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Strong Bad Email #112
watch other days pizzaz
Apparently, comics didn't have to be funny in those days.

Zack asks Strong Bad why the King of Town has a Poopsmith, and Strong Bad tells him about The Castlefunnies.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, West Is Lip (Easter egg), The King of Town (Pictured), The Poopsmith (as Mushy Chamberpot, Pictured), Homestar Runner (Pictured), The Knight (Pictured, Easter egg), Strong Mad (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, The Field, Strong Mad's Room (Easter egg)

Computer: Compy 386

Date: Monday, August 30, 2004

Running Time: 2:33

Page Title: Compy 386!!

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Four


[edit] Transcript

STRONG BAD: {singing} Let's get it over with! With the email style, get it over with!

{pulls up email and reads it}

{Strong Bad pronounces "SB" as "Suub", and "islip" as "is lip"}

STRONG BAD: Whoa! West Is Lip. Sounds like some kind of British New Wave band. "And coming in this week at #4, it's those androgynous boys from Hertfordshire, West Is Lip—

{The sound of a tape player switching on is heard and music starts playing.}

STRONG BAD: —with their hit single "She Partied Without Dancing."

WEST IS LIP: {singing} She partied without dancing. She partied with my heart.

{music stops, Strong Bad clears the screen and starts typing}

STRONG BAD: Anyways, Jack, the King of Town's just always had a Poopsmith. Even way back when they got their start as an old syndicated newspaper comic. You know, back when comics didn't seem to need jokes or humor or readers under the age of ninety-one.

{Cut to desk. Panel One of The Castlefunnies slides into the scene, featuring the King speaking to Mushy Chamberpot who is working at a pile of whatsit.}

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} I fell down and lost my crown.

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} It was called "The Castlefunnies," which I guess was a pathetic attempt by the authors into fooling you—

{Panel two slides on the screen, we see that the King of Town's hip is throbbing and Mushy digging into the pile}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —into thinking it was actually funny.

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} D'ya have any hip rub in thar?

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} It mostly featured the King of Town—

{Panel three slides in. Mushy looks irritated and has the King's crown on his shovel along with some whatsit}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —complaining about his ailing hip joints to the Poopsmith.

MUSHY CHAMBERPOT: {caption, no balloon} ?

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} That's no ointment!

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Talking a lot about ointments...

{Panel four slides on the screen, with the King of Town addressing the reader}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} ...and salves.

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} Cures what ails ya!!

{Second comic appears. The King of Town is standing by himself}

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption, thought balloon} Yup. I'm old.

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Back then, it was considered a form of treason to print the word "poop" in the paper, so instead they called the Poopsmith—

{Panel two slides onto the screen. The King of Town is addressing Mushy}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —"Mushy Chamberpot", which is actually pretty funny sounding.

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} I say, Mushy, do you have a pittance for me'self?

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Anyways, Mushy could only talk in—

{Panel three slides on the screen. Mushy is speaking while the King of Town laughs in the background.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —word clouds filled with commas, which I think had just been discovered and were apparently considered comic gold.

MUSHY CHAMBERPOT: {caption} ,,,,,,,,,,,


{Panel four slides on the screen. The sun appears to be setting, and the King of Town is addressing Mushy, who is once again working at the pile.}

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} Ahem. I need money to get that new fangled sur-jur-ee to fix my hips.

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Oh yeah, I can see why this masterwork took two dudes to write it. One to not think of something funny,—

{Panel five slides on the screen. The King of Town is addressing the reader again while a squirrel with a bag of money runs away in the background}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —and the other to think of something not funny.

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} A quarter never asked is a quarter never given!

{Third comic appears. Panel one features the King of Town scurrying along.}

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} Today is 'Goodtime Day!'

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} So later on, as readership began to dwindle,—

{Panel two slides on the screen. The King of Town is addressing Homestar and Strong Bad}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —they'd throw me and Homestar in there as guests in hopes of mooching off our popularity.

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} Who be you?

{Panel three slides on the screen. Strong Bad and Homestar are talking.}

STRONG BAD: {caption} How could you forget STRONG BAD???

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {caption} Wha 'bout me?

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} That worked for maybe a week or so, but then the strip was sadly canceled—

{Panel four slides on the screen. The King of Town addresses Strong Bad and Homestar as Strong Bad punches Homestar in the face}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} —when the last living reader,—

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} You're the worst of friends.

