Did You Know that Garfield Was Never Intended to Be Funny?

Did You Know that Garfield Was Never Intended to Be Funny?

This is taking cynicism to a new level, but indicating that Garfield was never meant to be funny is something that kind of shatters a person’s childhood in a way once they read the article mentioned above. To be quite honest I don’t know how anyone could not see Garfield as funny when his stories were constantly placed in with the FUNNY books, or comic strip books, and each strip usually came out to a hilarious end. Maybe some of them were deemed dark comedy and that’s why, but in essence a lot of the lasagna-loving cat’s repertoire was, I thought, pretty funny.

It turns out that this wasn’t the initial goal of Garfield. Jim Davis was looking for an angle to market something for cat owners since Peanuts had already brought Snoopy to the public and they loved him. But he wasn’t looking to make a funny strip like Peanuts, he was looking for something that people would respond to, and that was it. Once the public took a liking to the orange tabby the merchandise started rolling in and the dollars started stacking up, making Davis a rich man and unable to care about whether people thought that Garfield was funny or not. I seriously don’t know how people don’t think this strip is funny though, since in many strips it might be a little more dramatic than comical but it still ends on a satirical note that can amuse many people.

I know of another strip called Get Fuzzy that can be just as ‘serious’ as Garfield is supposed to be by Darby Conley, but quite honestly it seems that Conley really opens up to the idea that the strip is in fact hilarious and has a lot of potential as a comedy. Granted the cat in the series is a lot more obnoxious than Garfield and the dog is a lot smarter than Odie, kind of, but the man that lives with them and takes care of them is, well, just like another John, but he fights with them pretty openly when it’s necessary, whereas John usually tends to give into Garfield on a regular basis.

No matter what Davis intended, what happened was that people embraced Garfield because he simply said the things that we were all thinking at some point and acted in the same way we wanted to act so often. No one likes Mondays unless they’re a masochist or don’t work on Mondays, lots of people get easily annoyed before their morning coffee, and when dealing with individuals like Odie sometimes the greatest pleasure is to be as mean as possible just to wake them up a bit to the real world. Okay that last one isn’t exactly the best example but Garfield still embodied the same spirit that a lot of people felt for a long time and it helped them to see that a cartoon character felt the same way. It allowed them to laugh off their own stress at times and get on with their day and even find a reason to smile when they didn’t have much reason.

Even if he wasn’t designed to be funny, he turned out that way.

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