I like how we tune in with Saddam ending the joke rather than delivering the whole thing. It lets your mind fill in the gap of what the horrible setup was. More comics should start with the end of something totally unrelated that we don’t get to see. Imagine if Beetle Bailey started with, “And that’s why I can never go back to Charleston, Rocky. Now let’s hear your story.” I could easily spend a good half an hour imagining what our lovable, lazy military scamp was doing in Charleston. Or maybe the first panel of the Wizard of Id could be the king standing on the balcony shouting, “We love you, Cleveland, you’ve been wonderful, good night!” Then for no reason at all cut to a story dealing with the wizard and his bitter, bitter wife.
Maybe I should just save random punchlines for the last panel of the strip. Like Grim and Saddam could be having a totally pointless conversation over whether or not MacGyver could really save the day with all the contents of his pockets (I want to believe that he could, if only so the child inside me doesn’t die a little bit) and in the last panel, after they reach their conclusions, just have somebody like the Dunkin Donuts dude pop up and say, “Time to make the donuts.” Does anybody else wonder whatever happened to that guy all these years later? I mean, he’s not like Juan Valdez or Ronald McDonald. No new guy came in later to fill his shoes. (At least Valdez had a commercial where they showed one actor trading places with the other, passing the torch, or in this case the burro and the coffee.) Good non-sequitur lines are very hard to come up with off the cuff, though. I don’t know if I have anything quite as good as a FUEGO! in me or not, but it’d be nice if I did.