{Panel five slides on the screen. The King of Town, Strong Bad, and Homestar are dressed up in Civil War garb in front of a tombstone that reads "Let's call him Chester: 'He loved The Castlefunnies.'"}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} a Civil War veteran and creamed corn enthusiast, died.

THE KING OF TOWN: {caption} Thank you to All Our Reader.

{Cut back to the Compy 386 and Strong Bad's typing}

STRONG BAD: They tried to creep back into the mainstream years later with the release of the "King Castlefunny Pencil Moistener?!" But, considering, the Dry Pencil Scare of '47 only lasted 3 days, they didn't sell too many.

{Strong Bad clears the screen of text.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Well, Zack, there you have it. The King of Town still wasn't funny. What a surprise. I'm gonna go start the Who Put Pasta Salad in Strong Mad's Underdrawer Drawer Scare of '04. {pronounced aught-four} Or. {not typed} And I'm out.

{Strong Bad gets up from this chair and leaves. The Paper comes down}

[edit] Easter Eggs

  • Click "west islip" at the beginning to see an audio cassette of the band, "West Is Lip". The cover art features a picture of Ryan Sterritt.
Discovery of the comma
  • Click the commas in Mushy's speech bubble to see a picture of the comma's discovery by Sir Loodabert Comma. Caption: "Sir Loodabert Comma & sherpa upon discoveration of comma."
  • Click on the word "moistener" in the sentence "King Castlefunny Pencil Moistener" to see a picture of the King Castlefunny Pencil Moistener.
  • Click "still wasn't funny" at the end to see another comic.
THE KING OF TOWN: I think my hip got knocked outta joint on the polo grounds.
KNIGHT: I didn't know you played polo.
THE KING OF TOWN: Are you crazy? I'm too old to play polo.
KNIGHT: Then what were you doing there?
THE KING OF TOWN: Whudderya askin' me for??
  • At the end, click on the phrase "the Who Put Pasta Salad In Strong Mad's Underdrawer Drawer Scare of '04" to see a little movie of Strong Mad eating pasta salad out of his underpants drawer.
{Cut to Strong Mad's room. Strong Mad is eating pasta salad out of his underwear drawer.}

[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Explanations

  • "New Wave" is an inexact term for a rock genre that originated in Britain, in 1976. The term started as applying to punk rock music. It evolved to cover punk-based acts that mixed in other elements.
  • "Androgynous" describes something showing both masculine and feminine characteristics, such as Annie Lennox or David Bowie's stage persona Ziggy Stardust.
  • Originally, the word Sherpa referred to an ethnic community from the mountain region of Nepal. Sherpas were of immeasurable value to early explorers of the Himalayan region, serving as guides and porters at the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region. Today, the term has been extended to apply to almost any guide or porter hired for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas.
  • The King of Town's line in the fifth panel of the second comic is a reference to "giving quarter", or showing mercy to a nearly vanquished enemy, who has "asked for quarter," or begged for mercy.

[edit] Trivia

  • Zooming into the SWF file shows that the characters are filled in with a square pattern to simulate the halftone printing technique used to print color pictures in newspapers.
  • The YouTube description for this email is "Strong Bad explains why the King of Town has a Poopsmith. Sort of."

[edit] Remarks

  • As The King of Town doesn't "care to disclose" why he has a Poopsmith, Strong Bad isn't really capable of answering the email's question.
  • Strong Bad makes a common mistake when he pronounces the Hert in Hertfordshire as "hurt" instead of "heart" (compare Hartford).
    • Additionally, the correct pronunciation of Islip is [aɪ slĭp].
  • At the end of the "She Partied Without Dancing" clip, the tune enters a chord that does not match the lyrics.
  • This entire email seems to imply that Strong Bad, Homestar, The King of Town, and The Poopsmith all existed (and were all adults) in the mid-1940s (as the "Castlefunnies" was already declining sharply in popularity by the time of the "Dry Pencil Scare of '47"). Assuming Strong Bad isn't once again fabricating the entire content of this email, that would make Strong Bad at least eighty years old.
  • Like the storybook in flashback, it is debatable whether this comic is really part of H*R continuity or not.
  • Everybody in the comic has a nose, a feature that most cast members currently lack.
    • The Knight featured in the comic in the Easter egg also has visible arms, while he normally doesn't.
  • Strong Bad talks about his and Homestar Runner's appearance keeping things interesting for "a week or so", but they're paying honors to their last reader (and getting canceled) the same strip in which they first appear.
    • This may be because the strip shown here is not the one in which they first appeared; The context and strip dialogue are somewhat confusing.
  • Strong Bad uses an unnecessary comma after the word "considering" when talking about the Dry Pencil Scare. There's no need for a pause at that point in the sentence, and indeed, Strong Bad doesn't pause his dialogue there at all.

