Flaming Keyboard


Bizarro 03-13-16 hdrWEB

(Click any image to embiggenate it.)Bizarro 03-13-16 WEB

Bizarro is brought to you today by Future Clean.

My favorite thing about today’s cartoon (above) is the art, and by that I mean the glow of the fire. I can’t say the joke is all that compelling, to be honest. In the collection of writings that Christians call the Old Testament and Jews call the Torah, god appears to Moses as a burning bush and gives him the famous Ten Commandments. For some reason I thought that if that happened today it would be a burning computer. What bushes have to do with computers is anyone’s guess. I’ve no clue. I’ve nothing more to say about this cartoon other than when you have to write a joke each day for over thirty years, a few are going to be clunkers.

On a side note, I find it interesting that only two of the famous Ten Commandments are illegal in modern societies (killing and stealing) and one more is only illegal if you do it under oath (bearing false witness). I have no point to make here other than that I find it interesting.

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I like doing cartoons about muppets and other kinds of hand puppets and have done so on a number of occasions.  Here is a favorite from a few years ago, and here is another. I used to do a one-man show called The Bizarro Baloney Show, which was me doing various odd things onstage for about an hour. Within that show I did a couple of bits with hand puppets that looked like dogs and in one of those bits, one dog puppet rips the dog puppet off of the other hand and the naked hand screams “I’m blind! I’m blind!”  Then I’d put the dog puppet back on the naked hand and ask if he was all right. He would say, “Wow, that was freaky!…Let’s do it again!”  Audiences found this funny.

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Regarding this cartoon about a general store in the Old West, I think the sign on the front of the desk is as funny as the main gag.

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Here’s a cartoon that mixes stage magic with the pajama arts, or “martial” arts, as some people insist on calling them. In case you’ve never read those signs on those small storefronts all over the place, “mixed martial arts” is a thing.

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Somebody wrote to me this week and said this kind of thing happened to some people in history once, where they were condemned to die by guillotine, brought up on the platform in front of a crowd, but at the last minute were sent to prison instead. I guess to scare them. I can’t remember now where I saw this or what the details were so I should never have brought it up. My bad.

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I’ve witnessed many fads that make no sense to me in my life. The most notable one is the practice of some young men of wearing giant, rodeo-clown-style pants so that their underwear shows, but another is this habit of taking pictures of food you’ve ordered in restaurants and posting them on Facadebook. In what world is looking at other people’s food interesting if you’re not a designer of restaurant food? I suppose it goes hand in hand with the other ways in which Americans tend to be obsessed with food these days like the two entire television networks dedicated to food. The whole thing seems to be infringing on the first commandment’s territory: “Thou shalt have no gods before me.” I don’t believe in anything like that kind of god, I’m just saying America’s obsession with food seems to me to be verging on religious.

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Witches have lots of scary behaviors, like mixing gross things together in a big pot so that somebody they’re mad at will have nothing but bad luck, and being ugly and greenish. But perhaps the most scary thing they do is eat children, which Hansel and Gretel came terrifyingly close to finding out. In the old days witches had to eat them all in one sitting which was very challenging, but these days, with modern plastics technology, they can store the leftovers to enjoy later. If you think this entire topic is disgusting, blame my good friend, Cliff Harris The King Of Wordplay, because this cartoon was suggested by him. Cliff has other funny wordplay ideas that he has put into a book that is perfect for a gift, or to leave on your coffee table, or to put with those books that so many people seem to have next to their toilet which always creeps me out because who would want to touch something that someone else has been touching while they are defecating? Get Cliff’s book here and toss the guy a few cents. Your money could not go to a nicer guy.


38 thoughts on “Flaming Keyboard

  1. I am laughing so hard at the food cartoon. I have seen people post what they eat so many times. Thanks the cartoons and commentary.

  2. I belong to Facebook group called “What’s for Dinner?”, though it’s only for meals that we actually make ourselves. Other than that, I’m with you 100% on the food-obsession dumbfoundedness.

  3. You realize that YHWH speaking to Moses through a burning bush and Moses receiving the 10 Commandments are two different stories? There was no burning bush present on tHe top of Mt. Sinai where Moses was given the 10 commandments.

  4. Two things about the guy in front of the burning tree.

    1. The notion of those lists being in Roman numerals is – of course – hilarious. But…..but…..
    2. you continue to use religious icons and don’t seem to appreciate that you – inadvertently or not – are reinforcing the mind sets of the born again nutballs. But then, on reflection, they likely don’t read your cartoons so maybe I’m just full of shit.

    • Main thing about the Moses & the burning bush – Weren’t the events actually two separate ones? I thought Moses got the ten commandments on Mt. Sinai and met up with burning bush in the desert? (old Sunday School lessons – very old, so I could be wrong)

      • My recollection is that the burning bush was on top of Mt. Sinai and gave him the tablets. If either of us were industrious enough to google it we could get the answer. :^}

    • Christian here. (Actual Jesus lover, not just “cultural Christian”). I think Bizarro is brilliant art and I read it every day.

      Just saying hi, don’t read this as passive-aggressive or anything.

