Pastor Steve's Popeye Page

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Take heart!  You're not alone!  Probably lots of other people are curious about the same Popeye facts that you are and this page proves it!


 
 

Popeye Fans from all over the world seem to have the same questions. 

I have attempted to answer the most common questions here. 

Click on the question to get to the answer, or just scroll down and read them all!

 

For more trivia, please see Fred Grandinetti's new book, reviewed on the Popeye Book Review Page.

EMAIL Me if you would like to share your comments, opinions, reviews of cartoons, Popeye memories, or questions that are not answered here. I love to hear from you! 

THE FINE PRINT- (Due to time constraints from my "day job," I probably will not respond, but I do enjoy reading your comments and occasionally will include some on the site.)

 


 
  
 

 

Last updated 10-24-08. 
See What's New for details.



 
 

You may choose one of the following or just scroll down for all Q & A's:

Popeye and His Friends and Family

Please give me some pictures, tapes, costumes, books, videos, etc.

I am curious about:

 


 
 

Popeye and His Friends and Family

 


 

Please give me some pictures, tapes, costumes, books, videos, etc.

 


 
 

I am curious about:

 

What are the lyrics to the Popeye theme song and what is the name of the sailor's song that gets mixed in with the theme song during the credits and reappears throughout the cartoons?

Why isn't my favorite Popeye cartoon, "_____," mentioned on your site?

Who were the voice actors in the Famous Studios' Popeye cartoons and are they still alive today?

What branch of service were Popeye & his friends members of?

What did Popeye eat to make him strong BEFORE spinach?

How did you retain so much info on the cartoons?

How old are Popeye and Olive Oyl supposed to be?

Who were Olive Oyl's boyfriends prior to Popeye?

Does Popeye have only ONE eye?

What is the name of Popeye's fictional home town?

How long did Popeye's spinach "fix" last?

Didn't Popeye start out as a character in the Thimble Theater comic strip by E.C. Segar?

Do you have an Olive Oyl FAQ page?  Yes.  Click here to go there.  

 


 
 
 

Questions And Answers

(in no particular order)

1.What are the names of Popeye's nephews?

Pip-Eye, Pup-Eye, Poop-Eye, and Peep-Eye. 

(And you thought you were made fun of in school!)

2. What was the name of Popeye's dog/cat?

A dog-like animal hung out with Popeye in the comic strip, comic books, and in the Fleischer and KFS toons.  He was a magical, fourth dimensional creature named Eugene The Jeep.  I know a few people thought he looked like a cat.  He always looked like a dog to me. 

In the comic strips and comic books, Popeye also had a dog during the 1960s named Birdseed.  More recently, he has one named Chester, after the birthplace of Popeye's creator, E.C. Segar. 

The Hanna-Barbera Popeye show featured "Dinky Dog" cartoons, but Dinky didn't belong to Popeye, and neither The Sailorman, nor any of his supporting cast members, ever appeared in these segments.

3. Whose baby is Swee-Pea?

In the comic strips and comic books, Swee'Pea is Popeye's adopted son.  It was always unclear to me in the Fleischer cartoons who he belonged to.  The Famous Studio's cartoons said that he was Olive Oyl's cousin.  In the KFS toons, he always seemed to be Popeye's adopted son, though I'm not sure if that was ever stated or not.  Swee'Pea didn't appear in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

4. Why did the KFS cartoons change Bluto's name to Brutus?

When the Fleischer brothers wanted to use Popeye in animated cartoons during the 1930s, they asked Popeye's creator, E.C. Segar, to create a villain that could become Popeye's continuing, long-standing nemesis.  Segar created a pirate, Bluto The Terrible, and used him in his comic strip before the animated films ever came out.  After the introductory adventure, Segar never used the character again.  The Fleischer brothers and later Famous Studios (a division of Paramount Pictures) produced cartoons featuring Bluto up through the 1950s.  In the early 60s, King Features Syndicate, the distributor of Popeye's comic strip, commissioned several different animation studios to produce made-for-TV Popeye toons.  They mistakenly believed that Paramount Pictures had the copyright to the name Bluto, forgetting that the character first appeared in their (KFS's) comic strips.  So the same character was used in the TV toons, only his name was changed to Brutus.  Around this same time, the character began appearing in comic books and the comic strip by one of Segar's successors under the name of Brutus.  About two decades later, the character reappeared in the comic strip as Bluto and then Hanna-Barbera made-for-TV toons featured Bluto.  (For more on Bluto, see the Bluto page!)

