So, what do I feel this email did well? Out of all of Homestar’s blubbering, I did enjoy the “male modeling” and “sound financial advice” lines, just due to the absurdity of them. And while Li’l Brudder didn’t do much for me, for some reason I found Tendafoot pretty funny. If anything, it was the sudden reveal that Strong Bad just happened to have a second drawing around for that specific purpose, plus the next couple lines are classics as well. Amazingly, I don’t know if I’ve ever used the “I could power a small city with my whining” line within context that would actually make sense. Such as when one of my own li’l brudders was whining about some asinine thing and I wanted them to shut up. It apparently never occurred to me, but I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future.
Also, even though this is completely irrelevant, I have to take this opportunity to complain about the general usage of the abbreviation “li’l”. It’s annoyed me ever since I was a kid, for whatever reason, possibly because I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone actually pronounce “little” that way, so it’s just kind of unnecessary. It’s not like “wanna” or “cuz”, which are things that people do say. If anything, I just say “liddle”, because most people in my region don’t really pronounce their T’s in the middle of words. Anyways, the next few updates according to the timeline are things I’m going to skip over for right now. For the record, there’s a few menu updates, the full Peasant’s Quest game, and a Videlectrix game called Hall Runner. I’m thinking at this point that I should probably just dedicate a full post to these games (plus Duck Guardian, another game that will be coming up soon), so I’ll be holding off on that for now, but will get to them soon. For now though, let’s keep the pace moving along with a family-friendly email: for kids.
Moving on to the show that Strong Bad hosts – the wiki sort of describes this bit as an inverted Blue’s Clues, in which the host knows exactly what’s going on, and the kids in the audience don’t. That’s one way of looking at it, I suppose. I’m still not sure why Strong Bad starts freaking out over the kids not finding The Cheat, when nothing that they’re saying indicates that. Earlier on, there was the whole “Christopher Columbus” thing, which was pretty dumb (but funny), but when he asks where The Cheat is hiding, they all say things like “he’s over there”, which is not necessarily a wrong answer. It’s not like they were saying “in the toilet” or anything else that would be objectively wrong. I dunno. I’m also not sure why he threatens to kill all their dogs, but I’m just going to roll with it.
The Homsar segment of this email is definitely my favorite, if only because of its unfortunate accuracy. The theme song was pretty sweet too, and I sing it far more than I have any reason to. But the show itself is sort of a hybrid of Teletubbies and Boohbah, which (to go on a bit of a tangent here) honestly aren’t even that comparable in my opinion. Teletubbies, while painfully stupid, at least attempts to have some elements of storytelling to it. Nothing I’ve ever seen of Boohbah leads me to believe it is anything more than a bad acid trip. But anyway, all the elements are here. Pointless visuals with nothing happening, check. Abrupt cuts to unrelated crap, check. Ridiculous amounts of repetition, check. The “Stave it off” gag was excellent, and probably one of my favorites on the site. To quote Futurama, “before we go, let’s do everything we just did two more times.” The “Stave it off” gag was excellent, and probably one of my favorites on the site. And instead of thinking of a transition to the next email, other days, let’s just cut to it abruptly.
So let’s take a look at what we have here. The snail mail segment was pretty meh, but the song at the beginning kind of redeems it. I also feel the need to point out that Strong Bad makes a joke about the BMW lighter, even though you’d have to be pretty familiar with the lighter from previous emails for the reference to make any sense at all. I don’t think the logo on it was ever really pointed out before, and it’s so small here that it seems like a weird type of joke to make. But enough complaining about that. The “lecture” segment, once again, was kind of meh, but was saved by Strong Mad yelling “I’M THE HUMP!”, which was pretty hilarious.
Comm serv thurs and biz cas fri were what they were. I don’t really have anything further to say on them, aside from the observation that apparently their office only has business casual dress code on Fridays, whereas the place I work has that for the majority of the week, and then Friday/Saturday are just completely casual. And then there was some battle axe thing and some weird Polish thing. Yeah, I didn’t really have very much to say about this email, I guess. It had a couple funny quotes, and the rest was sort of forgettable. The Easter eggs were pretty good though. Next up, we get to see something else that Strong Bad does that was not mentioned in that email – Teen Girl Squad! Specifically, Issue #7.
