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June 25, 2024 36 mins

Nowadays Popeye the Sailor Man is a world-famous icon, represented in almost any form of media you can imagine. Yet this wasn't always the case. In part one of this special two-part episode, Ben, Noel and Max delve into the story of how Popeye started. Tune in to learn a ridiculous, one-off joke character in a comic strip called Thimble Theatre quickly became the most popular draw of the series, launching a media empire that outlived its creator and continues in the modern day.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Ridiculous History is a production of iHeartRadio. Welcome back to

(00:27):
the show Ridiculous Historians. Thank you, as always so much
for tuning in. That's our own cartoonist super producer, mister
Max Williams.

Speaker 2 (00:39):
Do you know that I really love spinach, but.

Speaker 3 (00:42):
I can't eat it?

Speaker 1 (00:43):
No edition, he's got the condition complex vegetables. I'm so
glad that you have approved of us putting that weird
Victorian malady term on the condition.

Speaker 3 (00:57):
It's just we knew, we knew it was serious when
Max just started coughing kind of wheedily into a hanky
and then a little bit of blood kind of came out,
you know, and you.

Speaker 1 (01:06):
Kept You bought the fainting couch, and you keep fainting.

Speaker 3 (01:09):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:10):
The vapors vapor, yeah yeah. And then and then I
got the tobacco smoke animals. I started reading Jayjay's book
and I read that. I'm like, oh, that's on the
fifth page.

Speaker 3 (01:20):
Oh, yes, of course, The Year of Living constitutionally available anywhere.
Fine books are so quick. Question, Max, if you can't
eat spinach, where do you derive your super strength from? Oh?

Speaker 2 (01:29):
He rubs a head, okay, and the twenty inches of
hair as well, and.

Speaker 1 (01:34):
We are your host of ridiculous history. I'm Ben Bollen,
joined as always with the man, the myth, the legend,
mister Noel Brown, Noel Barcelona Brown. Okay, I'll think it's
been called sometimes and so as you can probably tell
from our uh, from our spinach references and a little
bit of some great uh, some great catchphrasing here, today's

(01:54):
episode is about Popeye the Sailor. Uh No, what's the
first thing you think about when you hear the Popeye?

Speaker 3 (02:01):
I think of expanding biceps with a giant steamship tattoo
that it was. It becomes larger and larger and starts
to pump like vapors out into the air, you know,
it starts to animate and then punch and stuff, big,
big punching, serious violence in that cartoon. Oh yeah, for sure.

Speaker 1 (02:20):
I mean Popeye the Sailor for almost a century has
been a mainstay of comics and cartoons, and of course
the film helmed by Robin Williams.

Speaker 3 (02:29):
We all saw that one, you know. I've been wanting
to for ages. It's sort of been on my list,
but I haven't seen it. I just know the song
from it, sung by Shelley Devall. That was used delightfully
non sequitarily in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Chunk Love. He
needs me, he needs me, he needs me, the olive
oil kind of love theme. I guess I have not

(02:51):
seen Robert Altman's Popeye movie. It's apparently freakin' Bonker's weird.

Speaker 1 (02:57):
Yeah, it kind of whent over my head the first
time I saw so in the course of this we
you know I rewatched this. Why are we talking about
Popeye today? Well, the guy's ridiculous. You know, he's got
a strong sense of right and wrong. You described his
situational super strength perfectly. He's got this bizarre pantheon and

(03:20):
entourage of allies and villains. And in full transparency. We
do a lot of stuff for a lot of different shows,
and one Saturday, we're working on something about credit cards
and instead found ourselves in a cost coat sized rabbit
hole about Popeye. What do you say, Noel, should we
crack open this podcast? Spinach can does that work? Yeah?

