Cidu Bill on Nov 28th 2017


Okay, so we’re combining Wizard of Oz with original-recipe Planet of the Apes; but what’s the actual joke?

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, John Deering, Planet of the Apes, Strange Brew, Wizard of Oz, comic strips, comics, humor | 52 responses so far


  1. narmitaj Nov 28th 2017 at 12:23 pm 1

    I suppose, as in Planet of the Apes, Dorothy, like Heston, has discovered she hasn’t flown off to a different planet or zone or dreamrealm, but is right here on Earth in the distant future. (And presumably, in other words, there’s no going back home either.)

  2. Greybeard Nov 28th 2017 at 12:36 pm 2

    It did make me LOL, so that’s something.

  3. Winter Wallaby Nov 28th 2017 at 01:13 pm 3

    The joke is just in the incongruity. I found it funny, it worked for me.

    When I watched the original Planet of the Apes, I found it confusing because I didn’t understand that the astronauts didn’t realize they were on Earth. They thought they just landed on some other planet that had humans and apes that spoke English? Odd.

  4. ja Nov 28th 2017 at 01:22 pm 4

    She’s pissed because now she knows she REALLY isn’t in Kansas anymore.

  5. Bob Nov 28th 2017 at 01:30 pm 5

    ja - a lot of people would be overjoyed to realize they’re not in Kansas. ;-)

  6. larK Nov 28th 2017 at 02:01 pm 6

    Winter Wallaby: in the book, it made more sense — the (french) astronauts go away to a verifiably different planet, encounter smart apes and dumb humans — but on a known different world — then after various adventures manage to leave and return happily to Earth. Space travel, relativity, hand-wave, so lots of time has passed on Earth, but here they come in for landing, they can see the Eiffel Tower. All is happy. There is a gendarme at the foot of the Eiffel tower — Paris will always be Paris! — but wait, upon closer inspection: the gendarme IS AN APE!

    (shock 1)

    So then back to the framing story, where a couple in a recreational space ship have found this message in a bottle they’ve been reading, and to which they have now come to the end. They comment on the implausibility of this obvious prank they’ve been reading — it could never happen, it’s just so silly, Jean-Claude says to Yvette, as he thoughtfully rubs his muzzle. Imagine, talking humans, Yvette says, as she grooms Jean-Claude’s chimpanzee fur…

    Da DUM!

    (shock ending 2)

  7. Bill A Nov 28th 2017 at 03:46 pm 7

    I think the joke is that she really is in Kansas despite her initial thought (hope) that she wasn’t. It’s no dream - it’s as real as it gets.

  8. Brian in STL Nov 28th 2017 at 03:55 pm 8

    That then raises the question of how the remnants of the Statue of Liberty ended up in Kansas.

  9. Barry Nov 28th 2017 at 04:36 pm 9

    There are at least two Statues of Liberty in Kansas, one on the grounds of the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka, and one near the intersection of highways 9 and 281 east of Gaylord.



    A bit smaller in stature than their NY cousin, which would make Dorothy teeny-tiny in the above comic.

  10. Brian in STL Nov 28th 2017 at 05:14 pm 10

    After I posted I thought, “You know, there probably are some decent-sized ones there.”

  11. Cidu Bill Nov 28th 2017 at 05:37 pm 11

    There’s a Statue of Liberty in New Jersey (in addition THE Statue of Liberty, of cpurse, which is technically in New Jersey)

  12. James Pollock Nov 28th 2017 at 05:56 pm 12

    There are no statues of Liberty, however, in Oz, AFAIK.

  13. Winter Wallaby Nov 28th 2017 at 06:00 pm 13

    Bill #11: At least as I would define “technically,” THE Statue of Liberty is in New York, although surrounded by New Jersey waters. The National Park Service feels likewise:

    Is the Statue in New York or New Jersey? The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, federal property administered by the National Park Service, located within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of New York.

  14. Cidu Bill Nov 28th 2017 at 06:02 pm 14

    The courts decided some years back that it’s in New Jersey. I seem to remember it was all about something inane, like which state gets to keep the sales tax on souvenirs.

  15. Winter Wallaby Nov 28th 2017 at 06:11 pm 15

    Bill #14: Taxes are separate from jurisdiction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Island : “A pact between New York and New Jersey states that New York has control of the Island, but taxes go to New Jersey, and the power comes from Jersey City.”

