Friday, July 18, 2014

Li'l Abner Ad – July 28, 1949

Since yesterday's post featured Popeye, I think I'll stay on the comic strip topic for another day.

Here's a great ad featuring the beloved characters of my all-time favorite comic strip, Li'l Abner, including Lil' Abner himself, Mammy and Pappy Yokum, Daisy Mae and one of the popular Shmoo characters. The comic is actually a very entertaining ad for a contest sponsored by Ivory Soap, Dreft and Duz. The ad appeared in the Lorain Journal on July 28, 1949 – 65 years ago this month.

The "amoozin' but confoozin'" contest was to come up with a name for the Shmoo using only the letters in the words: Dreft, Duz and Ivory Soap. Al Capp hisself (the creator of Li'l Abner) was going to pick the winning entry, which was worth $20,000!!

It's very creative (and just a little strange) to have the magical Shmoo "lay" the Proctor & Gamble products just like a hen lays an egg. I especially like the humorous dialogue and amusing gags in the ad, especially Daisy Mae's comment that the contest rules are so simple that "even Li'l Abner could understand'em."

Ah, I remember reading Li'l Abner in the Journal (as well as the Sunday edition of the Plain Dealer) for years, beginning in the late 1960s and right up until Al Capp retired and the strip ended in 1977. I actually liked it first because of Fearless Fosdick, the strip-within-a-strip that was Li'l Abner's "ideel" and a hilarious take-off of Dick Tracy. But I came to like the whole Dogpatch gang and the satiric humor, and I snipped and saved the comic for years.

Just like Popeye, vintage Li'l Abner comic strips has been collected into various bound collections, and it's just as hilarious now as it was when it first appeared.

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