Speaker 3 (03:43):
Because that's how he does it right. He just sort
of squeezes it and then the lid pops off and
the spinach shoots up into the air and immediately just
goes right down his gully hole, at which point he
is imbued with super strength and vanquishes his foes with
righteous indignation. As you said, Ben, Popeye is he doesn't

(04:04):
like bullies, and he's got a couple of nemeses that
we've seen over time, But I think the one most
people will probably remember is Bluto, the quintessential kind of
thick necked bully. He was essentially a bit of a
sex pest. He's always coming after olive oil like some
sort of weird, stalker ish kind of you know, misogynistic weirdo.

(04:29):
Right a more, Yeah, no shade on lumber checks. But man, Bluto,
what a bad guy. And I didn't know how many
words and terms in the kind of popular vernacular came
from Popeye the other way around. We're gonna get to
all this stuff. It's so fun because you think about
a character named Wimpy, and you think, oh, surely they

(04:52):
named Wimpy after the word wimpy. Well, it turns out
not quite the case. The story of Popeye, or as
some people in more of the like Midwest and maybe
Boston area might refer to him as Popeye. I say

(05:13):
this because Mitch from The dough Boys. I was always
talking about Popeye's Fried Chicken, so I think it's very charming.
But his creator, I was an American cartoonist named Elsie
Chrissler Seeger who was born December eighth, eighteen ninety four
in Chester, Illinois. Yeah, and just.

Speaker 1 (05:33):
Like a lot of up and coming artists, he has
a ton of jobs. In his early years. He paints houses.
That is not an assassination euphemism. He was actually painting houses.
He paints signs, which is a cool thing to do.
As a job, he works as a projectionist with motion pictures,
and the entire time he's doing this, he is continually

(05:56):
cold calling, or I guess I would say cold pitching
cartoons to papers magazines of the day. And eventually, also
he gets bupkus. They're not listening to him or taking
his submissions until he travels to Chicago and gets a
little gets by with a little help from his friend.

Speaker 3 (06:17):
That's right, a fellow by the name of Richard m
out Cult was a little bit, you know, more kind
of up and coming in the field, and he liked
the cut of Seeger's jib, and he used his influence
in the industry to get him a gig at the Herald,
the Chicago Herald, drawing Charlie Chaplin's comic capers, which we

(06:40):
love the alliteration. Oh, it's a very illiterative story today.
But yeah, it would have been, you know, I guess
Chaplin was such a brand. It never really occurred to
me that he would have had his own cartoon in
the newspapers, but of course he did. So this would
have been like the equivalent of getting a job, you know,
drawing for the Simpsons or something. Thing. Right, You're not

(07:00):
necessarily gonna use your own style, You're probably following a
style guide. But it's steady work, right.

Speaker 1 (07:08):
Yeah, it's steady work, you know, And it seems like
a really promising thing because even even back then, of course,
working in any creative field can be intensely competitive, right,
and a to be a heck of a slog. So
he was able, through this personal relationship to get a
real plum gig that a lot of other people were

(07:29):
doubtlessly vying for. Unfortunately, this Herald, this paper he's working at,
it ceases publication in nineteen seventeen, so he relocates again.
He moves to New York. Now he's got some bona fides, right,
he's got a resume, he's got a CV, he's got
proven published cartoons. And he uses this to talk to

(07:50):
a group called King Features Syndicate, and he pitches his
own strip. That's the dream. We know a lot of artists.
All that's the dream is to have your own original work.

Speaker 3 (08:01):
Everyone wants to own strip in the funny papers. That's
how that's how you know you've made it as an
honest today. Okay, maybe a measure of a different era,
but certainly the measure of this era. King's Features Syndicate,
which sounds like some sort of weird movie cartel, doesn't it.

Speaker 1 (08:18):
It does syndicate.

Speaker 3 (08:20):
No, there were syndicate. I just think of crime syndicate.
But no, this is a feature syndicate. And yeah, he
pitched this idea and it was accepted. You saw it
for the first time in nineteen nineteen called Thimble Theater.
At first, the strip dealt with the fat, tabulous adventures

(08:40):
of Olive Oil spelled oh oh y l olive Oil, which, okay,
just to just maybe hyperbolically to describe maybe what we're
all thinking a little bit sort of a bit of
a bean polely kind of gawky old maid. For some
reason at the time, you know, unmarried women were a

(09:01):
source of scorn and yeah not cool. So Olive oil
was sort of fit into that role and was maybe
made a bit of a point of mockery, right, yeah, yeah,
my brother was also depicted as kind of an idiot, right,
who's had an equally hilarious name, a little oakfish.

