You may not believe this, but there was a time when one of the greatest superstars of the entertainment industry walked on four legs, ate out of a bowl, and did tricks on command! But enough about Adam Sandler. We're talking about Lassie, who's child-rescuing adventures were a staple of movies and TV for decades, and even now lingers as a hopeful reboot property and in the minds of every pro and amateur standup comedian ever. Who hasn't done the whole "What's that Lassie? Timmy's fallen down a well?" schtick?
And just how did Lassie get to that farm where Timmy was always in danger, anyways? When last we checked in with Lassie, she was way down in Brazil, living with an American couple who were themselves living their very non-1950s dream of cohabitating without benefit of marriage and shopping until they drop. Well, shopping until Lassie drops, anyways.
This panel brought to you by the National Association Of Veterinarians, who remind you to not waste a minute before calling your local veterinarian if anything whatsoever is wrong with your pet.
Dr. Ramos inspires confidence with his white surgical garb and his head mirror. You'd almost think he was a human person doctor, but then again, Lassie is so smart she's almost a human person!
Even locked in veterinarian jail, Lassie makes friends with children. I wonder if this child will need saving at some point in our story? No, that's way too contrived, isn't it?
My Lassie Senses are tingling! Looks like this easily distracted child is about to be easily distracted - into danger!
This is why every modern, up-to-date community enacts and enforces strict zoning codes requiring fencing around all bodies of water. Lassie won't always be around to bark a warning, and let's face it, most people will only hear barking.
With a mighty leap Lassie hurtles the fence to save the little girl! Don't get in Lassie's way when kids are in trouble, is all we're saying! You might lose a finger!
I find it hard to believe that this child - living in a country whose most famous song is about a girl on a beach - I find it hard to believe this child can't swim. Teach your kids to swim, parents! Lassie can't save all your kids!
In a shocking blow we learn Lassie is... wait a minute, Gerry is addresed as "Senhora" and that's Portugese for "Mrs" so I guess Rocky and Gerry are married after all. My apologies for assuming they were living a gay life of sin in Brazil. Again, I wouldn't blame them, it is the 1950s. Anyway Lassie is allergic to a very specific type of Brazilian pollen and so he can't go back to the Matto Grosso!
Hey, guess where Lassie's headed? He's going far away from Brazil and right into your TV sets! Yes, here's where we seque into the Timmy's Fallen Down The Well era of Lassie adventures!
Don't worry Lassie, you'll soon feel right at home. Your trailer is over there, rehersal is at 11 and craft services is that way.
Remember the next time you're dining in some kitschy hipster restaurant and marvelling at the rustic junk nailed to every wall, well buddy, those are GRANDPA's farm tools and he WANTS THEM BACK
Lassie isn't with the Millers for five minutes - not FIVE MINUTES - before he's saving children. Never a minute's rest for this wonder dog!
Hey Lassie, you think you're so smart? You hopped onto the wrong truck! Not such a wonder dog now, huh?
I do have to say that the Leroy lettering and the slick (Bob Forgione?) artwork in these Lassie comics gives the whole thing a real EC Comics feel, and I can't help but expect a twist ending where Grandpa turns out to be a Martian, or the captions change into Crypt-Keeper narration filled with terrible puns. We can dream, I guess.
Uh oh, Lassie's nose for trouble has led her right to Stumpy and Blackie, two hobo tool thieves on the wildest spree of hobo farm-tool thievery ever to steal its way across the pages of a Lassie comic!
SELL her? Guys, don't you realize you could train Lassie to steal just about anything? Think big, fellas!
That's our Jeff, smart enough to spot the stolen tools, but dumb enough to remark "Hey there are those stolen tools!" out loud
That was a load-bearing beam, but not a LASSIE-bearing beam! Check your plans, do-it-yourselfers
"Half-pint"? Has Pa from "Little House" turned to a life of hobo farm-tool thievery?
And so Lassie comes to live on the Miller farm, Sundays at 7 on CBS, brought to you by Campbell's Soups, makers of Recipe Dog Food. Mmm mmm good.
But I know full well what you're thinking, I can hear the voices rise up across the land, all asking the same question. Where is Pokey?
Pokey? Yes Pokey, Lassie's basset hound friend, owned by Jeff's friend Porky, here to provide exposition and comedy relief whenever and wherever things start getting a little too serious or frightening or relevant here in the world of 1950s television. I mean, look at this excitement we're into here! Camping! Just remember, wherever Jeff goes Lassie will be right there, keeping an eye on him. Camping, school, college, the army, Vietnam, you name it.
Of course we know this camping trip will be fun and uneventful and positively no natural disasters requiring rescue will occur. Wait, we don't know this at all. In fact, quite the opposite.
Sometimes I think Lassie is just a magnet for trouble. Wherever she goes, it's nothing but children in peril, houses collapsing, forest fires, you name it.
Finally we get Jeff's "Lassie! Get help!" How long was this comic going to keep us in suspense? The gang down at the bar playing the Lassie drinking game were starting to get the D.T.'s!
Just hearing that "she's trying to tell us something" brings back so many memories of so many hacky comedians in front of cheesy brick walls doing their hacky "Lassie" bits. No, I didn't grow up watching "Lassie." I grew up watching people make fun of "Lassie." Hey, you have to get your nostalgia where you can, right?
Being manhandled into a giant noisy Forest Service helicopter would freak out most PEOPLE, let alone dogs. But not Lassie, who no doubt calls upon her years of hunting insurgents in the Brazilian back country in the service of any number of right-wing death squads.
Jeff and Porky took a chance by not bringing food, and that camper took a chance by making a careless fire, and then he took another chance by stumbling into Porky's rabbit snare, which you'll notice Porky is keeping his big mouth shut about because Porky isn't stupid. Anyway Lassie was there to keep everyone safe. Urrruff Rarrrrf Dell Comics Are Good Comics, stay out of fish ponds and rabbit snares, kids!
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