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Popeye the Sailor (1936)



Popeye the Sailor

(1936)

Comedy / Fantasy

Popeye was created by Elzie Segar a cartoonist who wrote the strip Thimble Theatre in the late teens and early twenties. This strip originally had the characters of Olive Oyl, Ham Gravy (Olive's first boyfriend), Cole and Nana Oyl (Olive's parents) and Castor Oyl. On January 17, 1929, Popeye made his first appearance in the strip . His first words, a reply to the question, "Are you a sailor?" were "Ja think I'm a cowboy!"

Needless to say, Popeye went on to be the most popular character in the strip and one of the greatest comic characters ever. In the thirties, the Fleischer Brothers (who created Betty Boop ) introduced Popeye as a character in Popeye the Sailor Long after (alas) Betty was forgotten but the Sailor stayed in our public consciousness.

Popeye was created by Elzie Segar a cartoonist who wrote the strip Thimble Theatre in the late teens and early twenties. This strip originally had the characters of Olive Oyl, Ham Gravy (Olive's first boyfriend), Cole and Nana Oyl (Olive's parents) and Castor Oyl. On January 17, 1929, Popeye made his first appearance in the strip . His first words, a reply to the question, "Are you a sailor?" ; were "Ja think I'm a cowboy!" Needless to say, Popeye went on to be the most popular character in the strip and one of the greatest comic characters ever. In the thirties, the Fleischer Brothers (who created Betty Boop ) introduced Popeye as a character in Popeye the Sailor Long after (alas) Betty was forgotten the Sailor stayed in our public consciousness.

Popeye was adapted to radio in several series broadcast over three different networks by two sponsors from 1935 to 1938. Popeye and most of the major supporting characters were first featured in a thrice-weekly 15-minute radio program, Popeye the Sailor, which starred Detmar Poppen as Popeye along with most of the major supporting characters—Olive Oyl (Olive Lamoy), Wimpy (Charles Lawrence), Bluto (Jackson Beck) and Swee'Pea (Mae Questel). In the first episode, Popeye adopted Sonny (Jimmy Donnelly), a character later known as Matey the Newsboy. This program was broadcast Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights at 7:15 pm. September 10, 1935 through March 28, 1936 on the NBC Red Network (87 episodes), initially sponsored by Wheatena, a whole-wheat breakfast cereal, which would routinely replace the spinach references. Music was provided by Victor Irwin's Cartoonland Band. Announcer Kelvin Keech sang (to composer Lerner's " Popeye " theme) "Wheatena is his diet / He asks you to try it / With Popeye the sailor man." Wheatena paid King Features Syndicate $1,200 per week.

The show was next broadcast Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:15 – 7:30 pm on WABC, and ran from August 31, 1936 to February 26, 1937 (78 episodes). Floyd Buckley played Popeye , and Miriam Wolfe portrayed both Olive Oyl and the Sea Hag. Once again, reference to spinach was conspicuously absent. Now Popeye would sing, "Wheatena's me diet / I ax ya to try it / I'm Popeye the Sailor Man".

The third series was sponsored by the maker of Popsicle three nights a week for 15 minutes at 6:15 pm on CBS from May 2, 1938 through July 29, 1938.

Of the three series, only 20 of the 204 episodes are still known to exist.




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