The Underdog: Exploring the Origins of Popeye
His voice is one that is impossible to forget—sounding like a rusty chainsaw trying to cut through steel, it randomly swerves between high and low notes. An almost incoherent mishmash of words pours forth from his mouth. Simple words are mangled, and a nearly consistent mutter fills the space between his sentences. It’s like his mind is a leaky vessel that can’t quite contain all of the thoughts within.
But when you look at the individual from which that voice emanates, it makes sense. His screwed-tight face and bulging chin immediately draw your eye’s attention. As he talks, his corncob pipe continually bobs up and down, much like a ship on the sea. His sailor’s hat sits jauntily tilts forward, and his massive forearms, each one emblazoned with an anchor, provides a sense of menace, of someone not to be trifled with. He is unforgettable.
He is Popeye the Sailor Man, one of the most unlikely comic heroes ever created.