Ask the Archivist: Wavering Woodleys

By Mark Johnson

Lesser lights, but still well known, are many strip stars’ neighbors. The most famous next-door neighbors are the Woodleys, in the long-running popular comic strip, BLONDIE.

At first, Herb and Tootsie looked a bit different, in fact they originally weren’t Herb and Tootsie, they were Bill and Tootsie.

April 29, 1933: Newlyweds Blondie & Dagwood encounter Tootsie for the first time, though she’s given a first name on August 23rd. She refers to her husband as “Bill,” but he would be renamed Herbert on May 18th.

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 May 2, 1933: Mr. Woodley pops his head over the fence to make his debut. (with their baby, “Little Alex.”

They started off with a little baby boy named Alex, but apparently Chic Young wasn’t keeping track, and he disappears. Suddenly the Woodleys have a daughter instead, named Bunny on September 20, 1933.

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October 2, 1933: The whole Woodley family – for a while…

Baby gags that flowed from the Woodley progeny now were assigned to the Bumsteads’ new son in 1934, leaving little reason for a second child about the same age, so it (whatever sex it was) vanishes in late 1934.

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June 16, 1934: The Woodley kid just got in the way after Baby Dumpling was added to the cast.

From here the family stabilized, and would leave kids vs. parents confusion next door.

Want to know more about classic comic families and their wacky friends/neighbors/coworkers? Add your requests in the comments below or in the DailyINK forums. I’m always on the hunt for good topics.

Your pal,

Dr. Archivo