The Last Half, Plus Math Comics

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.)

Five panel jokes that are pretty much what The Better Half is all about.
Randy Glasbergen’s The Better Half for the 16th of November, 2014. The rumor is the strip’s ending with November, so, enjoy while it lasts.

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.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

10 thoughts on “The Last Half, Plus Math Comics”

  1. I was under the impression that “Momma’s Family” with Vicki Lawrence was based off of “Momma” the comic strip, but I could very easily be wrong and..

    I quite am, thank you Wikipedia. It was “Mama’s Family” for one, and THAT wouldn’t have made it through copyright issues.

    However, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, and The Phantom I am quite certain of, and if no one’s done a Prince Valiant they’re missing out.



    1. Oh, yes. Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, and The Phantom have all had live-action adaptations … well, at least in our lifetimes (though I admit never having seen that Phantom movie). Flash Gordon seems like it should be about ready for a fresh revival, come to think of it.


  2. I believe there was a movie a few years ago about a little girl named Annie, who was an orphan. I can’t remember the name of the strip, but I’m sure it’ll come up sometime tomorrow…


  3. Am I the only one to think that “The Lockhorns Meet The Better Half” would be at least half the history making event that “The Flintstones Have A Roman Holiday with the Jetsons” was in the 90s?


    1. Oh, certainly not the only. Clearly The Lockhorns meet The Better Half would have to be two-thirds the Flintstones/Roman Holidays/Jetsons event.

      (I’ve always been a little surprised Roman Holidays failed quite so completely; it’s not that bad a show. Also that it didn’t get at least the occasional revival attempts in huge multi-show gatherings like the Laff-a-Lympics. But Hanna-Barbera also pretended the Skatebirds never existed either and they’re certainly … things that were made for some reason.)


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