Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Yam What I Yam

Popeye first appeared full-grown in The Thimble Theater on January 17, 1929.
I yam what I yam.
I eats me spinach.
I'm Popeye the sailor man.

How could you not like a man with a girlfriend named "Olive Oyl"?
How could you not like a man who had an apodal ward named "Swee' Pea"?
How could you not like a man who tolerated his ever-mooching, hamburger gobbling friend named "Wimpy"? ...............Elzie SegarHow could you not like a man who could take a beating from Bluto, pop a can of spinach from his shirt, swallow its contents and beat the tar out of his adversary?

Except for the date, which came up as an "event" on this day in history, the rest of the above is cobbled from my memory. Yes, I enjoyed reading comic books as a youngster. They were not considered to be "edifying literature" in the home in which I was raised. Yet the parents tolerated a certain amount of foolishness, so long as the serious was tended to properly.

Foolishness or not, I think it interesting that the above trivia made a longer lasting impression than did, say, Ivanhoe. Why is that?

Well, Popeye, ye entertained us well. We don't know how old ye were when you appeared, but we do know that ye've been around now for eighty-three years!


Jim said...

I knew Popeye primarily through cartoons on TV. The black and white ones were better than the color ones. I introduced my young sons to Popeye cartoons several years ago and they agreed.

Secondary Roads said...

He's strong to the finish,
Cause he eats his spinach,
He's Popeye the sailor man.

Some of the things that Popeye muttered in those cartoon were adult-rated.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

I loved Popeye cartoons as a kid. I have since heard that some things Popeye did were "adult," but I don't ever remember anything. Young kids are that way, I think (thank God).

Vee said...

Even girls liked Popeye. I liked spinach, but not because of Popeye. (Still enjoy eating spinach, but can't convince Hubby that it is edible.)

Shelly said...

I used to love watching the Popeye cartoons. I couldn't fathom, though, how anyone could stand to eat spinach. Now, I enjoy it every day- glad my arms don't look like Popeye's, though-

Anonymous said...

Can't say I was ever a Popeye fan - we used to sing "I'm Popeye the sailor man, I live in a garbage can.." then something about eating spinach. I always liked those songs that made fun of things as well as the fractured nursery rhymes...

vanilla said...

Jim, interesting, since my exposure was primarily through comic books and the 'funnies'.

Chuck, most comics and cartoons were simultaneously aimed at two very different audiences. Thus it was that the dialog functioned on one level for the kiddies benefit, and yet on another to keep the older readers (or viewers) entertained.

Rebecca, as I commented to Chuck, something for everyone. Maybe.

Vee, love that spinach. But Popeye had nothing to do with that in my case, either.

Shelly, isn't it a blessing that our tastes mature? As a kid, I wouldn't touch anything "pasta." Think what I would be missing had I not "grown up."

Grace, as I read your blog today I could clearly see that you like the "fractured" songs and verses. So do I.

Sharkbytes said...

I loved Popeye on TV. The good guy won, he was scruffy, smoked a pipe, and could open cans by squeezing them. What's not to love? Bluto was just bad.