How to Develop an Idea

It has come to my attention that this comic bears a strong resemblance to a bit by Patton Oswalt (you should listen to it. He's really great. I once spent an evening in a cheesy piano bar with him. Really good guy), and possibly George Carlin (Never got to meet him. Know people who did. They say he was kind, but grumpy). The resemblance was unintentional, and I apologize to both of them or their surviving realatives, whichever is most appropriate.

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Reader Comments (38)

Sounds like an old Carlin bit--especially the "murder with your bare hands" at age 100.

Note from Scott: Damn ... you might be right. I've done a quick Google search and found nothing, but now that you mention it I can picture him saying that.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJTDC

sounds a bit like patton oswald's bit ---

Note from Scott. I was unaware of that. DRAT!!!

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlarraby

I'm curious what they came up with between 60 and 90.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Do I sense a new collaborative bonding between Rick and Scott? The look on Ricks face in panel 4 is positively gleeful!

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBobbo

I think it's mostly the people under 50 who could stand some chilling out. 50 could be the right to tell "When I was your age..." stories.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMillie

Are we long lost twins? Did we share an idea that had been fermenting in our brains for a long time?

Note from Scott: We may be long lost twins ... IF you have the other half of this amulet I've been carrying around.

If this is the real Patton, please drop me an e-mail. I'd love to discuss the situation.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatton Oswalt

Similarities or not, this was still very good and very funny.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

I can easily believe that this is unintentional. If you listen to and watch a lot of comedy over the years, it all sinks in to your subconscious. When it does pop out again much much later, it gets hard to tell if it’s an original thought or not.

That’s what is preventing me from writing my own sitcom - I’m sure that any decent idea I inadvertently have would be traced back to “Cheers” or “Blackadder” !

Note from Scott: I'd love to watch a show made up of ideas from Cheers and Blackadder!

The Place: Revolutionary Boston.

Former Cricketter Sam Miggins opens a Pie shop with the help of his old coach Baldrick. Watch as they attempt to swindle they're wealthy customers Ben Franklin (An affable drunk played by Steven Frye) and Thomas Jefferson (A loud mouth know it all, played by Hugh Laurie)

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Here's another who finally finished the archive after first discovering your comic. I feel like I've traveled through time! An enjoyable trip too. Thank you Scott.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMachiam

It's also quite similar to a Tim Kreider cartoon:

Note from Scott: Thanks for the heads up. Clearly, this is an idea whose time has come!

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRPF

in the uk, the legal rights from panel one occur at 17 & 18...

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHodgy

Clearly no one knows what can trigger the idea, but clearly Scott, Patton, and potentially George all had the same thing occur!

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Sorry, Scott, but never mind Patton Oswalt, today's comic is almost a carbon copy of the following one from 2005:

Great humorous minds think alike!

Don't worry, BTW -- I'm sure Tim Kreider isn't the litigious sort. :)

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlbertaNerd

First thing I thought too was Patton Oswalt, especially the 100 year old right to kill with your bare hands. But still funny nonetheless.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

"KILLING A GUY WITH YOUR BARE HANDS", taken most likely from the beginning skit of the 1999 "You're all diseased!" DVD by George Carlin when he rants about "Too much airport security". Not only hilarious but food for thought as to whether or not it might have been inspiration for the 911 terrorists concerning dangerous object which could surprisingly be allowed to be brought into a plane, prior to Sept. 11th 2001 !

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Sometimes the streams cross and alternate realities mingle.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAC

Ok, I look at the 2 links provided. While it may be similar, it is similar in the sense blond jokes are similar. Scott's comic comes across original to me. I don't even pretend to know where the boundries are but based on readying the majority (I think) of Scott's work, it does not seem there is much to worry about.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAC

You could do a lot worse than to think like Tim Kreider. The Pain -- When Will It End? is one of the few comix in my comix RSS.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

It just goes to show: If you have a great idea, chances are someone else has probably thought of it first.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

Quite possibly the best B.I. in recent times (not that they're not all great) I love the synergy Rick and Scott have when Scott's not Rick-bashing. Those two must be really good friends. :)

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

And Patton Oswalt was on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! Saturday.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessiEeee!

Rick turned 50 not too long ago, if I recall correctly. (Panel 3...)

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadeTail

Or 18 if you want to get pissed in Britain.........

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUKNick

Oh, for heaven's sake! AC was dead-on with the comment about blond jokes. Some blond jokes are tired from the get-go, while others are gut-bustingly funny. A sunset painting or photo might be another analogy; many are cliche and tired, but then there are the gems of expressive composition.

Scott, a great one, especially with the wrap-up in frame 4.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

I would pay money to watch a comedy Tom Jefferson played by Hugh Laurie (whom I -still- think of as 'that guy from the TV version of Jeeves' vice 'that guy from House').

In re questions of copy, there was an issue recently where a graphic designer in Hong Kong came up with a nice tribute to Steve Jobs, and used the google to make sure no one else had the idea first. Of course, someone half-way around the world had, about a week earlier....

"Ideas are the easy part; execution the hard part" is the handy oversimplification.

This execution was hilarious throughout four panels. Well done.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob

This comic is filled with wisdom as well as humour. So that's scary. What's going on?

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

In Brazil (and in a large part of the world) we get to drink AND drive at 18!
Too much power to bear???

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFelipe Dex

At 60 we get to tell people what we think, not what we're supposed to Be Nice and say. Unless of course we're cartoonists, in which case it starts much much earlier. (Yay!)

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

I would suggest that, at some age, (60?, 70?) we gain a special driving lane similar to the carpool lane. This is a win-win, because the old folks don't have to worry about other vehicles as much, and the rest of us don't get stuck behind them when we need to drive faster than 10 mph.

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

I would pay to watch just about anything with Hugh Laurie. I would much prefer to see him play Thomas Jefferson as a buffoon, though.

I'm still sour about the Embargo of 1807. Grrr...

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

A joke doesn't have to be utterly uniquely to be funny. While I can understand that a blatant rip-off might raise some heckles, you can't expect someone to produce a dozen comics each month, for years, and generate never-before-conceived ideas every time he puts ink to paper. (or copies-and-pastes stock from his comic library with a mouse. Whatever. I don't judge.)

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

It is a constant source of horrified amazement for me that the drinking age in America is still 21.

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArcanex

You know your comic has made it medium-time when Patton Oswalt comments on one of your strips.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTacoMagic

I love this so much. One of my favorites, ever.

October 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy Fred

This is like What Patton Oswald said only its funny

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert S

What amazes me is that most of these birthdays always start with, "You get a new legal right on specific birthdays," usually involve the legalization of some sort of drug, and finally, they ALWAYS END with being able to legally murder someone.

How on EARTH!?! Is it just-- an intuitive joke? That is, if you conceive of the very concept of, "Birthdays are only fun when you're a little kid, we should do something to spice them up as you get older," it will be inevitable that you will ultimately progress to the notion of outlawed activities revoked, drugs legalized, and finally, the right to murder someone? Is it just-- obvious, once you begin that line of thought?

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAtari

It just occured to me that this comic is basically just taking the standard RPG method of gaining new abilities and spells at certain levels, and applying it to real life. Brilliant!

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAcefowl

@Jason: "I'm curious what they came up with between 60 and 90."

I celebrated my 70th birthday by exercising my new right to fart whenever and wherever and however loudly necessary. (While walking is particularly satisfying.)

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma

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