Humor in Disguise


(To view the above cartoon larger, click on Hitler’s mustache.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Power of Eye Wear.

Imagine living in a world like Clark Kent’s, in which disguising oneself was as easy as putting on a pair of glasses. A person could commit a heinous crime, buy a pair of $10 reading glasses at a drugstore and never again even have to look over their shoulder. Want to commit another crime? Just take off your glasses, then put them on again after you’re done. No need for those pesky pantyhose masks or stuffy balaclavas.

“It couldn’t have been any of those men in the lineup, officer. The bank robber wasn’t wearing glasses.”

As it is, humans are so good at recognizing each other’s faces that we have to go to great lengths if we want to disguise ourselves. Which is something that always drives me nuts when I’m watching a movie wherein the hero (usually a good-looking male) has been wrongly accused of a crime against the state and the country’s entire law-enforcement armada is after them – CIA, FBI, police, highway patrol, local Boy Scout troops – and they don’t even bother to comb their hair differently. If it were me, I’d shave my head, grow a beard, wear baggy, discarded clothing, smear dirt on my face, and walk like a hunchback. But not Harrison Ford or Colin Farrell. They just saunter down the street with their awesome haircuts and tailored shirts that show off their massive chest and shoulders.The only thing that lets you know they are wanted by every law-abiding citizen in the country is their constant furtive glances from side to side.

As long as I’m whining about my fantasy movie problems, allow me to comment on the apparent cranial bullet-proof nature of star power. I’m a fan of cop dramas, and in virtually every one of them there is a scene which involves a massive raid on the ghetto apartment of some very dicey characters with automatic weapons. As the battalion of SWAT dudes storms the building, everyone is wearing full riot gear. Except the handsome star. He enters with nothing to protect his skull other than his awesome haircut and rugged facial features. Oh, to be that invulnerable to flying lead and swinging two-by-f0urs.

It took us ten years to find bin Laden and that was way too long. But be thankful; if we were living in a Clark Kent World, he’d be walking the streets of Washington D.C. in a pair of Ray-Bans without fear of reproach.



15 thoughts on “Humor in Disguise

  1. I can’t believe I NEVER thought of the most-wanted movie star sauntering on the streets with no disguise! I bet that’s their plan though, to distract us from their lack of a plot with involuntary displays of sexy.

  2. Back in the ’70s, I was convinced that John Denver was Elton John with more normal glasses. So the disguise my work better than you think.

  3. You are absolutley correct, Bin Laden is walking around DC with sunglasses, afterall, they never showed photos of the dead body after the Pakistan raid.

  4. I really like this cartoon being a big comic book fan from way back. Maybe the reason why Superman always got away with the Clark Kent disguise was because everyone just wanted to humor him and were afraid that if they said anything, it would be too embarrasing for him. Worse than kryptonite.

  5. The hero and the anti-hero are much closer to each other than most of us are comfortable with, i.e. we Americans say our soldiers are heroes for their selfless actions abroad, but to the eyes of the people whose nation is occupied those same soldiers may be seen as brutalizing mercenaries. At some truly cynical point it all comes down to marketing, yes? I think of Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the tortured Mr. Torrance in The Shining: sober, he was a man who was looking for a chance to keep his family together, to bond safely away from the troubled past–once he was “drunk” (real or imagined) he was the Monster, yet both faces were of the same critter. I need a drink.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve known since I was a child that I would not make a good soldier because I am all too aware that the “other guy” is exactly like me.

  6. I got as far as the suggestion that Harrison Ford had ever had an awesome haircut in his entire life and am compelled to comment…

    The only time HF ever had anything resembling a “good” hairstyle was in Blade Runner and Presumed Innocent, and in both cases it was a timid buzz cut. Otherwise, the man has never come within combing distance of decent -do. I’m just sayin’.

    I couldn’t agree more about the lack of seriously convincing disguises in Hollywood thrillers and now, thanks to your having brought the matter to the fore, I feel comforted in my annoyance with every leading-male fugitive-on-the-run who hasn’t even bothered to hide out long enough to dye his hair, never mind grow a beard…

    Merci for that, Dan.

  7. =v= Uma Thurman seems to be under the impression that sunglasses make her anonymous, as if nobody would recognize a 6′ Aphrodite walking around with a son that looks like Ethan Hawke.

  8. That’s not the Phantom of the Opera. That’s Hank Hill pissed off that his wife made him dress up as the Phantom of the Opera. Lordy.

  9. You know Dan, I think you’re way oversimplifying the Clark-Kent-School-of-Disguise thing. If you were any kind of comic book fan, you would know that in addition to the glasses, Superman had that little curly lock of hair falling on his forehead while Clark had it neatly combed up. C’mon, give the guy some credit! If it was just the glasses, anyone could have spotted him. But face it, the little curly lock made the disguise perfect!

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