[edit] Inside References

  • This email contains many mentions of commas.
  • Strong Bad's line "And coming in at #4 is West Islip" is a reference to "Song About Sibbie" from Email sibbie.
  • "The Castlefunnies" comic is co-authored by Lem Sportsinterviews and Levert Burtmore, both of whom are previously known authors and cartoonists in the Homestar universe.
    • According to Strong Bad, one of them was needed "to think of something not funny".
  • The table on which the comics are shown is used in kids' book and That Time of Year.
  • The King of Town's reference to hip rub and ointment is a running gag.
  • The word balloon saying "Thank you to all our reader" is a use of singular instead of plural.
  • The pasta salad Strong Mad eats contains macaroni.
  • The spoon Strong Mad uses to eat out of his underdrawer drawer is the same one that Homestar uses in the Strong Bad email army.

[edit] Real-World References

  • The Castlefunnies seems to be based on the Wizard of Id comic strips, which gained popularity in the '60s and '70s. The Wizard of Id was also made by two men, Parker and Hart, and is also notable for often being particularly dry and unfunny.
  • The style in which the King Castlefunny comic strips are drawn, particularly the shading methods and the nose style, is much like that of the Krazy Kat comic strips, published in newspapers between 1913 and 1944.
  • The fact that the Poopsmith speaks only in commas is reminiscent to the Peanuts comics in which Woodstock speaks only in Birdspeak, a language with an alphabet composed entirely of exclamation points.
  • Sir Loodabert Comma and his Sherpa are a reference to Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. In 1953, they were the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  • In the panel where the Castlefunnies gang salutes their final reader, The King of Town is dressed in a Civil-War period uniform of the Confederacy, while Strong Bad and Homestar are dressed in uniforms of the Union forces.

[edit] Fast Forward

[edit] DVD Version

  • The DVD version features two hidden creators' commentaries. To access them, switch the DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

[edit] First Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, Strong Bad, Homestar Runner)

MIKE: Who we got here?

STRONG BAD: You got Strong Bad—

HOMESTAR RUNNER: —and you got Homestar.

MIKE: Ooh, both of you. Nice.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yes, this is going to be kind of difficult.

MIKE: Welcome aboard.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, welcome you aboard.

MIKE: Okay.


MIKE: Uh, so, um... West Is Lip, the band, that uh... that's right here, uh, the album cover's our friend Ryan. Picture of our friend Ryan.

STRONG BAD: Oh yeah?

MIKE: Yeah.


MIKE: {laughs} Yeah. Why did you guys say that not at the same time? Let's hear you do it at the same time. Come on.

{Matt tries, producing an unintelligible sound}

MIKE: {laughs} That was good.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, thanks. That hurt.

MIKE: Uh... Zach ka Jack ka Zach ka!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: That's from that movie.

MIKE: Yeah.


MIKE: {laughs}

STRONG BAD: That's a terrible movie. Is there a movie called Without Wings?

MIKE: There is now, Strong Bad!

STRONG BAD: All right. {Pause} That's a nice newsprint technique you got there.

MIKE: Thanks, we just made a little, uh, you know.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: You guys... what is going on in this cartoon?

MIKE: Well, Homestar, it's about a co— a pretend comic strip starring the King of Town and The Poopsmith.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Who and who are they?

MIKE: The King of Town, he's a guy you hang out with sometimes... kind of fat and red.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Why isn't Strong Bad talking more?

MIKE: Uh, Strong—

STRONG BAD: Hey, look, that's a good question... Matt.

MIKE: {laughs} That was Homestar you're talking to, Strong Bad.


MIKE: Oh, okay. So, um—

STRONG BAD: Old comics aren't funny, Mike.

MIKE: {laughs} That's sort of the jist of it, Strong Bad.


MIKE: You're—

STRONG BAD: I'm right there with ya.

MIKE: New comics really aren't—


MIKE: that—


MIKE: —great, either.

STRONG BAD: Printed comics. I mean, you look at really old Peanuts... I don't think they were funny then, probably, but they sure are funny now.

MIKE: I think, actually, later Peanuts were pretty funny.


MIKE: Weird time.