    • As one of those born again nut jobs, as you so eloquently described me, I love Dan’s sense of humor and his ability to find the insane in the mundane and inane.

    • I do agree that most people believe that religious myths are scientific fact because of the culture they were raised in, and “popular” culture like newspaper cartoons feed into to that to some extent. But I don’t believe anyone will stop believing these things just because they’ve not seen it in a cartoon recently, so I persist in mining the abundant humor available in these stories. Does that make sense?

  5. A friend of few words who rarely posts on FB recently posted 18 pictures of one taco meal without explanation. I responded with pictures of a loaf of bread, a jar of PB, a jar of jam, and a banana. My friend had no words, so I don’t know what HIS thinking was. I got a kick out of it though.

  6. Embiggenate! Ha! Do you have videos anywhere of your Bizzaro Baloney show? I’d love to see it! Side note: I really appreciate how you make jokes about religion and Christianity without disrespecting those of us who believe, thank you!

  7. When I saw the cartoon with the modern day Moses, I immediately remembered that in the translation I am familiar with, Moses received the commandments on stone tablets. So I figured you were playing on the word “tablet” which a laptop sort of is. This reminds me of a great cartoon from maybe a year ago when a quick-witted dog responded to the question “do you have an I-Pad?” with “do you have a pee pad?”

    • Yeah, I really should have used a tablet instead of a laptop but I’ve never owned one or even touched one so it just wasn’t on my radar, I guess.

    • Yeah, I know. That was a really stupid mistake on my part. I’ve never owned a tablet or even touched one so they just aren’t on my radar, I guess.

  8. “For some reason I thought that if that happened today it would be a burning computer.”

    But it also works if you consider many of these devices today are known as “tablets” :)

    • Yeah, I know. That was a really stupid mistake on my part. I’ve never owned a tablet or even touched one so they just aren’t on my radar, I guess.

  9. Yesterday my daughter and I were hanging out at the campus of The Ohio State University and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum was open so we stopped in and checked out the exhibits. I was thrilled to see what appears to be an early Bizarro cartoon on display! You’ve mentioned it before but your artwork really has changed over the years. https://goo.gl/photos/uT5EmGiKA1GPgPCv9 I’ve always been impressed with your artwork and ability to come up with something funny \ interesting all these years. Thanks for all the entertainment.

    • How cool, thanks for telling me. That wasn’t a published Bizarro cartoon, that was a drawing I did for someone as a souvenir or whatever. I remember the drawing but don’t remember why I did it. I had no idea it had ended up there.

  10. I like your “burning computer” cartoon. When I saw it, I said, “wow, that’s profound.” I then thought, indeed, how would he forward the messages he gets when the ancient Israelites didn’t have computers. I did not see the caption that said “modern-day Moses”. I really like commenter Marcus pointing out that the devices are known as “tablets”, ha ha!

  11. I found the Kermit cartoon beyond witty (whatever realm that ends up in) and couldn’t wait to show it to my daughter, who is a rather large Kermit fan. Her response – The dry version of “Really?” with a smile. In these crazy modern times that’s a great complement to your amazing works – we look, we think, we laugh. Thanks again for sharing them with us.

  12. I’m confused about the timing of the “3 Wise Acres” AFTER the NATIVITY.. Their presence is always depicted at the cradle site.. were SUPPOSE to have arrived about 4 years later to warn the “family” to “get out of Dodge”..NOW!!..ol’ Herod had a bug up his arss!! sheese!!

  13. Whenever I see “millenial” with only one “N”, I’m reminded of a speech that the Queen of England made in November 1992. It had been a bad year for the Royal Family, and she described it as an “Annus Horribilis”, or “Horrible Year”.
    Imagine how much worse it would have been if she’d said “Anus Horribilis”…

      • My editor caught it and fixed it for the newspapers but I forgot to fix it for my own color copy, which is what I use to post on the blog. I’ll change it now and pop it in. Thanks for the reminder, boys!

  14. The Kermit cartoon made me snort-laugh. I really love your humor. We have a bunch of your books and have been reading you for years. I bought my husband one of your prints for Christmas and he loved it. Thanks.

  15. You mentioned that you couldn’t remember the details around people getting led to the guillotine and then pardoned & led to prison instead. I’m sure it’s happened more than once, but a famous example is Dostoevsky, although not death by guillotine. He and several others were marched out to be shot by firing squad in Russia. However, “just in time”, a dispatch from the tsar arrived to pardon them from death & sentence them to years of hard labor in Siberia instead. The tsar actually had never planned to order their death, but instead had only meant to scare them into thinking they were going to die, and then to feel thankful to the tsar for sparing their lives.

  16. Dan, your theology is confused.

    The burning Bush! flamed out weeks ago; Ted Cruz is the one who receives commandments from God.

  17. I check out Bizarro daily (one of only five in that category), but I’m sure I don’t appreciate your cartoons as uniformly as many do. Occasionally, though, one will hit me just right. This week’s Kermit cartoon did just that. HA! Kermit’s blithe expression somehow perfects the joke.

    The Kermit cartoon became only the second Bizarro that I have saved. Thanks for that mental laugh!

    Puns depress me, though, so no thanks for the witch cartoon. :>)

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