Li’l Folks

I’m a Snoopy fan
from way back.

I consider Charles
Schulz not only a
pioneering cartoonist
but a genius at
exemplifying the ins
and outs of human
nature in his
characters.

And some of these
characters seem to
have an interesting
history of their own.

Three years before
the first “Peanuts”
cartoon strip
appeared,
Schulz was drawing
a weekly strip for
the St. Paul Pioneer
newspaper called
” Li’l Folks ”  —

— starting in 1947,
which featured a
few characters
that seem very familiar
indeed.

Schulz’s strip soon
gained popularity,
and in 1948, the
Saturday Evening Post
published 17 pieces
of his work.

This led the artist to
approach the influential
United Feature Syndicate,
which distributed comic
strips to hundreds of
major newspapers…

United Features agreed
to carry a new daily
Schulz comic –

— but since there
was already a national
comic called
Little Folks“,
to avoid confusion ,
the Syndicate
decided to use a
name derived from the
Howdy Doody TV show
that was popular at the
time –
Peanuts ” —
( as in ‘Peanut Gallery’ ).

Schulz didn’t like the
name – he considered
it meaningless and
irrelevant to the
characters- but the
success of the strip was
almost instantaneous.

And while the
kids in “Li’L Folks”
were nameless,
and the kids in
” Peanuts ”
developed
not only names
but distinct personalities
as well; one can see how
the 1947 strip represented
a fertile germination period
for Schulz, and paved the
way for characters like
Charlie Brown
and Snoopy.

I hope you enjoyed
this peek into their
pasts.

If you’d like to see the
whole set of strips from
1948-1950, check out a
book published by the
Schulz estate called
Li’l Beginnings”
by Derrick Bang .

!!!! HOY !!!

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Note: Any and all copyrighted works, trademarks, and brand names featured in this post fall under the “Fair Use” provisions of U.S. Copyright Law, Title 17 and remain the property of their respective owners.

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The Ins and Outres

If you know
anything about
this here Muscleheaded
Blog, you know that I love
to mind-meld with my
friends here on WP and
swap (swipe) their ideas.

Of course,
after we’re
done with it around
here, they may not
even recognize their
idea anymore.

So we always
make a point
of crediting
( embarrassing )
them with a little
recognition for what,
before we got a holt
of it, anyway, was a
perfectly sane and
creative idea.

Jules
this one
is all
your fault.

Ahem.

Today, we look at
the many levels of
what makes us
laugh —

– from a secretive and
subtle tee-hee much
favored among the shy
inhibited type –
( inhibitions are like
putting cheez-whiz
on a steak  )

– to a mild titter –
(who could
argue with
a little titter
once in a while )

– and the semi-muffled
guffaw –
( some misunderstandings
might occur, depending
on the source of the
aforesaid muffling )

– through the unabashed
cackle –
( I knew a girl once that
could cackle so loud it
could hard-boil an egg )

– all the way up to the
full belly laugh –
(which isn’t all that
good for your
digestion right after
meals, especially steak
nachos with cheez-whiz. )

Now, while you
might wonder
what all these
cheez-whiz references
have to do with our
subject today ,
and clearly,
none,
other than a memory
of recent nightmarish
visit to Pat’s Steaks
with a distant relative
during a road trip ……

…. why anyone would
do THAT to
an otherwise
(barely) acceptable
“steak-um” with
sauteed onions
and peppers
is beyond me.

Funny?

Well, try to visualize
a very large drunk
person eating a huge
steak sandwich while
dripping bright
orange colored 
artificial cheese
all over his new
official Eagles
football jersey and
you might acquire the
image that I’m stuck
with the rest of my
natural life.

I think that’s the
kind of humor they
call ‘ droll ‘ .

Still, there’s plenty
of other choices for
things to laugh at
if you’re not into
droll trolls drooling…..

I’m a fan of slapstick 
humor,

( A girl I used to know
named Donna used to
do a version of that
whenever she was mad
at me, but it didn’t seem
very funny to me …. )

as long as it
doesn’t involve
permanent damage to
the spinal column
or two months in a
penile splint .

Stuff shouldn’t be
forced to bend in
certain ways, so just
try to keep your
taqaandan practice
to a minimum.

I dunno if you’d call
that reference an
example of ‘jocular’
or ‘side-splitting’
humor……

Lost, yet ?

Ah well….
this blog is a good
example of another
kind of humor —

what my Aunt Sarah
used to call waggish

by which she meant
that nobody else ever
got my jokes, and that
I was simply amusing
myself.

She was so wise,
that lady, that I
wanted to marry her
when I was young…..
but she wouldn’t wear
that purple teddy
I bought her.

Alright —
that, there is called
outré humor….
and refers to jokes
that might shock folks
because they fall outside
normal propriety .

Yes, we really do like
that stuff around here.

Which points as straight
as an arrow to why we
chose the cards we did
to go along with our
little head trip today.

Enjoy.

!!! HOY !!!

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Mary And Her Monkey

edAs I have been
heard to say
more than once…..

Our Edwardian
predecessors could
get downright weird.

Their postcards
show this
tendency very clearly.

Oh sure, I know — monk
it’s just harmless fun, sure.

Until somebody puts
an eye out or something.

Alright, so I don’t know
what I’m talking about.
monk2
That’s never stopped us
around here before.

The truth is that sometimes,
their humor has completely
lost it’s meaning to us
modern-day in-the-know folk,

monk3— and we really don’t know
what the hell they
were talking about.

