Well, there have been strips with worse names, but how many horrible names get used twice? Jimmy Swinnerton thought better of the title after only three weeks in his 1908 version of The Wad Family, but E.W. Gale stuck with his version for eight years, from 1911 until 1918. Okay, sometimes the strip didn’t go by this name – you caught me. No, sometimes Gale would use the ever so much classier title Mister Wad.
The Wad Family probably ran only in its home paper, the Los Angeles Times, until it was picked up by the Wheeler Syndicate in 1916. Then it ran in, well, a few more. The syndication wasn’t particularly successful, and I find the Wads appearing only in a few scattered papers.
Edmund Waller Gale joined the LA Times in 1908, and in spite of his bad taste in strip titles (or perhaps because of it?), he was promoted to editorial cartoonist of the paper in 1918. I don’t know when he retired, but I have editorial cartoons by him well into the 1940s.
So the only question remaining is whether a certain Mr. Holmes, an LA denizen of some film fame took his most famous pseudonym from this comic strip. Nah.