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The Dinette Set

I’m not sure I understand the gag here. Today’s Dinette Set by Julie Larson.

(Thanks, Charlie Jacob)

  • Charlie

    Yeah, I don’t quite get the gag ethier, but just seeing the Looney Tunes being recognized is good enough for me.

  • Sam Filstrup

    Haha I think I understand the gag, if you pay attention to the Looney Tunes Chuck Jones alike would use side views very often. Instead of lets say a three quarter view.

  • AdrianC

    I’m not positive but I think it’s taking a jab at how geeky adult cartoon fans are and how the object of their admiration is something made for children. Of course, we know that animation is not always aimed at tots and be appreciated by anyone. As for the geeky part, well…..we can be a dedicated bunch.

  • tom stazer

    That one is a bit of a puzzler; I’ve long liked Dinette Set’s honest observation of older folks; at least in my case, they ring true. This one.. hmm

    Could be just the fact that they are excluding the kid… could be the fact they’re trying to hide their width…

    On a real stretch, you could maybe assign the LT characters on the right with the left-to-right order of characters.

    Dunno. Julie, write in!!

  • Ha! Wow that makes no sense to me.

  • Actually, upon reading the other strips, I think it’s safe to say that this is the single unfunniest and most pointless comic strip I have ever had the displeasure of reading. The joke is that they’re oldschool cartoon fans, and that they’re fat and nerdy because of it.

    It’s not funny at all.

  • I stumbled upon the official website for the strip and the way it’s described is confusing. I quote:

    “The Dinette Set is an in depth study of banality and entitlement within American Middle Class Culture. From small towns, to sprawling Suburbia to major cities, an inane, repetitive lifestyle persists and is growing. The Dinette Set takes a wryly brutal aim at the world of mindless consumerism and the mentality that fosters it. The Dinette satirizes middle class culture, incorporating thought provoking observations of the human condition that viewers will instantly identify with. The little notes to self that inhabit the backgrounds via t-shirts, kitchen chalk boards and coffee mugs are priceless.”

    Now, I probably won’t get it because I’m not American, but this still confuses me.

  • I’m POSITIVE I don’t get the gag here. . .

  • Fuzzy Dunlop

    I don’t understand the comic strip or why it’s included on the Brew.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    [Haha I think I understand the gag, if you pay attention to the Looney Tunes Chuck Jones alike would use side views very often…]

    Oooookay… Nothing could be clearer than that.

  • tom stazer

    No, I’ve read the Dinette Set for 5 years and they have always been fat and they’re not nerds. They are stupid retired people who are insensitive to others and their own foolishness. So, I don’t agree the comic is a shot at animation fans. I think it’s just poorly crafted in terms of delivering the joke, which I would now agree is, the adults are all hogging the kid action. They have t shirts on from kids’ shows while the kid has a college shirt on. Plus they’re telling the kid he’s fat like they aren’t.

  • wow.

  • Since The Far Side, newspapers have run many staggeringly unfunny single panels that are just a tad offbeat to the usual Love Is reader.

    Throw in the cartoonist sharing a last name with Gary Larson and this may have been the hot offering the year it debuted. Never saw it before, myself.

  • I don’t get it either. Then again that’s a typical Dinette Set strip for you. Is Julie Larson related to Gary Larson? Because if she is she is mooching off of his fame.

  • Rodrigo

    Looks like an orgy to me.

  • Graham

    I’m surprised no one noticed the OTHER animation reference in this strip: Walt Disney on Ice is on one of the character’s sleeves.

  • paulCantalupo

    Huh? …
    I’m no one ever had to explain a Peanuts cartoon.

    God help us!

  • autisticanimator

    Wouldn’t it be rather hypocritical for someone to make a comic strip for the purpose of shaming other people for liking cartoons?

  • captain murphy

    Okay, here is the explanation.

    It has to do with the “Overture! Curtain Lights!” opening of the CBS Bugs Bunny Road Runner show, where all the characters trot out sideways.

    See, the goofy adullts are doing the same thing, they love the characters so much as to see those characters in their ORIGINAL location, TV, as opposed to Michael Jordan movies.


    Actually, I think my explanation might be pretty close to the ‘cartoonists’ intent. That’s the sad part

  • Tom

    I think that the family is actually posing with a Tweety image, oblivious to the fact that they are obscuring him entirely. The kid, for whom the Looney Tunes photo op is ostensibly intended for is being squeezed out of the fun. At least that’s what it seems like from here.

    It’s not one of her best. I always thought that Mike Judge patterned some of King of the Hill on the family in The Dinette Set. Don’t judge the whole feature by this one bad example, please. They’re often pretty funny.

