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Gary Larson’s Far Side Cartoons
Updated on August 13, 2014 Stephanie Hicks moreContact Author The Far Side, by Gary Larson
If there’s anyone who can consistently make me laugh, it’s Gary Larson and his Far Side cartoons.
Published in syndicated newspapers for 14 years until 1995, Larson’s “The Far Side” can still be found on greeting cards, calendars, and in books. His wry and insightful sense of humor appeals to many. An ideal number of people were disappointed when Larson decided to retire from regular publishing, although his work lives on. Larson enjoys a huge fan base of people that love his jokes.
About Larson Growing Up
He was born in Tacoma, Washington, just south of Seattle, in 1950. Not surprisingly, he had a love for science growing up, which is reflected in lots of his cartoons that poke fun at scientists and other educated people. He claims that his older brother “tormented” him, which in turn gave him a novel paranoia. Larson says that the paranoia creeps into his work — especially his drawings of monsters.
A History of Gary Larson’s The Far Side
It did not take Larson long to get his funny cartoons published. After only a few submissions, he had a gig within the Seattle Times, starting in 1979. The original cartoon was published under the title “Nature’s Way.” Eventually, Larson pitched the cartoon to a San Francisco newspaper, which promoted it for syndication as the Far Side. And, the rest is history . . .
The usual butts of his jokes range from scientists, cows, dinosaurs, dogs, chickens, deer, devils, to, well, regular people. Larson’s cartoons are never outwardly political or religious. The most important controversy he ever stirred up was in relation to a cartoon that he published that referenced the “tramp” Jane Goodall, in a chimpanzee cartoon. Jane Goodall herself found the cartoon funny and was not offended, although her organization had originally demanded a retraction and apology from Larson.
Larson’s observations are primarily aimed on the silliness and stupidity of the human race. And with regard to that topic, you can’t help but laugh!
Larson is a Comedic Genius
The expressions of Larson’s characters are priceless. He captures the annoyed look of a housewife, the terrified look of passengers on a plane, and the goofy look of a simpleton — all with a couple of pen strokes. Larson’s humorous observations of the mundane details of everyday life, from laundry to childcare, make you laugh out loud because they are so accurate. It is amazing to think that this guy never had art lessons.
Why is Gary Larson so Funny?
Larson has an uncanny ability to take a “what if,” outlandish scenario and transform it right into a straight-faced offering of life because it could be with talking dogs, walking cows, hunting deer, and aliens. He sometimes positions regular people in these unlikely contexts, after which tops it off with an off-hand observation in the caption.
Larson does not rely on puns or other tactics for his jokes. What makes his cartoons so effective is the thought that you are viewing a snapshot of those silly situations.
Why We Love Larson’s The Far Side Cartoons
There’s simply not enough room in a single Hub to showcase all of the perfect works of Gary Larson. Many of his cartoons are very well-known, reminiscent of the ones featuring what you say to a dog, what a dog hears, and the real reason dinosaurs became extinct. Others could also be new treasures that you will discover in his books or by searching on the internet. My personal favorite method to enjoy Larson’s work is with a day-by-day calendar. I get one annually, which allows me the chance for a fresh joke each day.
There’s far more Gary Larson available on the website below, or search through among the books referenced on this site. Do not laugh too hard, now!
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sendingSpurwing Plover 20 months ago
The one where some guy is washing his car a bird is sitting on a wire overhead and saying You are MINE ALL MINE
Brother Steve 2 years ago
I am in search of the cartoon wherein Thousands of clowns have circled the earth. The caption reads . . . “The Bozon layer, protecting earth from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you possibly can direct me to a book or collection wherein I’d find it, I will probably be most grateful.
ED 2 years ago
I liked when Vern, Chuck, and the Pope went fishing.
mike 2 years ago
the one with the elephant dressed in a trench coat has just knocked on a door; guy opens door and hears the elephant say: “Hello Johnson—-remember Kenya 1927? Or the cat is staring alternately at his missing paw and the fish bowl on the table containing a piranha.
Jeff 2 years ago
Does anyone have a link to The Far Side donut shop cartoon where the Manager can’t figure out where all his profits are going ?
