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The Far Side almost got a live-action movie - and there are pictures

characters from The Far Side drawn by Gary Larson
(Image credit: Gary Larson)

Actor Dirk Blocker of Brooklyn 99 fame (on which he plays the ever-hungry, always bumbling officer Hitchcock) has tweeted pictures of himself and other unidentified actors in costume from a screen test for an apparent live action adaptation of cartoonist Gary Larson's popular newspaper comic strip The Far Side.

"Many years ago we were part of a test for a Far Side film. Sadly, nothing came of it, but we had a grand time," Blocker tweets, along with two photos - one of himself in costume, and a group shot with several other actors, all dressed up as recognizable archetypes from The Far Side.

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Blocker previously posted the photos on Instagram, with a bit more information - though very little is known about the cancelled project, including whether it was for TV or movies, or exactly which actors and filmmakers were involved.

"Came across this from a Far Side screen test many moons ago," Blocker stated on Instagram in February. "Didn’t go anywhere but we laughed a lot & got to meet the amazing Gary Larson."

Even the wider internet seems to be bereft of much info about a planned live-action Far Side show, meaning Blocker has been talking about a hidden gem for months, under the radar, with many potentially interesting secrets about the cancelled production still to be uncovered.

The Far Side is known for its single panel comics which featured ironic, absurdist, and occasionally totally inscrutable jokes and wacky caricatures of the kind of every day folks who read the strip in the Sunday paper. It remains one of the most popular and best-selling comic strips of all time, with calendars and collections still on shelves to this day despite Larson not producing any original Far Side strips since 1996 - until the launch of The Far Side's website last July, which included four new strips.

The Far Side was previously adapted as a pair of animated specials by a Canadian production company under the title Tales From the Far Side, with Gary Larson himself helping oversee the animated adaptations of some of his most popular strips.

What do you think? Would you have watched a live action show featuring bizarre adaptations of The Far Side's jokes and characters?

The Far Side went digital with its own website in 2020. These are the best digital comic readers available.

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)