Bitter Pachyderm Philtrum Swashbuckling Drinker Teen Whale










Bizarro is brought to you today by Time Magazine.

“If you’re only reading the cartoons on BizarroBlog, you’re missing most of Piraro’s genius.”––Time Magazine

Okay, that never appeared in Time Magazine. But from some of the comments that readers make, I know that plenty of people are only scanning the cartoons briefly and skipping all of this delicious text that I pour so much of my heart and soul into. So I thought maybe a phony quote would encourage them to read on. Am I a bad man? Yes, but it has nothing to do with that phony quote.

The first cartoon in today’s post should have been published right before the recent U.S. prez election, but my schedule didn’t work out that way so I changed the caption a bit and made it work afterward. That’s an inside trade secret, so keep it to yourself.

Judging by the emails I got, the elephant cartoon was popular with a lot of readers. I love to draw elephants; they have unique anatomy and facial qualities that make them very expressive. This guy looks a bit forlorn that nobody will acknowledge that he was in the room. Who can blame him? (I also despise the kind of cruelty they routinely undergo at the hands of humans. These magnificent beings do not belong in our zoos or circuses.)

The next cartoon about “Jon” can be a bit of a brain teaser. If you click on it, it will enlarge the image and you’ll see that those are actually ants on his upper lip. If you don’t get the joke, say the caption out loud a few times in a row, without thinking of the picture. In fact, think of an elephant. (This won’t help you get the joke, but elephants are fun to think about.)

Regarding the Zorro gag, I got an email from a reader who pointed out that I had drawn Zorro wrong––everyone knows he was right-handed. Okay, you caught me. I’m zorry. (Yes!)

If you’re viewing this blog from a country that has banned Zorro and so you don’t get this gag, he always scratched his signature, a large, flashy, (gay?) “Z” at the scene of one of his adventures.

A friend of mine in LA, Richard Dean Starr, is a writer and editor of note who has done a good deal of work on the Zorro oeuvre over the years. His Facebook image is of Zorro, in fact, so I’m hoping he saw this cartoon and liked it. Drop by his page and tell him about it.

Our next cartoon is the sort that sometimes attracts hate mail from well-meaning readers who want to protect the disabled. I rarely get angry mail from disabled people themselves –– they most often thank me for jokes like this and tell me if it weren’t for a sense of humor about their situation, they’d never make it through the day. I didn’t get any mail from blind people about this one, positive or negative. Maybe they didn’t see it. (Direct your angry comments about my previous comment  to the comments section of this post.)

I love gags about therapy and I’ve done a million of them. But this one really breaks my heart. This poor teenaged girl is not into vampires and so she has no way to relate to the other girls her age. It’s like being six and not into princesses or horses. Or being 40 and not into tranquilizers and extramarital affairs. You have no chance to relate to your peers.

Last on today’s roster is my Sunday comic from this week, which features a collaborative effort with my good buddy and talented colleague, Dan McConnell. If you’ve never heard of the “Lassie” series of books, TV shows, and movies, you’re not missing much but you might miss the point of this gag. The deal is that Lassie was a super-genius collie who followed around a curious little idiot boy named Timmy. Timmy was a typical boy in that he was always getting his head stuck under an abandoned car in a ditch just as the water began to rise, or getting his leg trapped in an abandoned mine as the walls crumbled around him, or, yes, falling down a well. If it weren’t for Lassie’s uncanny ability to bark out commands to Timmy’s guardians and government officials, Timmy would have been dead by age 3. In this cartoon, however, Lassie’s bark diction is wanting and Timmy’s dad or uncle or probation officer or whatever is confused. Poor Timmy. By now he sleeps with the fishes.

I hope you enjoyed this stupid thing I do for a living. If you did, grab a few of my books as holiday gifts or just for yourself. I don’t make a penny off these damn blog posts, you know.