    With respect, I think it’s more likely that you’re misremembering or misunderstanding a court case than that the federal agency that administers the Statue of Liberty doesn’t know what state they’re in.

  16. larK Nov 28th 2017 at 06:16 pm 16

    The causeway that connects Liberty Island to the mainland (because only tourists get there via ferry) connects to NJ. I’d think anyone who’s ever been to Liberty State Park (in NJ) and seen the 100 or so foot causeway leading to the back of the Statue of Liberty would a) feel extremely disappointed, and b) go, yeah, obviously it’s NJ.

    The show and splendor is for NY; the backstage workings and everyday drudgery is in NJ…

  17. larK Nov 28th 2017 at 06:19 pm 17

    Huh! I take it back… The causeway connects to Ellis Island, NOT Liberty Island.

  18. Cidu Bill Nov 28th 2017 at 06:37 pm 18

    Winter (15), I never used the word “jurisdiction.”

    Obviously, the whole “in” issue is a semantical muddle.

  19. Winter Wallaby Nov 28th 2017 at 06:45 pm 19

    Bill #18: You mentioned “technically.” “Territorial jurisdiction” strikes me as the best definition of “technically.” OTOH, I don’t think it would be reasonable to say “Under a pact, the taxes go to New Jersey, so technically it’s in New Jersey.” I mean, sure, you can define “in” however you want, but that doesn’t strike me as a plausible definition of “in.”

  20. John Small Berries Nov 28th 2017 at 10:40 pm 20

    Winter Wallaby #3: Prior to the Star Trek movies which went to the trouble of creating an actual language for the Klingons, how many science fiction movies can you name in which the aliens DIDN’T speak English (or, for foreign films, the language in which the Earthling characters spoke)?

    (Sure, there were a few phrases in The Day The Earth Stood Still, but Gort still spoke perfectly good English as well.)

  21. James Pollock Nov 28th 2017 at 11:51 pm 21

    “how many science fiction movies can you name in which the aliens DIDN’T speak English”

    A fairly substantial number, actually, because a lot of science-fiction films feature aliens who don’t bother to talk at all. Sometimes it’s because they just show up and start shooting, sometimes it’s because they show up and haven’t worked out the communicating part yet, and a good number of ones where the alien(s) have only a few lines, and these are subtitled. Some even combine these tropes. For example, in Star Wars, Greedo’s speech is subtitled, Tusken Raiders are the “just show up and start attacking” variety, and jawas, wookiees, and Ewoks are of the “they’re saying something, but the audience will have to figure out what they’re saying by context” variety.

    A short list:
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    War of the Worlds

    The thing is, “first contact” is an entire subgenre of SF stories, and when they’re done right, the whole “learning to communicate” process takes a lot of time and would push out pretty much everything else. So, most movies take the shortcut of skipping over that part. Sometimes they don’t… “Arrival” comes to mind… but if your movie is about something else, nobody minds if all the foreign languages, Earthly or not, get dubbed into English for the multiplex. So, Captain Ramius speaks Russian for two paragraphs, then speaks in English for the rest of “Hunt for Red October”. Boris and Natasha speak English, and so do Moose and Squirrel.

  22. Singapore Bill Nov 28th 2017 at 11:57 pm 22

    @John Small Berries. Gort did not speak English. Gort is the robot. Klaatu speaks English. Of course, as a good tourist he would learn some of the language of his destination. He’s not an American, after all. :)

  23. Kilby Nov 29th 2017 at 06:05 am 23

    @ JP (21) - “Captain Ramius speaks Russian for two paragraphs, then speaks in English for the rest of ‘Hunt for Red October’.”

    Only in the movie, not in the book.

  24. mitch4 Nov 29th 2017 at 07:46 am 24

    Yes indeed, in some sense of ‘about’ we could say that “Arrival” is about that language-of-the-aliens problem.

  25. Mark in Boston Nov 29th 2017 at 11:29 pm 25

    In many movies, some device allows our heroes to converse and perceive it as speaking and hearing English. In Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy it’s a Babelfish that goes in your ear.

  26. James Pollock Nov 30th 2017 at 03:40 am 26

    “In many movies, some device allows our heroes to converse and perceive it as speaking and hearing English.”

    Yes, the elusive “Universal Translator”. But there’s also often a scene featuring the aliens talking amongst themselves… not a Main Character in sight… in English.
    Because we don’t like to read subtitles.

