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Comic Strip / Herman

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Herman is a newspaper comic strip that ran from 1975 to 1992, when the cartoonist, James "Jim" Unger retired. Like The Far Side, it has No Continuity and is often bizzare.

Herman provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Some strips in the mid '80s show people talking about 1992 as if it had come and gone.
  • Alien Abduction: One strip shows a man with a serial number clipped to his ear and a radio collar around his neck screaming "Aliens!"
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  • Aliens in Cardiff: Space aliens are a common sight in this world.
  • Agony of the Feet: A man with his feet in a pail of hot water is told by his wife "I told you not to buy size 10."
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • A man with a crispy arm is told that his X-Ray is overexposed.
    • A man with a cast is asked if he really did get rid of his pet crocodile like his wife said.
    • A knight with a tipped over cauldron is informed that he just dumped boiling oil on the window cleaner.
    • An X-Ray technician, more tumor than doctor, is given his retirement watch.
    • Arrow-riddled knights are a bit of a favorite.
  • Butt-Monkey: Herman is more this character type than any one character. If a small child starts tapdancing in your entree, and their mother scolds them for spoiling their good shoes instead of your night out, congratulations, you're Herman. If your husband buys you a Zebra coat and takes you on Safari, congratulations, you're Herman.
  • Black Comedy:
    • A woman brings a clearly dead daschund to the vet and says "He won't eat!"
    • A man with a charred stump for a neck is shown next to a doctor who angrily demands to know the expiry date on the nitroglycerine pills (medicinal nitroglycerine is distinct from the explosive stuff).
    • A man with a crab claw grafted onto his wrist is told to come back if he starts walking sideways.
    • Two involve expensive things left inside a surgical patient, a Rolex watch and a pair of scissors respectively, and them being told the doctor's going in after them.
    • One (under Amusing Injuries) involves a tumor-raddled x-ray technician, and one (under The Plague) involves a man with flesh-eating disease being given useless advice by his quack doctor.
  • Dreadful Musician: Several strips involve this sort. One shows a man with a broken fiddle complaining to a policeman that someone kicked down the door and unloaded a gun into his violin.
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  • Drum Bathing: A rare western example. The tiny size is Lamp Shaded. A police officer is trying to give a man bathing in a drum a public nudity citation, whereupon the bather cheekily informs the cop that there's only one chair so he can't come in.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes:
    • One strip shows a kid telling a piper that it'll "likely stop screaming if you let it go."
    • Another strip shows two men robbing a bank. One is holding bagpipes, while his partner threatens that he'll start playing if their demands aren't met.
  • "Far Side" Island:
    • One strip shows a castaway complaining that he owes $3,000 on a library book he's never gotten to read.
    • One shows a castaway talking to himself on a tin can telephone.
  • First Gray Hair: One shows a bald woman staring into a mirror in shock, and her husband telling her "I told you not to pluck grey hairs."
  • The Grotesque: 99% of the characters are fat and jowly. If they're old, they're often covered in warts to boot.
  • Hint Dropping:
    • One strip shows a kid yelling through a megaphone at his dad as he writes "The old skinflint forgot my allowance again" in his journal.
    • Another has a housewife holding a sign that reads "It's my birthday," while her oblivious husband tells her to quit whistling.
  • Mondegreen Gag: A common joke is to have such a misunderstanding.
    • A cobbler brings out a pair of model ships while his customer angrily enunciates "Booooots!"
    • Another has a cowboy with a cat in his arms being berated "I said 'Round up a posse."'
    • The King yells at a man with a spanner "You don't listen too good, I said 'Bring me a wench!"
  • Lethal Chef: Food usually consists of slop with lumps in it, clots of char, or burgers with horns ("Elk burger? What the heck is an elk burger?" Cue waiter carrying a hamburger sporting antlers.) One strip even has Herman trying to use his wife's awful cooking as grounds for divorce.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • An early strip shows an old woman complaining about how some young ladies at the beach are dressed: Bikini tops and skintight bellbottom jeans.
    • Another shows a tycoon hiring a Sexy Secretary with the warning that if she lets his wife see her, she's sacked.
    • Yet another has a neanderthal ask his mate that if his daughter (a human woman as attractive as Unger can draw) is a mutant, why does he have to keep the other males away from her with a club.
    • Another shows a woman in a bikini and an inner tube, with all the men behind her with their eyes juuuust over the waterline.
  • The Plague:
    • Usually connoted by someone covered in boils talking to a doctor.
    • One shows the doctor loading a gun and saying "I'm sure you agree that we don't want an epidemic."
    • Another has the doctor give Herman a bottle of pills by way of a 10-foot pole and telling him "Don't touch the stick."
    • A patient is told that if they aren't painful, they're nothing to be worried about.
    • The old joke of "The good news is, they're naming it after you" is cartooned.
    • A man rotting into a puddle of sludge is told to "Take two asprin and call me in the morning."
  • Shout-Out: One strip shows a man in a fishing boat who caught the Lady of the Lake, who is still holding onto Excalibur.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A pair of chimps at the zoo wonder "What does she see in him?" while contemplating such a pairing.