- This was the first appearance of Tompkins, who I find generally pretty amusing. Apparently he was based on Matt and Mike’s cousin, who at one point did actually threaten to push them down into some snakewater. Whatever that means. Sounds about right, though, as I have had similar experiences with my own cousins when I was little. No snakewater though.
- Tompkins’s death was amusing in its own little inexplicable way. I just like the concept of Strong Bad running out of ideas. I thought the first thing that showed up was pretty great too. It was just some sort of arm with a ring and a bowler hat, not sure what that was all about.
- This isn't really so much "funny" as it is just interesting to note, but the background in this TGS is the dotted line paper that kids use to learn to write. Fits with the theme.
- Mrs. Commanderson, just in general. Nothing more really needs to be said there, other than the fact that I wish I had used that name (a shortened one, anyway) for my Archeops back in Pokémon White.
As you can tell, I like the more bizarre things in TGS. The more down-to-earth parts, like the overly long song at the beginning, tend to not be as funny. You have to have a mix though, as random stuff being thrown at you constantly just leads to stuff like animutations and Youtube Poops, which … well, I generally enjoy anyway, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing, and subsequently, too much of an awesome thing. Anyway, here’s an Answering Machine. I don’t think I could possibly segue into that with any sort of relevant statement.
Homestar’s message was kind of mediocre here, but I did enjoy the ending of it. Both the “beep” being an answer for the puzzle and him calling Marzipan a broomstick. Because she totally is. There’s also some Polish in this Answering Machine for whatever reason. I guess they just liked putting it in the other days email and decided to bring it back. I’d mention something about the person who actually did those lines, but it’s not particularly interesting, so I’m not going to.
Believe it or not though, I think the King of Town actually has the best message in this set, if only because of how over-the-top it was. “The Flamingo” is an excellent name for a thing, but my favorite part was the delivery of the “fifty frickin’ wings” line. It’s almost like a toned-down version of the “Precision F-Strike” trope, in the sense that the King would usually never speak that way. It was unexpected and hilarious. But now, I’ll move on to an email where The King of Town’s unfunniness is actually the main subject: old comics.
I feel the need to mention that there’s a subtle, yet frequently revisited concept that shows up in this email, and that is the silhouette panel. I actually don’t think HRWiki even has an article on that, which is surprising, since they have an article for freaking everything. But basically, there’s a number of things on the site (books and comics usually, but not always) that will occasionally cut to a scene where the characters are silhouetted, usually with a yellow background. This happens in at least five places – the original book (and Strumstar Hammer by association), Lookin at a Thing in a Bag, flashback, this email, and unnatural. The Chapmans have mentioned it in the commentary as being based on old Dennis the Menace comics, which would do the same thing. Kind of a useless fact, but I like to point those out.
Other funny things in this email: West Islip, “Mushy Chamberpot” and the dialogue box of commas, the pencil moistener, and the “Put Pasta Salad in Strong Mad’s Underdrawers Drawer Scare of ‘04” (both the name of it and the Easter egg associated with it). So I’m not completely sure why this email is disliked. Also, I like how it completely disregarded the subject of the original email. At no point does Strong Bad even attempt to answer why the King has a Poopsmith. I get the feeling that the Chapmans just had this idea and picked an email that was vaguely related to the subject, and just ran with it. Next up, we have some Puppet Stuff. Or is it a holiday toon? I guess it’s both. Here’s Labor Dabor.
The highlight of this one was definitely the weird bowling animations that The Cheat made. When I first saw these, I wasn’t quite sure what they were supposed to be, but once I saw someone explain it, it suddenly clicked and I’m not sure how I missed it the first time around. I don’t know if all bowling alleys have them, but most of the ones I’ve been to have similar little animations that play on the scoreboard screens when your turn is up. I don’t remember seeing any that have sound, but if they did, I’d imagine them to sound something like this. The last one (with the cell phone) in particular just has this weird, off-putting quality to it that reminds me of the Gene Deitch Tom & Jerry cartoons. And then I ended up Googling him and found that he directed animated shorts based on the “Krazy Kat” comic series. This would be irrelevant if it wasn’t for the fact that the style that The Castlefunnies uses is apparently inspired heavily by Krazy Kat. I’m not even sure what happened to my train of thought there, but it was an interesting coincidence.
I’m not sure how to follow that up, so I’m not going to. Abrupt ending.