Obscurity of the Day: Little Willie Gettit


Little Willie Gettit has one simple desire in life — to procure a dime; said dime to be invested in candy and sweets. Willie’s family feels that such investments are not worthwhile, yet somehow they always end up giving Willie the dime. Why? Because Willie has an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. With his amazing sense of timing one can only imagine what heights Willie will one day reach as an adult. 

When George McManus moved over to Hearst in 1912 he began experimenting with new ideas in his weekday strips. Of course, the one that made him one of the most famous cartoonists in the world was Bringing Up Father, but among his other weekday offerings was this one, Little Willie Gettit. With a repetitive gag it didn’t have the legs for a long life, but McManus made it delightfully fun while it lasted, dropping it as soon as the gag started to get stale. It ran from September 25 1913 to January 17 1914*. Little Willie Gettit has the distinction of being McManus’ last weekday strip before he put all his eggs in one basket and concentrated on Bringing Up Father on weekdays.

* Source: Jeffrey Lindenblatt’s New York American index.

5 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Little Willie Gettit

  1. I love these obscurities that were drawn by well-cartoonists before (or maybe after) they hit it big. Just highlights how it sometimes takes several ideas before they hit the jackpot.

    This is a pretty delightful strip, all told, but yeah, I can't see this idea running for a long time.

  2. Well, you never know; the NY American might not have been microfilmed that day, or it was just those layabouts in Chicago running an oldie but goodie. If you happened to know the actual strip that ran that day, we could triangulate by flying to New York, spend a day at the NYPL, and maybe come up with an answer.

    Aaaaah, sounds like a delightful research trip. Maybe a few moments extra to go looking for the perfect slice.

    By the way, Nark, are you any relation to Mark? Maybe his evil twin spreading disinformation about poor ol' Little Willie Gettit?


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