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<   No. 1697   2007-09-19   >

Comic #1697

1 Me: Since I announced I'd be killing off a major character by the end of the year, worldwide speculation has been running rife.
2 [caption]: Ladbrokes of London has accepted over £30 million in bets.
2 {scene: Screenshot of Ladbrokes web site, showing odds for various characters being the ones to die.}
3 [caption]: Protesters have attended mass rallies in support of their favourite characters.
3 {scene: Photo of a large group of protesters waving placards with character names on them.}
4 [caption]: And Michael Parkinson won't stop calling.
4 Michael Parkinson: {on phone} So are you just doing this for the publicity?
4 Me: Hell yeah!

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When I wrote this comic, I wanted to use the most well-known interviewer I could. My immediate thought was Michael Parkinson. Everyone knows Parkinson.

Well, as it turns out, apparently he's almost unknown in the USA. Several (pretty cosmopolitan) Americans I asked said they'd never heard of him.

My next thought was David Letterman. Definitely known in the US, and reasonably well-known elsewhere. But I really didn't want to use him. Some of those American friends suggested David Frost if I really wanted a Brit, as he was better known than Parkinson - although still a bit obscure.

But in the end I decided to hell with it and used my first pick. I wanted Parkinson, and I'm damned if I'm going to change it for the sake of some readers who might not know who he is. That's what the annotation is for - to broaden your horizons.


Sorry, I mean I had to use Parkinson because it's really him who's been calling me. It would be disrespectful to pretend he was someone else.

2018-03-18 Rerun commentary: Wow, that Ladbrokes web site design is so retro. Yet that's pretty much exactly what it looked like back when I made this comic. I just screencapped the actual page and modified the text.

It's astonishing how quickly website designs age.

(Which is why this very site looks like something out of 2002...)

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