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The Comedy of Marriage

Posted May 17, 2010 to photo album "The Comedy of Marriage"

In anticipation of the release of Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kids Are All Right, FilmInFocus’ Peter Bowen and Nick Dawson look at works across multiple mediums that also poke fun at the institution of marriage.

Slide 1: The Country Wife (1675)
Slide 2: The Marriage of Figaro (1786)
Slide 3: Blondie (1930)
Slide 4: The Thin Man (1934)
Slide 5: My Favorite Wife (1940)
Slide 6: Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
Slide 7: Adam's Rib (1949)
Slide 8: We’re Not Married! (1952)
Slide 9: The Honeymooners (1955)
Slide 10: Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
Slide 11: The Lockhorns (1968)
Slide 12: La Cage aux Folles (1973)
Slide 13: Seems Like Old Times (1980)
Slide 14: Roseanne (1988)
Slide 15: The War of the Roses (1989)
Slide 16: Frankie & Johnny Are Married (2003)
Slide 17: It’s All Relative (2005)
Slide 11: The Lockhorns (1968)

Slide 11: The Lockhorns (1968)

No work has mined the institution of marriage for jokes as thoroughly as Bill Hoest’s comic strip The Lockhorns.  Created in 1968 with the original title The Lockhorns of Levittown (since they lived on the North Shore of New York’s Long Island), the cartoon quickly was shortened to just The Lockhorns when it gained national syndication. Reminiscent of other unhappily married couples, like the sparring partners in the 1940s radio show The Bickersons, Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn seemed to only find joy in the torment of the other. Started as a single panel strip in 1968, The Lockhorns spread out to a strip in 1972. The series’ minimal, punch-line approach to marriage proved to be universal as before long the strip was syndicated in over 500 papers in 23 countries. But it was clear that Hoest’s view of marriage was just for laughs after he died in 1998––Bunny Hoest, his wife (and best friend) took over writing the strip.