Happy Birthday to Gary Larson (72), who allowed us to glimpse into “The Far Side”
Tomorrow we celebrate Gary Larson and his 72nd birthday, the man who grabbed our attention into the unknown with projects such as The Far Side and The Twilight Zone.
Anyone who grew up reading newspapers (remember those?) in the ’80s and ’90s knows the “real” reason dinosaurs became extinct: the dino-teenagers were keeping a low profile, smoking cigarettes, out of sight from the teachers.
After seeing the “Acts of God,” which is on stage, juggling, playing music, and were there when Einstein figured out after writing a long equation, that time is actually money; on August 14, Gary Larson was born and helped people regain their senses each and every day by showing them a glimpse into the surreal world of “The Far Side,” and, much like “The Twilight Zone” television show decades prior, it was a world that spoke the truth using surrealist imagery and sharp writing.
His impact on the newspaper’s funny pages, day-to-day calendars, and cartoons showed humanity if we can’t laugh at how dumb we can be as a collective society then we cannot exceed what we are.
Also, he gave us ideas to place us in the same frame as animals with equal or better intelligence, equipping people with a sense of perspective that was and is desperately needed.
There was also a caveman: Remember the one where the caveman was giving a scientific lecture to a group of other cavemen, talking about the anatomy of the stegosaurus? He pointed to the spiked tail, called that body part the “thagomizer, after the late Thag Simmons.” When this cartoon was published, dinosaur experts didn’t actually have a proper name for that spikey part of the stegosaurus’ tail, so it has since been officially dubbed the Thagomizer.
How about the one where George Washington crosses the street at a crosswalk: of course, he’s accompanied by a militia, including someone holding the American Flag. For an image as powerful as the one where he crosses the Delaware River. Maybe you’ve seen the smart-little kid going to school (Midvale School for the Gifted) PUSHING on a door that says “PULL”.
It’s easy to get a glimpse into the world of the Far Side: his single-panel cartoons can be found on refrigerators, scientific laboratories, and offices almost everywhere, and his wit has helped give rise to the memes that are found all over Facebook.
Like the panels themselves, keep this little article short and sweet. We want to say: Thank you, Gary Larson, for allowing us to see the world for the twisted place it has become, and happy birthday.