DFC Memoirs: Innocent Bystanders


"Grrr. Bark, bark--whine--woof"

-- Barfy, Memoirs. [Greg J]


I remember many a night when Thel would terrorize the idiot with the open oven door and her "cremation urn". Sometimes she'd even go so far as to fasten huge iron shackles around his ankles, and why the neighbors didn't call the cops because of the screaming remains a mystery.

-- Barfy Keane, "A Dog's Life" [anon]


"It was the same old routine at each barbeque. 'Roll over Barfy. Sit Barfy. Shake hands Barfy. Play dead Barfy.' Shit, it was so degrading and pitiful. I could have been inside licking my balls."

-- Barfy, Inside the Flea Circus [Coyote]


I waited until dark, patient as only a wise dog can be. Soon I would taste their blood, lapping it up as eagerly as I consume my own vomit.

-- Every Dog Has His Day, by Cujo "Barfy" Keane [Lloyd Dobler]


"Sure, she'd rant and rave, but I knew better than to pay any heed. She was just jealous because I can lick my genitals."

-- Barfy Dog, I Am Not Keane [Heath]

"Of all the topics Dolly went ballistic over, the 'difference between drool and slobber' was our favorite. We'd spend hours making the veins on her neck bulge."

-- Barfy and PJ ("Practical Joker") Keane, We Wrote This Tell-All Book Since They Never Let Us Speak [Heath]


"A night of fireworks, I knew, would serve as inspiration for the entire family. Terrified, I held my tail tightly between my legs through the dark night." --Barfy Keane, The Collar Purple --ThinkAndDo

"I stalked them mercilessly. They looked out the window and I was there. They opened the door and I was there. They would never leave the house again! Revenge was mine!"

-- Excerpts from Fixed - A Life without a Gender by Kittycat Keane [Drummer]

"And I thought to myself, 'They look strange, but heck, any home is better than living on the street.' Time would show just how wrong I was..."

-- Why Didn't Anyone Call the SPCA? by Kittycat Keane [hangtownman]


You would not believe how many "Keane wears lipstick" captions I received from the bozos for this cartoon. -- The DFC Administrator, Memoirs [The Lawyer]

It had been several days and several panels since I'd had a caption accepted, and I was getting desperate. Since I knew I hadn't lost my touch for biting wit and cutting-edge comedy, I could only assume that the editor had gone off on a heroin binge. In any case, I submitted a caption for this cartoon that couldn't miss: Billy! I found your fuck doll! If that one didn't work, then nothing would ever work again.

-- The Lawyer, Memoirs [anon]


"The witness claims that she did not see the two cars behind her crash into each other, although she continued to blame the destruction on 'My idiot son's inability to draw perspective'

-- Accident report #21120, Lt. Richard Tracy reporting [Delsyn]

I got so sick of the little shitheads and their Speed jokes, I lost control of myself. The results were gruesome.

-- [Grannny Keane, Confessions]


"The anti-semetic taunting became unbearable...even a simple snowball fight became yet another opportunity for those Keane kids to make inappropriate circumcision jokes."

-- From Oy Vey: Growing Up Next to The Gentile Family Circus by Harvey Rubenstein [Coalcracker]

I stared. Billy continued chattering, not yet noticing that his mitten had slipped off and revealed a black hand. As I squinted harder, painfully driving my frames into my cheeks, I could barely discern the pancake makeup coating Billy's face. Suddenly, it all became clear: the hand, the makeup, and why the soccer team had nicknamed him "Horse." Uncle Roy had a lot of explaining to do.

-- From Circles of Hell: A Young Boy's Encounter With the Keane Family. [The Simon]


'Keane commonly submitted pornographic material to us to be distributed for his panel. For this particular one, we had to get our writers to hastily draw shirts on both men, airbrush the whip out, and replace the dog collar & leash with a harmless newspaper.'

-- From a former Cowles employee [agm]


"You could always tell what stage of rehab Bil was in by the cartoons he would submit. In this one, we had to airbrush Jeffy's shorts back on him and crop out the toilet and the nudie mags. I don't know why we didn't leave Bil drunk. He's more nostalgic that way."

-- Anonymous Cowles Employee [bobo]


"It only took doing one cartoon with the Keane's in 1937 for Mickey to come crawling back to me. That was the last time that little Commie rat would try to organize a union in MY shop."

