Garfield: An Analysis

by F.

Banterist puts a week of Garfield strips under the microscope and we see Jim Davis’ brilliant comedic mind at work. Excerpt:

FRIDAY

Summary: Jon and Liz express their like for one another. Jon informs Liz that he wants to take the relationship “to the next level” – which Liz comes to understand means polka-karaoke night. Garfield tops off the punch-line with the sarcastic quip “Welcome to our world, baby.”

Why this is funny: Again, cartoonist Davis displays a mastery of the comedic art of building up expectations in the audience before delivering something completely unexpected. In this case, we all come to believe “the next level” must mean something significant such as dating exclusivity, cohabitation or sodomy. But no! Once again the reader is sucker-punched with the hilarious revelation that Jon considers “polka karaoke night” an advancement in the relationship.

When Garfield quips “Welcome to our world, baby” he is acknowledging that a socially inept 50-year old bachelor and a snide cat is an unusual situation for a woman to be brought into. One can only wonder what happens with Jon and Liz next week, and if there’s some kind of tenure for cartoonists.

More. In other news, recently Lucy pulled the football away from Charlie Brown when he was about to kick it, occasioning a heartfelt “Good grief!” and much hilarity. Snoopy, sadly, had no comment.

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