Saturday, April 24, 2010

15. “But the Pension Fund Was Just Sitting There” (1979)


This collection reprints 124 daily strips from Jan. 9 1978 to June 22 1978
18 strips from the period are not included (see comment for list.)

After fourteen editions in the original size, the books get their first makeover. These colorful versions are an inch wider and just a hair taller, and each is labelled on the front as “a Doonesbury book.” Simultaneously, the first fourteen books were reissued in the new packaging, each as “a Doonesbury classic.”

In current events, Dr. Kissinger’s students at Georgetown, Barney and Mr. Weinburger, join a protest against the Shah of Iran, whose wife appears at a New York dinner in her honor. A mellow lifestyle and biorhythms are keys to happiness; Dan Asher becomes a regular visitor to WBBY, principally in the Sunday strips, to talk about keeping it laid-back. The Post assigns Rick Redfern to White House detail, following President Carter to Lagos because Rick’s physical, intellectual and emotional waves are all scheduled to peak there. Rick meets Roland Burton Hedley Jr., his future partner in the Press Corps, on March 30. TV programming wunderkind Fred Silverman moves from ABC to NBC, just in time to take credit for a new “jiggle” sitcom called Spa, whose teenage starlet appears fully nude in each episode.

Uncle Duke’s been unemployed for about a year. He earns a little money lecturing at colleges like Walden, but finally finds some stability putting his sports medicine background to use as the new general manager for the Washington Redskins. The team has already traded away its first six rounds of draft picks; Duke’s strategy is to raid the players’ pension fund to acquire free agent “Lava-Lava” Lenny, whom we met when Duke was governor of Samoa, from the Detroit Lions.

Phred becomes Viet Nam’s new ambassador to the UN. He meets two friends also representing the third world nations who will appear sporadically for the next few years, Victor (Benin) and Eddie (Togo), and they all enjoy listening to the sultry-voiced French interpreter on UN channel two.

At Walden, Mark has actually dropped out of school to devote time to WBBY and earn some money and make contacts bartending at reunions. He meets his father at the Class of ’43 shindig and resumes his well-intended efforts to reconnect with him. Later, he gives the booth over to Zonker while he goes to Washington to interview Lacey Davenport about the Korean scandal. At the time, the House was in no rush to investigate ethics complaints against congressmen, including Speaker Tip O’Neill, for their involvement with a South Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, who had been throwing enough money around in Washington to raise eyebrows. On Friday, June 16, two panels of the strip were given over to a coupon intended to be mailed to Speaker O’Neill’s office, cheekily urging some action and information. The strip was hugely controversial, and really got under O’Neill’s skin.

1 comment:

Grant, the Hipster Dad said...

The following strips were omitted from this book:
Sat. Feb 4 1978
Sat. Feb 18 1978
Sat. Feb 25 1978
Wed. Mar 1 1978
Sat. Mar 4 1978
Sat. Mar 18 1978
Sat. Mar 25 1978
Mon. Mar 27 1978
Sat. Apr 8 1978
Sat. Apr 15 1978
Thu. Apr 27 1978
Mon. May 1 1978
Sat. May 6 1978
Mon. May 8 1978
Mon. May 22 1978
Sat. June 3 1978
Sat. June 17 1978
Tue. June 20 1978