All political observations aside…

Cidu Bill on Aug 6th 2017

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I don’t get the Wizard of Id comic.

Filed in Anthony Scaramucci, Bill Bickel, Bohemian Rhapsody, CIDU, Wizard of Id, comic strips, comics, humor | 30 responses so far

30 Responses to “All political observations aside…”

  1. James Pollock Aug 6th 2017 at 05:02 am 1

    I don’t think it’s political at all.

    The King of Id is just cursed with tower guards who get bored at night, and indulge in a little moonlight musical theater.

  2. Kamino Neko Aug 6th 2017 at 06:07 am 2

    The watchtower guards are ‘practicing’ sending a signal along the walls by doing a singalong of Bohemian Rhapsody.

  3. Bob in Nashville Aug 6th 2017 at 07:33 am 3

    That was one of the misheard song lines. I always heard it as “Got a mouche. Got a mouche. Will you do the fandango?”

  4. Ignatz Aug 6th 2017 at 08:01 am 4

    The cartoonist thinks the idea of playing Bohemian Rhapsody on a lute is a punch line all by itself, and it isn’t.

  5. Carl Aug 6th 2017 at 08:11 am 5

    I didn’t know until last week that “Scaramouche” is a clown character from commedia dell’arte (Italian comic theater). I have heard that song hundreds of times without getting the reference.

    The former Chief of Staff’s name probably comes from the literal meaning of the word scaramucci: “skirmisher”.

  6. James Pollock Aug 6th 2017 at 08:49 am 6

    “The cartoonist thinks the idea of playing Bohemian Rhapsody on a lute is a punch line all by itself, and it isn’t.”

    He is also, to use the Bloom County term from 3 decades ago, “grimacing musically”.

  7. Carl Aug 6th 2017 at 10:24 am 7

    Bill, you might want to change the From: address on these. Thunderbird is now calling anything from Yahoo! “spam”.

  8. John Small Berries Aug 6th 2017 at 11:57 am 8

    I’m guessing the cartoonist was forwarded one of the several videos of an audience for a Green Day concert singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” before the show - which has apparently been going on for a few years - and that gave him the idea that a bunch of silhouetted castle guards singing a section of the lyrics would fill a Sunday strip quite nicely, and save him having to expend effort to actually think up dialogue. Or a punchline. Or to draw much detail. Throw the King into the final panel making a half-heartedly sarcastic comment, and boom, that’s one more strip in the bank.

    Doesn’t really matter to me… to me.

  9. Cidu Bill Aug 6th 2017 at 02:18 pm 9

    Carl, the “from address” of what?

  10. Carl Aug 6th 2017 at 02:38 pm 10

    Sorry, Bill. The address that the “There is a new comment” emails are sent from.

  11. Cidu Bill Aug 6th 2017 at 09:03 pm 11

    Carl, those notices, same as RSS feeds, are things that… just happen, presumably by magic. I never set them up, and have no idea how to edit them, and if I DID figure out how to edit them, I’d probably just break them.

    Is there anything in the e-mail, maybe the word “CIDU,” that can be used to add it to a whitelist?

  12. fleabane Aug 7th 2017 at 02:01 am 12

    This is just going to keep going until I get old and die, isn’t it? Cartoonists who think merely making a reference is in itself enough for a comic, I’m going to wonder why on earth it’s supposed to be funny, and the rest of the world will simply reexplain the reference as though that is the only issue. That’s how it’ll always be from now on, won’t it?

  13. James Pollock Aug 7th 2017 at 02:29 am 13

    If you were to swing by some military installation, and the guards were all singing “Bohemian Rhapsody”, you’d think it was funny.

    Go back to when it was in “Wayne’s World” It’s funny because the, er, basement dwellers singing it. There’s a version (with some sanitized lyrics) of the Muppets singing “Bohemian Rhapsody”. It’s funny because it’s the Muppets singing it. When Queen does it, well, that’s not funny because they’re supposed to do it. If another rock band does it, it’s (probably) not funny because rock bands are supposed to sing rock songs.

    No, it’s not HILARIOUSLY funny. It is what it is. Just funny enough for the syndicate to say “OK, we’ll take that one. What do you have for Monday?”

  14. Ted from Ft. Laud Aug 7th 2017 at 03:40 am 14

    fleabane - that has been the case for numerous things for me for years (for example - Family Guy). In this case, I find it hard to believe this isn’t a Scaramucci reference, because even though it still wouldn’t be a joke, it at least is a vague justification, but lead time does argue against (Scaramucci has actually been associated with the Administration since the start - and had said fairly outrageous things earlier - but certainly wasn’t widely known until recently). But regardless of what triggered the idea for Mastroianni, I still don’t see a joke here.

  15. Carl Fink Aug 7th 2017 at 11:31 am 15

    Bill, I did whitelist the notices. I’m more concerned that other people might not realize what’s happening and never receive them.

  16. Ian D Osmond Aug 7th 2017 at 12:33 pm 16

    Ted from Ft. Laud — it could be that Queen is touring right now.

