21 Comments

  1. I think it’s the announcement that’s in the style of the show, not the actual election. Note: I have never seen the show. My TV was last turned on over 10 years ago.

  2. @ beckoningchasm

    Some of Rod Whigham’s early professional artwork was featured recently on Mr. Kitty’s Stupid Comics – https://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics723.html. It was then as it is now: competent but quite unnatural, and far better suited to comic book page than a comic strip.

    I do think Whigham’s work in Gil Thorp has gotten a bit better over the years, at least with character detail and making the artwork fit the tone of the strip. Yes, he doesn’t come close to capturing Jack Berrill’s aesthetic, or even Frank McLaughlin’s solid imitation, but when he first started on the strip his characters were full of thick lines and sharp angles that suited a third-rate superhero book instead of a third rate soap opera strip about high school sports.

  3. What about the announcement is in the style of the show? I’ve never seen the show either, but it just seems like a normal announcement here.

  4. Saying “Here are two candidates for election” isn’t anything unique to American Idol. It’s a pretty standard candidates meeting format. And on American Idol the contestants then have to sing and get commentary from a panel of judges. If it is early stages, they may be dismissed then and there. Later on, audience can call in and vote for the one they like. However, unlike a proper election, people can vote as many times as they like (paying a fee each time they vote).

  5. The cartoonist knows there is a show called “American Idol” and it involves a panel of people and people refer to it and see it as “American Idol-style” but the cartoonist has no idea what that means and thinks it only has to do with there being a panel of people.

    And it’s a desperate attempt to be hip.

  6. But let’s not lose sight of the crucial detail: In the final panel, that is an outstretched LEFT hand!

  7. A 2014 reprint today in “Basic Instructions” uses “American Idol” as touchstone comparison for how elections might be done.

  8. I get the “joke” of “elections are like American Idol” but it doesn’t make sense. Isn’t it that American Idol is like an election? The elections came first and are the model. And what differentiates “choose” from “elect”? If I choose to wear black socks and not red, have I “elected” the black socks (yes, you can say I elected to wear them)?

  9. There normally is not much interest in the elections. For this one, a lot of people showed up. A common complaint is that Americans don’t want to bother getting out to vote in important elections, but yet they get all excited about voting for their favorite singer. That’s basically what the guy is saying.

  10. I thought the “Basic Instructions” cartoon was more about how presidential elections are shallow and based on superficial issues, so we might as well go all the way and turn them into a “reality show.”

    Although I don’t think “American Idol” is a “reality show.”

  11. It’s been a while since I really followed awards shows that include TV, but my recollection agrees with what Brian in STL says. I remember when there was a resurgence of quiz or game shows (the title of a key example is escaping my mind for now, but it was the one that gave us “phone a friend” and “Is that your final answer?”). And it was a little surprising that they were being judged in a same category with Survivor and The Amazing Race. But that could be sort of reconciled by calling it Competitions, a category that still apparently survives. And I think that could take in American Idol and its congeners.

    But then there was a supervening Reality category which took in Competitions as well as all the celebrities at home shows, the dating and engagement shows, The Apprentice, and the earlier Big Brother and Real World ideas. So an odd grouping, but there you are.

  12. That would be “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

    Locally, the ABC affiliate had a promo for their newscast during the break before the final question for John Carpenter (first US winner) that had the anchor say, “‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ lives up to its name. Details at 10!”

    Fans of the show were NOT amused by the spoiler.

  13. “Fans of the show were NOT amused by the spoiler.”

    But how many people who didn’t normally watch the show tuned in to see some real millionaire action? TV networks don’t care about fans; they only care about total numbers.

  14. Understand that the spoiler came right before the end of the show and final question. It wasn’t a show promo, if was for the news program following in a few minutes.

  15. I thought the American Idol comment was more referencing it as “two wonderful people, one of whom we will have to eliminate!” like reality shows or perhaps the over dramatic presentation because many people actually showed up for this event.

    But I don’t watch reality shows or singing competitions.

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