5. Who is that monster-like lady who appears in some of the cartoons?

Alice The Goon.  Her race appeared in a Fleischer cartoon, "Goonland", and she was in several KFS toons.  She became a supporting character in Hanna-Barbera's "Private Olive Oyl" cartoons.  Alice never appeared in a Famous Studios' film.  E.C. Segar created her for the Thimble Theater comic strip, first as an enemy of Popeye, then later, as a friend and Swee'Pea's babysitter.

6. What are the lyrics to the Popeye theme song and what is the name of the sailor's song that gets mixed in with the theme song during the credits and reappears throughout the cartoons?

The lyrics are:

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I'm strong to the "Finich"
'Cause I eats me spinach
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm one tough Gazookus
Which hates all Palookas
Wot ain't on the up and square
I biffs 'em and buffs 'em 
An' always out-roughs 'em
an' none of 'em gits no-where.
If anyone dasses to risk
My "Fisk" it's "Boff" an'
It's "Wham" un 'erstan'?
So, keep "Good Behavor"
That's your one life saver
With Popeye the Sailor Man.

>>>  Written by Sammy Lerner, quoted in Popeye: The First Fifty Years by Bud Sagendorf. 
 

The sailor's song that is mixed in with the theme song during the credits and reappears throughout the cartoons is entitled, "The Sailor's Hornpipe."

7. What's the name of Popeye's boat?

According to Bud Sagendorf, one of the creators of the Popeye comic strips and comic books over the years, it's The Olive.

8. Do you have any pictures of Swee'Pea, Alice, Sea Hag, The Jeep, etc.?

What you see is what you get!  The only pictures I have available to the public are the ones that are up throughout my website.  Right clicking on any of them should enable you to save them off in files.  You can find more pictures by visiting other people's websites that I've linked to from my POPEYE LINKS section.  I regret that I don't have the time to personally fulfill requests for pictures.

9. Can you send me some pictures of my favorite Popeye cast member?

Sorry, but no.  I'd like to, but I simply don't have the time.  You can right click on the pictures that are up throughout my site and save them in your own files.

10. Do you sell any Popeye merchandise or have any freebies to give out?

My site isn't a commercial site.  It's a fan site.  Therefore I don't have anything to sell or have any samples to give away.  Check out Spinach Can Collectibles, though (see POPEYE LINKS).

11. Where can I get tapes or DVDs of the Popeye cartoons?

Unfortunately, most of the vast Popeye library has not been released.  A few cartoons from the Fleischers and Famous Studios that are in the public domain are available along with some from the KFS and Hanna-Barbera years.  Check out Spinach Can Collectibles (see POPEYE LINKS), Amazon.com, and ebay.  Another way to get some of the toons is to record them off Boomerang and Cartoon Network.  I have no tapes to sell, as I'm not a commercial site.  And, unfortunately, I haven't the time or the equipment to make copies for everyone either.  Sorry!  I understand your frustration!  Let's just hope for the day when the toons will be available for home entertainment.  You can watch some of the public domain cartoons online at Liketelevision.

12. Do you have any ideas for costumes of Popeye, Olive, etc.?

Check the pictures up all throughout my site for pictures of the Famous Studios' Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Bluto.  A classic FS Olive Oyl pose and outfit is on my Drab To Fab page.  For other versions of the characters, check out the other web pages I'm linked to from the POPEYE LINKS section.

Here are some catchphrases you can use to get into character:

Popeye: 
"Well, blow me down!"
 "That's all I can stands cause I can't stands no more!"
 "I'm strong to the finich, cause I eats me spinach!"

Olive:
"Ohhhhhhhhhh, Popeye!"
 "I've had enough and enough is too much."
 "Keep your hands to yourself, you, you, you, that's what you are!"
 "Help! Popeye!"

13. Why isn't my favorite Popeye cartoon, "_____," mentioned on your site?

Many different studios have made Popeye cartoons over the years.  My site concentrates on my favorites, which were made by Paramount/Famous Studios, and has some material about the KFS cartoons (but I'm not an expert on them and haven't even looked at many of them in years).  Maybe your favorite was made by another studio or is a KFS cartoon I'm not that familiar with.