41 thoughts on “Bitter Pachyderm Philtrum Swashbuckling Drinker Teen Whale

  1. Jeff was way cooler on “Lassie”, and you’re the first person I’ve heard(other than myself, and Mr A. Ische of Edmonds, WA) to describe Timmy as an idiot…..and you’re right, he was “curious”, and not in the sense that he was inquisitive.

  2. Your comment regarding jokes about the disabled reminds me of a blind person I met who related a few “blind jokes,” one of them being: Why don’t blind people skydive? Because it scares the crap out of the dog. Enjoy your humour.

  3. I am supremely embarrassed – I did in fact need your explanation about the ants under his nose. This was a really good batch – even my wife burst out laughing at the elephant.

  4. Pingback: Bitter Pachyderm Philtrum Swashbuckling Drinker Teen Whale « What I see, what I feel, what I'd like to see…

  5. A friend send me your 12-7-12 cartoon. As a Pacific Northwesterner, it reminded me of John Callahan’s cartoon that showed a beggar in the street wearing a sign that reads, “Please help me. I am blind and black, but not musical.”

    (btw, that was a complement)

    My favorite cartoon that you’ve drawn is the one from 12-16-06. I am so sorry that you didn’t turn it into greeting cards.

    Happy Chanukah (it started tonight),

    Lynn Gottlieb

    Seattle, WA

  6. Oh, come now, you love this heart and soul pouring out thingy as much as we do, Mr. Piraro :) I may check on quite a few web comics religiously, but yours is the only work that I read in print and online, especially for the bonus wordy thingies that you think up of to put alongside the drawn thingies.

    Also, don’t you dare call it ‘this stupid thing I do for a living’. It requires brains, luck, dedication and willingness to collaborate (by setting aside your delicate ego) when an idea good enough comes by from a different source. Not to mention the art and serious discipline. If it weren’t so tough, why don’t I have half a dozen web comic series out already, eh? (Mostly lazy procrastination and bad stick figure art skills) ;)

    Self-deprecation doesn’t suit you. Or maybe it does, we find you adorable anyways :)

  7. Your Lassie/well joke had me in hysterics, only because it brought back memories of me misinterpeting a person once at a dinner party in south Louisiana, who said to my oil business (jerk) husband-at-the-time, “Did you see that big “Whale” out in the Gulf?” Now we were very young and I did not understand anything about the oil business, so I say, with a perplexed look on my face, “You saw a Whale out in the Gulf of Mexico? That’s amazing! How did it get there?” My husband gives me “the glare” and grabs my elbow and says, “he means a WELL”, whereupon, I just turned red and mumbled “oh, so sorry,” but was thinking, “he clearly said Whale, not Well…….” After more years of putting my foot in my mouth, I was told to just look pretty and not say anything at parties. Of course, we are no longer married, but my children and nice new husband of 19 years, think my hearing words differently is hilarious, as it still goes on to this day. (If I could just learn to not SAY anything, after I hear it…….I can’t help myself.) Thanks for making me laugh regularly!

    • It’s kind of like the way are imitating Bogart by saying “play it again, Sam”, when any Bogart aficionado (like myself) can tell you that Bogart’s actual line from Casablanca was “you played it for her, you can play it for me!”

      If anybody knows the origin of the old Lassie joke about Timmy being stuck down a well, and what the actual scene was, I’d love to hear it. My wife, nine years older than I, actually watched Lassie during its original run in the ’50s, and always pulled that “Timmy’s fallen down the well” gag at parties whenever our dog started barking.

  8. I read every blog post. I am a true Jazz Pickle. I also look for all the secret symbols and am occasionally distressed when you neglect to put a number above the signature. Also, I’m that guy who has been using the term “Crap Monkeys” since I was a kid.

    I am not currently stalking you, tho’ I do live in L.A. I was here first, perhaps you are stalking me. That’s awkward.

