1. It does seem odd that the comic is referencing a television show that went off the air almost fifty years ago. I know there was a movie fairly recently and a couple of retries on the show, but I don’t think any of them had the success of the original series. Who is the audience for this joke?

  2. Isn’t “Get Smart” a geezer alert by now? Even if the movie reboot had been a hit (I thought it was okay), it’s already history itself and I don’t recall the Cone of Silence being evoked.

  3. Will venture that somebody was digging for ANY dog-wearing-cone joke that hadn’t been done. “Up” had a small army of dogs for whom the Cone of Shame was a form of public humiliation.

  4. “It does seem odd that the comic is referencing a television show that went off the air almost fifty years ago.”

    Not really. There are memes left over from old TV shows (many of which are currently re-airing thanks to broadcast subchannels. There’s at least a half-dozen broadcast TV networks that consist entirely of old re-runs. Antenna TV, MeTV, Laff Channel, Comet, Decades, COZI, ION, This. These are just the ones that I haven’t blocked on my TV. There’s at least a couple networks of religious programming, and another couple that are old TV shows dubbed in Spanish.

  5. It was also influential, so it wouldn’t surprise me if some other shows and movies didn’t also have comically-effective cones of silence. Say, Austin Powers, or that Simpsons episode where Homer goes to work for Hank Scorpio.

  6. The first panel is always there on this strip. There is sometimes text above the (bold) title, sometimes after, sometimes both. It seems that the text above the title is to be read before going on to the strip proper, and text below should be read after.

  7. I know that if it were a reference to a TV show from the last ten years, I wouldn’t get it.

  8. “Who is the audience for this joke?”

    Excuse me, I have to go chase some rotten kids off my lawn.
    And now I’m having lustful flashback memoires about Agent 99.

    (There was a dog cone joke sequence I can’t recall seeing before in POOCH CAFE a few days ago, in which two dogs, both in cones and humiliated by that, were on a date and since neither could see that the other was also coned, each felts/he had found a very polite and thoughtful partner. It didn’t last.)

  9. If someone did not get the reference, they might think it was amusing that two dogs are able to have a secret conversation by putting their cones together.

  10. There’s got to be an official name for that solid… two cones whose base is the same circle.

  11. @James: Said solid is rather unimaginatively named a bicone. It’s kind of boring and disappointing.

    As others have noted, this one has largely been meme-ified through cultural osmosis. I’m almost certain that Austin Powers did it (although that’s been 20 years, now), I think with two fishbowls connected by a tube. And pace Downpuppy, it got something of a boost last year thanks to Scott Pruitt.

  12. Was it former Secretary Pruitt whose criticized expenses included a phone booth in his office? I recall that being mocked in terms of why does he need “the cone of silence”

  13. mitch4: Yes, and it was also suspicious – he doesn’t deal in classified information and the phone booth would only keep his underlings from overhearing him – what secrets did he need to discuss that he needed to keep from his own people?

  14. “what secrets did he need to discuss that he needed to keep from his own people?”

    He was trying to get his wife a fast-food franchise. You don’t want anyone to know where you’ve identified an opportunity… someone else might swoop in and open a competing franchise there before you get all the details locked down.

  15. I actually didn’t think of the cone of silence. I don’t remember it from when I watched the show and watching it later in life it was not the thing that impressed me much.

    Dogs and their sense of social shame is inherently funny. So yes, dogs talking together and giving it a name like “the cone of silence” would be funny. Just like Doug and “The cone of shame” was in “Up”. (I swear, half the people I know, myself included, think Doug saying “Oh, I do not like the cone of shame” was the funniest line in the entire movie.)

    “It does seem odd that the comic is referencing a television show that went off the air almost fifty years ago. … Who is the audience for this joke?”

    Why the heck wouldn’t it be people who remember a show from 50 years ago? There are *millions* of us after all, why *wouldn’t* we be a targeted audience. (After all we are the *only* people who buy print newspapers.)

    I never did understand the “geezer” tags. So *what* if it’s a geezer reference? Don’t geezers read comice? In fact, don’t *only* geezers read comics?

    It’s almost as if we believe if we make a huge fuss about how geezerish something else is, that will somehow prove we aren’t geezers.

  16. ” Don’t geezers read comice? In fact, don’t *only* geezers read comics?”

    Well, if we aren’t creating a generation that likes to read comics, eventually the comics as a medium will be gone.
    I’d prefer that to not happen until after I’M gone.

    It’s already happened to the short-form cartoon. Pixar still occasionally produces them, I’m assuming as tryouts to see if would-be producers and directors can deliver finished projects. But if Chuck Jones were 22 today, he’d have to find a different career, and he’d be as wasted in a giant insurance company as Bob Parr.

  17. But short animated films are still being made. I saw a film festival collection of this year’s Oscar nominations.

    Regarding Get Smart’s Cone of Silence, it pretty much never worked well if at all, correct?

    So are the dogs having better luck with theirs then?

  18. “But short animated films are still being made.”

    But not many of them. You pretty much have to go to a specially-themed event to see any. The old shorts were collected to make TV programs, and then new TV programs were made for the half-hour length that TV likes.

    The Simpsons started out as short cartoons. There was a set of action short cartoons based on the Star Wars prequels. And Pixar bundles cartoon shorts with some of their DVD releases. Compared with the factories at MGM, WB, and Disney back in the olden days. If it weren’t for YouTube, there’d be no regular outlet for short films.

  19. Get Smart must be showing in reruns on something – on some TV channel, Roku – something. Husband is watching reruns of “Danger Man” aka “Secret Agent Man” and of some 1950s variety show that Abbott and Costello were one (with Jane Russell and 2 other actresses singing gospel music on a semi-regular basis on Roku.

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