Saturday Morning Oys – January 29th, 2022

I only recently started sometimes reading One Big Happy, and evidently don’t yet have a good handle on the age and attitude of the intended audience. But these are all clear OYs on familiar sayings.

Is this Horace himself, doing some kind of costumed performance? Or an ancestor or other predecessor, who looked like that in his heyday?

And a definite meta-OY:


  1. And yes, that’s a regular theme in One Big Happy – Ruthie gets it wrong and it’s funny. Kind of like a cheerful Crankshaft.

  2. There are lots of “how they named things” jokes. They named Canada by pulling letters out of a hockey mask. “C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?” New York University was named by a committee. The chairman, Samuel Goldenberg, said “It should be named Samuel Goldenberg University, after me, Samuel Goldenberg.” Another committee member growled “And why you?” Goldenberg said, “NYU? You know, I think I like that name even better!”

  3. While the various sayings in One Big Happy are amusingly incongruous, none of them really seems to be a pun (possible exceptions for Necessity and Faith as people). One wonders if the assignment was to find the traditional completion or to create an original completion.

  4. It’s a recurring joke in OBH, with either Ruthie or her brother Joe. It’s never said, but the general assumption is that they’re going for the standard phrase.

  5. I think “Sarge” seems to have lost a lot of weight since the last time I read “Beetle Bailey”. Did he go on a diet, or is this just because of the change of artists? (Since it’s King Features, it’s difficult to review the archive.)

    P.S. “One Big Happy” has an incessant “childlike optimism” that is very cute in small doses, but after a while I find it suffocating (much the same as with “Family Circus”).

  6. I’d respectfully disagree on One Big Happy — sometimes, especially the malapropism strips, can be a little too precious, but on the whole, the strip has a, I find, healthy, realistic outlook, and is not all glurgy dead grandparents from heaven saccharin. The mother comes from a broken home, and when her mother visits, she is in sharp contrast to the down-to-earth grand-parents we usually see in the strip — she dresses younger than her daughter, defying — denying — her age, and often engages in inappropriate behavior. There is James, the disreputable kid from the wrong side of the tracks that they play with. And when a pet dies, it isn’t seen as a ghost in heaven, but instead flopping on the side-walk with Ruthie desperately asking if she should spit on it.
    Obviously your mileage may vary, but I can’t let a comparison to The Family Circus stand unchallenged…

  7. @larK: And I can’t let a mention of The Family Circus pass without mentioning Dysfunctional Family Circus, which is much better (search it)!

  8. @ PS3 – Many of the captions in the DFC archive were definitely funnier than the originals, but the majority of them were also decidedly NSFW. In addition, it should be noted that one of the primary DFC moderators ceased publishing new material after he had a personal conversation with Bil Keane.

  9. @Kilby: I did know that. Comity all around!

    My daughter used to read FC religiously, then say “Still not funny”. No, “funny” isn’t quite what Keane ever intended, but she meant “nor cute, nor entertaining”. But she couldn’t help thinking “Surely one day…”

  10. CaroZ, thanks for dropping in that technicality!

    Btw, what other kinds of day might he have used? I think I know how “solar day” would differ, but won’t venture a definition.

  11. I would say that One Big Happy is somewhat like The Family Circus, but the main children have 20 more IQ points and the illustrations were drawn in the last decade.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.