Stampede Fish Rapunzel Parrot Miscreant

Bizarro 09-07-14 hdrWEBBizarro 09-07-14 WEBbz panel 09-08-14bz strip 09-08-14bz panel 09-09-14bz strip 09-09-14bz panel 09-10-14bz strip 09-10-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Attack of the Trump Clones.

To my regular readers of this blog I’d like to apologize for being so tardy in my posts of late. I was accidentally cast as the narrator/host of a show on FOX called “Utopia,” and since this is the first week of the show and I’m the only one on it allowed to leave to do interviews and press, they’ve kept me super busy. I’m having a ball with it, although it is still completely surreal. More about how this happened in my previous post here. Meanwhile, here are some cartoons to catch you up on my “real” life as a cartoonist.

SUNDAY: I’m always happy when I come across one of these old-fashioned riding toys that were ubiquitous outside grocery and dime stores when I was a kid. Compared to modern technology, these things are incredibly lame, but I guess kids are still riding them or they’d be gone for good.

 

 

MONDAY: From the inimitable mind of Cliff The King Of Wordplay, comes this take on fishing and the idiosyncrasies of the English language. I laughed, hope you did, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY: I apologize for adding that second line, the gag would’ve been just as good without it. I guess I was having a moment of doubt that everyone would remember the story of Rapunzel, but now I’m reminded that my Jazz Pickles never miss a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY: There is a long-standing debate over whether talking birds actually understand what they’re saying. I’ve read up a bit on this and think that while many are likely just mimicking sounds, some actually understand the basic meaning and use the words they know in context. In general, non-human animals are far more sophisticated than we egomaniacal humans have historically thought in so many ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIZARRO OF THE LIVING DEAD: bz990824 COURT WEBFrom 1999, here’s a fun take on the rituals of court.

 

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23 Comments | Posted in animals, classic Bizarros, daily Bizarros | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

My Life Just Got Very WEIRD!

The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me happened recently and I wanted to share the experience with my Jazz Pickles.

A friend of mine who is a reality TV producer of note, Jon Kroll, called me a couple months ago and said he was working on a new show and they were looking for a narrator. He’s always liked my voice and thought I might be a good fit, so he asked if I’d be interested in auditioning, even though I’ve never done this kind of work before. I said I was. He said over a hundred others were auditioning, too, so not to expect anything. I didn’t.

After submitting my home-made tape (on my laptop with an inexpensive microphone I use for recording my songs) they called me in for an interview and another round of auditions. This process went on for weeks and I submitted who-knows-how-many tapes. I made the cut to the final three and they brought each of us to a professional sound studio for one last audition. Somehow, and this is only the beginning of the weird part, I got the job!

I was very stoked and began recording narration for pre-production purposes, basically reading anything they put in front of me and just doing my best not to sound too much like Don Pardo. Then, suddenly and without warning, with only a week to go until air, they decided perhaps the narrator should be on camera now and then during the episodes.

What?!

So, I was off to a screen test to see what I looked like on camera. I’ll be honest, some network folks were a little wary of my absurd mustache, which, to be honest, I expected. A mustache like mine has never been on a network show before and I’m proud of that. So we toned down the mustache (didn’t cut it, just styled it differently) they dressed me up like a grown-up, and I’m now the on-screen host and narrator for FOX network’s new, very big-deal reality show, Utopia. Nobody is more surprised than I am.

Think about it. I’m at home in my sweatpants working on my cartoon career like I’ve been doing for the past 30 years, a friend asks me if I’d like to do some voiceover work for a TV show and I’m thinking, “Sure. If I can make a few extra bucks talking into a microphone for a few hours a week, I’m game.” A few weeks later I’m on national TV, posing for publicity shots, and going on press junkets. I didn’t even have an agent or a headshot when this started. People who’ve been working for this kind of break in showbiz for years must hate me, and I can’t blame them. To them, I can only say I’m sorry.

