Comic Strip / Frumpy the Clown

A newspaper comic by Judd Winick (The Life and Times of Juniper Lee), Frumpy the Clown is about a clown who moved in with a Jewish family (Mike - father, Mona - mother, and twins Brad and Kim). It was never explained why he dresses up as a clown; he doesn't work in a circus (heck, in one storyline it shows that he HATES it), isn't particularly jolly, and he doesn't do tricks. He loves kids, though. He teaches elementary school, seemingly avoiding being fired.

Frumpy the Clown provides examples of:

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Mike's cousin Rumus appeared for the first three months of 1997 then disappeared. He didn't make a reappearance until 1998, in a one page Frumpy comic that ran in Oni Double Feature #3.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Brad and Kim.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: Sometimes happens, with Frumpy as the vegetarian. It's never consistent, however, as some strips show Frumpy eating meat and even cooking chicken dinner.
  • Mundane Wish: One strip had Frumpy and Brad encounter a wizard who claimed he could give them whatever would "make [their lives] complete." Frumpy immediately wishes for the first ABBA album on vinyl and a watermelon. While Brad complains that he could have wished bigger, Frumpy quips that he doesn't trust midgets with wands.
  • Nazi Germany: Mike's mother is a Holocaust survivor.
  • Parental Abandonment: In one strip it's revealed that Mike's father walked out on his family, not having spoken to him in 10 years.
  • The Tonsillitis Episode: Mike had to get his tonsils removed in one storyline. He expressed embarrassment that a grown man like him had to deal with this.
  • Ultimate Job Security: This was a running gag with Frumpy's teaching job. Principal Carr always tried to fire him, but the union protection prevented it. This trope was finally averted when the strip came to an end, when a budget cut gave the Principal a legitimate excuse to get rid of him.
    Frumpy: You're enjoying [firing me], aren't you?
    Principal Carr: No. I enjoyed firing the football coach. I am loving this.
  • Very Special Episode:
    • Played straight in a lot of the later strips.
    • Parodied, strangely enough, in one strip where Frumpy asks Mona and the kids why they watch Party of Five if it bums them out so much. Mona replies because it's a "Very Special Episode." Kim quips that they're ALL "Very Special Episodes."