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June 18, 2024, 10:14:04 AM

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He's strong to the finish cos he eats his spinach.

So, CaB. What's up with Popeye? Let's talk about the comedy of Popeye.

He's a sailor man. You know... for kids.

As a kid, I was fond enough of Popeye but I never really understood it. Thinking about it now, I still don't. Popeye was just... on. My dad seemed to like it.

Apparently, he started out as a newspaper comic strip. Which makes sense. He doesn't look like anything designed for kids really.

But he was on TV a lot and it seemed (to me) to be for kids. I could tell he was extremely popular before I was born. Watching Popeye cartoons felt like joining in with older people, or a lesson in history or something.

Is Popeye funny? I am not against Popeye. He was far from my favourite cartoon character but I didn't dislike him. Popeye was alright. He eats his spinach.

And when he eats spinach he becomes supernaturally strong, usually in order to "saves" his love interest, Olive Oyl, from the would-be kidnapper-rapist Bluto.

Why is Bluto in a humorous kids' show? He's horrible.

Why is Olive Oyl like that? All gawky and silly? Is the joke that she's not the typical damsel in distress or something?

What is Wimpy? "I'll gladly pay your Tuesday for a hamburger today." Okay, no sweat Wimpy, you got it. Wait, is this a joke in some way?

My dad really liked Wimpy, as seemingly did most of his generation and his parents' generation. They fondly nicknamed a plane after him in the war. He seems charming but is he a comedy character? What's funny about borrowing money for food? What's the deal with Wimpy?

Is it funny that the baby is called Sweet Pea? Is he Popeye's baby or what? From a previous relationship? Is Popeye a shagger? Does spinach put wowser in your trouser?

I remember "the Goon" from an '80s spinoff cartoon called Olive and Goon, apparently a segment from something called The All New Popeye Hour though I don't remember anything else about that. Olive and Goon are in the military for some reason and aren't very good at it. It had M*A*S*H vibes. Goon is also called Alice sometimes and speaks in a nonsense "what-nip-nip-what" language that we can't understand but Olive can, like Han and Chewie. Actually, I liked Goon. Goon was entertaining to me as a kid.

Please share your Popeye memories, understandings, analyses and theories.



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New on Apple TV at the end of the month, I am pumped for this:

There was a bit of a Peter Cook night on BBC4 at the weekend and the shows are on iPlayer

Parkinson: The Interviews - Peter Cook (1995) will be up for "over a year"

Talking Comedy - Pete & Dud (2015) on until the end of March

I hadn't seen the latter before and there are some real rarities there like an interview with them on the set of Hound of the Baskervilles.

A local bike workshop, whom I follow on social media, have been doing a crowd fundraiser because they had a terrible year in 2023, not least due an electrical fault that caused them to shut for three weeks. Anyway, I'd seen a post or two about it ... and today, in my feed, no warning whatsoever, a video from CHRIS FUCKING MORRIS of all people, in his Lycra, doing a very sincere bit to camera about how this is a co-op and a community resource; how they've been there for 40 years and he wants them to last another 40, etc.

Anyway, it brightened my day, and I thought CaBbers would enjoy it too:

Some podcast has made an A.I George Carlin and it's fucking awful

Presumably done without the consent of his family, as his daughter had this to say:

Quote from: Kelly CarlinMy dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination. No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind that will never exist again. Let's let the artist's work speak for itself. Humans are so afraid of the void that we can't let what has fallen into it stay there.

Here's an idea, how about we give some actual living human comedians a listen to? But if you want to listen to the genuine George Carlin, he has 14 specials that you can find anywhere

I was chatting to a mate in the pub about nostalgic memories and we got talking about Sasha Baron Cohen's Ali G. I proposed an idea that without the influence of Ali G there would be no resurgence of UK Hip Hop in mainstream culture. So in a sense Ali G led to mainstream acceptance of UK hip hop in the early 2000s, and that it was ok for this culture to be homegrown and not just whatever pop culture we got from the East Coast and West Coast of the USA. Without Ali G there is no Central Cee, no Dave, no Drill, no roadmen. Ali G changed things.

Just chatting to an Aussie about Bargearse and this Paul Hogan bit that's never far from my mind:

And he's told me about an American version of Kath and Kim that I had no idea about. Sounds absolutely fucking awful and well worth a hate watch. He said don't watch it, it's an insult to all people, everywhere.

But he also told me about Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures, and says it's amaaaazing.

Anyone seen these shows? Kind of a placeholder post til I check them out myself.

Looking forward to this although I guess it'll be pretty bleak at times. There's a lengthy article in The Guardian. Peter Hook conspicuously not mentioned whatsoever.

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