The World's Funniest Dissertation

Home » Films » “Me? I’ve been pullin’ all the while for that other guy, Pike, with the furniture van.”

“Me? I’ve been pullin’ all the while for that other guy, Pike, with the furniture van.”


It’s been almost a week since Jonathan Winters passed away already, and I’m still completely crushed over the whole thing. Last night, my dad and I were talking and it dawned on me as to why.

I have a lot of favorite scenes in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I grew up with that movie and I consider it to be a major part of my childhood. There are two scenes that are my all-time favorites, however. One is the fleeting cameo of my beloved Buster Keaton…and the other is Jonathan Winters completely demolishing a gas station.

Pike was always my favorite character when I was a kid. I’m not even fully sure why, but I liked him. As an adult, I’ve since discovered that Jonathan Winters and I had some hobbies in common, namely making artwork and collecting toys and baseball memorabilia, and I, too, have suffered a mental breakdown, which started a few months before my 20th birthday. Sometimes we’re inexplicably drawn to people similar to us even before the things we have in common happen.

Miss you, Pike.



  1. Steve Login says:

    When “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” works, it’s great. I love Dick Schawnn yelling for momma!

    It has to be your subject matter and the artistry and fun you bring to it to make reading about a dissertation fun. Great cartoons, excellent scholarship, and a fine sense of humor must keep you engaged.

    You might also want to check out the work of Max Linder, a French vaudeville and film comic. His work has lots of gags mirrored by The Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, and others.
    Here’s the mirror scene from Seven Years Bad Luck (also with a great spit-take at the opening)
    — and here’s the Italian clown Kri-Kri doing the same bit in 1913!

    Take a look and listen to Smith and Dale for comedy duos. They are best known for “Dr. Kronkheit’s Only Living Patient, but I can’t find any video of it. So, here’s a short from 1931, “What Price Pants?” —

    And here’s a page of their stuff from when they worked as a foursome:

    • Steph Diorio says:

      I was pretty much raised on that movie. It probably had a much bigger influence on me than I realized!

      Ah, glad you like my writing style and stupid cartoons! ♥ I’m always relieved to know I don’t bore people when I analyze things.

      I’ve been having a ton of trouble digging up Max Linder anything because not many people even know about him, so grazie! He’s been awfully elusive for me for some reason.

      And on that note, so have Smith and Dale – I drew them a few months ago and struggled to even find some good reference pictures of them! It’s sad how many people disappear to history so easily…

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