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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 10/29/2008

The Morning Line: The Wordplay's the Thing--but Which Puns to Pan?

By Michael Cavna

Puns to the left of me, double-entendres to the right.

Or, as Shakespeare might have quipped: "Get thee to a punnery!"

Mucking through today's funnypages is sticky stuff, indeed -- even for the comics, the wordplay is thick on the ground.

"Take two peregrine and call me in the morning." (Creators)Enlarge Comic

So which quips are high art, and which are as low as a groan? Gallumphing about with no regard for objectivity, 'Riffs assesses which jests are "best":

We embrace Mr. Coverly's fine-feathered wordplay because -- true to the best puns -- it works on both levels. We toast this panel by raising a glass of Evian -- though perhaps a spritz of "Avian" would be more apropos.


When we're swamped with punning. (UPS) Enlarge Comic

Even for Bucky, this is inspired quippage. Raising the stakes on yesterday's "anomaly/anemone" punning, "Get Fuzzy" invokes a brilliant nod to "Pogo's" most famous line: "We have met the enemy...and he is us." (Note: "Pogo" creator Walt Kelly wrote this slightly differently in a book foreword.) Well-played, Master Conley. Well-played.


The "diviner" comedy.(KFS) Enlarge Comic

Nicely done because the balloon text is amusing on its own, without the quippy caption capper. And there's a pun here somewhere about the Cat-skills, but we shan't go there. (Extra points for the Halloween timing.)


Punning that calls for a court-"marshal." (NAS) Enlarge Comic

The strip that delivers painful puns almost daily is especially torturous today. Really, this is wordplay's version of waterboarding. It's not even the punch line that delivers the body blow, actually, as much as the awkwardly contorted setup.

Then again, why not a stiff setup for an "air marshal" gag that absolutely stiffs. In this case: To "air" is human; to forgive is out of line.

Did you find puns more sublime or egregious today? Let us know anon.

By Michael Cavna  | October 29, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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I noticed that Bob T had to underline "plane" to make sure the people who write "I think your funny" don't say "I don't get it".

And it looks like Conley threw down the gauntlet at Pastis' feet today. I like the way he set it up yesterday and said "it can wait".

Posted by: filfeit | October 29, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Forget about the puns - what kind of birds are those in "Speed Bump"? They look kinda like quail, but quail are ground nesters.....

Posted by: marshlc | October 29, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

OK, marshlc. That was funnier than the cartoon. Maybe those aren't quail crests above their heads but cartoon exclamation points.

Good art spoiled by bad ornithology.

Posted by: f-squared | October 29, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Yes, even though the anemone was identified by name yesterday, the punch line today took me completely by surprise. Furthermore, it's really well drawn, so the artwork is impressive on its on merit. This one gets the Riffy of the month, definitely.

Posted by: seismic-2 | October 29, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"the daily comics now come in a pill..."

"Dear Editor, please cancel my prescription"

Posted by: schafer-family | October 29, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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