Tired of Gabby? Too bad! Perhaps the ever-optimistic Gabby became an atheist after his prayers went nowhere and his “fan mail” were really death threats. (Or maybe because he’s the devil?) The poor little guy even has to copy Popeye’s chef gag with the ever-erect box office.
October 16’s panel advertises Popeye Meets William Tell, one of those classic polarizing cartoons that you either despise or revel in its pointless unconventionality. I’ve always loved this intriguing misfire written by Dan Gordon and directed by Shamus Culhane, despite that it’s the earliest instance of how the west coast/”Donald Duck” influence poisoned the series by making the sailor a foil for pint-sized pests. At least here Popeye’s a heroic stooge.
Bill Nolan’s amazing With Poopdeck Pappy (embed below) offered promise that the ultimate asshole father would give new life for the series, but even those cartoons were largely too dull to deliver.
October-December 1940 (click to enlarge)
Directly below are a few samples of the cartoon shorts the Paramount salesmen were pushing to theaters at the time these promotional pieces appeared in print. Here’s the first Gabby cartoon – released October 18th 1940, KING FOR A DAY.
The aforementioned WITH POOPDECK PAPPY, released on November 15th.