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Funny Paper

What Am I? A Freakin' TV Guide?!

February 9-15, 2004

By Scocca & MacLeod | Posted 2/18/2004


SUN CROSSWORD OREO WATCH: Thursday, 42 Across: "Sandwich cookie."

CATHY: After a week of Cathy dithering and gnashing her invisible teeth over the ring box, Irving finally drops by on Valentine's Day. "I'll ask, she'll say 'no' . . . and I'll finally be free!!" he thinks. He asks. She says yes. At last! Funny Paper will dance at the wedding--since this should mean no more Cathy, right? Right?

GASOLINE ALLEY: Skeezix looks for the missing Uncle Walt. He's not in the cemetery, alas.

OPUS: A monster sport-utility vehicle spoils Opus' enjoyment of a dandelion-filled meadow. Aww, Berke Breathed still thinks SUVs can go off-road. That's cute.

HAL FOSTER'S PRINCE VALIANT BY JOHN CULLEN MURPHY: Prince Valiant prepares his followers for unconventional warfare against the forces of Horridus: "Pay no further heed to cavalry charges and pitched battles or the rules of chivalry. It is the arts of stealth and hand-to-hand fighting you must teach."

BLONDIE: Sunday, Dithers orders Dagwood not to mangle the name of important new client Mrs. Fadbottom. Young & Lebrun demonstrate that they couldn't draw a fat bottom if they tried. As usual, it's all about the rack. Shoulda named her Mrs. Tigbits.

THE MIDDLETONS: As Charlie Brown stands forlorn in the snow by his mailbox on Valentine's Day, Ralph Dunagin & Dana Summers break his balls on the facing page. "Look! I got a Valentine!" Wilson exclaims. "It's from the little red-haired girl!" "This was supposed to go to that kid down the street with the round head," Wendie says.

JUMP START: A Valentine's Day blizzard forces the postponement of the old folks' wedding.

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Suspicion falls on Kortney when some of the store's inventory is unaccounted-for. Sunday, Elly and John's naked Valentine's interlude in a hotel hot tub is spoiled when the romantic candles set Elly's hair on fire. For better!

BEETLE BAILEY VS. OTTO THE ARMY DOG: Otto wins, 3-2, capped off by a tedious Sunday strip introducing his Cute Canine Companions one by one. Thursday, Rocky puts in an appearance in the strip, bringing much-needed alcohol-fueled hostility. "What's on TV?" Beetle asks. "What am I?" Rocky asks. "A freakin' TV Guide?! The next idiot who asks me will get this beer in his stupid face!" Friday, Greg + Mort Walker give in to their fantasies: Miss Buxley is missing, Miss Blips says, because "she caught her skirt in the paper shredder." But how'd the paper shredder get four feet off the floor?


MARY WORTH: Monday, Saunders & Giella do an actual, full-blown gag: Dawn knocks on Woody's door and announces herself. "Dawn!" Woody replies. Then he adds, via thought balloon, " . . . go away, I'm no good for you!" Friday, Woody and Dawn share one last, glory-ray-radiating kiss.

MARK TRAIL: As Mark paddles back to camp, Joey's ballbusting, overprotective mother comes scooting up in her pontoon plane. "I made a mistake in allowing my son Joey to come on this trip . . . " she says. "I'm here to take him home!" "He's having a great time, Mrs. Lane!" Trail counters, with an insincere grin. "I'll be the judge of that . . . Where is he?" she snaps. Actually, ma'am, he's being held prisoner by a pair of terrorists he and Joey stumbled across in the woods. Maybe mother knows best, huh?

Sunday's featured natural phenomenon: the tides and the waves. Jack Elrod does cheesecake with a splash panel of a bikini-clad, earring-wearing surfer chick riding a breaker. The surfer chick's head looks uncannily like Rusty's. In the excitement, Elrod forgets the basics of set theory: "The biggest wave on record was observed in the Pacific in 1933 and was 112 feet high . . . . The most dangerous waves are tsunamis, which are caused by underwater earthquakes and volcano eruptions. The highest tsunami was 1,700 feet . . . It started in the Pacific and hit land in Alaska in 1958." OK, so a tsunami is a wave. And 1,700 feet would be 1,588 feet taller than your 1933 would-be champion.

APARTMENT 3-G: Bolle & Trusiani offer up a heaping plateful of G's-cake, as the ladies unwind from their scare by retreating to a sauna. "Oh, this feels gooood . . . " Tommie sighs Monday, in a panel framed to show her bare, creamy shoulder with no towel in view. The trio and Sara stay naked and sweating till Friday, when the scene switches to locker-room lingerie action. Sunday, the Professor serves everyone heart-healthy crudites.

MARMADUKE: Monday, Marmaduke bites the broom handle. Tuesday, he disdains the new drapes. Wednesday, he throws a barking fit while watching the giant-screen TV. Thursday, he dozes on the porch. Friday, he panics inside the car at the carwash. Saturday, he runs wild on a walk.

REX MORGAN, M.D.: Tuesday, down in the kidnapper's basement, wreathed in terrifying black shadows, Elwood gropes . . . for . . . the . . . key. Wednesday, he unlocks the door to free mouthy little Rose. "Hey . . . " she says. "You're the hot dog guy from the drugstore!" You call this action, Wilson & Nolan? "Take your hands off my daughter!" a blonde woman cries Thursday, her pupils rigid pinpoints, as she brandishes a huge kitchen knife. That's more like it! Saturday, as Elwood tries to talk her down, she pokes the knife right at his breadbasket.

KUDZU: "Confirmed bachelor" Dr. Nathan Goodvibes asks the preacher to put on an unconventional wedding ceremony. "I'm marrying me!" he says Thursday, "--and I want you to perform the historic ceremony! The world's very first same-self marriage!" Like when Doug Marlette drew this strip and then laughed at it.

BARNEY GOOGLE & SNUFFY SMITH: Snuffy's Cousin Elwood takes it on the lam to Hootin' Holler.

THE PHANTOM: The Phantom gets the backstory on the Mesoamerican mummy.

Sunday, the Phantom CLUNKs two guards' heads together and enjoys the run of Mr. Chubb's supply shed full of explosives, then goes around decorating the base with strategically placed chunks of C-4. "Time for Mr. Chubb to learn the error of his ways!" the Ghost Who Blows Shit Up thinks, smirking.

MOMMA: Wednesday, Momma mistakes a door-to-door scythe, cassock, and sandals salesman for the Grim Reaper. Sandals? The Grim Reaper isn't a fuckin' hippie!

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Dec. 15-21, 2003

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