I’d LOVE to say
I get the joke,
but a lot of references
just get very lost in
the fog of history
and changes in language.  4

So, even a seemingly
simple, dirty spin
on a nursery rhyme
requires a PhD in
cultural anthropology
to really be understood.

As far as the naughty
symbolism 5is concerned,
I’m thinking that we
we might have simply
switched animals over
the course of a century……

And I’m betting she woulda
had a lot more fun with
that monkey if she had
just gone ahead 6
and shaved it.

Just sayin’.

!!!! HOY !!!!!!!

Cast A Kitten

It’s been a
couple weeks
since I last
posted
about the
nifty lingo of
the Flapper
age –

– and if you
missed that
one, you can
certainly
catch up
here.

Anyhoo…

I got some really
interesting questions
about 20’s slang
expressions, and
I thought I needed
to stop being a
lollygagger and
get a wiggle on
to answer em.

Lest you think
that these wonderful
stale chestnuts are
nothing but grade-A
phonus balonus ,
we used several
reference books
on the subject
to double check …..

They’re the
Real Mccoy

cause we wouldn’t want
to find you inadvertently
spouting piffle at a smarty
or a cute tomato during
the next hoppin’ rub .

You’ll be a regular
live-wire —

– the cat’s particulars.

One of the swells that
sent in questions asked
about the exclamation:
Tell It To Sweeney ” .

It was an expression
of disbelief sorta like
‘ Tell It To The Judge “,
although it’s derivation
is kinda hazy flavored
chewing gum

But it was being used
well before a fluky movie
of the same name
was released in 1927, so
that premise is all wet.

I was also asked about
” Bug Eyed Bunny ” —

well, I think that might
be a combination of
two different ideas —

a ” Bug Eyed Betty
which was a term for
a chunk of lead,
(an unattractive girl-
a cancelled stamp,
usually not a Flapper) …

while a bunny was
just a clueless deb.
( a dumb dora ) .

Considering the time
period was called the
“Roaring Twenties “,
it probably doesn’t
come as much of a
surprise that there were
numerous ways of
describing the state of
inebriation —

On A Toot 
Splifficated
Bent 
Ossified 
Fried
Blotto 
Half Seas Over
Varnished
Edged 
Plastered
Hoary-Eyed
Skeed 
Zozzled 
Half Cut 
Well Oiled
Pie Eyed
et al.

Ok,
so…
it’s not like
I’m giving you
the air or anything…

(so don’t
cast a kitten)

but I really gotta
blouse

I hope you
found enough
static to
mix the hooey
with
that kippy hopper
or sharpshooter
the next time
the opportunity
presents itself.

And with
the aid of
a couple more of
these Muscleheaded
Flapper Terminology
posts, you’ll really
get to
know your onions.

Then you’ll really be
on the trolley, man.

!!!! HOY !!!

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Our Saturday Car Post

I figured
that maybe
it’s time for
some car
humor on
our weekly
Saturday
automotive
post…..

So,
today…

no technological
advances,

no wacked out
mobile devices,

no advanced
designs ,

no historically
important 
innovations,

just funny
pictures
about cars.

I mean,
what can
make for
a funnier
subject than
something so
well loved by
the average
American
as their vehicle ?

FUN
and
CARS
might
as well be
on the
same page
in the
dictionary.

We can’t
resist em.

They’re like
dogs
with engines.

And we all
have had
interesting
experiences
in them
that make
life’s
memories
that much
more
enjoyable,
haven’t we ?

Well,
I should hope.

I don’t know
where I’d be
if it wasn’t for 
fun in cars.

Boy howdy.

So,
anyhoo……

like
I said —

Fun
with/in
cars.

!!! HOY !!!

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Our Ostrobogulous Friday Mailbag

The writer
Italo Calvano
once said that:

“A classic is a
book that has
never finished
saying what it
has to say.” 

I think that’s
probably true
about a lot
of things,
and not just
books.

For instance,
you can find
a lot of substance
and humor in old
postcards that’s
still totally relevant –

– and still speaks
very much to the
contemporary
reader.

Of course,
there’s also
the other kind
of vintage card —

— still classic,
you understand
(far be it from me
to besmirch such
things ) —

— but perhaps well
outside of Calvano’s
concept —

– much less relevant,
and doesn’t really
have anything
to say to a
contemporary
reader,
other than:
” WTF “ ?

And naturally,
here at the
Muscleheaded Blog,
we specialize
in those kinds
of cards —

.. the ones
that make
you ponder if there
really is intelligent
life on Earth.

(We know the
answer to that,
now, don’t we?)

So, today, we go
one step further
in fulfilling our
ultimate destiny….

as we present
some more blatant
examples of the
second type of
classic vintage
postcard —

— the ones for
which the meaning
has been hopelessly
obscured amongst
the 23-skidoos,
O-U-Kids and
banana twinkies
deep, deep down
in the time-space
continuum.

Uh hum.

Ok, so sure,
a couple of these
are simply about
old fashioned
flirtation, which
today would come
off as a 9 or a 10
on the official
gauge of these
things…..

The Fester Addams
Relative Creepster
Gradience Scale.

You might not
want what the guy
in the postcard
is selling, but the
product on offer
itself is pretty clear.

And I’m sure we
can come up
with explanations
for what we think
the rest of them
meant, for sure,
but real
understanding
is such a …..
well,
it’s a kinda
hard
thing to
understand,
sometimes.

Hey-
that should
be a famous
quote.

.

!!! HOY !!!