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Written by 8:02 am Comics

Explore Gary Larson’s Genius in The Far Side

The Far Side

The Far Side is a comic by Gary Larson that’s just one picture with a joke. It’s not like other comics with many squares. The jokes are mostly about animals and people in funny or weird spots. It’s like seeing animals do human things or funny mix-ups in science.

Gary Larson made these comics from 1979 to 1995. Even though it’s been a long time since he stopped, many people still love reading “The Far Side.” It’s because the comics are smart and funny in a special way, different from other jokes.

Be a Virus, See the World is a funny picture made by Gary Larson

Be a Virus - The Far Side

A tiny germ, which we call a virus, is pretending to be a person who loves to travel. Usually, viruses spread by jumping from one person to another, making people sick. But in this comic, the virus is shown as if it’s going on a vacation, just like people do when they want to see new places.

Gary Larson made a joke about how viruses get to ‘travel’ around the world without using planes or boats, just by being passed around by people. It’s funny because we don’t think of germs going on trips. Larson’s drawing makes us imagine the virus with a suitcase, excited to visit different countries, even though in real life, it’s not a good thing because it means the virus is spreading.

This comic makes us smile by turning a germ into a little traveler. Larson is really good at finding a funny side to things we usually don’t laugh about, like getting sick. By making a virus look like it’s having fun traveling, Larson helps us learn in a funny way that germs can move around the world quickly, just like people can.

Beware of Doug

Beware of Doug - The Far Side

Beware of Doug is another classic comic from The Far Side by Gary Larson, published on March 26, 1983. This comic typically plays with expectations and humor in a way that’s both simple and clever.

In this particular comic, Larson likely presents a situation that twists a common warning sign. Normally, you might see a sign saying “Beware of Dog” to warn people about a potentially dangerous dog. However, Larson humorously changes one letter to make it “Beware of Doug,” suggesting that it’s not a dog people should be wary of, but a person named Doug.

The humor in “Beware of Doug” comes from this unexpected switch. Instead of fearing a fierce animal, the comic suggests there’s something amusingly offbeat about a person named Doug that warrants a warning sign. It’s funny because it’s not what you expect. This comic plays on the idea of taking everyday warnings and flipping them into something ridiculous yet oddly intriguing, making us wonder what’s so special about Doug that he needs his own warning sign. Larson’s work often involves this kind of playful misdirection, using language and common situations to create a humorous twist that delights and surprises the reader.

Bob’s Assorted Rodents – A Funny Picture by Gary Larson, Dated April 20, 1984

Bob’s Assorted Rodents

Gary Larson made a comic about a man named Bob who has a very strange shop. Instead of selling normal things like toys or candy, Bob sells lots of different small animals that are called rodents. These include creatures like mice and hamsters. The funny part is thinking about a shop that only sells these little animals.

The reason this comic is fun to talk about is because it’s so unexpected. Most shops sell things people really want, but a shop just for rodents is a surprise. It’s like walking into a store looking for a snack and finding only mice and hamsters instead. That’s the kind of surprise Gary Larson likes to show in his drawings.

This drawing from April 20, 1984, is special because it makes us laugh by showing something we wouldn’t see in real life. Larson is good at making us think about funny and strange ideas, like a store that would only sell rodents. It’s a simple but very funny idea.

Bummer of a Birthmark – A Comic by Gary Larson, June 2, 1986

Bummer of a Birthmark

This comic is a funny drawing from June 2, 1986. It shows a deer with a very unusual spot on its side. The spot looks just like a red target that people aim at when they practice shooting. The deer is standing with other deer, and the joke is about how this spot is a very bad kind of mark for a deer to have, especially in a place where there might be hunters.

The title “Bummer of a Birthmark” means it’s really bad luck to have a mark like that. It’s funny in a surprising way because you wouldn’t expect a deer to have such a mark. Gary Larson liked to make comics that were simple but made people laugh by showing them something unexpected.

This picture makes us laugh because it’s silly to think of a deer having a target for a birthmark. It’s a quick joke about being unlucky, and it’s easy to see why it’s funny.

Cat Fud by Gary Larson on March 30, 1985

Cat Fud

A funny comic called Cat Fud was made by Gary Larson on March 30, 1985. This comic shows a dog playing a trick. The dog writes “Cat Fud” on a sign and puts it on the ground. The sign points to a door. But the sign has a funny spelling mistake. Instead of “food,” it says “Fud.” The dog is trying to fool the cat into thinking there’s food by the door, but there really isn’t.

What’s funny about this is seeing the dog act like a person, trying to trick the cat. Dogs and cats don’t usually do things like make signs. Gary Larson liked to make comics where animals do silly things like people. It makes us laugh to think about animals having their own funny ideas.

“Cat Fud” is a special comic because it makes us imagine animals doing things we wouldn’t expect. Gary Larson was good at creating these funny stories. This comic helps us see the humor in imagining pets being clever in their own world.

