Monday, March 31, 2008
NCCCCC: Alarming Alcoholic
Welcome to the National Corniest Cliché Comic Character Countdown, where I annually pick some comic chestnuts to run through the wringer. Our first category this year is everybody’s favorite role model, the liquid substance abuser.
Comics like to traffic in stereotypes. They form a great visual shorthand to help set up a joke. And nothing is funnier than a falling down drunk in the funny pages where kids learn to read and adults commiserate their sad existence. Comic strip drunks are keeping things on the down low in today’s MADD invested political correctness. For many of these strips, I couldn’t find recent examples of their signature lush actually hoisting a glass, so in some cases, you’ll have to use your imagination and your alcohol soaked memory.
Hagar The Horrible
Hagar, the least horrible barbarian ever, is a heavy drinker in all senses of the word. He’s even willing to endure spousal abuse in order to be able to drop in for a drink or twelve. In addition to being a horned drunk, he also traffics in the heavy-set nagging wife stereotypes.
General Amos Halftrack
The drunken lecherous leader of Camp Swampy has been through several rounds of court-ordered sensitivity training and is now rarely seen with a martini glass in his hand. Like all good comics writer doppelgangers, he still enjoys golf. Surprise! He also has a heavy-set overly stern wife. Battle-ax spouses must drive comic characters to drink.
One of the frequent recurring GoogleStorm hits that infrequently hit my blog is for “Hi and Lois drunk neighbor”. It seems Thirsty is rarely referred to by name anymore and even more infrequently seen with his trademark pile of empties under his hammock. He must be doing all his drinking off camera because he still has his advanced rhinophyma.
Everybody’s favorite wife-beating drunk epitomizes British lower class substance abuse better than an entire season of Eastenders. While he too has lowered the spousal abuse content, he still likes to bend his elbow plenty.
Leroy likes to give his buddy across the pond some competition. Nothing says hilarity more than Leroy three sheets to the wind wearing a lampshade and hitting on some hottie half his age and twice his height.
The Wizard of Id’s town drunk is everything a dysfunctional wino should be, including it seems, a professional musician.
Remember when voting that “best cliché” means many things to many people. Vote according to your conscious and blame the results on a blackout hangover.
Please be patient with the voting software. Your vote may not register immediately, but it is being counted.
As always, explanations and rationalizations are allowed and expected in the comments.
Update: You may keep voting, but the Dopiest Dad and Perplexing Pet categories are now open as well.