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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/17/2008

The Rant: Stop "Frank & Ernest" Before They Pun Again...

By Michael Cavna

We are the first to admit it: We love a good pun as much as the next reader.

Which is precisely why something must be done about "Frank & Ernest" -- because we love a good pun as much as the next reader.

Let us be frank: This punning is not in earnest. (NEA) Enlarge Comic

We know, we know: Wordplay, like beauty and Britney Spears's talent, is in the eye of the beholder. But let the record show that we have an astonishingly high pain-threshold for puns, having committed some of the worst quips known to man and alarmed child.

Yet we're man enough to admit that "Frank & Ernest," with its painful punning, has broken our will to read it. Oh, the humanity! Or, as Frank would likely say near an aquarium: "Oh, the Hugh Manatee!"

We recognize, though, that some of you dear readers thrive on these brutal witticisms, and that is your right. Which is why, in these tight journalistic times, we propose killing two puns with one stone. To wit:

All newspapers that run both "Frank & Ernest" and the Jumble puzzle must be offered the opportunity to combine them. We mean, they aren't so dissimilar to begin with.
Let's do a tale of the tape:

1. Both thrive on tortured wordplay.
2. Both frequently feature an economy of words.
3. Both offer a retro-style artwork.
4. Neither is entirely produced, we hear, by its original creator.

Imagine the possibilities. "Frank & Ernest" would deliver the same quality of laffs for half the space -- and twice the work!

Now, what to do about "Nancy" and Stickelers....

By Michael Cavna  | September 17, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Rants  
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I've said it before, please kill off the F&E dinosaur.

If you like puns, read Pearls Before Swine. Many (most?) of his strips are setups for elaborate puns.

Posted by: Tom T. | September 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, maybe it is my age, but I love the puns...the worse the better. F&E: Keep up the good word.

(I'm 66)

Posted by: PearlandPeach | September 17, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm either way on Frank and Ernest. My contempt is towards the Family Circus. It's never been a funny comic, but today's catastrophe of a strip drove me over the wall. I've never liked it (as if you couldn't tell), and today's schmaltzy over-the-top sickeningly adowable widdle comic is too much. It's not even trying to be funny- it's like Bill Keane said to himself, "I need to submit something today... let me submit something so droll and idiotic and see if that passes". Yeah, I have way too much time on my hands today...

Posted by: Gonna be sick... | September 17, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

F&E is one of the few comics that compelled me to write the author a note, praising that day's strip. No, I don't remember what it was but I probably missed some other comics because they were covered in coffee.

And in spite of that, I agree, the "centaur" was painful.

Posted by: f2 | September 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone mentioned interracial dating? Maybe Candorville?

Posted by: f2 | September 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Woa Michael, who is this "we" you're referring to? My biggest problem with Frank and Ernest is their hairy noses, the puns just add insult to injury.
I'd just about kill to be listed under fan sites some day.... some day....

Posted by: Daily Comics Reviewer | September 17, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Sure, I'll take a crack at saving space on the comics page by blending "Jumble" and "Frank & Ernest":

(the letters marked with an "O" are the "circled" ones to use in the puzzle at the end)

O _ _ _ _ _ _ O

O O _ _ _ O _

O _ O _ _ _

O _ O _ _

_ _ _ O O

If you put a collection of "Frank & Ernest" comic strips into a pot of water and boiled it, what would be emitted?
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _

I surely hope I typed everything right!

Posted by: Seismic-2 | September 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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