  9. Hi Dan,

    As your comic strip appears daily in 350 markets throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia (according to Wikipedia, anyway), I am assuming that it is translated into other languages. I have always wondered how your translators handle puns, which rarely make sense when translated literally. The above “answer right under his nose” cartoon, for example, could not be interpreted word for word in Spanish (at least not without leaving Hispanics the world over scratching their heads in befuddlement), as the phrase “las hormigas están” sounds nothing like “la respuesta”. Does this leave your overseas translators with the task of having to completely change the caption to something which makes sense, or does the newspaper just replace that days cartoon with a rerun of The Far Side or something?

    • Honestly, I have no idea what translators do with puns in other countries. I know that in Scandinavia, they often will run the cartoon in English, because so many people there speak it.

      • I live in “Scandinavia” (actually Denmark) and I have never once seen a comic in a newspaper printed in English – they are always translated. Even though most of us do speak english.

        And btw … I didn’t get the “ants under the nose” joke, before the above poster mentioned “answers under the nose”.

  10. Love that election bar cartoon. It reminds me of an idea I first had during the ’04 “election”, which was to make an exception to the DC liquor laws to allow bars and ABC stores to open an hour before the polls, so that can people choosing to vote early can be totally wrecked when they get to the polls. Granted, you could just stock up at home the night before, but on the off chance that some voters might get busy in the evening and can’t hit the ABC store on the way home from work, you could allow the ABC store to open at 6am on “election” day. In ’04, the last time I bothered to vote, I got up at 7am, smoked a bowl, drank a pint of Guinness, and walked straight down to the polls, visibly lushed. Man, it was glorious.

    This also sort of dovetails into another idea I had, which was totally random voting, on the premise that both major parties are so alike and the quality of our politicians so poor that we couldn’t do any worse if we just wandered into the polls soused to the gills and stabbed randomly at the levers (or chads, or touchscreens, or whatever polling method your locality uses).

      • In Australia, how could you tell?

        In my area, the population of voters is too low to go to polling places, so the default is to vote by mail. Many people complain about this, as they miss showing their kids how to do their civic doody.

        I confess, I didn’t get either the Lassie joke or the ant mustache until now. Must be the humor flu. They are hilarious. All your stuff is hilarious. You ought to be paid for it. Jeez, that awful Gangnam guy makes millions.

  11. Hey, Dan:

    Loved the Zorro cartoon, and the mention on your blog was very nice. Thanks!

    Now I’m going to go off an play with my, eh, sword.


    Richard Dean Starr


  12. I, too, didn’t get the “ants are” until you explained it to me; what I really loved about the elephant joke is the prosecutor’s skeptical frown.

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  14. The left island in the last comic looks like Anacapa, off the coast of Oxnard/Ventura. The linked photo of Lassie and Timmy cracked me up.

  15. Love the blind guy.Here in Florida,blinds are big business.I was working near a Blind store and knew the owners.When I came home one night with a ladder that I borrowed from them,my wife asked where I got it.”I borrowed it from the blind guy.”I replied.My wife and son both asked “What blind guy?”I said the guy at work,and my son (age 20) asked “How the F#@^ does a blind guy use a ladder?” I said “Same as us.”

    • Didn’t get Steve’s post for a while. Thought he was talking about the “business” of standing on a streetcorner begging while blind (or while “blind”). I don’t believe a blind person couldn’t use a ladder, anyway.

      I’m in hardware, and have a blind customer who uses a table saw. How does he do it? Carefully.

  16. I didn’t realize how much I missed your comics from Funny Times (it was my mom’s subscription) until I found your blog. I promise I’ll read each post!

    And I’m better now than I was 2 glasses of wine ago.

  17. Well, Dan, I finally figured out that “ants are under his nose” gag by repeatedly reading the caption out loud. I can’t really complain, though, as that’s the kind of bonehead wordplay I’m always pulling on my wife, and it just drives her nuts.

    Still, you really did take the long way around for that one, man.

  18. It’s only today (December 16), while reading your blog, more than three weeks after first seeing the “Jon” cartoon, that I got the pun!

    I’m horribly embarrassed.

  19. Elephant in the room: instant classic. Timmy in what well!?? a hearty laughs that makes me keep looking and laughing. I haven’t been here much lately, but I still love Bizarro!

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