It was King Features Syndicate night Feb. 19 on Dr. Harry Hagen’s “True or False” quiz over the NBC network with men cartoonists pitted against women writers for the first prize of $25. Out of the melee, which was featured by some stiff posers, emerged George (Bringing Up Father) McManus, captain of the men’s team, as winner, having answered all questions put to him correctly.
Runner up was Prunella Wood, fashion and woman’s page editor. Those who dropped by the wayside included Jimmy Hatlo, Lyman Young, Al Raymond, Cliff Sterrett, Dorothy Kilgallen, captain of the women’s team, Alice Hughes, Ida Jean Kain, Delight Dixon and Lois Miller. (Allan’s note: anyone know if the tape of this program exists?)
Jiggs Visits With FDR
Jiggs, of George McManus’ comic strip, “Bringing Up Father,” owned and distributed by King Features Syndicate, visits the White House and talks with President Roosevelt in the daily strips of Jan. 18-19, KFS informed the column this week. Necessary approval from the White House was obtained. The two releases are incidents in the Jiggs family’s most recent tour for Father’s health. In the Jan 18 release, Jiggs wanders off by himself to the White House grounds, stopping in front of the mansion to say: “By golly, now that I’m here, I wonder if he’ll see me?”
FDR in Strip in 1938
The next day’s strip pictures President Roosevelt at the door saying goodbye to Jiggs, who is beaming. “Call again, Jiggs,” the President says. “Glad to see you anytime.” Jiggs waves his hat and replies:”Thank you, President Roosevelt. If Maggie could only see me now. WOW!”
McManus, a comic artist for 40 years, has never before brought a President of the U. S. into one of his comic strips. He has been drawing “Bringing Up Father” since Jan. 2, 1913. Previously, he originated and drew “The Newlyweds and Their Baby,” “Panhandle Pete” and “Let George Do It.”
He began his newspaper career on the old St. Louis Republic in 1899, going to the New York World in 1905. He joined the New York American, now the Journal-American, in 1912. His feature appears in more than 500 newspapers and in 27 languages, according to KFS.
The only other instance this column knows of a U. S. President appearing in a comic strip was in June, 1938, when Ham Fisher, who does “Joe Palooka” for McNaught Syndicate, had Knobby Walsh, Palooka’s manager, visit with FDR.