Speaker 1 (09:23):
You know, these are cartoon characters, right, but there is
there is definitely that prejudice against women baked into the strip.
Olive has a.

Speaker 3 (09:35):
Suitor, a paramole brother. By the way, the castor oil
still O y L.

Speaker 1 (09:43):
Yeah, so they never got to avocado oil, but maybe
that's a note in the future, Olive has Olive has
again this suitor, this uh, this lover of man named
originally he's named Harold ham Gravy all one word and
then it gets shortened to ham.

Speaker 3 (10:02):
Gravy, ham gravy. Maybe her boyfriend, right, also somewhat buffoonish
is he, I don't know, sort of a proto Popeye
in a way, right, because I mean that's what Popeye
became was, you know, by the sailor man, he's about
protecting his lady love Olive Oil. They're they're betrothed. In

(10:25):
the stars is written that Popeye and Olive shall be one.

Speaker 1 (10:30):
Yeah, and for a while they kind of had this
sort of what we could call a Dagwood blondie vibe,
like here or here's the here are the one shot
adventures of these two, this odd couple, and they would
have a rotating cast, you know how, like in X

(10:50):
Files there's a Monster of the.

Speaker 3 (10:51):
Week of course, right, so there's there's my favorite episode.

Speaker 1 (10:55):
Same dude. I think they're tight, just structurally as well
as relistically. But they're except for Home, which we don't
have to get into.

Speaker 3 (11:04):
That's a freaky one. That's a weird one.

Speaker 1 (11:07):
So in Thimble Theater, originally they have a bunch of
these one shot characters who show up in these various
different styles. It's meant to be somewhat like an anthology,
hence the name Thimble Theater. But to your point, to
your excellent earlier point, man Segar keeps refining his universe

(11:28):
and he'll try characters out and then he'll cut them
if I guess he doesn't like drawing them or they
don't get a good audience response. There was for instance,
a villain named Willie Wormwood, and he cut Willy about
a year like over the first year, and then he said,
all right, I'm going to focus on the the dynamic

(11:51):
between ham gravy and olive oil. And it was still
like the classic you know, first first couple panels, set
up a joke, next is the punchline, right, and they
would call this a gag a day kind of thing.
Eventually he starts, I think it's around nineteen twenty two,

(12:12):
our cartoonists starts saying, well, let me take some longer
storylines over the course of multiple strips, which reminds me
a little bit by the way of our pal Dan's
work on Rick and Morty, because remember Rick and Morty
used to be just like one shot, twenty something minute adventures,
and they started building out the Mythos Navin story.

Speaker 3 (12:32):
Yeah, we love a good we love some good lore
and world building. I mean it makes sense that the
format first was much more of like a you know,
one off kind of jokey handful of frames beginning, middle,
and end, move on. And I still kind of enjoy
comics like that. There's a whole subgenre of manga horror
comics that are these very tightly contained like beginning, middle,

(12:58):
and end, almost like a punch line joke kind of
set up, but with a horror story that usually only
take about a page or so to tell you this
usually pretty twisted little taiale. So I'm a fan of
that kind of brevity. But then, of course it's as
a creator obviously really cool to be able to expand

(13:18):
that universe, and honestly, Popeye, it was sort of righte
for that. Because you already mentioned the rotating cast of characters.
Now we're going to start to see some recurring characters.

Speaker 1 (13:30):
Yes, yes, sir, it might surprise some of us ridiculous
historians playing along at home to learn that Popeye did
not appear in Thimble Theater until a like a decade
after the thing you've been running.

Speaker 3 (13:45):
Olive Oil was the first of the bunch, right.

