Before Miranda Priestly, There Was Judy Funnie

Out of every cartoon from the '90s — and there were some good ones — no actress in a supporting role stood out quite like Judy Funnie from Doug. (Daria fans, keep quiet.) With her bellowing temper tantrums and her poised-yet-salty commentary on the world around her, Funnie was a voice for every pipsqueak whose burning creativity felt trapped by their bologna-and-mayonnaise eating family members.
Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon.
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Funnie was one of our first examples of what that looked like. "She is the oldest child in her family and while she's never particularly rebellious, she's very dramatic (due to being an actress) and often difficult to deal with. However, she's very intelligent and artistic, and therefore attends the Moody School, a school for artistically talented teenagers. Although she and Doug have sibling rivalry like any normal pair of siblings, she loves him and it's very clear that they're close," puts her Wikia page, so perfectly.

Hanging out with Funnie and her friends was like talking to Drew Droege's dead-on Chloë Sevigny, or maybe French stylist Catherine Baba, where both characters make so many references, it's like they're speaking a different language (and actually, Baba speaks two). No matter what, you always felt your most uncool. But, thankfully at that age, the crushing pressure to be "cool" wasn't really a thing yet, so Funnie really just catered to our bourgeois side, letting us know it was okay to play Little League and take drama class, too.

The original hipster, she was outspoken, dramatic, and sensitive — an antidote for someone who was brought up to feel insecure about being, well, any of those things. "Oh no, please, go through all my stuff. Try my dresser, too," she'd snap at her mother, whom she often referred to as that woman, as if they were a pair of Desperate Housewives fighting overtop the pickets in their shared white fence. Another iconic Judy moment worth noting: That time her mom invited Judy's new boyfriend over, and she turned it into a full-blown production. She had her brother play the butler and her parents act as, a "renowned poet, novelist, and playwright living in seclusion after a life of piracy on the high seas" and a "groundbreaking anthropologist just back from a year in the jungle studying the potato worshippers of Mogwano," just to rectify her last experience of bringing a boy home, which was paramount to social suicide. In this same episode, she'd go on to wish her parents were "painters, neuroscientists, or hunchbacks."
Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon.
But from a fashion perspective, Funnie was the precursor to someone else who seems awfully similar. We're talking Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, of course. Only Judy Funnie did it before the idea of working in fashion went mainstream (how's that for meta?). And like the highest editor of any high-fashion mag, she had a uniform: a black onesie layered with a dark purple tunic, complimented by a matching beret and Rihanna for Dior-esque sunglasses, which, of course, she wore indoors.

She could make an outfit out of anything — especially what Miranda would call a "pile of stuff." Only Judy wasn't a famemonger about it, so she didn't need to post a DIY tutorial on it or brag about it to her classmates. Today, her favorite designers would probably include: Alessandro Michele's Gucci, Alexander Wang, maybe some accessories from Delfina Delettrez, or when she's feeling slimy, VFiles, because they contain the theatrics required to dress who she is from the inside out.
Photo: Courtesy of Nickelodeon.
She could damn well editorialize anything if she wanted to, like that time she convinced Doug he was thin by way of method acting (think it to feel it). "Go on a fast; fasting is so spiritual. It cleanses the body, and the soul," she preached. Miranda and her team might’ve taken a less empathetic tact to get the point across, but surely they both valued thinness more than is necessary these days.

But hey, that's why we love her. And that's also why, in honor of the Devil Wears Prada's 10-year anniversary, Funnie comes to mind. She was bold, crafty, and sometimes just one sandwich short of a picnic. Of course, those are the types of people who push the industry forward — and remind us that fashion and humor can work together in perfect harmony.
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