Kerry 2 years ago
In addition to the doctored Santa cartoon, another reason Larson is justified in protecting the uses of his cartoons online: sites sometimes falsely attribute cartoons by other creators to him. See the primary one on this site: http://www.cracked.com/funny-4637-the-far-side/
Josie 2 years ago
Add Youri am on the lookout for a pair strips. Certainty is dead and spiderweb at bottoomm of slide..we pull this off we eat like kings Comment…
Goringe Accountants 2 years ago from London, UK
Brilliant collection. Thanks for putting this hub together!
Sheila Schollmeier 3 years ago
I would like to get a rerint of a comic you did way back titled
At Meaneaters Annonymous
I have 14+ yrs sober and bring it on and off to meetings and have always gotten a big laugh. Thankd for that and all the nice laughs over the years. Im undecided how long Ive had this but the letters Ive fixed and taped alot of it back together.
There is another joke I have always loved I dont even know if its yours or not I hear it at meetings alot. It starts out with 2 drunks walking along the side of a corn field when one of them spots 2 druggies out in a fishing boat way out in that corn field immediately. He says to his drink friend do you think we must always tell them they arent going to catch any fish out there in that corn field? Na says the other drunk besides how would we get a boat to get out there?
Korseimger 3 years ago
I love the flies driving with a maggot on board sign but my favorite is the alligator in court saying “after all I did it in cold blood, I’m a reptile”.
Hi, gang of fans! Ruthie’s inclusion of Larson’s wishes re his ‘children’ notwithstanding, can anyone direct me to the one which has two guys in a car, coming up to a kind of stop signing, with, I gues 3 years ago
Hi, gang of fans! Ruthie’s inclusion of Larson’s wishes re his ‘children’ notwithstanding, can anyone direct me to the one that has two guys in a car, coming up to a form of stop sign, with, I assume, the road running out beyond it, and the sign says something like: Turn back. The imagination stops here.
I will never find my way back here (a Larson lite in that), if you can
direct me, send to: firstname.lastname@example.org ?? Many, many thanks. I’ve
looked for this cartoon for years! Kent March 15, 2014
Ron 3 years ago
I love the one with the 2 spiders at the tip of a kids slide . one sez to the other, “if we pull this off, we’ll eat like kings”
CAROL 3 years ago
I’m looking for the cartoon of the man ejected from his recliner into the wall… I was sure it was Gary Larsons. Does anybody know this one?
Johnny 3 years ago
Certainly one of my faves , which I can not find, two guys at the end of their rope crawling on hands and knees through a protracted, dry desert. Coming the opposite way is a camel crawling also dying of thirst… one guy says ” this is not an excellent sign.”
Aldo 3 years ago
If anyone isn’t conversant in Charles Addams, I suggest you find a few of his work. Not as scientific, but highly recommended.
Mitchll1@yahoo.com 3 years ago
Don’t think anyone has mentioned my favorite- two cows in clothes sitting in a living room taking a look at a ringing telephone and one says to the opposite: “There it goes again and here we sit, with no opposable thumbs!”
email@example.com 4 years ago
Thanks for this hub. I used to be going to post his cartoon depicting animal waste management where a bear is watching effluent pouring right into a house. His letter is heartfelt and i totally respect that. Thanks
Bill 4 years ago
I like the one “Fish rides” with the roller coaster developing out of the water, and the opposite one the had 2 delivery trucks crashing one with small flightless birds and the opposite a truck filled with rodents, and the cat is in the house plastered on the front window trying to get out! LOL
Mr Andrew 4 years ago
Gary Larson Fan Club (T.F.S.)
On Facebook …
Bill Perth Aust. 4 years ago
Unbelievable, helped me get through many night shifts. My favourite is of a diver filming some sharks in a cage made by “Dans discount shark cages”and all the sharks have these cages on them as they have eaten everybody as well because the man lost at sea and hearing a news flash in his rubber life raft that there has been a recall on some faulty made rubber life rafts of the same brand. Hilarious.
rrizzo@yahoo 4 years ago
My favorites have no,or one, word(s); as an example, a lion(ess?) is lying on a branch of a tree strewn with cameras and bits of clothing; In the background a photographer is snapping a photograph.PRICELESS! And the two deer, one with a -scope on itself and pointing to his(?) “buddy”.Again, PRICELESS!