Speaker 1 (13:48):
Right, Popeye shows up on January seventeenth of nineteen twenty nine.
And here's the set up, all right. He's hired by
you know, our kind of oafish brother boy Castor Oil
and Olive Oil's boyfriend, Ham Gravy. These two guys hire

(14:13):
this new dude, Popeye, to crew a ship for a
voyage to Dice Island. Dice Island is important in the
show or in the strip because it is home to
a casino owned by a crooked gambler named Fade Well
all one.

Speaker 3 (14:31):
Word, great name. And by the way, ham gravy. First
of all, I don't maybe maybe gravy on a pork chop,
but gravy on a piece of ham. That's a little
weird for me. Maybe it was a different time, but
to look at this fella, he is a little bit
of a sad sack. He's kind of almost like a
Charlie Brown, sort of always a little hangdog walking around.

(14:52):
But he weirdly is like the dude version of olive oil.
He has the same pointy shaped nose, the same kind
of wiry frame, uh, the same more or less kind
of seemingly bald head minus the braids coming down the side.
But yeah, he very much seems to be like a
male olive oil. So they you know, it makes sense

(15:13):
that they pair it to them. But I guess what
did did Popeye literally steal her away from ham gravy
with his muscles and nautical skills?

Speaker 1 (15:22):
Well, this is where we get into some mythos, right,
So our buddy Castor Oil says, I'm gonna I've got
a ringer. I'm gonna break the bank at the casino
because Bernice the Whiffle hid, who is kind of our
first spinach.

Speaker 3 (15:37):
We'll see what we mean, folks. If you if you.

Speaker 1 (15:39):
Pet Bernice correctly, then for a limited amount of time,
you get incredible good luck. So they do this spoiler
it's you know, it's a comic strip. Uh, And Popeye
returns because he now he has like you were saying, no,
he has this mission to romantically pursue Olive Oil, and

(16:02):
she breaks up with Ham to date Popeye in March
of nineteen thirty, and then he also gets the Originally
his superpowers are given to him by petting or rubbing
Bernice the whiffle hen, but then later, of course the spinach.

Speaker 2 (16:21):
And it's jumping real quick. I was also very curious
about ham gravy nol. It turns out, at least for
my very brief research, that ham gravy is just like
gravy made from the drippings of ham.

Speaker 3 (16:33):
Mm hmm, okay, he can clear on anything. Gravy is
gravy exactly.

Speaker 2 (16:37):
It's not like gravy specifically for ham, but it's gravy.

Speaker 3 (16:41):
That makes us like mushroom gravy or any Okay, fair enough,
thank you. This has been Max's culinary corner or Max
with the Max with the fact is that seeking in
the phone and he's fallen. Lolgh, it's just for you
right now. Oh yeah, that too. They're interchangeable. But yeah, so,

(17:07):
I mean, okay, so, but it is true though, Ben,
that they wrote into the storyline that olive oil dumps
Sam gravy. Yeah, in favor of of of the uh,
I guess slightly more fetching than Edgy, somewhat dangerous but
weirdly misshapen jawlined Popeye.

Speaker 1 (17:27):
He's a bad boy. Yeah, he is some bad things.
There's a yeah, which we'll get to. There's a bevy
of unique and eccentric characters that are continually showing up
before and after Popeye, and we'll describe some of those
in a moment. This guy became so popular he was
a sky rocketing success in the world of comics. He

(17:48):
was also inherently associated with Spinach. Just six years after
he first appears going to Dice Island, the town of
Crystal City, Texas, built a statue for Popeye for fictional
character because Crystal City, Texas, at the time was a
huge agricultural center for spinach. Then they renamed the copy strip.

(18:12):
It's no longer Thimble Theaters Thimble Theater starring Popeye, and
then later they shorten it and they just say Popeye.

Speaker 3 (18:19):
Yeah, And then anyone's thinking of Popeye the salor man.
That's largely from the theme of the cartoon. That'll come later,
and quick cook point of on the spinach thing, the marketing,
I don't see it anymore, but for years you could
get bagged spinach that was logoed up with Popeye cartoons,
and I don't know what happened if the deal run.