  27. Mark in Boston Dec 1st 2017 at 12:40 am 27

    Does anyone complain that all the Italians in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona” speak English all the time instead of Italian, even amongst themselves?

  28. B.A. Dec 1st 2017 at 12:58 am 28

    What’s worse is that characters in this position usually speak English between themselves with an Italian accent.

  29. James Pollock Dec 1st 2017 at 06:14 am 29

    “Does anyone complain that all the Italians in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona” speak English all the time instead of Italian”

    I believe there were a LOT of complaints when they made the movie where Jesus and all his contemporaries spoke Aramaic through the whole thing.

  30. Kilby Dec 1st 2017 at 10:54 am 30

    There are several episodes in the BBC’s “Poirot” series in which conversations should have been taking place in French, but were nevertheless held in English. Sometimes this can be credited as “deference” to other English-speaking characters that are present in the scene, but not always. There’s one curious exception, in which Poirot is breaking the news to a Belgian woman that her husband has been unfaithful. Not only is this closing scene entirely in (Belgian) French, there are no English subtitles to explain what he is saying, not even on the DVD.

    P.S. It’s not quite as bad the mysterious conversation at the end of “Lost in Translation”, in which one knows they are speaking in English, but the director decided that the words should be kept secret from the audience.

  31. larK Dec 1st 2017 at 10:55 am 31

    That is by far my biggest pet peeve, the native-speaker accent thing: if we are watching foreign language speakers speaking their own language and through the magic of movies, we can understand it as if it were our own language, then the speakers would not be hobbled with a #%^@ing foreign accent! Chocolat was a prime example of this, annoyed the hell out of me, the damn pretentious franch akzents. Just recently saw The Zookeeper’s Wife, and I was really disappointed that Jessica Chastain had a stupid polish accent, which moreover made her hard to understand — if I spoke Polish natively, I doubt I’d have had as hard a time understanding Antonina Żabiński speaking in her native language as I did understanding Jessica Chastain.

    But, to undermine my nice rant, I do think accents can be used well if you are doing an Allo, Allo type thing, where the accent denotes the language being spoken without actually speaking it and the problems for viewers that causes. So where it’s important to know what language is being spoken, having the same character speak with a German accent to denote German, and without an accent to denote English is a really cool device. No one other than Allo, Allo seems ever to have used it, however*. And yes, they explored all aspects of it: they even had an English character who spoke bad French — his French accented English was not the standard French accented English. (His catch phrase was “good moaning!”) I thought for a while <Zookeeper’s Wife might be doing that, but if they were, it wasn’t done well enough, and the accents got in the way of understanding what was being said.

    What probably was going on in Zookeeper’s Wife was that they had an international cast, and they don’t like to dub people, so because you have an actor with an accent, it would sound really weird that he speaks with an accent while his wife speaks perfect English, when they are both purportedly speaking their own, same, native language. Since you can’t get him to speak native English, the best compromise (they thought) was to have his wife (and everyone else) meet him by speaking with his accent. And then you can have actual Germans playing the Germans, and when they talk, they don’t have to speak native English either! …Except then you have the problem: is that German guy meant to be speaking German or Polish, and is the Polish guy speaking Polish or German to him? It makes a big difference, but it all gets muddled when you don’t impose strict accent rules a la Allo, Allo

    *Sgt. Schulz was interesting — all the while he’s in Germany, he speaks perfect English, which we know is him speaking German. However, in later episodes, he get’s parachuted into England, and suddenly, he speaks less than perfect English as he stumbles around England — it was subtle, and a little confusing until you realized what was happening — ah! he was speaking German before, and now he’s speaking English, which is not his native language, and it is important for the plot that we know his English is not perfect. The character did narration, and the narration was always in perfect English (German), and so when you have the same character suddenly speaking perfect English in one place, but accented English in another, it is at first a trifle confusing till you get it; I think the first episodes of Allo, Allo were all about training the viewer to understand the accent convention they were going to be using for the whole rest of the series.

  32. Brian in STL Dec 1st 2017 at 12:51 pm 32

    The old TV show Combat! usually had the characters speaking their own language. Often though, if a French person was talking to a German, they might not speak each other’s language but conveniently both know some English. Not always though. I recall one where a German soldier was questioning a French street urchin. He switched to slow French, like “Ou va tu?” (Where are you going?). The American character Caje was from Louisiana and could converse with French locals to an extent in his Cajun dialect.

