Friday, January 26, 2007

The Prop Comedy Stylings of Superman!

My blog has been so negative lately, mostly due to the shitty month I'm having. So today I decided to turn to the one thing that will always cheer me up: Silver Age Superman.

Appropriately enough, there is a story in Superman #136 called "The Super-Clown of Metropolis" which has the Man of Steel trying to cheer a sad old guy up. Though he fails at this task, he certainly helped me crack a smile.

Our story begins at the Daily Planet. Clark does some terrible lying and then, seemingly unaware that he doesn't actually get paid for his super-deeds, excitedly decides that business is picking up.

You already were, Superman. Or have you forgotten your old pal Bruce Wayne?

"Sad Sam" is a dying billionaire who has one wish: to laugh. Because he never has. He has a depressing and insane proposition for Superman:

Woah. That is messed up. Sad Sam does not deserve to laugh. He deserves to die.

The insanity of Sad Sam's ultimatum doesn't faze our hero. Instead, he goes to the Fortress of Solitude to gather up a box of comedy props. You really won't believe what he puts in that box. Then he returns to the old guy's house and busts out his A-material. He opens with a hilarious television joke:

Oh groan, Superman. That is terrible. Since this joke doesn't work, Supes pulls out the big guns: a midget.

So awful. Even worse is the fact that Superman transported this midget from the Fortress in that crate of props. So he keeps a midget in the Arctic, where he practices comedy routines with him. (I know we could believe that the midget is a robot...but for comedy's sake, let's not).

Ok, so a midget won't make Sam laugh (so Sam does have a shred of decency...unlike some Supermen). But what about...a midget and a giant pie?!

Sam's right, Superman. It isn't funny.

After this, Superman just gets desperate:

Is Sam made of STONE?! That is HYSTERICAL! Also, this:

But the punchline...not so much:

That quote from Sam in the second panel is fantastic. I want that on a t-shirt. Also, I love that Superman, as usual, is thinking about what he's doing as he's doing it "It's my own flying power, rather than the bubble, that's making me rise!" No shit, Superman. But that is a pretty impressive bubble.

Things get even weirder, if you can believe it. Nothing leaves 'em rolling in the aisles like an "I'm dying!" gag.

So...did he also have that small child in the prop crate? I hope so. That kid really steals the show. Excellent line delivery.

Then things get really confusing:

HAMBONE! Oh, Superman. Please marry me. We will live in your Arctic fortress together, building robots and naming them. We'll have one for everything!

So with this comic we have solid proof that Superman is:

a) Not funny, and
b) Insane

I know you're dying to learn what happens at the end of the story. Well, Superman, surprisingly enough, fails to make Sad Sam laugh. So no money for the orphans. Then he returns as Clark Kent (far too quickly) to write an article about Superman's failure. Sam catches Clark changing into Superman and believes it to be a joke. A HILARIOUS joke:

Yup, that's a good one, alright. So good that Sam donates his money to the orphanage after all and...

And I can't stop laughing every time I think of Superman saying "Lookee me! I'm a boid!" with his tongue sticking out. Thank-you, Superman. Now they call me "Happy Rachelle." My spirits are raised, my health has improved and I'm working on my second blog post. What a mad finish to my zany month.


Doc said...

Awesome blog. It went into my favorites about .05 seconds after I found it. Please keep up the good work.

Also, you're pretty.

- Doc

paperghost said...

see, this is why superman should actually be a bad guy.

whats that, you want me to save the world? too bad, I just flame grilled you and hurled you into the sun.

whats that, you want me to foil that bank robbery? too bad, i just stole your wallet and threw you into the sun.

whats that, you want me to make you laugh? too bad, i just killed all the orphans, burnt all your money and.....well, you can guess where I'd throw him.

i love those funky moves the robot superman is apparently busting though.

Captain Infinity said...

There was an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and George debated over whether or not Superman possessed super-humor or not. Turns out George was right.

ZC said...

I swear, if Hambone doesn't show up in All-Star Superman, I will sob a little bit inside.

rachelle said...

Good call, ZC. I'm sure Morrison is trying to think of a way to fit him in as we speak.

Hambone will cure Superman's disease...with laughter!

Johnathan said...

How I wish that Hambone had been a reoccurring character, and that he'd been obsessed with a different dance every time he appeared.

"silly Hambone! You can't do the Hustle, you're a robot!"

paperghost said...

"silly Hambone! You can't do breakdancing, you're a robot! put that cardboard away, yo!"

rachelle said...

Hambone! Stop stomping the yard!

paperghost said...

"Hambone! Stop getting Krunk!!"

Anonymous said...

Hambone! Put sexy back!

Anonymous said...

Hambone! ... I guess the robot's okay.

Sam said...

Hambone! That's my tutu!

paperghost said...

Hambone! Not the face!

Benito said...

Sense of humor? Check.

The phrase "sexy adventures"? Check.

Feminist comics activism? Check.

Love for Silver Age Superman? Check check check.

Yeah, this is a blog I'll be reading.

Paragon Kobold said...

I don't remember the Superman robots having names, are there any others on record? And do they have any other artistic aspirations?

(Also: Love the blog.)

Anonymous said...

Supes DOES have a super sense of humor.
We , with our mortal comedy powers, fail to appreciate it.

Viagra said...

"Distress calls..." am I the only that realized that he knew of this Sad Sam because Lois told him of a newsflash?