Dark Side Platter

I understand in general terms the idea of one or two “throwaway” panels for syndicated Sunday comics. This DSOH seems to have two separate ones. Then goes on to a main comic, which to me looks like two more disconnected jokes — first a typical short-form Horace meta joke (and pretty good!), then finally an extended narrative joke (complete CIDU!). So … what’s up with these?

Just to be clear:

A word play OY:

A one-step pun:

A typical-for-Horace signifier/reality meta joke:

And a “Huh? Wha?” narrative:

Would you cut it up differently? Or see it as more unified? Or have better explanations?


  1. It looks like Samson was stuck for an idea that would fill an entire Sunday strip, and decided to stitch together a hodge-podge collection. The divisions shown above seem perfectly correct, but it bears mentioning that the last four panels are a revision of a DSotH strip that originally appeared in 2016, and was also discussed here at CIDU, but that may have been before the archive-destroying meltdown:

  2. P.P.S. Just in case any alert students need additional help with the corollary, this time it is just the sign that is doing the hitchhiking, not Horace, nor his backpack.

  3. P.P.P.P.S. In for a penny, in for a pound: I did not notice the “L for R” replacement in the third panel until I saw it repeated under “one-step pun”; I had been attempting (but failing) to connect it to the first two panels.

  4. P.P.P.P.P.S. When Germans speak English, it is not uncommon to hear them wishing someone “…much fun!” (a literal translation of “…viel Spaß!)”.

  5. @Kilby, thanks for all your research on the DSotH!

    The change from the backpack being the entity doing the hitchhiking to the sign being that, seems intended as “real”, not just our perception. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying.

    Your P5S about “much fun” passes entirely above my head.

  6. The “Huh? Wha?” narrative had Horse INSIDE the yellow dot on the map, from which he emerged from

  7. @ Mitch – I was simply amused (@PS^5) that the first two panels picked up on an equivalence that is frequently mishandled by many people that I live and work with here in Germny. My point was that saying something like “I had much fun!” sounds rather stilted and unnatural (in comparison to “I had a lot of fun!“). That said, it’s still perfectly natural and understandable that speakers of a foreign language rely on literal translations of their own native language as a basis when speaking (I frequently do this myself when speaking in German). It’s other easier to whip up a quick translation of something one knows well, rather than juggle a very long list of “perfect renditions” of all the phrases one would otherwise need to remember. With experience, one can of course master all the “natural” forms, but that only starts when one has begun to really think and work within the foreign language.

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