Monday, June 06, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Them Was the Happy Days
Dwig's greatest period of invention and production of comic series came in his years with the New York World, where he was a dominant force at both the Sunday and weekday evening papers from 1909 to 1913.
From the middle of that period we have Them Was the Happy Days, a strip that ran in the New York Evening World from March 16 1911 to May 10 1912. Dwig's run on this strip was in fits and starts; in the first few months it ran 2-3 times per week, then ramped up to practically daily for awhile. At the end of October 1911, though, Dwig apparently tired of it, and it is rarely seen from then until April 1912, when it retruns for awhile appearing about once a week.
If the frequency changed a lot, the gags most certainly did not. The strip concerned two old 'friends', a big galoot named Alf and a shrimpy fellow called Jimmy. The vast majority of the strips cut deeper and deeper furrows in the same plot; Jimmy is reminded of some past mistreatment by Alf, and then Jimmy goes ballistic on Alf with the tagline, "Them was the happy days!" A perfectly serviceable gag, I'll be the first to grant, but beaten to death by the constant repetition.
Thanks to Cole Johnson, who provided the scans.