So Much Depends Upon A Coaster


For your eight minutes of documentary-viewing pleasure: Academics, scientists, frat brothers, second graders and other hermeneuticists seek meaning in the indifferent universe of a Bil Keane comic.

Courtesy of the Comics Curmudgeon.

NEXT: Reefer Madness Museum

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  1. Other than lame statements about Daddy’s hegemony over Billy et al., it is impossible to come up with anything. This comic strip has truly achieved such inanity as to be completely unmockable. I’m stunned with respect for this achievement.

  2. It’s like the comment on the youtube site explains:

    Nobody ever uses coasters in the house, so when dad puts his drink there, Billy thinks it is wrong and “tells” on him.

    That’s gotta be it, right? It’s a pretty lame joke.

  3. Billy, the with-it hip crack-smoking hacker of the family, is pointing out that his not-quite-with-it dad is using a mis-recorded CD, which is called a coaster, as a coaster. The multi dimensional subtexts boggle the mind. The subtle commentary on the information age converging with leisure, why this is the funniest cartoon ever written. After making the comment Billy went to his room to create some video mash-ups for his friend Jesse Walker and to burn on CDs to show those older teenaged girls he has been hanging around with lately.

  4. Whenever Bill Keane comes up, I’m reminded of the infamous MST3K episode featuring “Manos: The Hands Of Fate.” In the begining during the Invention Exchange, Joel unviels “The Cartooner:” a machine that take unfunny newspaper comic strips, mixes them together, and makes them hilarious. At one point they take an installment of “Family Circus” with “The Far Side.” The result?

    Tom Servo: “Let’s see… a dotted trail showing where anthropomorphic jackels have chased little Billy!”

    Now THAT’s comedy!

  5. Who the hell has any idea what’s going through Bil Keane’s head?

    Not Me…

  6. The joke is, the kids get yelled at for leaving drinks on things: “Don’t put that soda there, you’ll ruin the coffee table!” That kind of thing. So Dad uses a Coaster, and Li’l Jeffy flips out. DAD IS RUINING THE COASTER BY LEAVING A DRINK ON IT.

    It may not be funny, but as Ranier Wolfcastle might say, “That is ze johke.”

  7. His wife has nice boobs.

  8. C’mon. The people being approached had to be missing the “joke” ON PURPOSE. There’s no way…


    In one of the old Bloom County anthologies, they showed a copy of the Bloom Picayune newspaper. In the comics section, there was a doctored Family Circus cartoon, in which Billy was holding a turtle. They replaced whatever the real caption was with “Beany is so gnarled and smelly she reminds me of grandma.”

  10. AC, those are pretty funny. I’d read The Family Circus if it were really The Nameless Dread to which you have linked. My favorite one was this one: “Stupendous and unheard-of splendors await me below, and I shall seek them soon.”

  11. Three words I’m obligated to utter:

    “Dysfunctional Family Circus”

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