Here’s a little-known fact about today’s Brevity strip…

Cidu Bill on Jan 10th 2013

clavin.gif
One person sent it to me with the Geezer tag, one sent it to me as a LOL, and one sent it to me just because. Forgive my ignorance (well, you’ve been doing that for more than 16 years now), but what’s the joke here? I mean yeah, Cliff Clavin from Cheers, and “Clavin” is Calvin is you’re mildly dyslexic, but… so?

Filed in Bill Bickel, Bill Watterson, Brevity, CIDU, Calvin and Hobbes, Cheers, Comics That Made Us Laugh Out Loud, Guy & Rodd & Dan, Hey Geezers! Comics!, comic strips, comics, humor, lol | 29 responses so far

29 Responses to “Here’s a little-known fact about today’s Brevity strip…”

  1. RyanE Jan 10th 2013 at 04:50 pm 1

    I think it’s an old jab at Calvin and Hobbes, how it went ‘off the air’ while still in it’s prime.

    Not particularly funny, though.

  2. J-L Jan 10th 2013 at 05:04 pm 2

    The joke here is that it is recognizable to (and appeals to) us “geezers.”

  3. Judge Mental Jan 10th 2013 at 05:22 pm 3

    The Clavin/Calvin mix-up is all there is to it. Brevity does that sort of gag a lot. This strip is almost identical to the recent Brevity with “Mister Holland’s Opus” that featured a bandleader with the Bloom Country penguin. So why did they opt to use “Clavin” instead of say, Calvin Coolidge or Calvin Klein? Just seemed funnier to Guy (or whichever one is the writer)

    The recent strip discussed here where the “angel gets his wings “(angel buying a Paul McCartney album) was in the same vein.

  4. Lost in A**2 Jan 10th 2013 at 08:47 pm 4

    Clavin was the repository of odd facts. Did Calvin&Hobbes only run ten years?

  5. Joshua Jan 10th 2013 at 09:26 pm 5

    #4 Lost: Yes, C&H debuted in 1985 and ended in 1995.

  6. Proginoskes Jan 11th 2013 at 01:09 am 6

    “I mean yeah, Cliff Clavin from Cheers, and “Clavin” is Calvin is you’re mildly dyslexic, but… so?”

    Yep, that’s the joke.

    Like Primus says: They can’t all be zingers.

  7. Kilby Jan 11th 2013 at 04:14 am 7

    I never following Cheers, so I’m not sure how strong it was when it was finally taken off the air. Was it still going strong (like Calvin and Hobbes), or was it all washed up, and long past due for cancellation (like M*A*S*H)?

    P.S. I’m not sure this panel is worth rescuing, but I think it might have worked better using the word “humorist” rather than “cartoonist”, to make it an open-ended poke.

  8. DemetriosX Jan 11th 2013 at 04:32 am 8

    @Kilby
    Cheers was waaaay past its sell-by date, even more so than M*A*S*H. Just about all of the main cast had already moved on to movies and other things and they were just phoning it in.
    It’s probably not quite a geezer reference, though. It has been 20 years since the show went off the air, but I would think that most adults have had at least some exposure to it and its tropes.

  9. mitch4 Jan 11th 2013 at 08:18 am 9

    Kind of a mean-spirited jab though, dontcha think?

  10. Morris Keesan Jan 11th 2013 at 08:20 am 10

    I sent it to Bill with the “geezer?” tag. The question mark is because even though the last original airing was 20 years ago, I have no idea how recently Cheers has been on the air in syndication.

  11. Kilby Jan 11th 2013 at 08:30 am 11

    Thanks, DemetriosX (@8) - I didn’t mean to imply Cheers is geezer material (I’ve certainly seen enough episodes to recognize references to it, although I don’t think I’ve ever turned one on intentionally). I just thought the implied Calvin/Clavin connection might have been that the author actually thought that Cheers was yanked too early, as one could easily argue in the case of Calvin and Hobbes. Since that’s not the case, the only remaining explanation for this cartoon is that Calvin and Hobbes ran for ten years, and was beaten (in length, although not in quality) by Cheers, which ran for eleven seasons (coincidentally, as did M*A*S*H).

    P.S. The length comparison is not quite as close as the start and end dates would make it seem, since Watterson took two nine-month sabbaticals during that ten-year tenure. On the other hand, TV shows spend half of each year in reruns, so one could argue that Cheers only produced 5.5 years of new material. Watterson, on the other hand, produced 10.1-1.5 = 8.6 years of fresh material. Credit Calvin with the win, Cheers with the loss.

  12. Dan W Jan 11th 2013 at 08:47 am 12

    I wouldn’t have gotten it if it hadn’t been explained here. But then, I never saw Cheers.

  13. farmer Jan 11th 2013 at 09:09 am 13

    LOL for me, but then I’m a sucker for wordplay.

  14. Lost in A**2 Jan 11th 2013 at 10:48 am 14

    It’s been six years since the “How I Met Your Mother” episode closed with Cheers theme song? It doesn’t seem that long to me, but then, I only watch it on DVD, so what do I know?

  15. Ted in Fort Lauderdale Jan 11th 2013 at 12:05 pm 15

    Morris @ 10 - Today. It is currently on the schedules of (at least) WGN, Reelz, and USA. Not that these are necessarily non-geezer networks (well, USA, but I think it’s down to a once a week, crack of dawn showing there).

