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Really Foggy Ruins of Time – The Mystery of Blue Beetle #6

So I featured a panel from 1986′s Blue Beetle #6 in today’s Comic Book Easter Eggs, but later in that same issue there’s a page that certainly looks like it is referencing SOMEthing, but I can’t figure out who. I even checked with Len Wein, the writer of the issue, and it’s been so long that he can’t remember who he was referencing either.

So I’ll put it to you folks and hopefully someone can figure this one out!

Read on for the page…

bb6

Both Len and I first thought Abbot and Costello from the appearances of the characters (as they look SORT of like Abbot and Costello), but their speech patterns don’t match Abbot and Costello at all, so, well, I really have no idea.

27 Comments

first thought was also abbot an costello but know i am wrong. and since even Len who actully wrote the thing can’t remember himself this may be one comic mystery that is not solved yet.

Off topic, but one of my overriding memories of this run was how Ted’s thought balloons feel the need to describe how he enters his base through the water what seemed like (but probably wasn’t) almost every issue.

Kind of seems like the Odd Couple, the likenesses aren’t exact, but the outfits and demeanour seem to suggest it.

For some odd reason that I can’t fathom, I keep thinking: Jackie Gleason and Art Carney from The Honeymooners.

They don’t actually look the characters, but their bickering seems familiar.

Would have said Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon from Grumpy Old Men – but that didn’t come out until 1993. Even looks like the movie poster’s boat and fishing motif from sequel.

Jenos Idanian #13

February 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I was thinking Matthau and Lemmon from Grumpy Old Men, but that was 1993. It’s Chicago, maybe Siskel and Ebert?

They’re somewhat reminiscent of the two fishermen trying to catch the shark on the dock at night in JAWS, but I would assume that this isn’t a reference to anything, just a nice one-page gag.

Since it’s Chicago, it could be Siskel and Ebert. Or, since the heavier of the two is wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Chicago radio personalities Steve Dahl and Garry Meier. Dahl is infamous for Disco Demolition and wearing Hawaiian shirts. He was infamously “killed off” in a Dick Tracy strip. The duo had a falling out in the early ’90′s and except for one occasion never reunited.

My take is Siskel & Ebert.

Lemmon and Matthau were the original film’s titular odd couple, so they could easily work as these characters. Siskel and Ebert seem to fit the locale, physicality, and being a bickering duo, but not much else – they’re not a slob/uptight guy duo.

I like the call of Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, but I feel like the age/description is off for the Meier stand-in.

Art Carney/Jackie Gleason seems like a good fit, particularly if you think about how Carney probably looked at this point in his life.

Could be any Superbowl Bud commercial of the time, really.

Can’t it just be a funny bit with a fat guy and a skinny guy?

It terms of the relationship, The Odd Couple occurred to me too – but there was no physical resemblance.

I think I possibly found it. It’s based on the Brit comedy duo, Morecambe & Wise. Google search for “bunions comedy routine” netted me this and the similarities are quite close.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/film-tv/read-exclusive-unseen-morecambe–6127337

Jamie

That pair doesn’t look a thing like Morecombe and Wise.

The skinny guy looks like Del Close, Godfather of Chicagoland Improv. Paved the way for 2nd city, SNL and Upright Citizens. The creators would certainly have been familiar with his work, and may have even known him personally (He was a friend of John Ostrander and Kim Yale’s and worked with Ostrander on a comedy/horror anthology called “Wasteland” for DC at the same time Blue Beetle #6 was out.

Speaking of Easter Eggs in Blue Beetle, Cullins and Wein show up in a cab in #5 during that Warriors storyline with Beetle & a pre-Richard-Dragon-training-Question

I’m voting for Two Random Guys in Humorous Bit.

My preference is for it to be a reference to something because without some other context it just comes off as not very funny.

I’d just say it’s an unfunny gag that takes too much space. If anything, they are two of the most clueless boaters ever to mistake a several-ton airship crashing into the water for a bit of rain and thunder! I know the ship is supposed to be quiet and all, but how does it splash up that much water without creating wake ripples big enough for the men to notice? The boat is somehow rock steady and sitting very high in the water for a small craft with two men in it. Overall a poorly done gag.

right how unrealistic

Yes, I demand a greater degree of realism in my comic books about vigilantes who dress up as blue bugs and fly around in giant airships.

Have you tried contacting penciler Paris Cullins to see what he might remember, Brian?

No, but I’ll drop him a line right now.

I just happened to read this issue last week, and was baffled by this scene, so I hope Paris remembers what it was about!

I see things like this and usually think it’s a reference to some commercial characters at the time. But none that I can remember off the top of my head.

My first thought on the skinnier guy is that he looks like Groucho Marx out of make-up, and I haven’t seen a single name in the comments of anybody he looks more like than that. I agree the other guy looks a little Jackie Gleasony.

My guess would be the Odd Couple – appearances could be based on a stage production

though it could easily be people I’ve never heard of…

It’s a familiar gag, no doubt. But since the writer can’t recall a specific influence, can’t it just be a recycle of an old-standby?

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