Friday, August 21, 2009
Another in the Schroeder-as-musical-prodigy series. There is also a first in this strip: it's the first time a character is represented as participating in a real-world organization or event, long before Snoopy's games at Wimbledon.
Let's note the progression of the joke:
Strip 1: Charlie Brown introduces Schroeder to the Piano. The gag: he takes to it immediately, and brilliantly. The punch comes from the suddenness of the ludicrous situation.
Strip 2: Strip beings with the ludicrous situation, set up by the past strip. The gag comes from examining its consequences. Punch is added by making it even more ludicrous, by taking the already-amazing event of a baby playing piano extremely well and making him a composer, one who's even titled his work despite being barely verbal.
Strip 3: Begins again with the ludicrous situation, but now takes it for granted. The punch comes from putting a lampshade on it; Schroeder is talented enough to tackle Braham's First Concerto but not the second because he's "only a baby," even though no baby (except maybe Mozart) could do any of these things. This also subtly normalizes the situation.
In tomorrow's strip it'll be completely normalized, and the humor will come from another character interacting with the bizarre sitation.