Two memic cartoons

For today: a Zippy playing on the Walk Into Bar joke format and a Bizarro that combines three cartoon memes: the Psychiatrist, Multiple Personality, and Batman:


(#2) For National Multiple Personality Day, March 5th

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

The Walk Into Bar joke form. From my 8/13/17 posting “Reduced coordination, joke memes, and sociocultural categories”:

There are a number of conventional forms (formats, schemas) for jokes. The knock-knock joke. Joke verse forms: the limerick, the double dactyl, etc. And there are more open forms, allowing great latitude in their presentation.

The Walk Into Bar form is one of these. The only requirement is the set-up, which has one, two, or three characters (the bar-goers) going into a bar (mostly commonly the verb used is walk, in the jocular simple present tense, though go and other verbs of motion are possible, as is the simple past tense); sometimes the set-up specifies more about the bar-goers — what they look like, what they have with them — or about the bar and its location. The follow-up typically involves conversational exchanges between the bar-goers and the bartender or other patrons of the bar, or else a series of actions on the part of the bar-goers, these exchanges or actions incorporating a pay-off joke.

The four jokes in #1 might be funny to Pinheads, but all of them have set-up lines from existing, fairly widespread Walk Into Bar jokes. (Note: such jokes have many variant versions of their standard forms; I’ll give just one variant in each case.).

The joke in the first panel depends on a stereotype that’s shared by atheists, vegans, and crossfitters  — that, as I’ve heard it put, they can never shut the fuck up about their enthusiasm (so that Crossfit is a kind of mirror image of Fight Club). A version of the whole joke:


This joke has a subversive variant, one that’s goofy or snarky:

An atheist, vegan, and crossfitter walk into a bar. I don’t know what happened because I left.

The second panel has a classic Walk Into Bar set-up for a very long pay-off:

A gorilla in a tuxedo walks into a bar and orders a dry martini. The bartender, never having seen a talking gorilla, let alone one in a tuxedo ordering a drink, is taken aback. ‘I need to check with my manager’ , he says.

He goes into the back and tells his manager, ‘there’s a gorilla in a tux out there who wants a drink.’ ‘Hmmmm ok’, says the manager, ‘but charge him triple. What’s he know? he’s a gorilla, right.’ so the bartender goes back out, makes the martini and serves the gorilla. ‘that’ll be $21’ the bartender says. The gorilla pays cash.

The gorilla drinks his drink and orders another. The bartender goes and checks with the manager again, who tells him to make sure to charge him triple. Bartender makes the drink and serves it, gorilla pays cash again.

The bartender is a little curious at this point and wants to know more about the gorilla. He strikes up some small talk: ‘We don’t get many of your kind in these parts’. The gorilla replies, ‘At $21 a drink, I can see why.’

The third panel has the set-up for a splendid mathematician’s joke. There’s more than one punch line, but this version has my favorite:

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer, the second orders half a beer, the third orders a quarter of a beer and so on.

After the seventh order, the bartender pours two beers and says, “you fellas ought to know your limits.”

The joke incorporates  a pun on limit, in these two senses (from NOAD):

2 a restriction on the size or amount of something permissible or possible: an age limit | a weight limit. [or desirable, as in a limit to how much one can drink without becoming incompetent]

3 Mathematics a point or value that a sequence, function, or sum of a series can be made to approach progressively, until it is as close to the point or value as desired.

In the bar case, we have the infinite series

1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + … + 1/2n + …

The limit of this sum as n approaches ∞ is 2. So the bartender pours two drinks.

Then there’s the fourth panel. The version of the joke that I know runs along the following lines:

An amnesiac walks into a bar. He goes up to a beautiful blonde and says, “So, do I come here often?”

with a play on the bar pick-up line “So, do you come here often?” — reversed, because of course an amnesiac doesn’t remember whether he’s been to this bar.

The Zippy version is a goofy variant, in which the joke-teller, rather that the protagonist of the joke, is the amnesiac.

The Batmen and the psychiatrist. In #2, we have the familiar Psychiatrist cartoon meme, except that the patient isn’t lying on the couch but cowering on the floor at its foot. And it’s Batman, the subject of a whole vein of cartoons on his own (see my Page on Batman). In fact, Batman presented as suffering from multiple personality disorder / dissociative identity disorder — a community of Batmen, so to speak, sometimes manifesting as Bruce Wayne, of course, but also sometimes as Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, or Ben Affleck. MPD / DID is the subject of intense popular fascination, including a vein of cartoons. So the cartoon in #1 wraps together three different cartoon memes.

A refresher on Batman, from Wikipedia:

Batman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (1939). Originally named the “Bat-Man”, the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World’s Greatest Detective.

Batman’s secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime.

Batman appeared in a campy 1960s tv show starring Adam West. And then, from Wikipedia:

Toward the end of the 1980s, the Warner Bros. studio began producing a series of feature films starring Batman, beginning with the 1989 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. Burton and Keaton returned for the 1992 sequel Batman Returns, and in 1995, Joel Schumacher directed Batman Forever with Val Kilmer as Batman. Schumacher also directed the 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, which starred George Clooney.

… the franchise was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. Nolan returned to direct two further installments through the release of The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, with Bale reprising his role in both films.

… After Warner Bros. launched their own shared cinematic universe known as the DC Extended Universe in 2013, Ben Affleck was cast to portray Batman in the new expansive franchise, first appearing in 2016 with the Zack Snyder directed film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And then MPD/DID, from Wikipedia:

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states. There is often trouble remembering certain events, beyond what would be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. These states alternately show in a person’s behavior.

… It is believed to affect about 2% of the general population and 3% of those admitted to hospital with mental health problems in Europe and North America.

… DID is controversial both within psychiatry and the legal system.

Popular fascination with the condition is reflected in the enormous number of fictional characters diagnosed with it. There’s a big Wikipedia category for that:

This category is for fictional characters in literature, film, television, and comic books who are diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (i.e. having two (or more) separate personalities). This is also known as multiple personality disorder and split personality.

The Multiple Personality meme seems to be new to this  blog. Here are two further cartoons, beyond #2:

(#4) A Mark Anderson Andertoon

(#5) A wry S. Harris science cartoon (untitled): a dog with MPD

Mark Anderson’s Andertoons has appeared on this blog a couple of times before, but Sidney Harris seems to be new here; from Wikipedia:

Sidney Harris, a.k.a. S. Harris, is a cartoonist, best known for his cartoons about science, mathematics, and technology.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York some time before World War II, and has been drawing science-related cartoons at least since 1955. His cartoons have appeared in numerous scientific journals, notably American Scientist, and also in science fiction magazines and many textbooks.

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