Iseult 4 years ago
Does anybody know if Larson illustrated any novels? I always feel that cartoonists who are pretty much as good as he’s with details in illustration needs to be illustrating full-length narratives.
JEFF JOSPH EPPING 4 years ago
GARY………..COME BACK WE MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
kate 4 years ago
i luv the far side
Christopher J Wood 4 years ago from Florida, USA
The Far Side has always been my favorite cartoon strip. One in every of my favorites was the one with two pilots looking out a cockpit window and the caption says something along the lines of “never seeing mountain goats standing on a cloud before”. Gary Larson was one of many greats. Loved the hub!
davidsnip 4 years ago
Why dogs cant fly
anyone know this?
Canuck 5 years ago
I like the one from midaevel times where the soldier mooned his opponent and he took an arrow in the bum.
snake 5 years ago
I need “THE HISTORY OF THE SNAKE” anybody out there have a replica of that cartoon
peter 5 years ago
great masterpieces:The Second to Last of theMohicans;Parakeet of the Baskervilles;Custer’sLast View;The Evolution of Modern Man–Check it out
anon 5 years ago
Larson got his degree from WSU in, of course, zoology.
Corndoctor Bill 5 years ago
Mr. Larson is genius. one favorite shows a bit of poodle running for the blocked doggie door where the master says “come on!!!” Another has one deer talking to a different with concentric circles on his chest, saying “bummer of a birthmark Hal.”
bebbie 5 years ago
oAdd Your Comment… From another fan — my favorite— a dressed-up dog couple are walking away from a house and she says,” We were having such a lovely evening and then you definately needed to go try this on the rug.”
TC JACSON 5 years ago
I STARTED My very own CARTOONS …..Due to THE FAR SIDE!
Ian Elliott 5 years ago
I really like them all. Right now I am chuckling over my memory of the alien who crash lands in front of a shoe store and reports to Galactic Central that he is on a planet called ‘Bob’s Shoe World.’ Meanwhile, the proprietor, probably Bob, is standing outside his store, arms akimbo, and glaring on the alien, only concerned with possible loss of business.
Daniel Reynolds 5 years ago
For those who miss Far SIde, you should try www.reynoldsunwrapped.com
Dr Deth 5 years ago
Toby vs godzilla GREAT
reagu 5 years ago from Los Angeles
Wow. I even have seen some of these. Back in college (90s), one of our things-to-do each morning is to read Far Side cartoons.
Karien Jordaan South Africa 5 years ago
As a teenager I caught on to The Far Side. The dry humour does it for me, wild imagination, and that i used to quietly notice plenty of opportunities around me to add on to the animal quirks and characters. When I was in my twenties, I still loved his cartoons and living in a commune, someone actually stole one of many comic books from my room -then I stole it back! Recently, I felt frustrated not being able to find a new version at a bookstore but I didn’t know he had stopped publishing – after leaving the store I realised I had harassed a young girl unintentionally as I insisted on her ordering more of The “Wild” Side…, those animal cartoons?! (She did not have a clue about this genre anyway!) hee-hee what a laugh once i realised my mistake, my right-brain was overheating on the time, I suppose. Anyway, i guess re-reading all my books will have to suffice…until Gary grabs his pen again?!
Sheikh Yarbouti 5 years ago
Does anyone recall certainly one of GL’s with a guy on a horse and he has steered his horse into hitting a tree head-on (or maybe it was a big cactus within the desert)? The horse’s head is collapsed back into its neck–like the front of a car after a collision with, e.g., a telephone pole. And there’s a few other young guys on horses next to the rider of the damaged horse and certainly one of them (the caption of the cartoon) says, “What are you going to tell your Dad?” When I used to be 23, I hit a telephone pole with my car and while recovering from that serious accident, I received a get well card from a friend that had that GL cartoon on it. I used to be really banged up and it hurt horribly to laugh but every time I thought of that card or saw it during my recovery I had to chuckle despite the pain as I planned revenge on my good friend for his very disturbed sense of humor…
Rick74 5 years ago
I remember the very first far side cartoon that introduced me to Mr. Larson and his unique brand of humour. In 1990 I was going into my psychology class and on the door was a cartoon of a shy diver pulling his ripcord only to discover it was not a chute but a jack in the box…I nearly passed out laughing!
