The Morning Line: 'Marimba' Is Music to Cartoonists' Ears
What are the odds, really?
First, 'Riffs reads today's "Zippy" and learns that "God" does not play the kettledrum (as fittingly imposing as that might be) but rather the marimba.
Then in short order, we turn to today's "Cul de Sac,," in which the object of poor "Peter Potterpoop's" growing affection is playing not the xylophone (as fittingly "plinky" as that might be) but rather its relative, the marimba.
Are Bill Griffith and Richard Thompson playfully punking us, or did someone declare today National Marimba Appreciation Day?
More likely, it's simply a product of "marimba" being one of the funniest-sounding instrument words -- at least to many American ears.
In that spirit, 'Riffs offers -- for cartoonist punch-line purposes -- the Absurdly Arbitrary Top-10 List of Funniest Instrument Names:
10. Glockenspiel. (All those hard consonants make it infinitely more amusing than xylophone.)
9. Bassoon. (For onomatopoeia value alone, it's a winner.)
8. Zither. (Sounds like a harp in a Dr. Seuss book.)
7. Pan flute. (Largely because of the phrase "Zamfir, king of the pan flute.")
6. Marimba. (See: above.)
5. Cowbell. (Even if the "More Cowbell" slogan got played out.)
4. Gong. (Short and sweet. See: "Gong, Bang A.")
3. Hurdy-gurdy. (Just saying it makes us smile.)
2. Sax. (Gained in double-entendre humor value during Clinton years.)
And the funniest instrument name is...
1. Didgeridoo. (Even Beck gets it.)
Was 'Riffs wrong to snub, say, lute, lyre and castanets? I welcome your "corrections" and alternate entries.
ELSEWHERE 'ROUND THE PAGE...
I've seen other gags from the general "Reindeer as Luncheon Meat" family, but can't recall any that were as amusing as today's "Non Sequitur." The look on the elves' faces helps "sell" it, as does the sight of Santa, sleeves rolled up, carving up those Vixen bones.
| December 17, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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