- From "Of Mouse and Man" the autobiography of Walt Disney [Delsyn]


From the files of Cowles syndicate: - Original caption: The ancestral animal past; the menace of future generations; the glaring light of uncaring transcendance-- what is the answer? I fear there is none! - Cowles to Bil: A little long and dark, don't you think? - Second caption: The sun, the sun-- how it torments me, failing to light the inner darkness of my soul-- if indeed we have souls. - Cowles to Bil: I don't think we're communicating here. This is the funny pages, not Sweden. - Third caption: Fuck the world. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Ha ha! - Cowles to Jim Davis: Bil's having some creative block here-- can you fill in? - Published caption: I think sunlight is God smiling on us! [Horselover Fat]

Pavlov's Journal, day five: I have trained the small yellow-haired subject, designated 'Billy', to release the cat into the controlled environment on cue, but to date the hideously ape-like subject, designated 'Dolly', will not engage in the bloody carnage I'd hoped for, instead hopping about like an addled cockroach. I will continue to observe...

-- [Julian Wells]


Billy's warm breath condensed on the window, and he frantically wrote "!EM PLEH". We stared blankly, unable to comprehend. Then Bil and Thel walked in and lowered the shade.

-- The Boy Next Door, by Dennis Mitchell [Sean Q]


I couldn't stand how Jeffy would work the same gag over and over again. Everyone remembers the "pasgetti" schtick, but I really hated how he would always stick his hand into the orange juice to "feel if it was all mixed." Once I asked him to mix the Drano in the kitchen sink. When the pain started to sink in, I gave the little bastard a shove.

-- From Damned to Hell by Not Me [Long time listener, first time caller]


"Even when we were kids, Bon would get smashed and boot all over the place. I always warned him this would get him into trouble some day but he never listened."

-- From I Wanted to Call the Band AC/DFC by Angus Young [hangtownman]


"Okay, so maybe we shouldn't have made P.J. and Barfy eat shards of broken glass. But it was worth it to hear Dolly's adorable mispronounciation of 'internal hem'ragin'!"

-- From "Thel Keane: Jailbird Ma Tells All", by Kitty Kelley. [Smokey]


"We never approved of her marrying that poofy boozer in the first place, and so help me, this was the last time we'll ever babysit for her during one of their orgies. It took six Valiums just to get the littlest one to sleep."

-- Gretchen Pfaster, What The Hell Is My Name Anyway? [Heath]


"After we arrested Mrs. Keane in the driveway, we found Jeffy stuffed with five pounds of Captain Crunch, Dolly drowned in a bathtub reeking of Earl Grey, Billy suffocated on soap flakes, PJ in the ice cream freezer, some black guy with Oreos nailgunned all over his body, but the worst of it was the way we found Mr. Keane. I've been in Alcoholics Anonymous ever since."

-- Sgt. Sean "Buttons" Murphy (ret.), A Life In the Homicide Division [Orrin Bloquy]


"He just kept prattling on about the 'ether bunny' and offering me jelly beans. I mean, this kid was so goodie-goodie that it made even me sick. I know what Morrie's like, so the guy who drew this kid must be one stoned-out twisted king-hell freak to end all freaks."

-- From Slumming in Keaneland by Nipper Turner [hangtownman]

"I knew I'd hit rock bottom when I did a guest shot in the Family Circus. How had I, once a major network star beloved by millions, ended up playing second fiddle to some talentless little mutant while the drunk running the show tried to paw my ass in between takes. I knew then that I needed a better agent."

-- From What I'm Talkin' 'Bout, Willis by Gary Coleman [hangtownman]


Thursday I was on a roll: feeding PJ those Ex-Lax cookies, peeing in the doorway, goosing Thel and greasing the kitchen floor. Given that the scene-stealer was there for the whole thing, I had no problem whatsoever beating the rap.

-- Not Me, Is that a Smoking Gun, or Do You Just Want Me to Pull Your Finger? [Ken]


Here in state's evidence #11, we see a photograph of the suspect leaning over to take her first bite of the young victim...in whom we can see that rigor motis has already set in.

-- Trial transcripts of Thel "Dahmer" Keane [Tazabby]


"...All I ask of you, the jury, is to attempt to comprehend the cruel and calculated steps that the children took to take their parents' lives. To understand that they memorized floor plans...that they manipulated their father's traveling schedule...that they sold their youngest sibling for the gun. Once you completely understand not only the brutality of their crime, but also the deeply twisted efficiency and planning they developed to go through with it, and the eventual conclusion that they are GUILTY. "

-- From A Court Transcript from BILLY, JEFFY, AND DOLLY VS. The State. [Toothpick Vic]


"After running away from home, Billy found his way through medical college and is today a happily married, world-famous neurosurgeon. He did not escape unscarred, however, and the trauma described in chapters 5 & 7 cause him to wash his entire body, not just his hands, before every operation."