The show premiers on FOX (the network with The Simpsons and Family Guy, not the one with Bill O’Reilly) this Sunday night with a two-hour episode, then again on the usual nights it will be seen thereafter, Tuesday and Friday. You can also tap into what’s going on inside the compound 24/7 at UtopiaTV.com. In fact, here are the first five minutes of the premier episode on YouTube. Somehow, Jon made me look like actually I know what I’m doing.

Below are some shots from the set taken by my amazing assistant and the love of my life, Olive Oyl.DanUtopiaSet1DanUtopiaSetJon1DanUtopiaSet2DanUtopiaSet4DanUtopiaSetOliveOyl  (Click any pic to get a larger view.)

 

 

My first day on set, standing on a hilltop above the Utopia compound. None of the crew are allowed inside during this televised social experiment, and that’s a big part of the difference between this show and previous “reality” shows. What happens in the compound is actually real, NONE of it is scripted, suggested, or prompted, and none of the “Utopians” are ever interviewed on camera once they enter the site.

 

 

 

 

 

This is the great Jon Kroll, my guardian angel, who dragged me into this strange world. Here, he’s producing me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m wearing a heavy winter vest and hat in these scenes and we were taping in 100˚ heat. The shade over me is for lighting purposes but I was pretty damned happy about it. By the way, I’m standing on a box not because I’m short (which I am, by choice) but so the dirt at my feet wouldn’t show up in the shot.

 

 

 

After the video is finished, I have to read some of my narration lines in the same environment, to match the ambient sound. Most of my narration is done in a small sound booth they built at the site. I’m laughing at Jon who has just said something producers say, like, “Do it again just like that but better, by a factor of three.” Thanks, Jon.

 

 

 

 

 

And here is my amazing Olive Oyl, standing with me on the hill overlooking Utopia. She’ll also be the one standing next to me on the red carpet when I am the first person in history to have been given an Oscar for hosting a TV show.

In closing, I’d like to say that everyone I’ve worked with there (and there are no less than a hundred personnel on site at any given time) are incredibly cool, professional, and nice. Even before anybody knew what job I had on the show, they treated me like family. I just hope they don’t fire me in three weeks and replace me with a hand puppet or a talking cat.

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Hunter Fan Hero Liar

bz panel 09-04-14bz strip 09-04-14bz panel 09-05-14bz strip 09-05-14bz panel 09-06-14bz strip 09-06-14Bizarro is brought to you today by Store Manager Wisdom.

 

Phony, fad diets like Paleo are a favorite topic of mine when I can find a good idea with which to skewer them. I think this one is pretty funny. Large amounts of meat are horrible for the human body unless you combine them with enormous amounts of exercise, which our primitive ancestors most certainly did. If you’re thinking “But I lost a lot of weight on the Paleo Diet,” keep in mind that people on meth lose a lot of weight, too. Doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should’ve saved this cartoon for playoff season but I’d likely forget it by then so I used it now. I’m a fairly big sports fan and I never watch games live, so this idea appealed to me. Plus, I like gags that show how absurdly off-base we humans can be in our modern world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I drew this one I wondered if I’d hear from family members of people suffering from dementia who think it is insensitive. My defense is that there has been some dementia in my own family and nearly everyone knows someone who has suffered from it in one form or another. Comedy is a time-honored and natural way for humans to deal with the more tragic elements of life. It’s one of the best traits of our overly-developed brains in my opinion, and can be very healing.

 

 

 

 

 

BIZARRO OF THE LIVING DEAD: From my archival mausoleum comes this cartoon from 1996 about the psychology of performers. I’ve done some performing myself and have always wondered what it is that drives me to do it. In my next post, I’ll be telling you about a strange new job in television that recently fell into my lap from the ether. I’ll actually be on your TV this coming Sunday night, which is hard for even me to believe.bz960524 WEB

31 Comments | Posted in animals, classic Bizarros, daily Bizarros, history, super heroes | Tagged , ,