Grace 5 years ago
Does anyone have the cartoon about two cowboy frogs within the desert and one says to the opposite “That is where I would like the pond” ?
Artcuda 5 years ago
I just read Larsons letter and request for ppl to stop passing his stuff around on the net. His ratings just went in the toilet for me. Similar to once i met Steve Martin…turned out to be a loser as well. Very sad, as I have All of Gary’s books and wish to share his stuff. Oh well..just goes to point out that sometimes God wraps crap in rose smelling boxes.
Iain Lamont 5 years ago
‘Just plain nuts!’
sreyes 5 years ago
Where can I find the Larson cartoon of two seagulls on a ice float in the Artic?
Wendy 5 years ago
I just found an old page from a Far Side daily calendar from the 90s. Two old guys admiring a big newly felled tree, one in all ’em points out a blackened area amoungst the thousands of life-rings, and says See right here, this old tree survived an ancient forest fire.
Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina
I’m unsure what number of comments you actually have here, but all I do know is that I had to scroll down for a couple of minute to get to the comment box, haha
Boy have I been missing some good material from you. I love Larson’s humor and it ALWAYS makes me laugh. Great, great job on this-voted up and across! Thanks for sharing.
Tarzan and Jane roflmao 5 years ago
Tarzan is thinking of what to say to Jane:
-I am Tarzan, lord of the jungle. and who might you be?
-You are Jane, queen of town, and I’m Tarzan, Lord of everything within a hundred miles.
He arrives before her
ME TARZAN YOU JANE!!
Lu 5 years ago
I sooooo miss Gary Larson’s “Far Side”
Patti Ham 5 years ago
What concerning the one with the cows in a field and they are all talking and smoking when one cow says “CAR” and in the next panel they are all eating grass, or my fav is the one which states an indication “School for the Gifted” and on the door is says pull but a young boy is pushing?
ROLFLMAO!! I like YOU GARY! Too bad you stopped making these. We miss you.
bonnie brauer 5 years ago
Nobody has mentioned my very own faves ~ a nuclear bomb goes off in the back ground while the roaches are circling at their party, and ~ a nuclear bomb is going off in the back ground while Oliver Hardy is saying to Stan Laurel, “Now you’ve done it!” ~ and at Big Bob’s Bowling Balls, Ball Bearings, and Bubble Gum (I feel) factory, persons are slipping, falling, dropping and spilling EVERYTHING everywhere. I still have that last one.
Marjorie 5 years ago
Gary I have been a devoted fan for a few years and bought your books and greeting cards–I read your letter and that i can empathize with you completely. Our thoughts and ideas are like our children, and I do not mind sharing but I feel violated when they are usurped.
Vlad 5 years ago
My favourite Larson Cartoon is that scene, you see two cows hanging by the pawns like MIddle Ages prisoners and a butcher with a hood and a whip looking at them and the caption says: “The truth behind whipped cream”!!! Hilarious!!!
Giraffe Monsoon 5 years ago
My favorite was the the guy walking down the road holding two armadillos, and he sees up ahead a panhandler asking to everyone who passes “spare armadillo? Spare armadillo mam?
crystalsinger 5 years ago
@robert paul Aussie: I have been on the lookout for a print of that for AGES! Does anyone know which collection the Poodles of the Serengeti cartoon appeared? I’ve been scouring fairs )
jeff 5 years ago
alex 5 years ago
i like all of them
Madeline Stacey 5 years ago
“Dear Earl, We waited and waited, but finally decided that….” (Astronaut left behind on Moon reading a letter)
OR “Initially, This is going straight back…And I’ll just have just a little chat with whoever placed the order” (Satan addressing the newly arrived sitting on benches) Too funny!!!