-- Epilogue, Memoirs [Thany]


On one occasion, Mrs. Keane struggled for over an hour to repair a fishing rod, while her daughter stood there with a fishhook embedded in her scalp.

-- From Child Protective Services Case File #47LD0 [ks]


"It started out innocently enough, but after a while, they were drinking out of the same bowl and using the same toothbrush. God, it gave me the creeps."

-- From Insert Title Of Autobiographical Memoirs Here by Pick A Sibling And Choose A Funny Middle Name [Heath]


Dolly was getting more and more impossible to deal with. She refused to let even one toe near the water and constantly berated her personal assistant if she didn't keep a perfumed, monogramed towel and her bag of "medicine" within her arms reach at all times...

-- Excerpt from "Star Bitch: The Dolly Keane Story" [yeltsin]


'...Exhibit 29: Child is fed a brillo pad for dinner, then forced to stare at a blank wall when he complains about the bland taste. Exhibit 30:....'

-- Transcipt from Child Abuse case 34099, People vs. Bil & Thel Keane [agm]


You know, we thought about re-editing this one to give Jeffy some pants, or at least a less visible scrotum, but we figured nobody actually reads The Family Circus anymore ...

- A former Cowles Employee [Riff]


March 19th: The abyss that has been my world for months continues to engulf me, but a ray of light and hope enters my dusty vision--I know not her name or significance, but I know I am in love with her. If the Cartoonist can draw her again for me, I may shed this mask of eternal bitterness and fuel the flames of passion for this woman.--From 'Diary of the guy here at Cowles who has to ink over everything Keane draws and writes until we have him committed or he offs himself.' --agm

Bil had made considerable progress. Not only had he resisted the temptation to resort to clip-art, but he'd even managed to make the panel appear, well, normal. Thankfully, we were able to get him into a strip bar before he managed to complete it and demand a higher salary. -- John Cowles, It's My Circus --Helder

"When asked to fill in the word balloons, the patient claimed the children were saying We hate Daddy. Daddy's so good to us and we hate him anyway. He tries, he really does, but it'll never be good enough for us selfish little bastards. Why, he should pick up the tire iron and bring it down on our melon-like skulls over and over and over... At this point, the patient became agitated and had to be restrained. I've got his nuts attached to a car battery even as we speak." -- Journal entry by Dr. Neil Cuthbertson, Capp Asylum, used as evidence in United States v. Keane --Pete


We should have seen it coming from the work he was submitting. Take this panel, for instance. The glazed look in Dolly's eyes as she reclined, hands at her crotch. The grimace of pain on PJ's face as a book slams near his genitals. The random phallic object just behind Billy. The far-away stare in his own eyes.... And he forgot to draw his own glasses, for crying out loud! But we didn't see. We didn't want to see. We all bear our share of blame. - Anonymous, Syndicate of Shame --flodnak

...after that, we never loaned out the Sacred Shroud of Turin again - Pope John Paul II, 1987 interview--Rodney

"CUT! Thelma, it's 'eyes'. 'What have you done to his eyes'. If you can't get a simple line, we'll have to go with that Mia Farrow chick. And get your damned kid off the set! For the last time, we are not putting a 'scarlet pimpernel' dance scene in the movie, fer chrissakes!" --Roman Polanski, Hollywood Memoirs, 1968.--DH Walker


I realized I could go no lower, when she had me playing Curious George to her "woman in the yellow coat".exerpt from Sex Junkie: the Vic Lebowitz story--Crackhead Jonny

We didn't know who he was. He just came into our office one Monday, sat down at my desk, and started playing with the adding machine. Seemed happy and harmless, but when Dithers and I tried to push him out, he broke down screaming and crying about 'the little monsters' and some 'angry bull dyke.' So we let the poor bastard stay. --Dagwood Bumstead, Corporation Memoirs--agm

"I awoke from my idyllic dream of a man, his three boys, a lady, and her three very lovely girls, and a man who delivered meat daily to the housekeeper. I awoke in hell...an alternative hell where Nazis won the war, children wore Wehrmacht uniforms as they patrolled the street for hook-nosed infiltration, and crosses burned in the distance." --Tiger Brady: Dog In The High Castle--Stan Xhiao

"At that point, the boy began swatting at the air and rambling incoherently about "elfin magic." What could I do? That ball was in play, and it was gonna stay in play until somebody talked him down!" -- Judgement At Home Plate: Little League Umpires Speak Out--LuvBJones