The recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams got me searching for a satire on Popeye, his first starring movie role from 1980. Both Mad and Cracked took their shots at the movie. Both used their regular movie artists, John Severin at Cracked, Mort Drucker at Mad. I’ve chosen Severin’s version, “Poopeye,”* from Cracked #179 (1981) to post.
Reviews on Popeye have been mixed. Because of his success on television Williams’ performance was under a microscope, and both Mad and Cracked pointed out his “muttering.” (What? They never saw any Popeye animated cartoons, with Popeye’s muttered asides?) I also have mixed feelings about the movie. There are problems translating a character conceived as comic art to live action. In my opinion it succeeded on some levels,** missed entirely on others. The Cracked opinion of the movie is negative. However, Severin’s likenesses of the actors are, as always, right on.
*“Poopeye” was also used as a title in Mad #21.
**At the time the general consensus from my circle of friends was that Shelley Duvall was born to play Olive Oyl.