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Younger Generation Stripped of Comic Awareness

Remember when Donald Trump compared Pete Buttigieg to Alfred E. Neuman?

Apparently a very small minority of people under 50 had a clue who Alfred was.
Though it hasn’t stopped editorial cartoonists from using the “What, Me Worry?” kid:

I was reminded of the earlier comparison when Seth Myers used a comic strip character in a recent “A Closer Look” segment. As The Hollywood Reporter notes in a story about the late night host now working without a studio audience:

At the top of Wednesday’s “Closer Look” segment, Late Night host Seth Meyers made a reference to comic-strip character Andy Capp.

“I never would have made an Andy Capp reference in front of a live audience because the silence would have been deafening,” Meyers noted. “But these days, that’s the reaction to everything.”

A Seth Myer producer adds:

“We were laughing that an audience would not know who that is,” Late Night executive producer Mike Shoemaker told The Hollywood Reporter. “But we don’t have a [studio] audience. So go ahead!”

The Andy Capp reference takes place during the first 35 seconds of the April 1st Late Night show.

I’m past the demographics that the show aims for; but as a comics fan it is upsetting that popular comic strips like Andy Capp are supposed to be virtually unknown among the majority of the younger people.




Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
@ 9:26 pm

I saw an Andy Capp reference on one of the streaming channels the other day. Unfortunately, they were saying he was “the creator of Li’l Abner.”

#2 Rodrigo Araya
@ 4:03 pm

And to think that Mr. Capp was a household name fifty years ago, even if mostly for his anti-hippie views. Actually, as recently as 30 years ago, most people could easily recognize comic strip characters other than Garfield, Snoopy or Charlie Brown, not to mention some of the creators.

Considering that modern comedy (most notably “The Simpsons”) often treats print media and readers of such as dinosaurs (probably with some irony), there might be a relation between the rise to the mainstream of one and the fall into obscurity of the other.

#3 Carl Laws
@ 11:32 am

As long as there are crossword puzzles, both Andy and Al will remain in our collective consciousness.

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