Quick, who’s your favorite comedian? You’re taking too long. If a roving reporter were to shove a microphone in my face and ask me this very question, without even having to think about it I’d answer “Bobcat Goldthwait.” I own his HBO specials from the eighties on VHS, and I’ve dragged my sister to seedy comedy bars in Connecticut to see his stand-up act live. I do love me some Bobcat. So when the movie Willow Creek showed up in my Netflix queue, and I saw that Bobcat had directed it, to quote the man himself, I pooped a little.
What could go wrong? A Bigfoot movie directed by my favorite funny guy? I sat through all seventy-seven minutes, even though it felt like four hours. It was not good. I was not amused. There wasn’t even a Bobcat cameo. I debated making Jim Gaffigan my new favorite comedian. But most of all, I was sad. My comedic hero was not perfect.
Okay. I’m an adult. I guess I can live with that. Bobcat: not perfect. This was something I should’ve realized back in 1992 when Shakes the Clown came out. I’d forgiven him for that, right? I still love you, Bobcat.
Then a new week dawned. And with that new week, the ultimate betrayal of all: Berkeley Breathed told people how to do MY job, and he told them how to do it WRONG.
It is difficult for me to muster up passion, but the things I do care about, I’m fanatical about. I’m passionate about my need for coffee in the morning. I’m passionate about good books and writing well. I’m passionate about Bloom County and proper grammar and typography. Ah! See that? See how those last two things were in the same sentence? Then Berkeley Breathed did THIS to me:
NO, Berke. No.
I do not come on my blog and tell people how to be cartoonists. I am not a cartoonist, and would never dare to offer an opinion on how to do it. I will tell you what I like in a comic strip (up until very recently, Bloom County), but I do not give advice to aspiring cartoonists.
All I ask is that Berke Breathed, who is not a copy editor, pay me the same respect. But no. Instead, Berke has taken this issue to a public forum, having my once-beloved Opus the Penguin run for presidency on the platform of two spaces after a period. So not only is Berke making my job a political thing, he’s making Opus advise people to do the grammatically incorrect thing.
My emotions ran the gamut from betrayal to rage to . . . well, mostly rage. What was Berke thinking? Was he trying to be funny? Because joking about two spaces after a period (and in case I haven’t been clear, never, ever do that) is not funny. My hero had let me down.
I wailed. I wept. I lamented my fallen idol. And then, a few days later, I saw this:
That’s kind of funny.
I suppose if I can forgive Bobcat for Willow Creek, I can forgive you, Berke. But you'd better be joking.