  16. Elyrest Jan 11th 2013 at 12:06 pm 16

    I watched Cheers right till the end, but I only really liked the first five years. I never liked Kirstie Alley, but the episodes that Bebe Neuwirth was in were worth watching. It was way past it’s sell-by date when it went off the air. I don’t think I’ve turned on a rerun of the show in ten years.

  17. Frank the curmudgeon Jan 11th 2013 at 12:39 pm 17

    Didn’t like it then and still don’t! It ruined a decent bar that served a great cheeseburger.

  18. AMC Jan 11th 2013 at 01:10 pm 18

    A punning poke at Watterson.

    His cartoon life wasn’t nasty or brutish, but is sure was short.

  19. Pinny Jan 11th 2013 at 03:06 pm 19

    FYI, Cheers which, went off the air in 1993, spun off Frasier, which ran another 10.5 years until 2004. Characters from Cheers would appear on Frasier from time to time.

    Also, the actor who played Cliff Clavin, John Ratzenberger, is still very popular, as a voice over artist. His distinct voice can be found in EVERY single Pixar feature film.

    From Wikipedia:

    Hamm the Piggy Bank in the Toy Story series (1995, 1999, 2010)
    P.T. Flea, the Circus Ring Leader in A Bug’s Life (1998)
    The Abominable Snowman in the Monsters, Inc. series (2001, 2013)
    The School of Moonfish in Finding Nemo (2003)
    The Underminer in The Incredibles (2004)
    Mack the truck in the Cars series (2006, 2011)
    Mustafa the waiter in Ratatouille (2007)
    John in WALL-E (2008)
    Tom the construction worker in Up (2009)
    Gordon the guard in Brave (2012)

    Small piece of trivia (or is that redundant?): Ratzenberger appeared in The Empire Strikes Back.

  20. Kevin A. Jan 11th 2013 at 03:59 pm 20

    Frank! I also loved the bar. And on Saturdays in the back room a d.j. would set up in a corner book booth and I’d actually ask women I didn’t know at the bar to dance on their tiny (4 foot? square) dance floor in the other corner.

    Also, at the bar in the back room worked a young man and young woman, both blond, who made any evening I was there a pleasure. I always guessed they were the inspiration for the show. They’re interactions are probably what set the mood for me to talk to strangers. (I never sat in the front so never got to know Eddie Doyle.)

  21. Kevin A. Jan 11th 2013 at 04:03 pm 21

    The Bull & Finch, with all the TV show fans packing in and T-Shirts lining the walls, changed instantly after the show premiered and I only revisited it twice. (True, I’d also moved out of the neighborhood.)

    I love this strip, I laughed, and I’m very glad CIDU exists ’cause it allowed me to catch it.

  22. Morris Keesan Jan 11th 2013 at 08:15 pm 22

    Speaking of Monsters, Inc, there’s currently a very cutely done website for Monsters University, at
    http://www.monstersuniversity.com/edu (NOT monsteruniversity.com , which is an online training site for the people who make expensive cables).

  23. jajizi Jan 11th 2013 at 09:46 pm 23

    Could it have something to do with the fact that Brevity was originally by Guy & Rodd; then it was by Guy & Rodd & Dan; and now it’s just by Dan? What happened to Guy & Rodd? Did they quit after 10 years?

  24. Proginoskes Jan 12th 2013 at 04:11 am 24

    Pinny (19) wrote: “Small piece of trivia (or is that redundant?): Ratzenberger appeared in The Empire Strikes Back.”

    Yes, he was in the beginning where they’re on Hoth. He played a mailman saying, “Well, it’s snowing too hard for me to finish my route.”

  25. Elyrest Jan 12th 2013 at 11:48 am 25

    Morris Keesan - I forwarded the Monsters University link on to my sister and she’s ready to put in an application!

  26. Morris Keesan Jan 13th 2013 at 11:52 am 26

    I thought I had posted a response to jajizi #23, but now I can’t see it, so maybe I accidentally closed that tab instead of pushing “submit”. My previous, vanished, comment said that it looked like Guy & Rodd last contributed on December 30, but I just noticed that today’s comic is by all three, so I checked and saw that the January 6 comic is also by Guy & Rodd and Dan. It looks to me as if Guy and Rodd are now doing just the Sunday comics, and leaving the rest of the week to Dan.

  27. Meryl A Jan 15th 2013 at 02:29 am 27

    We watch Cheers at lunch every weekday on one of the rerun channels. Still a favorite.

  28. Todd Jan 15th 2013 at 04:46 am 28

    I rather liked it, and I don’t care for Brevity because I consider it a poor Far Side wannabe (another cartoonist who quit too soon).

    A better comparison for length of time, I think would be actual minutes. Cheers run for eleven seasons, probably 22 episodes a season, 22 minutes each. 5234 minutes, or about 87.3 hours, or 3.63 days. Say a minute to read a Sunday strip, and ten seconds for a weekday, equals two minutes a week. 52 weeks for ten years, equals 1040 minutes, 17.33 hours, equals .7 days.

    Cheers by a landslide.

  29. Todd Jan 15th 2013 at 04:48 am 29

    Whoops. I just remembered one of the creators of Brevity reads this site. Sorry.

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