There’s a rumor going around that at the end of the month Randy Glasbergen’s comic The Better Half will end; at least one newspaper’s already asked readers to tell them what to replace it with because they don’t want to have to make this difficult editorial decision. (Spoiler: they’re going to replace it with a box ad saying people should advertise in the newspaper because newspaper ads are effective, like the one the Trenton Times’s been running as a full-page ad on the back of section one every day for the past six years.)
I imagine the strip ending, if it’s true it is, won’t wreck many people’s lives; to the extent they think of the strip at all it’s probably as “that weak-tea imitator of The Lockhorns,” although actually The Better Half came out first; it debuted in 1956, a dozen years before The Lockhorns got going. But it’s always a bit of a loss to see a comic strip ending, especially one that’s been going since Eisenhower’s first term. I have to admit what I always thought about it, growing up, was that it had that certain indefatigable nature that got it doing five panel jokes on Sundays in addition to the strip-a-day load, although since The Lockhorns did that too it doesn’t even make this strip stand out.
Wikipedia says that a pilot for a sitcom based on it, starring Lily Tomlin and James Coco, was made in the early 70s. I actually would kind of like to know how that turend out; comic-strip-to-live-action adaptations are pretty rare. I know there was a Skippy movie in the 1930s, and a couple Li’l Abner and Barney Google movies, and a string of Blondie films. Dennis the Menace made a successful TV series. I can’t think of successful live-action adaptations since then, though, except for the one you’re right about to name and which I’m going to feel stupid not saying first.
In the meanwhile, my mathematics blog has a bunch of comics to discuss, because comic strips decided Friday the most important thing they could possibly do is say something that inspired me to talk mathematics. I don’t know either.