"Arthur the Unfunny"

Comedian Arthur

Arthur the Unfunny Title Card

Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 13B
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States April 8, 1998[1]
Flag of Canada September 9, 1998[2]
Written by: Joe Fallon
Storyboard by: Stéphanie Gignac
"Water and the Brain"
"Sue Ellen's Lost Diary"

"Arthur the Unfunny" is the second half of the thirteenth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Arthur decides to learn how to make people laugh.[3]


Arthur starts the show by trying to make a funny joke, but he fails heavily by messing up his line and saying "Orange you glad I didn't say 'banana'" as a punch line.

-Title Card-

The episode starts with Arthur sharpening his pencil, only to find out it's contaminated with crayons. He calls his mother and accuses D.W. of using his pencil sharpener to sharpen crayons, which D.W. steps in and denies the accusations, which she places the blame on Pal, despite the lack of thumbs as Arthur points out that it's impossible for any such pet to so. After D.W. leaves, Arthur then switches to a pen and starts writing a letter to Buster about The Elwood City Library fundraiser and what everyone is trying to do to raise money for the library. One day, the gang chose to be clowns so Arthur tried to tell the joke Buster told him, but everyone thought that Arthur wasn't funny and that he couldn't be a clown even though he made the idea.

So then his friends and even Pickles the clown tried to find ways to make Arthur funny, but they couldn't do it. The next day, Arthur accepted the fact that he isn't funny by giving a speech that he is helping people by not being funny. On the day on the carnival, when Arthur was playing with Kate he accidentally became funny and Pickles congratulated him by saying that there is more than one way to be funny. After Buster read the letter, he laughed.






  • More sound is audible from the Read's computer than is usually the case. In particular one can hear a startup chime followed shortly by the hard disk drive motor spinning up. A few seconds before the scene change one can also hear the hard disk drive heads in action.
    • The chime sound reveals that the computer is most likely a Macintosh computer, although the case is more typical of the PCs from that era.
  • The picture which appears on the computer's screen at startup appears to be some sort of a child lock because of the categorized program menu which was not typical of most operating systems at the time unless a child lock was used.
    • Curiously the startup screen appears before the hard disk drive motor spins up.

Cultural references

  • The beginning of the episode before the title card is a reference to Seinfeld.
  • While Arthur does his speech of apology, the girls hum along to "Battle Hymn of the Republic".

Episode connections

Home Video




Show/Hide gallery


Show/Hide gallery