Welcome to the Human Race

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

A woman once wrote to Mort Walker about an episode of Hi and Lois she had seen in the newspaper.  “You must have been looking through my window,” she exclaimed, “because the same thing happened to me.”  This remark has been repeated in numerous fan letters over the years.  Hi and Lois has maintained its universal appeal by reflecting the daily experiences of family life that millions of readers share.

In 1957, radio and television personality Art Linkletter published a best-selling book, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” which was based on interviews he did with children on his long-running shows, “House Party” and “People are Funny.”  This inspired Mort to do a series of Hi and Lois Sunday pages in the 1960s that asked the question “Did you…?” and ended with the phrase, “Welcome to the Human Race.”  These provided an amusing chronicle of how, in typical families, good intentions can often have unintended consequences.

Here is the original artwork for one of these episodes from 1966.

Hi and Lois original artwork for April 17, 1966. Hi and Lois original artwork for April 17, 1966.

Here is the color proof of the same page.

Hi and Lois color proof, April 17, 1966. Hi and Lois color proof, April 17, 1966.

Dik Browne designed the last panel to serve as a certificate that could be presented to a harried housewife in appreciation of her “good timing.”  Presumably, some readers cut these out and attached them to their refrigerators.

We will revisit this theme in an upcoming Hi and Lois Sunday page which is scheduled to appear in July, so stay tooned.

– Brian Walker