The Morning Line: When Cartoonists Draw the Identical Gag
You ever read a comic and you could just swear you've heard that joke before?
Well in this case, you probably have.
Yesterday and today, "Hagar the Horrible" and "Blondie" respectively told the exact same joke. As if the cartoonists were reading from the same script:
1. Lounging, too-lazy-to-get-off-his-keister hubby inquires about dinner.
2. The missus employs a "persuasive" bid for eating out.
3. The outmaneuvered manchild utters the Exact Same Punchline.
4. Voila! A formula for high hilarity as old as Hagar's horns.
What gives? you ask. Well, speaking from experience, there are a few likely reasons. To wit:
Cartoonists are scamps. Syndicated scribblers do much of their work in isolation. How to spice up the cartooning life? "Collaborate" on an identical gag and perhaps give keen-eyed readers an added chortle.
A Son-of-Cartoonists Pact. Dean Young's dad created "Blondie"; Chris Browne's dad created "Hagar." Talk about your small clubs. The spawn of famous fathers Chic and Dik perhaps collaborated to entertain themselves -- unless they are carrying out some second-generation ritual that must never die out.
A gag writer scored the amazing double-sale of the decade. We do not know whether Young or Browne ever buy from outside writers. We just like to imagine the face of a gleeful gag writer who could pull this coup off.
Young&Browne just wanted to kindly provide Friday fodder for hungry comics bloggers. If this is the real reason, guys, then you succeeded. And we thank you. Check's in the mail.
The real reason, methinks: "Blondie" and "Hagar" have a history of crossover projects and this is just the latest one. Congrats, guys -- you keep us on our toes.
| September 5, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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