(18:42):
I mean a lot of this stuff is public domain.
Actually we'll get to that too. There's some interesting gray
area questions around the public domain mess of the Popeye character.
But I wonder what happened. I would love to figure out,
because for years you'd get bags spin into the grocery
store and it would be covered in Popeye logo. It
might be a.

Speaker 1 (19:01):
Thing where because they definitely still have Popeye brand canned spinach,
it may be a thing where maybe a particular grocery
store does not have that supplier anymore, but Popeye brand
Spinach is still very much in playee.

Speaker 3 (19:14):
I'm sure, I'm sure it is, just it used to
be everywhere at the you know, in our neck of
the woods, the Kroger or the publics of the world,
which is typically what we get around here. But yeah,
Crystal City, Boomtown for Spinach at the time already hitching
their wagon to Popeye's pipe, I guess. And he gets

(19:35):
so popular right at a time when animated cartoons are
really starting to be a thing like this is in
the early days of Disney from the Ink, well really
weird psychedelic cartoons from the Fleischer brothers, Max and Dave,
who produced all these cartoons shorts, they decided to, you know,

(19:56):
capitalize on Popeye's popularity as a comic. It creates an
animated version voiced by Jack Mercer, and that's where you
get here and all of that stuff. That really is
what absolutely elevates Popeye into the stratosphere pop culturally speaking,
is to have that voice and that theme song, you know,

(20:19):
And it's honestly something I grew up with. It's forever
with me, you know, all my I remember I had
a friend who told me during a sleepover once he
was messing with me, but he swore to me that
his mother would not let him watch Popeye cartoons because
they were too violent. But it turns out he pretty
with me, but they were violent, you.

Speaker 1 (20:40):
Know, the older ones, especially, I mean, Popeye is part
of the World War two propaganda moves that brought in
Disney and had Donald Duck do some questionable things, and
then in the it persists into the nineteen sixties nineteen seventies.
Popeye cartoons are made for American TV, and the old

(21:01):
it triggers a wave of nostalgia. Weirdly enough, because a
certain amount of decades have passed, so now people are
finding the old cartoons as well. And Popeye comic books
have been around since the nineteen thirties. They were still
up until or publishing up until the nineteen seventies. There
were toys, clothing, merchandise. It's very spaceballs.

Speaker 3 (21:22):
We know that.

Speaker 1 (21:23):
We already talked about how Robin Williams was in the
star of the live action Popeye film in nineteen eighty,
but maybe we describe Popeye a little bit more. He's
thirty four years old when you first meet him. Even
though the stablished this yeah, even though it looks like
he's maybe mid fifties, hard lived, put away wet, but

(21:45):
he's got one eye in the beginning is he is
weirdly enough, specifically from Santa Monica, California, So I don't
know who seeger met.

Speaker 3 (21:54):
You know, I never really thought of him of just
having one eye. I thought it was more of a
really hard squint yeah in the rock yeah, you know,
kind of yeah. And the things that I always found
interesting about the character design of Popeye is that, aside
from his weirdly bulging muscles, he's like rail thin everywhere else.

(22:15):
He's got these noodley arms. He looks like a freakin'
what is it like a muffler on a car, you know,
where it's like a tiny tube. Can I do a
big old honking thing and then another tiny tube coming
out on the other side.

Speaker 1 (22:27):
And he always has a pipe, yeah, in his weird,
weird little mouth.

Speaker 3 (22:32):
And he's yeah, he's always aggressively.

Speaker 1 (22:34):
Right, He's always ready to fight in place of reasonable discussion.
He's got a grabbling voice. There's a subreddit called thirteen
or thirty which is entirely photographs. I don't know if
you guys have seen it, but it's entirely photographs of
people who look bizarrely not their age in one direction
or another.

Speaker 3 (22:53):
I haven't seen this, but I know the vibe.

