Each day when I sit down to breakfast, I read my Chicago Tribune in the same order: Sports, News, Comics. (That probably speaks volumes about my priorities, but that's neither here nor there.) The point is, after reading the bevy of invariably depressing articles about Chicago sports and the even more depressing news stories of the day, I want something to cheer me up. I rely on the daily comics to do that.
Only they don't. In fact, many of them only serve to further depress. Most of them are simply...awful. Is it too much to ask for my funny papers to be funny?
What follows are five comic strips that are vastly out of touch with their readers and should be concluded as swiftly as possible. After you review, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
1. Broom-Hilda. This one is so bad that the Chicago Tribune has had it going head-to-head with several other strips to see if it can be discontinued by readers' votes. Please. Get rid of it.
2. Blondie. This strip was created by Chic Young in 1930. How is it still fresh? Answer: it isn't.
3. Hagar the Horrible. A fat, mead-guzzling Viking and his quirky family and friends must have been a hard-sell when it first ran in 1973. Today it would be impossible.
4. Beetle Bailey. This is a strip about a shiftless army private who shirks his duty and gets beat to shredded wheat by his drill sergeant. For all the years I've regularly read the funny papers, since roughly 1985, I've never once laughed at Beetle Bailey, which has been running consistently since 1950. Literally. Never. Laughed.
5. Fred Basset. For as many times as I've never laughed at Beetle Bailey, I've never even cracked a smile for this stinker of a strip about a hound's musings. Except perhaps out of embarrassment to its creator, Alex Graham (may he rest in peace). I defy you to find a Fred Basset strip that can make me a liar.
Next Sunday, I'll offer up my picks of five absolutely timeless strips that have made me laugh aloud virtually every reading. What do you think? Am I wrong about my choices of unfunny comics? Let me know.