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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 03/ 5/2009

New to the Funnies: Our Favorite Nut Case

By Michael Cavna

Morning, Cartoon Nation...

Glory be to "Mark Trail," for today, it introduces us to the best new cartoon character of the year: The Talking, Taunting Squirrel.

Yes, Ken the Boorish Bankrupt Jealous Deer-Winging Wife-Abusing Shell-of-a-Man has been felled by Bucky. And so in the second panel, the rodent -- if you read "Mark Trail" according to the conventions of Commonly Accepted Cartoon Physics -- is leaning down as he appears to mock Ken with the words: "Patty's pet deer gored you!"

Haha, this is 'Riffs favorite treetopping squirrel since Rocky met Bullwinkle.

Yeah, we could get mighty used to having this fuzzy commentator around all the time -- like a cartoon version of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. His cheeks stuffed with wisecracks, the Mocking Talking Squirrel could consistently bring his beady-eyed third-party perspective to these stilted proceedings. Self-knowing irony wrapped in bushy-tailed guise.

Are you listening, Jack Elrod? If you won't listen to us, then please: Listen to the wisdom of your own smart-mouthed critter.



Is it not so alarming to Comic Riffs that Red is reading a joke book chock full of two-bit quips. After all, Rover provides a topper to each witticism. No, what is truly troubling is that this joke book seems filched straight from the library of some post-Thaves "Frank & Ernest" gag-writer. Back away from the book, Red -- a young mind is a terrible thing to waste on Frank, let alone Ernest.

By Michael Cavna  | March 5, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Would You Miss Your Sunday Funnies If They Went Away?


haha that squirrel is awesome!!

Posted by: jessecline | March 5, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

RE: Red and Rover.

(1) Those old dumb jokes are exactly the jokes little kids like -- "Who can jump higher than a skyscraper?" "Anyone. Skyscrapers can't jump." And one of my favorites for little kids: "Which side of a dog has the most hair?"

(2) Isn't the strip set 40 years ago anyway (i.e., late '60s, early '70s)? The joke wasn't so old back then, I guess.

Remember, just because we heard it when we were six (and I was six before you were) and think it's stale now, doesn't mean that it isn't brand new and hilarious to a current 6 or 7 year old whose sense of wordplay is really just starting develop well.

Posted by: indolentcin1 | March 5, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

LOL I hadn't had my coffee yet, I really thought the squirrel was supposed to be talking, like he was hallucinating that it was mocking him...

Posted by: jessecline | March 5, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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