  33. ty Dec 1st 2017 at 05:43 pm 33

    I don’t have an issue with characters speaking their own language (which we hear as English) with an accent. In real life, we all speak our native language with an accent. The German who speaks English with a Bavarian accent would speak German with a Bavarian accent, as well. (Or whatever accent applies.)

    Not that I’m against playing with conventions to create new ones, as larK has illustrated. I recall a British production on Masterpiece Theatre, a comedy based on the Nazi counterfeiting of British banknotes. The convention there was that all the actors spoke only standard English, regardless of the characters’ languages. In one scene, the viewer hears the captured German spies and their British captors all speaking English, but the captors don’t understand the spies “speaking” their own language, and vice versa.

    A question for French-speaking fans of Combat! Did Pierre Jalbert, the actor who played Cage, throw on a Louisiana accent when he spoke French, or did he maintain his own Quebec accent?

  34. Winter Wallaby Dec 1st 2017 at 06:01 pm 34

    ty #33: That seems like an odd justification. Movies/shows don’t (generally) give characters specifically Bavarian accents, to show that they’re Bavarian. They give them generic accents of a German speaking English, to show that they’re German. Except that, as larK complains, they’re supposed to be German already speaking German, so the accent is just weird.

    If the point was just to show that the characters have accepts, because after all, everyone has an “accent,” they could just as well give the German Swedish accents.

  35. ty Dec 1st 2017 at 07:22 pm 35

    Everybody has an accent. If I could speak a second or third language, I would have a Canadian accent. When I speak English, I have a Canadian accent. I don’t think that’s weird. A German character speaking with a German accent (Bavarian or otherwise) when he’s supposedly speaking German seems perfectly natural to me. What other accent should he have?

  36. Winter Wallaby Dec 1st 2017 at 07:55 pm 36

    ty #35: I already acknowledged that everyone has an accent in my response. My point was that that doesn’t seem relevant to justifying the actual accents used in the shows.

  37. ty Dec 1st 2017 at 08:21 pm 37

    Then we just have a different perspective. My point was that the use of accents is logical. We all have different peeves.

  38. ty Dec 1st 2017 at 08:22 pm 38

    Correction: “…seems logical to me…”

  39. James Pollock Dec 1st 2017 at 08:30 pm 39

    I would guess that having actors speaking “foreign” languages actually speak English using an accent that matches the language the character should be using is just a screen convention… something they (the creators) do because we (the majority of the audience) is expecting it.
    Kind of the same way cartoons use lines to indicate motion, or the way stars or little birdies circling someone’s head indicates concussion.

  40. Kilby Dec 1st 2017 at 09:24 pm 40

    P.S. @30 - One “accent” feature that frequently fails in many of the “Poirot” episodes is when it comes to portraying Americans. In most cases, the people portraying these characters are British actors affecting a generic American accent. The result is definitely non-authentic. Perhaps it works better (or at least “acceptably”) for a British audience.

    P.P.S. There are also at least two episodes in which one character’s voice was re-synchronized for the entire episode, which is genuinely annoying. Yes, Lucas did this too, but at least with Darth Vader, one cannot see the character’s mouth.

  41. Arthur Dec 1st 2017 at 09:31 pm 41

    This is somewhat related to the accents thread. It comes from
    Usenet and I have no idea if it’s true:

    As I think I’ve mentioned before, when The Wire was shown on British
    television many people here complained they couldn’t understand much of
    the dialogue and were switching on the subtitles for the deaf. One of
    the authors heard about this and pointed out in many cases you were not
    supposed to understand it.

  42. James Pollock Dec 1st 2017 at 10:08 pm 42

    “There are also at least two episodes in which one character’s voice was re-synchronized for the entire episode”

    Dialogue is completely re-recorded for most single-camera TV shows and nearly all movies.

  43. John Kowalkowski Dec 2nd 2017 at 12:02 am 43

    My first thought was a spoof of “you damn dirty apes”

  44. Cidu Bill Dec 2nd 2017 at 12:34 am 44

    John, I was in fact going for a cross between that and what Taylor yelled at the end of the film.

  45. Winter Wallaby Dec 2nd 2017 at 02:55 am 45

    ty #37: I don’t have pet peeves! Things only bother me when they’ve been scientific proven to be objectively bothersome!

