Popeye was a cartoon sailor that provided laughter and delight to our grandparents and parents, while leaving us high and dry by siding with the parents on the "Great Vegetable Eating " debate of the early 1980's.

You sure are, TRAITOR.

Just The Facts

  1. Popeye was a sailor who fought in every episode with a man that statistically should have beat his ass down every time.
  2. He fought for many reasons; to protect an orphan, guilt trips from his father, and for his friends with weight problems.
  3. Biochemistry does not exist in his world, since spinach has approximately the same properties as nitroglycerine.

The Sailor, The Man

Popeye is a simple, malformed, stuttering man, with simple tastes. He wants his fights.  He wants his spinach.  And he wants his lady friends to suffer from diseases unknown to 1930's era science.

Olive looking creepy.

Here's a hint: it rhymes with "Danorexia".

This is a man who enjoys fights so much, that in his early storyline, he lost his right eye in "the mos' artful battle" of his life, and has been hit in the head so many times in his bar-room brawls that his theme song helpfully reminds him who he is and where he gets his super powers from.

I'm...I'm...Who am I? Who are you?!?

Of course, he regained his eye after he became popular due to pressure from parent groups, although the fact that they weren't really concerned with the frequent fighting and attempts to care for an orphan despite him being obviously unqualified is slightly mystifying. Looks like moms from the 1940's weren't used to screaming, "Think of the CHILDREN!" at every slightly offensive thing on TV, so apparently being a kid in the 40's had some perks.


Some massive, massive perks.

The Entourage

Unfortunately, no man can hold the show all by himself.  Supporting Popeye is Bluto, who was rebounding from his positive steroid test before the 1928 World Series, Olive Oyl(see stick above), and J. Wellington Wimpy, a man whose sole purpose in life was to consume hamburgers.  Actually, that's not a good group of characters at all.  When the most normal one is a guy who will "gladly pay tomorrow for a hamburger today", you start to think that you're thankful that these characters aren't real and messing up the world with their inflated sense of proportions and pitiful grasp of economy basics.

Wait a second...

The Career

This is an excerpt from one of Popeye's classic cartoons.  Watch for the...interesting portrayal of Mexicans. (I would say racist, but these guys look really motivated.)

This is an excerpt from the 1980 live-action Popeye film, which was Robin Williams' first big movie role. Watch for Williams getting some green dog diarrhea in the guise of spinach (I KNEW IT! IT WAS DIARRHEA ALL ALONG! Take THAT, parents!) shoved down his throat at 1:42, while the character of his father sits and laughs:

Both tell the sad story of a man with apparently late-stage throat-raping cancer and mutated forearms smoking and fighting.  Which, actually, doesn't sound sad so much as awesome.  Way to take one on the chin and keep on swingin', Popeye.  America salutes you, and any kid from the 50's who watched your cartoons probably wants to claim the title of the most ornery, ugly, fightin' son of a bitch out there.

They'll have to get through ME, first!