Khefa 5 years ago
Does anyone have the Larson cartoon where the cow is on the operating table, and the surgeon says: “If he would not pull through, I’ve first dibs on the ribs” ?
Joel 5 years ago
I do not think there’s anything wrong with Mr. Larson’s attitude and he has every right in the world to guard his life’s work and livelihood. You could possibly say “he is rich, he would not need the money, what’s he worried about?” But I don’t know the way rich he really is, or what his situation is and it’s none of my business. How would you are feeling when you were working at a restaurant and folks just started helping themselves to your tip jar? YOu attempt to say “wait a minute, those are my tips!” but they are saying “Well it’s just sitting out for everybody to see. Why can’t I just grab just a few bucks. It is best to share with everyone like in a contented wonderland!” If that was happening to you I do not think you would be happy. And that’s also why I never blamed Metallica for being mad about people downloading free MP3s.
manu 5 years ago
Mungirl 5 years ago
My favorite is the cartoon where a guy and a cow are lost at sea on a raft and the cow is sneaking a sip of milk from a glass and the guy notices and yells “you said that you simply were all empty you stinkin liar!” Hysterical!!!
Martin Allert 5 years ago
My favourite cartoon is the one, where a chicken is ill lying in bed, the mother comes with a soup and says:
“First – chicken soup is sweet for the flu and second – it is nobody we all know.” I like this one! It fits so many situations in life…
Tony E. 5 years ago
Luposlipaphobia – The fear of being chased across the kitchen table by timber wolves while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor.
Stepholophigus 5 years ago
i really like the far side
Deb , KY 5 years ago
Two ladies sitting by a campfire roasting hotdogs. one says: “Thank God . . . those blasted crickets stopped chirping” Within the forest that surrounds them. .. all you see is huge hairy feet with long toenails a tall hairy body with long hair arms and hands with long nails LOL Find it irresistible.
anomonis 5 years ago
Rob B 5 years ago
Two puzzled lions staring at a dear that appears really boxy and square… caption reads ‘The Tofudebeast, hoax of the wild!’ Brilliant!!!
stbear 5 years ago
the companion to ‘what dogs hear” is “what cats hear…and the bubble is empty.
Bird of Paradise 5 years ago
How in regards to the one concerning the birds with their pizza and he did not order stink bugs on his pizza Too birds stink bugs on apizza are like anchovies YYYYEEEYYYUUUCCCKKK
Molly dierks 5 years ago
Hi! I am searching everywhere for one of my favorite Gary Larson cartoons. It is called “Theater of the Gods” and pictures Zeus and some other Greek or Roman gods seated in a movie theater and Atlas (along with his giant globe) is moving down one of many aisles to sit directly in front of Zeus, who shouldn’t be pleased. I’m okay with it not being online (and understand that) but was wondering where I could purchase the book that features this cartoon. Thanks! firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Funnyman 5 years ago
These are so funny. lmfao rolling on the floor launghing in hysterics maybe won’t stop until next year or when my voice goes what ever comes first. Ha Ha Ha He He HO HO HO HO HE HE HA Ha
da dog 6 years ago
My all time favorite was the boneless chicken farm!!!! I also loved the one where Mr. Rat is saying to Mrs. Rat, “Clean it up? Clean it up? It’s alleged to seem like a rat’s nest!”
Sir Stewart 6 years ago
That Santa one is doctored. Not only would Larson never have had a cartoon with “oh shit” in it, the font is not even near his handwriting. Cannot believe no one has pointed this out over the past three years, and that the author didn’t notice.
Rick London 6 years ago
Thanks for this site. A Far Side exhibit on the Smithsonian back around 1987 was the inspiration for Londons Times Cartoons. Thanks. Rick London
nickelrocket 6 years ago
“Bummer of a Birthmark, Hal.”
mal 6 years ago
A clown in a gun shop thinking ‘ LAUGH AT ME WILL THEY ‘ best one ever
Kristin Vaughan 6 years ago
I like The Far Side cartoons. I wish I could find an image of the one about overcoming phobias while hanging off a building in a phone booth with snakes on your nose!