  17. narmitaj Aug 7th 2017 at 02:10 pm 17

    Perhaps the last panel also references Brian May on the roof of Buckingham Palace 15 years ago - though there he was playing God Save the Queen. Still not sure why it is supposed to be funny, though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hIE0vKQf6w

  18. Bob in Nashville Aug 7th 2017 at 04:40 pm 18

    Double the absurdism. First the absurdist gag of the guards singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” then in the last panel the added gag of the hard-rock electric guitar break at that point in the song being recognizable on acoustic lute. Extra bonus of the king admiring their improvement over time.

  19. James Pollock Aug 7th 2017 at 04:55 pm 19

    “Extra bonus of the king admiring their improvement over time.”

    If that’s what he’s doing. He might just be ironically noting that the skills they are demonstrating at present have nothing whatsoever to do with the jobs they are supposed to be performing.

    A better punchline for the King would have been “Don’t quit your night job.”

  20. fleabane Aug 7th 2017 at 08:46 pm 20

    I’m going to repeat guards singing Bohemian Rhapsody is not “absurdist”. And, no, if I were to swing by a some military istallation and the guards were singing Bohemian Rhapsody it wouldn’t be funny. When they sang it in Wayne ‘ s World (the first place I had ever heard of it) it was funny only because it epitomized their mindset. When the Muppets did it it was funny because Animal’s voice quavered when he got scared of the dark and it was clear Kermit really didn’t want to be doing it.

    Thing is, this just isn’t funny.

    actually what I really don’don’t understand is why is this more than one panel? If the joke were “oh my god! They’re singing Bohemian rhapsody!” Then that can only be conveyed in one panel. If they actually go on for six panels, “okay, they’re doing bohemian Rhapsody, we all know how it goes so, why are they spelling it out for us?”

  21. Kamino Neko Aug 7th 2017 at 08:59 pm 21

    No, the joke couldn’t be done in one panel, because spreading the song throughout the guard network is something that happens over time.

  22. Mark in Boston Aug 7th 2017 at 09:40 pm 22

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one song that sounds good no matter what you play it on. I have performed it as a duet for piano and pipe organ.

    Here is an arrangement for old computer peripherals: https://youtu.be/Ht96HJ01SE4

  23. fleabane Aug 7th 2017 at 10:18 pm 23

    “No, the joke couldn’t be done in one panel, because spreading the song throughout the guard network is something that happens over time.”

    Yeah, but that’s something you don’t actually want to do. If the *idea* of the guards singing Bohemian Rhapsody has any humorous merit to it (which is questionable) the guards *actually* singing absolutely does not.

    On that there can be no question.

  24. James Pollock Aug 8th 2017 at 12:26 am 24

    “Here is an arrangement for old computer peripherals:”

    It’s less impressive when you realize that in the second shot, next to the oscilloscope… is a tape recorder.

    Anyways, I prefer the Imperial March on 40 floppy drives.
    I could only find the 8-drive version on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM_sAxrAu7Q

  25. James Pollock Aug 8th 2017 at 12:43 am 25

    At the point where you get some (or at least one) people saying “it is funny”, and some (or at least one) people saying “it is not funny”, then “it is not funny” is obviously not true, and “it is funny” is very likely also not true (the other possibility is that “it is true, but some people don’t get it.”)

    All you can say is “some people think it is funny, and some people think it is not”. I’m standing on that one.

    That said, you know what ELSE is funny just because it’s incongruous? Several hundred prisoners doing the “Thriller” dance.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMnk7lh9M3o

  26. Carl Fink Aug 8th 2017 at 02:03 am 26

    Wow, I’m a nitpicky and hypercritical person but this thread is over-the-top.

    There are multiple panels because the creators thought the art was funny. You don’t, clearly. Are you familiar with the Latin maxim, de gustibus non disputandem?

  27. John Small Berries Aug 8th 2017 at 02:16 am 27

    “At the point where you get some (or at least one) people saying ‘it is funny’, and some (or at least one) people saying ‘it is not funny’, then ‘it is not funny’ is obviously not true, and ‘it is funny’ is very likely also not true (the other possibility is that ‘it is true, but some people don’t get it.’)”

    And the other other possibility is that humor is purely subjective, and the people who call something funny and the people who say it isn’t funny are both speaking truth within their personal frames of reference.

  28. Cidu Bill Aug 8th 2017 at 03:06 am 28

    Carl, not to be nitpicky and hypercritical, but “de gustibus non disputandum.”

  29. James Pollock Aug 8th 2017 at 05:05 am 29

    “And the other other possibility is that humor is purely subjective, and the people who call something funny and the people who say it isn’t funny are both speaking truth within their personal frames of reference.”

    Yeah. You should have kept reading until I hit that one.

    In the next line.

  30. Mark in Boston Aug 8th 2017 at 08:16 pm 30

    “de gustibus non disputandem” means “Some people have no taste in bicycles.”

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