Life Inspires Comedy: "Dilbert" Pokes Fun at "Dilbert" Firing

February 21, 2008 ( - In a case of art imitating life, "Dilbert," the comic strip that depicts humor in the workplace, will this week poke fun at the firing of a Casino employee for posting a "Dilbert" strip at work.

You may remember the story of Dave Steward, who worked for Catfish Bend Casinos in Burlington, Iowa for seven years, most recently as a security supervisor, and was fired for a “Dilbert” posting that essentially compared management to drunken lemurs.

In a hearing for unemployment benefits, Casino management accused Steward of misconduct by insulting his employer, but an Administrative Law Judge sided with Steward, ruling that the posting of the comic strip represented “a good-faith error in judgment,” not intentional misbehavior (See Worker Fired for “Drunken Lemur” Posting Gets Unemployment Benefits ).

The Des Moines Register reports that “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams admitted that Steward’s firing was the inspiration for this week’s series of strips. “I know good comic fodder when I see it,” he told the newspaper, “and any chance to mock the humorless is worth the effort.”

The series of strips began on Tuesday with the following exchange between “Wally,” who depicts Steward, and “Catbert,” who depicts Steward’s manager at the Casino:

Catbert: “Wally, I have to fire you for posting a comic comparing managers to drunken lemurs. You won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits unless you can prove you were stupid as opposed to malicious. Can you prove you’re stupid?”

Wally: “Is there another explanation for working here?”

You can view the latest comic strip here . The original comic strip is here .

Steward told the Des Moines Register he was a combination of amused, honored, and embarrassed to be immortalized in “Dilbert,” but he is a big fan of Adams’ work. He said he will probably add this week’s series of strips to his scrapbook.

He also said when he finds new employment, he hopes to work for an employer with a sense of humor.

The administrative law judge’s ruling is here .