Thursday, May 8, 2008

Who's slow? Me. (This guy.)

So, I liked today's strip (Motorin') until I got to the punchline, which I had to Google to understand.

Of course, when you feel stupid, you want to blame the thing that made you feel stupid, but I have to hold off until someone (anyone?) agrees with me that the "price for flight" line was overly obscure. Maybe it's not and I'm the poor sap that didn't get the pop culture reference.

I get it now, and am familiar with the tune in question, but 80s lyrics are always the first things to go I guess.

25 comments:

Lord Darian said...

Since the music of my youth was in the 80's I knew the reference immediately. That and the name of the comic brought the next line in the song to mind even before the last frame of the comic.

"You're motoring
What's your price for flight
In finding mister right
You'll be alright tonight"

callust said...

Having grown up in the 90's, the reference was lost on me.

crs said...

The context, and quotation marks, made it clear to me that "price for flight" was a reference to something by Night Ranger, and that was enough for me to get the joke.

I didn't know if it was a lyric from "Motoring" or the title of a different song or what, and I felt it really didn't affect the humor...

Anonymous said...

Just about anybody in their late 30's that listened to Casey Kasem would know the reference. In fact, it's one of those things you wish you could forget but can't.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the 90's and I knew the reference right away. Sorry.

joe said...

I missed the reference, having grown up in the 90s myself, but I got where he was going. Frankly, I kind of prefer it when the joke is a little obscure, even if I miss it - if everyone gets it, then it's Garfield.

One of my favorite Achewood strips referenced a lyric from an 80s song I didn't know at the time I read it, too - http://achewood.com/index.php?date=07062004

Kamanth said...

I was born in 79 and honestly haven't got a clue who Night Ranger are or the song.

In fact, as much as i'd love to back Scott up, i'm afraid this is yet another example of his referances being to obscure and cliche' for alot of people to get. I can add this to a list of at least half a dozen strips that I simply did not get due to not seeing the appropriate film or knowing the correct cartoonists work ect.

On the positive side I do love the recent artwork, specially where Jade is concerned. And as a ten year reader I have enjoyed the wedding story as a whole and how it has been handled with affection.

R.W.McGee said...

This was his best strip in a while I thought. Yeah, I missed the punchline...but there WAS ONE. And it was even pretty funny when I got it. (Plus I liked Cole's expression.)

Kudos Kurtz.

Steve B said...

Well, the song charted in 1984 (despite Robbie referring to the "late 80s"), so I wouldn't expect someone who was five at the time to catch the reference. But how can a reference be too cliche AND obscure - it's either one or the other, I would think.

Anyway, Night Ranger was pretty much a one-hit wonder with monster hit; this is pretty much a joke for people in Scott's demographic. Most 29 year olds will miss it, but I don't see that as a problem. If there are only half a dozen strips you didn't "get" due to being too young, I guess that's not a big deal. I didn't get all the jokes in my parent's comedy albums either.

Anonymous said...

Re: Scott B and Robbie's comment

You don't think that maybe a band with a smash hit could hang around for 4 or 5 years before becoming irrelevant?

Anonymous said...

sorry, steve B

this blog puts scotts on the brain

The Wax Lion said...

I totally got it, AND I thought it was pretty hilarious. Best use of a crappy 80's tune in a webcomic--bravo Kurtz!

Dedos said...

Yeah, I totally got it, too. Even if you missed it in the 80's, there's a great scene in Boogie Nights that highlights this song. :D

Anonymous said...

Better something that goes over my head than a fart joke that everybody can understand.

SumDumguy said...

Yeah, "Motorin'" is (for me) a one-word summoning of NIght Ranger. Eeeeccccch.

So what's up with Skull's lapel flower on the "The Plot Thickens?" Skull's transparent, eh?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the song ("Sister Christian") was a top 10 hit, so I would say the people argue for "too obscure" are off base. And don't say it's because "I was too young" or "They were a one-hit wonder" - I would've immediately gotten a reference to "Come On Eileen" or "99 Luftballons", even though I was only 5 or 6 at the time...

Anonymous said...

"So what's up with Skull's lapel flower on the "The Plot Thickens?" Skull's transparent, eh?"

Heh. Didn't notice that. Made worse by the fact the scenery that is showing through him is also completely missing in the 1st and 3rd frame. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. Kurtz actually put an interesting twist into an otherwise bland story. For once, I'm actually looking forward to see what happens.

(I presume he'll end up assigned to Francis, but am still interested to see how that happens or if that is actually what will happen.)

Kevin said...

Not obscure at all. But then, I was a teenager in the 80's. I busted out laughing at that line.

kittybot said...

Wasn't too sure on the Night Rider deal..but once "Price for Flight" was mentioned it clicked. ;)

Course...I'm an 80's child. :D

Brian said...

It took me a second but I got it. Of course that's because as soon as I hear the name of Night Ranger my brain, like an evil little imp, starts playing that song.

And in defense of the joke, yeah, younger readers might not get it but we're talking about Robby, Cole and Brent. They're of the age that would know the band, have lived with it and this would be the kind of thing they'd joke about and understand. So it's a good in-character joke.

Julia said...

I was about 6 months old when the song was on the charts, so I didn't get it at all. I am a fan of 80s music, but have no idea who Night Ranger is.

While it's perfectly fine to put obscure references in the strip, I think it would be nice to at least leave a link where we can see what the hell it's talking about in the explanation. While I rarely understand Penny Arcade comics at first glance, at least I can go read the explanation!

Anonymous said...

Even if you don't get the reference it is obvious that "the price for flight" is a reference to a Night Ranger song. Are you just looking for something to bitch about?

Anonymous said...

'80s child ftw! Proud of it! I feel sorry for people who had to grow up in other decades.

Night Ranger rocks! The '80s rock! Greatest cultural period in modern history for sure.

TheOriginalJes said...

Sadly enough, I had that song in my head just the moment before reading the strip just from reading the title.

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