Your Cure for Luposlipaphobia
December 6, 2016 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Oh god I love these. Love them! So unnerving, so eccentric. A really good adaptation of the comic into animated form--it hits the same buttons in me that the comic does, and not just from the content, but also from the handling of tone and pacing and movement and sound.
posted by theatro at 12:06 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

First video was produced right before Larson retired, in 1994. It aired in the US on CBS as a Halloween special. Per wikipedia, the second film was produced in 1997 but never broadcast in the US. It did air in the UK.
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2016

Bill Frisell did the music for these!
posted by griphus at 12:17 PM on December 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

How have these not become a Halloween TV staple?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:21 PM on December 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh my gosh. I can't wait to get home and watch these. Thank you, zarq!
posted by phunniemee at 12:34 PM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

with an elephant in every room
posted by philip-random at 12:39 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Uhhh, can I get my money back? This didn't cure my Luposlipaphobia, rather made it worse. Thanks. Zarq.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:48 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks for linking to these, I'm looking forward to watching them tonight.

I was fortunate to attend university in Gary Larson's hometown (Tacoma, WA), and had a rare opportunity to hear him narrate an hour-plus slide show of his cartoons and his process for thinking and drawing them, courtesy of the Student Union and someone who had a personal connection to him. This was in ~1986 or so. Even when his strip was widely published he didn't do a lot of public speaking or self-promotion, so to the best of my knowledge this was a one-off appearance. He came across as a warm, genuine, and funny person - not unexpected, but just in case anyone was curious, he was a real guy and seemed very down to earth. IIRC, he and his brother used to do a lot of make-believe, land-of-the-dinosaurs style play in their backyard when they were kids -- he said they'd flood it to get the mud good and thick -- and this served as a wellspring of ideas for his strip.

One of the other behind the scenes bits that he shared was that whenever you saw a snake as the main character of his strip, it meant he was up against a deadline and scratching for an idea -- any idea -- before the clock ticked down.

Since he retired I've enjoyed a few of strips that were in the same vein as his, but his particular pairing of strange and clever will always hold a special place in my psyche.
posted by mosk at 12:49 PM on December 6, 2016 [23 favorites]

I think mosk and I were in the same room. He pretty much showed slides of his comics and talked about which ones were pulled from which newspapers because they were considered "too out there."
posted by Xoc at 1:04 PM on December 6, 2016 [5 favorites]

I bought these in VHS form from an offer that was the last page of a desk-calendar. The Prehistory of the Far Side collection was compelling for what personal views he offers and was the first time I'd ever seen the Mel Brooks quote about the difference between tragedy and comedy.

With few exceptions, such as the live-action Cow Playing Stampede Video Game and the parody of Ken Burns' Civil War, they're wonderfully, wonderfully morbid-- they're all about death-- and, no, those too come to think about it.

I'm a vanilla, mainstream comics fan-- raised on Peanuts, confused by Family Circus, Nancy, and Heathcliff, somewhat bemused by Hart's B.C....I was just the right age for Larson to be the spark of a renaissance. And then Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes and Life in was all too good to last...

Munroe's xkcd is the only work with which I've experienced a similar marvel.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:25 PM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was just yesterday talking about Bill Frisell to someone and played some of this music.
posted by transient at 4:28 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

More about Larsen's appearance...I vaguely seem to recall that the only comic that got banned completely was of a dog begging for scraps in an operating room. He seemed genuinely shy, and kind of amazed that people would come out to see him. Larsen did seem to be proud of the fact that some newspapers would pull some of his comics as being offensive. I recall him saying that a friend leaving a dead rat in his refrigerator was just a normal, every day occurrence for him, and had a perfectly logical explanation. Seemed like a guy I would have got along with just fine.
posted by Xoc at 5:07 PM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

much as I loved the Far Side throughout its run, my fave single moment has to be this screw up from a newspaper that managed to get the Far Side and Dennis the Menace punchlines confused.
posted by philip-random at 5:23 PM on December 6, 2016 [9 favorites]

Never seen this before. So good. Thanks.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:35 PM on December 6, 2016

and it turns out that Far Side with a Dennis the Menace caption is still funnier than Dennis the Menace.
posted by jb at 8:14 PM on December 6, 2016 [5 favorites]

I loved the far side as a child. Watching this makes me think that part of the appeal may have been that I was raised as a rural vegetarian, so the morbid jokes about the characters eating (or just plain hunting) each other reflected my own endless questions and confusion. The nonchalance about cannibalism or one anthropomorphic character mounting another as a trophy reflected my experience, with parents telling me that meat is cruel and peers telling me it's delicious (but I'd never tried it...).
posted by idiopath at 8:25 PM on December 6, 2016

I don't think I've been this high in a really long time.
posted by bendy at 11:14 PM on December 6, 2016

lazycomputerkids, are you familiar with the late Richard Thompson's Cul De Sac?
posted by JHarris at 11:51 PM on December 6, 2016

I just came in here to say I didn't need the explanation of the post title. I think that comic was in It Came From The Far Side.
posted by potrzebie at 12:07 AM on December 7, 2016

I could swear this is a double (like 5+ years ago, no harm no foul), because I don't know where I would have got and downloaded these before. I vaguely remember them airing, because the strip was such a big deal.

Re-watching as an adult, though...
Some of the skits are very dark (that poor wolf!), and it can definitely be a party killer.
Still worth watching.
posted by lkc at 2:25 AM on December 7, 2016

Time well spent watching The Far Side. Made me laugh and that's very necessary these days.

Thank you for posting them.
posted by james33 at 7:09 AM on December 7, 2016

The first one was a very accurate translation of The Far Side humor into animated form. The second one less so, like the animators copied Larson's aesthetic but used their own sensibilities for the stories. Maybe Larson was less involved in the second because he had retired? It reminds of what Tim Burton put together Batman vs Batman Returns.
posted by riruro at 12:34 PM on December 7, 2016

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