Those of us well over voting age can remember when our world was made a little brighter each day by reading “The Far Side.” It was a one panel cartoon that ran in daily newspapers all over the country and in color in the Sunday comics, starting January 1, 1980.
Maybe its biggest appeal was that each of us felt that we were unique in sharing the off beat, eerie, quirky, unconventional, demented (pick any adjective you want here) mind of Gary Larson, the creator. He wasn’t a cartoonist for everyone and those of us who loved “The Far Side” might have felt a little superior because we “got it.”
There is an episode of “Cheers” when Woody the innocent says, “I don’t get ‘The Far Side.’” And Frazier, the supercilious twit says, “Well, Woody…” and proceeds to explain the day’s cartoon.
“No, Dr. Crane,” he says. “I meant my newspaper doesn’t carry ‘The Far Side,’ but thanks for making me look stupid.”
“The Far Side” ran for 15 years, ending January 1, 1995 at the height of its popularity. Larson was getting burned out and thought he was becoming repetitive. He has over 20 books in print that continue to remain popular.
Since Larson and his publisher own the copyright, he has the right to prevent his works from being reproduced on the internet. He exercises that right as he explains his position in this well crafted letter. I respect his right to have control of “his children.”
No problem. I have been in a lot of conversations with people when we would remember “the one where”… and just laugh at remembering.
So if you are a “The Far Side” fan, do you remember the one where…
the aircraft in flames and a Poodle in the pilot seat.
Suddenly amidst of all the confusion little [Misty] seized control and saved the day.
tarantulas, tiny Poodle heads peek out from the bananas
How Poodles came to North America.
Dog in car talking to dog on lawn:
“Ha ha Bif, after we go to the drug store and post office I’m going to the vets
to get tutored.”
Split panel: What we say to dogs: “All right Ginger, I’ve had it, you stay out of the garbage, understand, Ginger, stay out of the garbage or else.”
What they hear: “Blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah”
Cave man is trimming wooly mammoth into a Poodle do.
In the background a Godzilla-size mailman is destroying the city.
The foreground is a dog leader rallying the doggie troops.
“Listen! The authorities are helpless! If the city’s to be saved,
I’m afraid it’s up to us. This is our finest hour.”
Nuclear bombs are destroying civilization.
Dog family is in their bomb shelter under the dog house.
“Well, we must face a new reality. No more carefree days of chasing squirrels, running through the park or howling at the moon.
On the other hand no more ‘Fetch this, boy, fetch this.’”
Laundry room scene. Crude signs saying “cat fud” point to dryer.
Cat is looking in dryer. Dog is barely hidden watching.
“Please, please, please.”
Cat being taken at gunpoint by police to their car. Woman at window to dog:
“I suppose you think this is a dream come true.”
And my all time favorite in full color
Poodles of the Serengeti
So if Gary Larson is checking out this post to be sure I haven’t used any cartoons,
I would REALLY like to have a print suitable for framing of “Poodles of the Serengeti.”