    Actually, I don’t really find the accent thing to be really annoying in the way that it seems to bother larK. I just feel like it doesn’t “make sense.”

  46. Kilby Dec 2nd 2017 at 08:11 am 46

    @ JP (42) - Out of which orifice did you retrieve that spontaneously made-up fact? Or to put it a little more politely, “Hogwash!” None of the other actors in those episodes were re-recorded like that.

    Yes, there are plenty of isolated scenes and/or cuts in which one can tell that the voices were touched up in a studio, but this is far cry from supposed “blanket” re-recording.

  47. James Pollock Dec 2nd 2017 at 05:05 pm 47

    “Out of which orifice did you retrieve that spontaneously made-up fact?”

    It’s just an ordinary sort of fact.
    If you look at film and TV credits, the ADR Editor was the sound engineer who supervised the looped dialogue.
    In 3 camera production, sound is recorded at the same time as the video most of the time, and gets minimal editing, unless something has gone wrong, or foley needs to be added.
    In single-camera production, sound may be recorded at the same time as the video, but is almost always re-recorded in studio.


  48. larK Dec 2nd 2017 at 08:10 pm 48

    Here is a rather long article about sound recording in film by Professor of Film and Head of Film Studies at Brooklyn College Elisabeth Weis:


    Key quotes: “The process certainly does not describe how the average film is made abroad; few other cultures have such a fetish for perfect lip-synching as ours–so even dialog is recorded after the shoot in many countries.” [emphasis added]

    “On the set the location recordist (listed as production mixer) tries to record dialog as cleanly and crisply as possible, with little background noise (a high signal-to-noise ratio). A boom operator, usually suspending the microphone above and in front of the person speaking, tries to get it as close as possible without letting the microphone or its shadow enter the frame.”

    “Despite these difficulties, directors almost always prefer production dialog, which is an integral part of the actors’ performances, to looping (rerecording speech in post-production).”

    “ADR is usually considered a necessary evil […]”

    TL;DR: American productions overwhelmingly try to use the sound recorded at the time of filming.

  49. James Pollock Dec 3rd 2017 at 06:26 am 49

    “TL;DR: American productions overwhelmingly try to use the sound recorded at the time of filming.”

    Only one of your quoted passages says anything like this.

    And you skipped over quotes such as this:
    “Although much of the dialog can be recorded during principal photography, it needs fine tuning later.”

    “A typical final mix might begin with seven six-tracks: two six-tracks each for effects and foley, and one each for backgrounds, dialog, and ADR.”
    (If, as your TL;DR suggests, most American films don’t use ADR, it’s odd that a “typical” production has a seat at the table reserved for it.)

  50. larK Dec 3rd 2017 at 11:47 am 50

    Goalpost on Dec 1st 2017 at 10:08 pm:
    “Dialogue is completely re-recorded for most single-camera TV shows and nearly all movies.” [emphasis added]

    NEW Goalpost on Dec 3rd 2017 at 06:26 am:
    “If […] most American films don’t use ADR…”

    (which, BTW, I also never claimed: “American productions overwhelmingly try to use the sound recorded at the time of filming.” and “‘ADR is usually considered a necessary evil […]’” [emphasis added])

  51. James Pollock Dec 3rd 2017 at 06:26 pm 51

    So, yor defense is that the goalposts didn’t move?


  52. Meryl A Dec 6th 2017 at 02:13 am 52

    I always thought, as others have said, that the accented English in some movies or the just English in others was suppose to be that we were listening in on their conversations as if we were from the same place.

    In Zookeepers Wife I also had trouble understanding Jessica Chastain. When we go to the movies I put in the small ear protectors (hide in the ear) that I use at events of our reenactment unit when I get stuck helping with the cannon drill (rare these days, we have a lot more guys who want to be on the cannon crew) as I find movies much too loud. Even the ones that don’t have a lot of bang or boom - just the music alone - the Chevrolet logo comes on the screen so the previews are about to start and the ear protectors go in. During Zookeepers Wife I had to keep taking out one of the protectors to hear her and hear what she was saying.

    Back to the strip - Let us remember it is the Statue of Liberty - perhaps it is a political statement. They have gotten to the wonderful “Emerald City” where everything is wonderful - but the Statute of LIBERTY has been brought down? Or am I reading in too much for this strip?

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