January 10th, 2016
by Mort Walker
In the 1984 book, The Best of Beetle Bailey, Mort Walker wrote, “I used to create a new character every year, it helped stimulate new interest and gave me fresh material for gags. Most of my gags are built on the interplay and conflict between characters. It began to get confusing with too many characters so I dropped the ones who failed to develop a big following.” Shown here are three characters that are no longer in the strip.
OZONE (above). “I thought it would be funny to introduce a new character as stupid as Zero and have them jointly compound the stupidity,” Mort explained. “After a while it seem only an unnecessary duplication and I dropped Ozone.”
MOOCHER (above). “The character that Jack Benny portrayed always amused me so I created a guy named Moocher who was stingy and always borrowing things,” Mort continued. “Eventually it was hard to think up gags and I dropped him.”
POP (above). “A lot of soldiers get married now and there’s a lot of humor in a guy who gets yelled at by Sarge all day and goes home at night for more abuse from his wife,” Mort explained. “People were so sorry for him they forgot to laugh, and we can’t have that.”
In the next blog we will feature early appearances by two characters who still make occasional appearances in the strip, so stay tooned.
– Brian Walker
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