MIKE: There was, uh, on Sundays, growing up, I used to challenge myself to read every comic on the— in the Sunday funny pages.


MIKE: Even the bad ones, and I'd onl—


MIKE: I'd only did it to, uh, you know, say that I read all of them.


MIKE: You know.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Prince Valiant?

MIKE: {laughs} Rex Morgan, M.D.?


MIKE: And I really don't know if anyone reads those.


MIKE: Mark Trail was pretty good, though.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, that always taught me about a raccoon.

MIKE: {laughs}


MIKE: Every Sunday you learned about a raccoon, huh?

STRONG BAD: Yeah, I learned— I learned how— how to treat animals.

MIKE: Hey, Strong Bad, I think you put pasta salad in Strong Mad's underdrawer drawer.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I'm not telling.

STRONG BAD: {whispering} That was r— {cut off}

[edit] Second Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, Matt Chapman)

MIKE: Okay, guys. This is Mike, and I'm doing commentary on this one by myself. {door squeaks} Whoa, oh, Matt's coming in and busting me. Ah—

MATT: {voice in the distance} Wha— Are you trying to do commentary by yourself—?

MIKE: No! No, sir! No, sir!

MATT: {voice in the distance} Oh, you are so busted!

MIKE: No. No, sir. Uh... Oh, and then Ryan should be in here because Ryan, if you look at the West Is Lip, um...

MATT: Easter egg.

MIKE: Easter egg.

MATT: It's full of Ryans.

MIKE: It's our friend Ryan, a picture of him, when he used to have a mustache.

MATT: On his birthday... he dressed up kinda like a NASA scientist from the '60s.

MIKE: {laughs} {Pause} So I liked making this one. I always liked emails where they have— there's something different about the visual style. And so we got to make, uh, the new Sunday newspaper funny comic style.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: And coming up with how it should look.

MATT: I like that newsprint style.

MIKE: We had actually— Did we come up with this a long time ago? Because we had— we have lots of drawings from a long—

MATT: Yeah, we tried to—

MIKE: —before this email of the King of Town.

MATT: We have a small obsession with... the unfunny, bad old King—

MIKE: Sunday—

MATT: —Features Syndicate or whatever—

MIKE: Yeah—

MATT: Not to say... well, they aren't bad.

MIKE: {laughs}

MATT: No offense to anyone at King Features Syndicates , but—

MIKE: Your comics are not funny.

MATT: {laughs}

MIKE: That's not true.

MATT: Uh, yeah. Beetle Bailey cracks me up lately, man!

MIKE: {laughs} Funky Winkerbean! That guy—!

MATT: Oh, Funky Winkerbean!

MIKE: So that, uh, style right there of the silhouette, the yel— the third panel with the, uh, yellow silhouette... that's in something else, isn't it?

MATT: It's in the first children's book.

MIKE: Oh, yeah. Because I remember talking about it in its ori— like, uh, Dennis the Menace comics always used to have that.

MATT: Uh-huh.

MIKE: Good old Hank Ketcham. And I think I said that in the, uh... Email 100 "flashback" commentary, I think I mentioned that.


MIKE: So here I—

MATT: So now we're really just—

MIKE: Just talk about—

MATT: Retrace—

MIKE: The Braves lost last night to the Rockies.

MATT: Ouch.

MIKE: Six to seven.

MATT: What?!

MIKE: Yeah. It was no good. It's Mile High— You know, it's Coors Field.

MATT: Mile High Stadium.

MIKE: You know, the ball flies out of there. A lot of runs, so...

{long pause; email finishes}

[edit] Fun Facts

  • As of the recording of this commentary, there is no movie entitled Without Wings.
  • Rex Reed is a well-known movie critic.
  • Mary Worth, Prince Valiant, Rex Morgan, M.D., and Mark Trail are all non-comedic newspaper strips.
    • Mark Trail is the main character of the eponymously named comic strip. Trail is a forest ranger and the comic centers around ecology and environmentalism, hence why Homestar and Strong Bad learned about animals while reading it.
  • King Features Syndicate is a syndication company that distributes comic strips to newspapers around the world.
  • Hank Ketcham was the creator of the comic strip Dennis the Menace.
  • Based on the information about the Atlanta Braves game, this commentary was recorded on May 10, 2005, more than eight months after the release of the email and one and a half months before the release of the DVD.
  • Mile High Stadium and Coors Field are the former and current home fields, respectively, of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.

[edit] External Links

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