26 Comments

  1. The wild turkeys in my neighborhood can certainly fly. They fly over fences, and head up into trees at night.

  2. @Dave T: Wild turkeys can fly, domestic turkeys can’t. They’ve been bred in a way that has changed their physiology so much that they can’t even manage the fluttering glide that most chickens can do.

  3. The squirrel ruined what was a pretty good joke with an unnecessary reference to another joke (that has become a trope). When will he learn that in comedy, less is better?

  4. Leigh is currently taking a short vacation (or sabbatical), which is why “Rubes” is experiencing a series of re-runs from 2013.

  5. I haven’t seen one, but there has to be a strip in the history of comics that shows a bunch of pigs flying. One guy says to the other “What’s going on?” and the other says “The Bills just won the Super Bowl” or something equally extraordinary.

  6. Without the squirrel the joke could be too obscure (what? it’s just four animals that can’t fly… so?….) But with just a nudge it’d be funny. But an elaborate explanation is just too much. Maybe if the squirrel had just said “As God is my witness….” or something very slight.

    Actually just four animals that can’t fly would be good and…. I just got the “when pigs fly” reference… maybe it’s a better joke than I initially gave it credit for.

  7. I love “The Baste Motel”,.. to see that after all these decades. While it may have been done before, I feel lucky to experience a new joke after 59 years of the setting in our psyche.

  8. There was a cute Sci-Fi story by Robert Sawyer that was *entirely* inspired by that WKRP line.

    After generations of living in an artificial space station and having forgotten their origins, a colony of space farers discover a few long lost records and references to their origins on earth and start speculating what life on the original planet. The one thing they just can’t figure out is chickens. The gravity on earth would be so strong that the graceful chickens that they so enjoying seeing flying in the night sky over the barns and just under the glass dome, would be forced to the ground. How could the chickens on the native earth fly? Was there some strange vicousity of the air on a large planet that they just are miscalculating? Could the generations of chickens in the space colony have attrophied (much as the peoples eyes had atrophied that very few of them were actually able to see stars)? How, on earth, did chickens fly?

    Finally after generations they have an expedition to earth and they radio back “About the chickens: you’re not going to believe this. But just because we thought they could fly, doesn’t mean they can”.

  9. Even tho I’ve never seen the movie itself, it is such a part of the psyche, as you write, that I knew immediately what it meant and how funny it was. Did you notice the silhouette in the upper window?

  10. “Without the squirrel the joke could be too obscure”

    I’m not so sure about that. The ‘joke’ was linked to the ‘no-fly list’, which has become a commonly used phrase which everyone not living under a rock for the last decade or so should be familiar with. Instead of terrorists pictured, it was cute flightless birds and a pig, who, as the common adage attests, can’t fly either. Awwwww! Bound to raise a smile.

    I think the squirrel’s comment was superfluous.

  11. Kevin, though the movie was that long ago, it has only been a couple years since a pretty good and widely known prequel TV series. Which was even titled “Bates Motel.”

  12. I think it was Screen Rant (most of their content is border line clickbait) that did a top ten list of Thanksgiving episodes. I read it only because I wanted to see where they rated the WKRP episode. I was a bit surprised that it was number One!

  13. @ Andréa – As soon as your copy of the comic appeared, I asked Bill to delete my copy, which was still waiting in Moderation. Unfortunately, Bill’s e-mail backlog is a lot longer than his moderation backlog. We should set up a pool and take bets on which of our two “delete” requests he will act upon first.
    P.S. Perhaps we’ll see the first case of quantum comic superposition, and he will see both requests concurrently and zap both comments simultaneously. 😉

  14. Kilby, while my e-mail backlog is frightful (which is why I asked anybody with Thanksgiving submissions to make a notation of same in the subject line, and will make the same request for Christmas), I check the Moderation Folder several times a day: I don’t want anybody’s comment to be stuck there for more than a few hours. I can do it from my phone now.

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