Speaker 1 (22:56):
Yeah, Popeye's one of these. And one of his most
popular catchphrases is also, I would argue his fundamental like
philosophical and moral axiom, I am what I am, and
that's all what I am.

Speaker 3 (23:09):
Yeah, And you know, you know you hit on something
just now, Ben. He does almost have like a lilting
kind of Irish accent almost. It's more like, you know,
the voice of Willem Dafoe in the in the Lighthouse.

Speaker 1 (23:27):
You know, he's kind of got this grizzled.

Speaker 3 (23:29):
Like Seeman's kind of brogue, I guess you could call it.
And he does have a spouse sort of a personal philosophy. Uh.
And he does so often very weirdly monologuing to himself
under his breath, kind of like demons. He the guy's

(23:52):
a bit of a of a of a crazy person.
Let's not let's not men's words here.

Speaker 1 (24:03):
And to the point made earlier the comic strip, the
original strip was pretty violent by today's measures. In his
first appearance, you know, rubbing Bernice. The Whifflehn gives him
the ability to survive fifteen gunshot wounds and he's fine.
But that's a lot for kids. We would imagine today,

(24:25):
and it's the end of nineteen twenty nine when his
strength is no longer derived from Bernice. Instead it's derived
by spinach, by the consumption of spinach, often in the
most cartoonish method possible. He squeezes the can. Sometimes it
goes into his mouth, sometimes through his pipe.

Speaker 3 (24:45):
It's weird he does go through I forgot about that
is he's smoking it? What's going on?

Speaker 1 (24:49):
Smoking the spinach?

Speaker 3 (24:50):
He's smoking that sweet sweet green leaf by the way,
really quickly. Just which as we're talking about his weird
personal philosophy and mumblings, he had a couple other can
phrases besides I am what I am, and that's all
I am. Uh, that's all I can stand because I
can't stands no more. That's a good one. And uh,
let's see you. You got a face I like to touch, Yeah,

(25:15):
talking to all of talking to all of yeah, and
I am disgustiated. And a personal classic which sort of
shows his you know, if you're not with me, you're
against me. Mentality. If we can't be friends, we'll be enemies. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (25:32):
That was always chilling to me reading this, And we
also know that there are a lot of other catchphrases,
cultural tropes. We set this up so well in the
beginning that come not just from Popeye himself Popeye the Man,
but come from his pantheon of side characters, villains, ed allies,
Jay Wellington. Wimpy of course be one of one of

(25:55):
the crowd favorites. He's kind of lazy, he's not in
the shape he beat me here, Max. He loves hamburger.

Speaker 3 (26:05):
Oh yeah, he came up organically on a recent episode
where you said something to the effect of I'll gladly
pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today, which was his
catch phrase. But he he did sometimes in the way
that a lay about comic relief kind of character will
sometimes be the hero of the day. Sometimes Wimpy accidentally
inspector gadgets his way into sort of like you know,

(26:27):
being the lynchpin of what leads to the successful outcome
and the caper.

Speaker 1 (26:31):
M one hundred percent. And you made this point so
well earlier, the way that Popeye has informed American culture,
and indeed American English. A lot of etymologists will argue
that Wimpy is actually the source of the word wimp
meaning timid or cowardly or not strong.

Speaker 3 (26:54):
Or you know, wimpy. That's a wimpy guy right there.

Speaker 1 (26:58):
You know, it's also a huge Hamberg chain, right or
it was? Are they still around?

Speaker 3 (27:03):
I guess it was in England, right because I'm not
familiar with it, but perfect branding. Also, Popeyes the restaurant
unaffiliated with Popeye is the cartoon the chicken restaurant. I
think at some point there was some litigation around that.
I'd have to I think you're right, but I think
they sorted it out because Popeyes is still Popeyes, Popeye

(27:24):
the cartoon, and the intellectual property is still that. So yeah,
Wimpy became a bit of a fan favorite. Mm hmmmm,
he sure did.

