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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 08/ 2/2008

The Morning Line: That Vexing "Family" Tree

By Michael Cavna

FAMILY CIRCUS: Who's the better gag writer: Bil or Billy? (King Features) Enlarge Comic

Do not be fooled. Oh, "Family Circus" pretends to be a mild-mannered, stuck-in-the-'60s comic panel, but that is a mere ruse. Under the cloak of simplicity, this trippy strip gets away with so much more, if one justs looks hard enough.

Today, the eternally 7-year-old Billy allegedly commandeers the cartoon as a "surrogate artist" and provides an "approximation" of what a "real" 7-year-old's cartoon might look like. (This gets meta so quickly, we are fatigued from the requisite air-quoting.) But here's what never fails to melt our synapses: The comic is now co-created by Bil Keane's son Jeff. So let's get this straight: The cartoon son of the "Family Circus" father is now co-creating the comic, which in real life is co-created by the real son of the "Family Circus" creator. And at least two people here, fictional or not, were born "William."

We think we just sprained our cranium.

FRANK AND ERNEST: Are we the jackass tilting at windmills? (NEA) Enlarge Comic

Today's Best Worst Pun of the Week goes to that perennial contender, "Frank and Ernest." The strip pelted us with painful puns all week. But today's "Donkey Yote: The Mule of La Mancha," is such an audacious stretch, we're half-surprised the strip didn't decide to go the whole nine yards and have the donkey graze on the grass -- thereby making it "The Mule of La Muncha."

By Michael Cavna  | August 2, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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I've started reading your column as a warm up before I drive into the strips. You really out-did Frank and Ernest, and besides, no self-respecting donkey would tolerate being called a mule - I think they missed the boat on this one - two different types of equines!

Posted by: janietiptoe | August 2, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Bob Thaves is dead! The Post is devoting precious comic strip space to re-running old puns from a dead man. Please drop this zombie strip.

Posted by: Tom T. | August 4, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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