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Funny Paper

Never Mess With th' Black Man's Religion

May 14-20

By Scocca & MacLeod | Posted 5/23/2001

DEP'T. OF WE-DON'T-GET-IT: Hagar the Horrible, Saturday. Panel one, an angry man in a hornless helmet confronts Hagar: "If you don't stop your dog from doing his business on my property, I'll burn your house down and drive off your livestock!!!" Panel two, the view pulls back to show Snert the dog sitting behind Hagar, with the whole group in front of Hagar's house. "I'll certainly talk to him about it," Hagar says. That's it.

Eh? What is the gag? That he'll talk to the dog? That the house maybe kinda looks like a giant doghouse? That Hagar is big and rough enough to beat up his carping neighbor? That Snert qualifies as livestock, and Hagar only has one piece of livestock? But what about Kvack the duck? We don't get it. We don't get Hagar the Horrible. We don't get Hagar the Horrible.

FAMILY CIRCUS: Speaking of not getting it: On Friday, Jeffy looks up and says, "Mommy, can I have more marble-ade on my toast?" Marble-ade. Our sleep-bleared eyes went right past the "funny" part, so we spent a good half-minute staring at Jeffy's teddy-bear mug, trying to figure out if there was some kind of Paddington reference going on or what. And how old is Jeffy, that he can't eat bread and marmalade without smearing it all over his chubby face? Marble-ade. Yow.

On Wednesday, the family's religious fanaticism veers dangerously out of control as a beaming Billy tells Dolly, "Best part about sneezin' from allergies is I get lotsa 'bless yous.'"

THE BOONDOCKS: Monday through Wednesday, the strip appears to be cruising in the mildly amusing direction it established last week, as Riley keeps crusading to get Puffy associate Jamal "Shyne" Barrow out of jail. Then on Thursday, as Riley slumps on a curb with his freefree shyne sign, a yuppie offers him a "shiny new quarter" to polish his Pradas. Zap! Hard-core whiteface humor, delivered under the radar. Riley retaliates by stealing the footgear--"If he's gonna assume I can't spell 'shine,' he deserved to get his shoes took," he says Friday--and then, in a supreme feat of loose-end-wrapping, delivers Grandpa a belated birthday present. "'Prada.' That don't mean 'cheap,' does it?" No, Grandpa, it means "stolen."

GARFIELD: Monday: Garfield watches TV. Tuesday: Garfield and Jon watch TV. Wednesday: Garfield watches TV. Thursday: Garfield and the spider watch TV. Friday: Garfield watches TV. Saturday: Garfield watches TV. Sunday: Jon can't get a date.

JUMP START: Char gets a new hairstyle.

B.C.: Broken-English-speaking prehistoric Injun stereotype Conahonty declares that "Conahonty honored!" to have sports teams named after his ancestors. "Conahonty's ancestors all red-skinned braves from Cleveland." Yeah! Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it, Chief Can't-Take-a-Racist-Joke! How!

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: April learns about Michael and Deanna's secret wedding while eavesdropping on Elly and Connie's conversation.

LUANN: Deceit pays off as Luann pretends to come clean with her parents about her near-accident while driving--omitting the fact that she was breaking the rules by carrying a passenger. Over Mr. DeGroot's protests, Mrs. DeG. grants Luann full driving privileges.

CURTIS: Ray Billingsley plunges straight into controversies of race and religion as a freak storm rains fish on the ghetto. "Fish to feed my family!" a woman exclaims. "It's a miracle!" But big-chinned white TV reporter Rock Peaston is skeptical: "The more reasonable theory is that a 'waterspout' picked up a lake somewhere and dropped its contents here! 'Act of God'? Not likely . . ."

"Who needs your crummy scientific explanations?!" a bystander replies, as a mob prepares to go Reginald Denny on him.

The moral: "Never mess with th' black man's religion," says Curtis, watching the mayhem on TV.

SALLY FORTH: Overwhelmed by the burdens of work and family, Sally looks into hiring a housecleaning service. Hey, nobody has time to do everything. Hence the endless roster of writers and inkers laboring under the "Created by Greg Howard" byline.

CLASSIC PEANUTS: You can tell it's Classic Peanuts when Violet shows up in a panel.


CATHY: Bad cartooning: To represent 1971, show someone wearing a peace sign. Worse cartooning: Draw a Mercedes-Benz logo instead of a peace sign.

MARK TRAIL: Cherry tries to save Mark's job; Andy comes home from the vet. "You big lovable ox," Trail tells Andy, embracing him, "am I glad you're okay!" Then Trail embraces Cherry, though not as closely.

Sunday: the polluting power of grass. Maybe that's why Mark can't tell a St. Bernard from an ox.

THE PHANTOM: The skull-marked ruffians kidnap chesty reporter Victoria, then meet up with more ruffians to go rob the Phantom's treasure. "Good deal!" the lead ruffian exclaims. "All the guys made it!"

"'Good deal!'"? Duuude. Let's, like, go find the Ghost Who Walks and, like, take all his stuff. Huh huh. Righteous.

NON SEQUITUR: Wednesday, Wiley daringly satirizes modern life by showing a sign at the gates of heaven reading NO cell phones--laptops--Walkmen." Oh, those annoying laptops! It's so rude when you're in a movie theater and someone starts using a laptop. Or in a restaurant. Friday, using the innovative comic backdrop of life on a desert island, Wiley tells us that PMS makes women crabby, especially if there's no chocolate to eat. Genius, thy name is Wiley.

GASOLINE ALLEY: Rover, fired from his high-powered cabbie job with Ugo Farina (Italian-American), looks into a career as a church janitor. With a referral from his roommate Tyrone (African-American), he meets up with Fr. Bob Murphy (Irish-American). If this doesn't work out, there's always Sven Svenson's tugboat operation. Or how about Lee Chow's laundry?

MARY WORTH: Ian flushes and cries "great scott!" as naughty sister-in-law Liz puts on a midriff-baring outfit to go trolling for neighbor men.

ZIGGY: "All April showers bring for me is May mud!!"

YOU CAN: Q: "Dear Beakman, How can I measure a car's weight?"

A: "The car must be parked on a smooth surface like a garage floor. Put the pieces of cardboard under a tire as in drawing 1. Push the cardboards as snug against the tire as possible. Make sure they are not crooked but nice and parallel. Measure the distance between the two cardboards. Then turn the cardboards and repeat the whole thing with the cardboards as in drawing 2. Multiply the numbers from both measurements. That will be the area of that tire's footprint.

"Next, use the tire gauge to measure the air pressure of the tire. Then multiply the area times the pressure. That will be the weight that one tire is holding up . . . "

"Repeat this for all 4 tires and add the separate weights together. That's the car's total weight."

Funny Paper method: Read the gross-vehicle-weight sticker on the door frame.

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