Monday, November 28, 2016
Obscurity of the Day: The Demon Demonstrator
Here's a real one-note strip from the pen of Russ Westover, The Demon Demonstrator. Funny enough but awfully repetitive. Salesman shows off his wares, demo backfires. What really saved the strip was Westover's snappy dialogue, which livened up the proceedings quite a bit and kept New York World readers from getting bored with the same old, same old.
The strip ran on an inside page of the Sunday funnies section in quarter-page format from June 13 1920 to February 6 1921. It was right at this time that Westover jumped ship to the Hearst camp and introduced his new daily, Tillie the Toiler, which would prove so popular that a Sunday would be added the next year.
She's an immigrant -- probably Dutch, Norwegian or some such -- and (according to the humorists of the time) they say 'bane' a lot in place of 'have','are', or 'am'. So for instance "I bane going to the market" is either "I am going to the market" or "I have been to the market".
This being the Christmas season I must also salute "Yogi Yorgesson" (Harry Skarbo), who hit the Top 10 in 1949 with "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas," a very funny song, dialect or no dialect.