Speaker 1 (27:33):
He actually became the next or the third full time
major character alongside Popeye and all of Maybe one of
the weirdest comparisons to draw is the in the world
of DC comics, the three main members of the Justice
League are Superman that's our Popeye, Olive Oil that's our

(27:54):
Wonder Woman, and Wimpy, who I guess now is our batman.
I have painted by self into a comparison quarter there.

Speaker 2 (28:02):
Also to jump in real quick, I did some quick
diving into wimpy Burrs. They are basically out of the
United States.

Speaker 1 (28:10):
There's one in Memphis, Okay.

Speaker 2 (28:13):
Where they really found success was South Africa. They're headquarters
in Johannesburg, and they have four hundred and fifty three outlets. Obviously,
this is according to the modern day Great Library of
Alexandria Wikipedia. So yeah. And they're also in the United
Kingdom with sixty two outlets. So yes, very much around.

(28:34):
Not easy to find one unless you go to Memphis.
According to Ben.

Speaker 1 (28:58):
South Africa, the country that is perhaps best known for
its love of whippy hamburgers. A couple other things happened
there too. You guys ever heard of jolliby, Yes, in
the Philippines. It's so popular in the Philippines.

Speaker 3 (29:11):
There are some elsewhere, Like I think there's there's something
like Boss California, California. That's right, I'm slute, You're absolutely right, California.
But it is a Filipino fried chicken and spaghetti joints
that also makes like crushed Hawaiian ices and various odd
kind of boba type sweets, but I really want to go.

(29:34):
I saw an Anthony board an episode where I think
it was David Chang took him there. But it seems
very interesting. It's good. Unrelated to Popeye, but one thing
that is related to Popeye is the Fleischer cartoon. Obviously,
is when you started to see all of these characters
joining the Fray. You had Eugene the Jeep, which was
a dog who's dog like, he's the Jeep. He's a jeep,

(29:58):
that's what he is.

Speaker 1 (30:00):
He only has the one word such is jeep.

Speaker 3 (30:03):
And apparently.

Speaker 1 (30:06):
He is not named after the vehicle or the type
of vehicle, the jeep, the automotive Jeep is named after
this cartoon.

Speaker 3 (30:14):
Once again, first to market man, this is the thirties,
they're gonna be. They're creating a lot of powerful pop
cultural kind of like phenomenon, you know, and they didn't
even realize it. I always, for some reason, assumed jeep
was an acronym, though I couldn't tell you what that
would possibly be. I don't know, it just seems like
one of those words that would be. But Eugene the Jeep,

(30:34):
he's a dog sort of, but he's really just a jeep.
Who says jeep. He's magical though, isn't he. I think
he has some like shape shifting kind of Sasquatch esque
powers of teleportation sort of right.

Speaker 1 (30:49):
Yeah, he is very difficult to kill because of his
magical powers. And he does not look like a jeep
by the way, like the vehicle. He is sort of
a yellow, green spotted like we said, vague dog like yeah,
with a big h with a big balloon shaped nose.

Speaker 3 (31:10):
Trebasis, yes, just so.

Speaker 1 (31:13):
Yeah, and he's got a schnaz for sure, and he uh,
his powers are explained by the fact that he is
in the three dimensional world, but he's from a fourth
dimensional world. They got deep into the lore pretty quickly.

Speaker 3 (31:28):
Pretty cool. Popeye and his nautical explanation explorations, one would
imagine found a rift in space time where he took
his his sloop into another dimension and came back with
the jeep.

Speaker 1 (31:43):
It's a really weird kind of thing, right, and the uh,
the army vehicle was called the general Purpose Vehicle and
then shortened to jeep. But we're pretty sure that happened
because of the propaganda cartoons that were shown to soldiers
to kind of boost morale. So we went from GP

(32:04):
to JEEP. Look, this is our segue to learning together
with you ridiculous historians, that this is a two part episode.

Speaker 3 (32:15):
We already know much fun. You already know what it is.
This is one of those not posthumous. That's not the
right word. What's the right word.

Speaker 1 (32:22):
We can say post script.