Chicken Crossing the Road

Chicken Crossing the Road

For our next comic, let’s explore Chicken Crossing the Road, crafted by Gary Larson on June 12, 1991. This piece humorously delves into the age-old question: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Larson, known for his wit, doesn’t just give us the usual punchline. Instead, he invites us into his imaginative world, where the chicken’s journey across the road isn’t just about getting to the other side—it’s about the unexpected and humorous twist that Larson is celebrated for.

In Larson’s universe, animals often find themselves in human-like scenarios, and this chicken is no exception. Perhaps, in this comic, the chicken is portrayed doing something out of the ordinary or crossing for a reason that’s cleverly absurd. Larson’s artistry lies in taking a well-known joke and turning it on its head, making us rethink the motives of a seemingly simple chicken crossing a road.

This comic serves as a brilliant example of Larson’s ability to inject humor into everyday situations, making “Chicken Crossing the Road” more than just a joke—it’s a glimpse into a world where every crossing has its own story, filled with Larson’s trademark mix of humor and insight. It reminds us to look for the unexpected joy and laughter in the mundane, showcasing why Gary Larson’s work remains enduringly popular.

Cow Joyrides

Cow Joyrides

Moving on to another delightful comic, “Cow Joyrides,” crafted by Gary Larson on May 20, 1986. This comic taps into Larson’s fondness for placing animals in hilariously human situations, this time featuring cows in an unexpected scenario. Unlike typical portrayals of cows peacefully grazing in fields, Larson gives these cows a taste for adventure, showcasing them engaging in the very human activity of joyriding.

In “Cow Joyrides,” we might imagine cows taking a car for a spin, reveling in the freedom and excitement usually reserved for humans looking for a bit of fun. Larson’s skill lies in his ability to anthropomorphize animals, providing them with human traits and desires, which in turn, reflects his unique comedic perspective. The idea of cows driving cars is absurd and funny because it’s so far from what we expect of these farm animals.

This comic is a testament to Larson’s genius in blending the everyday with the bizarre, creating a world where cows can experience the joy and thrill of a joyride. It encourages us to see humor in the unexpected and find amusement in the thought of animals experiencing human-like emotions and adventures. “Cow Joyrides” not only adds to Larson’s repertoire of whimsical and thought-provoking comics but also reminds us of the joy found in life’s simple, imaginary pleasures.

Cows Over for a Few Drinks

Cows Over for a Few Drinks

Next up, we have a comic called “Cows Over for a Few Drinks” by Gary Larson, from September 17, 1982. In this funny picture, Larson shows us cows like we’ve never seen them before. Instead of being in a field, these cows are hanging out like people do, having drinks and chatting with each other. Imagine walking into your living room to find a group of cows standing around, holding drinks, and talking just like your friends at a party.

The reason this is so funny is because we’re used to seeing cows doing cow things, like grazing or standing around in a barn. Larson turns this idea on its head by putting the cows in a very human situation. It’s like he’s saying, “What if cows had social lives just like us?” This makes us laugh because it’s such a surprising and silly idea.

“Cows Over for a Few Drinks” is a great example of how Larson likes to mix up our normal ideas about animals. He shows us a world where cows can relax and have fun, just like people. This comic makes us think and smile by showing something so ordinary in a totally new way. It’s all about finding humor in imagining animals acting like humans.

Crisis Clinic

Crisis Clinic

Crisis Clinic, created by Gary Larson on January 7, 1982. This piece dives into Larson’s knack for blending the absurd with everyday life, this time setting the scene in a place we usually associate with help and support during tough times. However, in Larson’s world, even a crisis clinic isn’t immune to his humorous twist.

Imagine a clinic designed for crises, where people (or possibly animals, in Larson’s style) come for help with their big problems. But, since it’s a Gary Larson comic, there’s a funny catch. Maybe the counselors are animals, or the crises being discussed are bizarre and unexpected, like a duck worried about its bill or a squirrel stressing over nut storage. The humor comes from seeing this serious place turned into a setting for something completely outlandish and funny.

“Crisis Clinic” showcases Larson’s talent for making us laugh by putting a twist on the ordinary. By taking a place meant for serious matters and filling it with ridiculous problems or characters, Larson invites us to find a bit of joy in the notion that everyone has issues—even if they’re a bit unusual. It’s a gentle reminder not to take life too seriously and to find humor in the everyday. Larson’s comics, like this one, often suggest that a little laughter might be just what we need in a crisis.

Damned If You Do/Don’t

Damned If You DoDon’t

Let’s explore “Damned If You Do/Don’t,” created by Gary Larson on July 10, 1985. This comic cleverly plays on the familiar saying “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” which means that no matter what choice you make, you’re in a tough spot. Larson, with his unique twist, likely brings this phrase to life by depicting a situation where characters—perhaps humans or animals—are faced with a humorous dilemma.

