Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mutt and Jeff at 100


Recently my wife and I were talking about two people we knew and she said, ”They look like Mutt and Jeff.” I thought about her statement and realized it is now a pretty archaic thing to say.

I replied, “ That is a really old association. I bet your kids have no idea of who Mutt and Jeff were.” She thought they would know, so I convinced her to text her kids. Oddly we can text from home, but our cell phones don’t work from there. Also, she has turned into a real texter, where I won’t read one. I don’t care how many text messages are in my in box, that’s where they are staying. Really, if you have the phone in your hand, just call me, don’t text me. I can answer your question and hang up long before I can type a reply.

Anyway, within the next five minutes she heard back from both of them and neither had ever heard of Mutt and Jeff. For those of you who are too young to know of the fame of Mutt and Jeff or why the term Mutt and Jeff is used by us older folks to describe a couple consisting of a person who is tall and a person who is short, here is a quick synopsis for you.

Nearly a hundred years ago on November 15, 1907 a San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist, Bud Fisher began drawing a daily comic strip called "Mr. Mutt.". A short time later, he added the diminutive Mr. Jeff, and "Mutt and Jeff" was born. Mutt was a tall, lanky man with a penchant for the ponies, while Jeff looked like the Monopoly man after a rough weekend. Mutt and Jeff were affable losers; the guys in the cheap seats at horse races on a Wednesday afternoon. In 1932, Fisher formally turned production of the strip over to Al Smith, who continued to draw it until two years before its demise in 1982.

12 Comments:

Blogger Hahn at Home said...

My kids don't even know what an "album" is - I never read M&J, but I use the term frequently.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

Thanks for the quick pop culture lesson. I love comics even the ones that are a hundred years old.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I just tested my son (who is home from work sick). He hasn't a clue who Mutt and Jeff are.
Yet another expression that's going to bite the dust.

(And you're so right - Jeff does look like the Monopoly man after a rough weekend!)

10:56 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Why is it that the comics & TV shows I like seem to 'die off'? Wonder if it's my bad taste or a conspiracy, GOT to be one or the other. The ones I despise seem to go on forever.
I used a cell phone once, didn't like it. Hard to use them here anyway, too many dead spots. My pal who lives 12 miles away has to come here to phone people. Of course, his house is 'off the grid' as well. Lotta places like that here. His is a brand new fancy house, just no power or phones. He owns a computer software firm about 2 hours away and has to come here to get his e-mail:)

12:54 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, I'll be writing about some others in the near future you may have heard of.

Trish, it's nice when they are timeless.

Beth, Not as long as we are alive it won't.

Mike, I could probably get along without a phone, though Gearhead, Auntie L and my mother wouldn't be happy about that.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That little guy looks like a cross between Wimpy from Popey and Commissioner Patrick !!!

5:35 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Guy, I sometimes send text messages to people's cell phones with my computer. Doesn't cost a penny, and people can't text me except to reply to my message, plus I get to use a proper keyboard instead of challenging my thumbs. I rarely turn on my own cell phone but use it for emergencies and road trips.

I only have a vague recollection of Mutt and Jeff, though I know what someone is referring to if they invoke those names. It was either not one of my regular reads or my paper didn't carry it.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Guy - don't ditch your phone. Who will I call at 0'dark thirty on weekdays to say goodmorning to? You are the only person I know that is awake !!!!

8:16 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Guy Smiley Said:
>>>I could probably get along without a phone, though Gearhead, Auntie L and my mother wouldn't be happy about that.<<<

Hey! Go ahead and cancel your phone. There I am the next morning, unannounced knocking on your door.
Hmmmm...No one seems to be home.
What is that kid up to on the bicycle? Its the paperboy!!!
Great! I can read the Fishwrapper while I wait right on Guy's door step until he returns. (I am sure he is not home as he is not answering the door.)
It's getting dark now but I am sure enjoying the ambeance and the view.
Sure glad that I brought all of these blankets along; i can't imagine a better place to sleep than right here on Guy's porch.
I can't imagine why he left his truck here if he went on a trip.
WELL, BY GOD, I am here to stay!
HEY!!!!
I have my cell phone with me right here!
I am going to set down and call all of my people and tell them that I intend to set right here on Guy's porch until I see the whites of his eyes. :-)
Maybe,,,,just maybe I will file to have all of my mail forwarded to Guy's address.
Or better yet.....wait.....my cell is ringing... IT'S GUY!!!!
Never mind.
:-Q

10:36 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Gearhead, I'll let you know where I hide the key, like you'd sit still for more than five minutes.

Auntie, fear not.

Rich, I still don't like cell phones, I wish they sounded better.

Anon, Mutt and Jeff wear a top hats and Sam wears a cowboy hat. That may be the only way to tell them apart.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

*Sigh* I'm old. Found you through Beth's blog. Good stuff!

3:54 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Angela, welcome. Any friend of Beth's is a friend of mine. I hope to keep you entertained.

4:46 PM  

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