Silly me. That would present John in a good light. Instead, we skip right over that to:
Panel 1: John and Elly are watching television. She's leaning on his shoulder and he has a beverage in his free hand. We hear "5-4-3-2-1!!!" because they're watching Dick Clark (or someone like him) bring in the New Year.
Panel 2: This is highlighted by the crowd on the box yelling "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"
Panel 3: As they cuddle, he says "Well, girl, it looks like we made it through another year." That's kind of sweet.
Panel 4: It also sets us the punchline. You see, Mike and Lizzie are out of bed because they think something special is going on; he tells her they might as well not have bothered because it was just Mom and Dad engaging in hugging, kissing and other acts of wanton violence.
Summary: When you remember that this kid grows up to be so afraid of human contact that he pathetically bleats for his wife to keep his kids from touching him, it ain't as funny.
ETA: As expected, the New Year's Banner just appeared. I wonder if this mess will last until the 2010s.