In Larson’s world, such a scenario could involve anything from a cow deciding between two equally troublesome paths to an office worker stuck between following his boss’s contradictory orders. The beauty of Larson’s work lies in how he visualizes these dilemmas, often leading to absurd yet insightful conclusions. By illustrating this catch-22 in his distinct comedic style, Larson not only makes us laugh but also reflects on the paradoxes we encounter in daily life.

“Damned If You Do/Don’t” is a perfect example of Larson’s ability to combine wit with everyday observations, making us think while we chuckle. His comics often remind us of life’s complexities and the humor that can be found in navigating them. This particular piece, with its play on a well-known expression, showcases Larson’s skill in finding the funny side of frustrating situations, encouraging us to laugh at the predicaments we often find ourselves in.

Dentist and Tennis Ball

Dentist and Tennis Ball The Far Side

Dentist and Tennis Ball, a comic strip by Gary Larson from May 30, 1988, dives into the humor found in unexpected situations. In this comic, Larson likely sets up a scenario that brings together the world of dentistry with something as unrelated as a tennis ball. Known for his offbeat humor, Larson could be picturing a dentist dealing with a patient who somehow involves a tennis ball in their dental issue, or perhaps a dentist using a tennis ball in a creative and humorous way during a dental procedure.

The juxtaposition of a dental office, a place often associated with anxiety and discomfort, with the playful and leisurely image of a tennis ball, creates an amusing contrast. This could lead to several funny situations, such as a dentist recommending a tennis ball as an unconventional solution to dental problems, or a patient mistaking a tennis ball for dental equipment. Larson excels at finding comedy in the combination of two seemingly unrelated elements, encouraging readers to find humor in the absurdity of the situation.

“Dentist and Tennis Ball” exemplifies Larson’s genius in crafting humor that makes us rethink everyday scenarios. His work often invites us to see the lighter side of life’s odd moments, and this comic is no exception. By blending the ordinary with the unexpected, Larson not only entertains but also subtly comments on the human experience, all while making us smile.

Didn’t Wash Hands

Didn’t Wash Hands The Far Side

Didn’t Wash Hands, a comic from February 17, 1992, by Gary Larson, taps into a common social norm with his characteristic twist of humor. In this comic, Larson likely addresses the universal expectation for cleanliness, especially after using the bathroom, but in a way that only he can. Given Larson’s ability to spotlight the absurd in everyday life, the comic probably presents a scenario where not washing hands leads to an exaggeratedly funny or awkward situation.

Perhaps the comic features animals in a human-like setting or people in a scenario where the consequences of not washing hands are humorously blown out of proportion. For example, Larson might depict a character facing outrageous or supernatural consequences for this small oversight, or a scenario where someone not washing their hands becomes the center of a bizarre and comically overblown reaction from others.

“Didn’t Wash Hands” showcases Larson’s skill in making light of common habits and societal expectations. He has a knack for drawing out the humor in otherwise mundane or overlooked aspects of life, prompting us to laugh at the silliness of human (or animal) behavior. This comic, like many of Larson’s works, likely uses its simple premise to elicit a chuckle while also nudging us to think about the everyday actions we take for granted. Larson’s humor often reminds us to not take life too seriously, finding amusement in our all-too-human moments.

Dinosaur Lecture

Dinosaur Lecture

Dinosaur Lecture, a comic strip from November 7, 1985, by Gary Larson, brings his unique sense of humor to the prehistoric era. In this piece, Larson likely uses his talent for blending education with comedy by setting up a scene where dinosaurs are either giving or attending a lecture. Known for his whimsical take on animals and science, Larson could be imagining a scenario where dinosaurs are engaging in a very human activity: learning through a formal lecture.

This comic might play on the irony of dinosaurs, creatures known more for their size and strength than their intellectual pursuits, participating in academic discourse. Perhaps it features a T-Rex standing at a podium, struggling to flip through presentation slides with its short arms, or a group of dinosaurs sitting in an auditorium, looking confused or bored by the complex scientific concepts being discussed. The humor arises from placing these ancient creatures in a decidedly modern and scholarly setting, highlighting the absurdity and fun of imagining “what if” scenarios.

“Dinosaur Lecture” exemplifies Larson’s ability to make us laugh while subtly encouraging a curiosity about the natural world. By depicting dinosaurs in this light, he not only entertains but also reminds us of the endless possibilities for humor that lie in reimagining the past. Larson’s work often invites us to look at the familiar from an entirely new perspective, finding joy and laughter in the process. This comic continues that tradition, offering a glimpse into a hilariously impossible moment in prehistory.


Gary Larson’s comics remind us to find humor in life’s little moments. Through his work, we’re invited to see the world differently, with a mix of joy and curiosity. Larson shows us that humor is everywhere, from cows on joyrides to dinosaurs giving lectures. His legacy is about laughing at the strange and wonderful parts of life, encouraging us not to take everything so seriously.