Tuesday, November 25, 2008

 

Obscurity of the Day: Herr Professor Schuetzenfest

Apparently Cole Johnson considered my flood of Opper overflow posts to be too little of a good thing, because he's sent me some additional Opper obscurities. This first one I was particularly glad to get because for some reason this title, Herr Professor Schuetzenfest, was misspelled and misattributed in my Stripper's Guide index. For some reason I had Gus Dirks doing it.

This very short-lived strip ran from March 10 to June 16 1901, and this example is the last in the series. The professor was hard of hearing and the elementary gags revolved around his handicap. I don't doubt that the professor's name means something in German related to the gags, but the best I can come up with in Yahoo's Babel Fish translation utility is that it means "protect firmly".

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Comments:
"Protect firmly" is a mistranslation. A Schutzenfest is a big festival celebrating a town's marksmen's association. Not much to do with deafness that I can see -- it's kind of like calling the character "Professor Oktoberfest" -- maybe the joke is that he's a frail intellectual, not a hunter or military type. Seems like a bit of a stretch though.
 
Hello Allan--Just found another HERR PROFESSOR SCHUETZENFEST, for 5-26-01, and it is drawn by Rudolph Dirks, not Gus, or Opper for that matter. ---Cole Johnson.
 
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