  • Jeff

    As with all Dinette Set cartoons, I don’t understand this one either. If someone has to explain it, it isn’t funny. It is definitely not funny if NOBODY understands it.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Well, at least it doesn’t have a dead chimpanzee and a reference to the Stimulus Package.

  • yeah-i agree…not one of my greatest hits, sometimes i slip.

  • ps…i respect animators

  • Mark

    Tom’s explanation is the one I was thinking of. Yes, this time the gag is a little hard to figure out, but I personally enjoy TDS and have been following it online ever since the Chi Tribune dropped it in favor of whatever three or four weak one-panel comics succeeded it.

    Maybe people in the creative industries don’t know enough characters like the Pennys, but one gag that hit home for me ran several years ago, when the characters proclaimed the mayor of their town of “Crustwood” to be a genius for getting a Krispy Kreme built right next to a White Castle… not too long after the same thing happened in Crestwood, IL, and everybody went ga-ga over the fried donut emporium.

  • tom stazer:
    Hm. Allright, I apologize for misunderstanding it. :)

  • Tom

    Augh. I cringe at the cut and paste eff up in my earlier post.

    Julie Larson, if that’s really you I’ve got to say that I find your stuff to be charming, inventive and funny, and I’ve read you since the beginning of the strip.

  • Joseph Nebus

    I had figured the joke was if he did stand sideways then the line would be long enough that it wouldn’t fit within the panel borders anymore. If he (or everyone) were slimmer, then they would. Fourth-wall breaking, you see.

    Complicating things is the Dinette Set habit of scrawling extra little side jokes onto T-shirts, mugs, message boards, or whatever else is in frame. When the main joke is clear and quick to understand they’re cute extras; when it’s not obvious what the main joke is the suspicion is, naturally, that something on-panel provides the needed context, and when those are actually unrelated riffs on the theme it makes the confusion worse.

  • Dr. Clysmok

    I agree with both Tom and Tom Stazer: they’re excluding the kid. You can kinda see the Tweety character looking at the kid through the wall of adults; at least it appears that way to me.

    Shoutout to Tom Stazer: Dude, I *loved* ‘Lionheart’…:)

  • T

    The old silent film and Vaudeville “do one thing at a time” adage still applies, whether it’s staging animation or pulling off a single panel strip. It seems as if the cartoonist is trying to communicate about six things simultaneously here, and nothing clearly hits. All of her observations have merit but she should have picked one and let it read.

  • Okay, I’ll give this a try. I think it’s composed of several different jokes, none of which are actually funny.

    “Joke” #1: Instead of getting their picture taken with the picture of Tweety (in the background), they’re getting their picture taken with the sign that says “Take Your Picture With…” Source of humor: Ha ha those idiots are doing it wrong.

    “Joke” #2: The only way they could all fit in the picture was to line up. But after lining up, they discovered that they were obscuring the sign (see “Joke” #1), so the kid had to get out of line and face the camera. And they think that means the kid was too fat, when all it means is that he was the last one in line. Source of humor: Ha ha they are fatter than the kid, but they tell *him* he’s too fat.

    How’s that?

  • Actually the only thing I understood is the following: both the adults and the kid want to take a picture with their favorite charachters, so they make a queue, but instead of giving the priority to the boy (according to the reasoning Cartoons= made for kids) they stay first, because they love soo much Tweety, Daffy, Elmer, Sylvester and Road Runner that they behave like kids and they can’t wait to stand next to their cartoony to and immortalize this moment on a photo!

    I don’t know if there’s a hidden message or what else!

  • now that I read with more attention the comic, I suppose that my interpreatation could be wrong, and the cartoon could be more focused on the pose of the men????

  • I have some questions about “The Wasteland” maybe you guys can help.

  • captain murphy

    Julie, could you possibly explain your intent, where the ‘joke’ is? Or at least where you meant it to be?

  • the overweight group has to line up sideways in order for all to fit in the photo and appear slimmer. my characters never admit their size…
    but timmy blamed for being too big to fit in the line-up…it’s their guilty subconscience taking their overwight guilt out on timmy.
    Tweety is there to emphasize the immaturity of my characters who make sure they’re all in the picture and don’t recognize the fact that the photo back-drop is usually for kids.

    it’s round-about, but much discussion, much-to-do about nothing…not my greatest amongst the 4000 comics published.jl

  • Julie Larson – We may not have understood the gag, but I want to thank you on behalf of Cartoon Brew and our readers for taking the time to communicate your thoughts with us. We appreciate your efforts and congratulate you on your continued success with the The Dinette Set.