Ask The Archivist: What A Guy!

By Mark Johnson

Today’s blog marks another anniversary—this time about another Bill Hoest strip—for the short-lived “WHAT A GUY!,” which ran from 1987 to 1996.

With the success of of THE LOCKHORNS and AGATHA CRUMM, (see my blog of August 22, 2012), King Features launched a third Hoest series about the unlikely subject of a first grade boy who aspires to be a high finance corporate type. Apparently, Hoest was fascinated by the lives of those with great wealth, and Guy is a sort of Agatha Crumm-wannabe.

The lad’s full name was Guy Wellington Frothmore,  the son of a super Yuppie, Upper West Side New York power couple, as well as a broad caricature of what a money-obsessed prodigy tot might be. He’s dressed like the littlest executive—right down to his tiny briefcase. It’s a sitcom, with sitcom expectations.

Guy somehow knows all about banking, credit, retirement, as well as other grown-up things like gourmet dining.

Most of the humor springs from his saying adult things, usually clichés, adapted for child situations. Hey, it works for the New Yorker.

 Click image to enlarge

Some of Bill Hoest’s “WHAT A GUY!” strips of 1987-8. After his death in 1988,
the strip was carried on by Bunny Hoest and John Reiner until it ended in 1996.