Jeff Taylor 6 years ago
Gary’s brilliant cartoon- ‘Dang, its those pesky aliens and they’re after the chickens again.’has stayed with me forever conjuring up an image that recently inspired me to jot down
‘Hey Maybelle! What be that noise? And them bright light? Betta not be them pesky aliens again! Sneak a glance out the winder would yer wiman./p>
‘Hold on Jethro – hold on, yep, it‘s them alright, and they landed by the chook pen. They be gettinout – it’s that ugly one, remember, with just the one eye? And it’s got coupla them two-headed ones with it this time./p>
‘Quick, get down wiman. Make like we ain’t home./h2>
‘Too late Jethro, they seen me. Waved them feeler things./p>
‘Dang! Don’t wave back wiman. That be six times in three months. That realtor fella sed nuthin bout beinon no flight path once we bought this place. I’m sick of givin’em directions. Mars last time. Jupiter ’n Mercury, times before. Ain’t they got a google. Tell yer what, better not be Saturn, any fool c’n tell them rings. Abusin’ our hospitality too, stealin’ them chooks.
‘We gonna ask ‘em in again? There be some chow left over from last night./h2>
‘Whoa wiman. Remember what happened last time. That long slimy one with the skin like gater scales wanted tuse the bathroom, and also you were none too happy. Remember?/p>
‘Yep, that be right Jethro, it left the seat up./h2>
‘Wunder if they reckon they be lost agin, or broke down./p>
‘They seem tbe messinwith the engine, Jethro./h2>
‘Maybe broke down then./p>
‘Looks like an older ship this time, Jethro./h2>
‘Serves em right then, trippin’ about in a rust-bucket. Wunder in the event that they got AA to call – Aliens Association or summit./p>
‘They wavinthem feelers, pointin’em at the engine. Looks like they mighta lost power./p>
‘Dang!’Damn their hides! Pesky space ship, roasted me taters real bad last time after they took off. Nuked the dog and stole them chooks. Still, s’pose there be better than the cornfield. Them circles jest bring all them choppers ‘n TV people makin a nuisance./p>
‘Think we betta get on the market Jethro?/h2>
‘Guess we’ll must, Maybelle. Bible sez be kind to travellers – even if they be not critters of this world. I’ll get the tractor and mtool box. You see if yer c’n find them jump leads./p>
How the CONSTUCTION BIRDS AT LUNCH he seems disapointed he got a worm in his lunch and his long,long lunch box
Spurwing Plover 6 years ago
How in regards to the
wildbill044 6 years ago
one of the best far side ever- I saw this on a calendar and wish I had kept it.
caption something along the lines of:
What happens if you park your horse in the wrong a part of town.
there’s a horse tied up outside a saloon. Where one leg should be is a car jack, blocks under another, etc. Someone has stolen the horses legs. OMG- I’m still laughing years later typing this.
bill 6 years ago
anyone know the name of the one in the jungle where the explorer has been ripped to shreads they usually find his diary and it says something like “having gained the trust of the beast I decide to check it is sense of humor” I believe there is a joy buzzer package or something on the ground ? cannot consider what it was called. thanks
Mariane 6 years ago
oh, yes, do I remember this one..!!! still make me almost cry with laughter..
setting; a nicely decorated living room, lace curtains and all: through the window we see behind a picket fence a rolling hilly landscape – the scene: a spectacled (of course) cow in a flower print dress in front of a group: “Poetry evening” main caption said….The “lady”:
“Ah, how I long for green pastures… Ah, how I long for the lush hills… “Damn the electic fence! Damn the electric fence! Damn the electric fence! Thanks.”
Brett Dale 6 years ago
On the lookout for gary Larson cartoon where the cow is sitting on a fence and he sayd “If it was electric could I do that?” The farmer is about to change the switch.
Is this cartoon online anywhere?
there so funny
i cracked up on all of them
Vonnie Richardson 6 years ago
ALMOST “Manna in the wild!” There was apparently a version where the Cows are SMOKING cigarettes width:300px;height:250px” data-ad-client=”ca-pub-7547369567510288″ data-page-url=”//stephhicks68.hubpages.com/hub/Gary-Larson” data-ad-slot=”1186173963″>