Speaker 3 (32:24):
Or Look, guys, it's summer. We're all trying to take
a little time off. We thought this one was a
beefy one part or a nice nuggety, spinach bite sized
two parter for you to enjoy this week. And I
don't know, man, I think Popeye deserves his own week.
It's Popeye Week here on Ridiculous History.

Speaker 1 (32:44):
Yeah, and maybe we can also answer some other questions
that surely are burning in our collective minds, folks, in
Part two of the Ridiculous History of Popeye. But for now,
we've got a a lot of thank yous. We're always
grateful when we do our credits. It's it's a fun
it's a fun thing for us. So, of course, shout

(33:07):
out to the man the myths legend, mister Max Williams. Also,
you know what, shout out to Casey Pegram I think
we should have him back on the show.

Speaker 3 (33:16):
It's oh, we must he's got his hands full with
fatherhood and other podcast duties. But boy do we love
that guy. I want to say now, I want to
take this opportunity to add something that I think we
didn't get into in either of these episodes, where we
might have just glossed over. I didn't really think about this.
And again, we've we've promised this, and we're going to
fully deliver and report back. Gonna go down some YouTube

(33:37):
rabbit holes rewatching some of these classic Popeye cartoons. But
I had forgotten, or maybe it had never acknowledged or
noticed in the first place, that not only does spinach
give Popeye super strength, it often gives him other kind
of like side.

Speaker 1 (33:54):
Like playing the piano yeah, or.

Speaker 3 (33:56):
Whatever is required in the moment to be the most
ass right, yeah exactly, dance like it make him dance
like Barishnakoff all of a sudden, right right.

Speaker 1 (34:07):
We also may at some point another thing we forgot
is we mentioned this, but we may at some point
need to explain why Popeye's Chicken is not related to
popeye'es this Popeye the Sailor.

Speaker 3 (34:22):
Right, Yes, maybe you know what, maybe will do that
in our Out show for episode two. I think that's
a smashing idea, and I just want to play on
a couple other things. Originally, I think you had mentioned this,
the chicken, the whiffle Hen. It was a luck factor, right,
so essentially what up? It's like it's like maxing out
your luck parameter in a Fallout game, right, And all

(34:46):
of a sudden, everywhere you go, people are just throwing
themselves at you to give give you their stuff, and
you know, whatever crate you open full of like magical
items that you'd never find, and.

Speaker 2 (34:55):
A psychopath shows up starts shooting people for you. Have
you found his document in Nick Valentine's office and fall
It four?

Speaker 3 (35:03):
No, I haven't gotten there yet. I also I have
a Skyrim related question that I want to post to you,
but not quite this second. So luck was what the
Whifflehen was about. But the spinach he could at times
he'd turn into like a human bullet, you know, or
like a like a rocket, a cruise missile, you know.

Speaker 1 (35:20):
Yeah, absolutely, And we're going to answer all these questions
and more in part two of our series this week.
Thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3 (35:30):
Folks.

Speaker 1 (35:30):
Thanks to our superducer mister Max Williams, Our Blue Toe,
Jonathan Strickland aka the Twister of course, AJ Jacobs, Bahamas
and who else.

Speaker 2 (35:41):
And just jumping here real quick. Special shout out to
our research associate for this episode, no other than mister
Ben Bolin.

Speaker 3 (35:48):
Oh Chriss rossiotis here in spirit. He's Jeff Coats wherever
they may roam, check out Eve's podcast on Theme. They
just did a really cool live lit event here in
Atlanta in conjunction with our buddy Michael Alder. June is
part of the Right Club series, so do check out
their podcast on Theme with Eaves, Jeffcoats and Katie Mitchell

(36:12):
out now wherever you get your podcasts, man About covers
the thank you, Thank you Ben for your human abilities
of podcasting.

Speaker 1 (36:22):
Oh yeah, yeah, it's all the spinach.

Speaker 3 (36:24):
We'll see you next time, folks. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio,
visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen
to your favorite shows.

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