Back in the 1980s, The Disney Channel used to air a lot of their classic animated shorts. Among them included a series featuring Goofy as George Geef, an “everyman” with a wife and son (who later served as the basis for Goof Troop’s Max.) They basically lampooned the everyday struggles of an adult in the 1950s, from taking a road trip to managing the household chores. Being a child myself when I initially watched them, I found these as funny as any of the other shorts, even if a few jokes went over my head. Of course many of these gags are products of their time (such as the gender-based ones featured in Father’s Day Off), but if I learned anything re-watching these shorts as an adult, it’s this:
If your grandparents were Hockey fans, chances are they have seen some fights in their day.
Slow Drivers annoyed them too
Your parents’ teachers were just as underpaid and overworked as yours …
… As well as having their own share of helicopter parents
Everybody thought of leaving early to beat the traffic
And off-road motels were always sketchy AF
As much as the cartoon frequently reminds you of the decade it was made (with the radio programs, milk man and washing machine with hand wringer), it also comically reflects on broader American experience, making Grandma and Grandpa’s time not feel so foreign.
On the other hand …
It was a different time…
… A VERY different time.
It would be fun watching this character try to explain his school days to his post-Columbine grandchildren.
Last Week, Mickey Rooney passed away at the age of 93. Known for his roles in Boys Town, National Velvet, the Andy Hardy series and the now infamous yellowface character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Rooney career shot to the top with one good role: Mickey McGuire. Who is Mickey McGuire?
Well, that story begins with the comic strip called Toonerville Trolley or Toonerville Folks by Fontaine Fox. Running in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1915 to 1955, the strip humorously chronicled a neglected trolley and its conductor as they serviced an upstate new york community.
Fox’s cartoon proved so popular with the public that in 1927, a film series was adapted centering on one character from the cast: Mickey McGuire.
The studio cast a young actor and son of vaudeville comedians, Joe Yule Jr. The decision to proved successful, as the series rivaled the series Our Gang (known today as “the Little Rascals”) for 10 years. The series itself helped launch Joe Yule to celebrity status.
When the young Yule left the series at it’s end to pursue his growing career, Fontaine Fox’s copyright restrictions prevented him from using his role’s name, so Yule took another option—changing his name to Mickey Rooney. And the rest was history…….
So yeah: If it wasn’t for a comic strip, Mickey wouldn’t have his career.