‘Daily Show’ Writer, Others, Discuss Alternate Careers at Conference

By: Dave Astor

What might editorial cartoonists do if they weren’t editorial cartoonists?

Some of the possibilities were provided during a “Funny People Who Don’t Draw” session at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists conference Friday.

Panelists included a blogger, a “Daily Show” writer, and a radio personality.

The blogger is Josh Fruhlinger, who humorously mocks comics on ComicsCurmudgeon.com and makes funny remarks about editorial cartoons via Wonkette.com.

For the latter, Fruhlinger looks at numerous editorial cartoons and tries to find quirky patterns. For instance, one week he discussed the different ways TVs looked in several cartoons. One drawing showed a couple watching a TV that didn’t seem to have any wire leading to an electrical outlet.

On his comics blog, Fruhlinger’s specialty is making fun of soap-opera strips such as “Mary Worth” — though he mocks humor comics as well.

“Please continue to turn out stuff for me to comment on or else I might have to get a real job,” Fruhlinger wryly asked attendees.

“Daily Show” writer Kevin Bleyer, one of 10 people who collaborate with Jon Stewart on scripting the popular Comedy Central program, said: “A large portion of our show is covering the media coverage and that’s a well that runs deep.”

The show also has plenty of content satirizing George W. Bush. Bleyer showed one bit that first featured a clip of the president making a tortured-syntax remark about moving from despotism to liberty. Then the bit segued into a “Metaphorical MapQuest” directing people to liberty via such means as a ride on the “Grand Funk Railroad.” Travel time: “1,300 years.”

In addition, Bleyer feigned jealousy about Fruhlinger’s seemingly close relationship with Mary Worth.

“She has enough love for all us,” responded Fruhlinger.

A third panelist, Scott Paulsen, described his Pittsburgh talk-radio show that includes humor — and also noted that he’s a big editorial cartoon fan. “I’m completely hooked on dead industries,” Paulsen quipped. “I work in one and you work in one.”

The session was moderated by Steve Kelley, the Times-Picayune of New Orleans/Creators Syndicate cartoonist who also does stand-up comedy.

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