraphrasing Bugs Bunny in the process: "What's going on, doc?" he asks. "Believe me," says the medico-cum-housemaid, "you don't want to know."
LUANN: Gunther lays some bling-bling on Bernice. "But I don't have anything to give you," she says as she starts opening the box Wednesday. "You do," Gunther replies, "you just don't know it yet." Big pimpin' Gunther!
MARK TRAIL: Joey's mother--newly awakened by the sight of Mark's friendliness with a U.S. Senator to the social-climbing opportunities presented by outdoor recreation--decides to allow her precious boy to go camping after all. But not without packing an extra pair of jammies and his meds. And even deep in the wilderness, through "chains of lakes and long portages," Joey's cell phone keeps ringing as his mom checks up on him. Lucky Joey. Funny Paper couldn't even get a signal at a drinking cabin in the Adirondacks.
Sunday's featured natural entity: everything! "The rising and setting of the sun--the earth and all that dwell therein! . . . [T]he greatest of gifts--the gift of creation."
MARY WORTH: Woody "Don't Call Me Fairfield" Hills sends Brint Prescott on his way with a cane-blow to the solar plexus. Then he settles down with a nice family chat with his sister Bev. "Incidentally," Bev says Saturday, "Uncle Will wondered if your academic roaming had helped you find a school that will accept imbeciles." Woody grits his teeth. The friendly confab continues Sunday, with Bev explaining that Woody owns the largest number of shares in the family mill, with an obligation to take over the company at a suitable age. Woody snarls that his uncle "can't wait for the day I shine my pants in the front office!" As he speaks, he's clutching what is either a phone handset or an electric shaver. Funny Paper really can't tell the difference. Maybe it's an electrolarynx. Here's where a sound effect would do you a world of good, Saunders and Giella.
ONE BIG HAPPY: Sunday, Ruthie is so busy bickering with her brother on a family stroll, she temporarily forgets to admire the holiday lights.
HERB & JAMAAL: Saturday, Stephen Bentley tries to do a G-rated take on a racial-sexual stereotype, by having Herb play very, very dumb. "Bigger?!!?" he thinks, sitting at his computer. "Why would I need that bigger? Why do I keep getting these?!? Is there something the Internet knows about my anatomy that I don't?"
REX MORGAN, M.D.: Wanda hunkers down to watch more Jeopardy!, allowing Wilson & Nolan to get into the funny-extra-business racket: "Give me 'Celebrity Has-Beens' for $300, Alex." Unable to stand the toxic mood in the household anymore, Elwood decamps for the bookstore.
JUMBLE: "LOGGING" ON, "RINGING" WET, BYE BUY, SHE WAS "BASH" FULL, A "FIGURE" HEAD, HE "MEASURED" UP.
DILBERT: Alice gets downsized. Catbert spits on her.
THE BOONDOCKS: Sunday, Riley lays for Santa with a baseball bat.
FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Michael and Deanna get dinner at the mall food court. For worse!
THE LOCKHORNS: Friday, Leroy goes to a party and falls asleep in a chair instead of capering with busty blondes. Saturday, Loretta goes out to by Leroy more booze.
KUDZU: Doug Marlette uses the excesses of P.C. tackling dummy Ida Mae to make the case for keeping the Christ in Christmas. "'Joy to the World' is clearly the product of the Eurocentric dead white male mentality!" the ugly feminist shrew lectures Thursday. This is putting the "Aw, Christ!" is Christmas.
WILLY 'N ETHEL: Wednesday, Joe Martin delivers a one-act play's worth of material:
Ethel: "I heard some bad news today, but it might be baloney . . . "
Willy (cracking open a can): "If the bad news was baloney . . . how many sandwiches could you make out of it?"
Ethel: "Enough to feed all our friends and family . . . "
Willy: "Including your sister?"
Ethel: "Including my sister!"
Willy: "Including your sister! I didn't think there was that much baloney in the world!"
THE COLL-EGG-TIBLE EGGERS FAMILY: "Merry Eggmas!" from 11-year-old Alyssa Pavignano of Pasadena, MD.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201