14. Who are Olive Oyl's relatives?

In the comic strips and comic books, her parents are Cole and Nana Oyl, her brother is Castor Oyl, her cousin is Sutra Oyl, her Uncles are Lubry Kent Oyl and Otto Oyl, and in the KFS animated cartoons her niece is Deezil Oyl.

15. Who were the voice actors in the Famous Studios' Popeye cartoons and are they still alive today?

Jack Mercer did the voices of Popeye, Wimpy, Poopdeck Pappy, and some minor characters.  Mae Questel voiced Olive Oyl, Swee'Pea, and some children and background female characters.  Jackson Beck was Bluto, Pierre, the sheik, the lifeguard, etc.  He was also the narrator in cartoons which used one, and voiced some minor characters as well.  Jackson Beck, the last living "voice,"  died in 2004.  So, none are alive today.

16. What branch of service were Popeye & his friends members of?

The comic strip Popeye created by Segar was never in the Armed Forces. The animated cartoons put Popeye and Bluto both in the navy because of WWII.  Although in one Fleischer cartoon, Many Tanks, and one Famous Studios' toon, Spinach-Packin' Popeye, Bluto was in the army!!  As was Popeye in Fleischer's I'm In The Army Now!!  Fleischer's Popeye Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves found Popeye serving in the Coast Guard, as did a KFS cartoon (I think - maybe it was a Hanna-Barbara one) where he fought the Sea Hag.  (Thanks, Terah and CPO Matthew Boyle, for that Coast Guard info!) After the war, it was never clearly stated what branch of the service the boys were in, though they kept their white sailor uniforms.  In a few cartoons, they were pictured aboard the living quarters on a ship, or disembarking after a tour at sea.  In the majority of the cartoons, the whole Armed Services theme was never brought up.

The Ocean comic books, which most fans view as apocryphal because they changed so much of Popeye's back story, put Popeye, Bluto, AND Wimpy in the Navy.

People in every branch of the military have claimed Popeye and Bluto as their own throughout the years, due in part, perhaps to promotional or fan material produced by some of the cartoonists and the fact that servicemen have put their pictures on aircraft, ships, etc.

For more comments from military people themselves (or their fans), see my Popeye And The Armed Forces page.

17. What did Popeye eat to make him strong BEFORE spinach?

In the comic strip Thimble Theater where Popeye debuted, Segar originally didn't give any explanation for why Popeye was so tough.  Later, as he kept getting queries about the Sailorman's strength, he had Popeye explain it by saying that he had eaten spinach every day from the time he was a lad.  (At the time, articles were appearing touting the benefits of eating spinach.)  So, in the "canonical" Popeye sources, he never ate anything else to get strong. 

However, in the Famous Studios' cartoon, Greek Mirthology, Popeye tells his nephews the story of his great, great, great, great grandfather Hercules.  In a flashback,  Hercules was seen sniffing garlic and gaining super strength.  By the end of the cartoon, though, he had discovered spinach and switched over to it.  Whether the story was "real" or whether Popeye was just trying to get his nephews to eat the green veggie is open to debate.

18. What ethnicity were Popeye and the other characters supposed to have?

This is all speculation, but I've always thought that the animated cartoon Popeye was a New Englander.  In the cartoon,  She-Sick Sailors, there's a sign at the train station near Olive's house that says Bridgeport, Connecticut.   In the Famous Studios' cartoons, Olive sometimes has a slight New York Jewish accent.  Maybe Olive's ancestors were Russian Jews who came to America. 

An emailer pointed out to me that in the live-action movie, the Oyls sounded sort of Slavic.  I don't know that Popeye's creator, E.C. Segar, ever really said what ethnic group the Oyls or Popeye himself belonged to. 

And in the Famous Studios' cartoons, Bluto is said to be from Brooklyn, and many Fleischer cartoons certainly take place in Depression-era NYC, with all the characters living there. 

So Bluto and Olive seem to be New Yorkers, now (during the Famous Studios' time frame) living in Connecticut, while Popeye seems to be a New Englander, who once lived in the Big Apple.  And in some Famous Studios' cartoons, they all seem to be back in NYC (maybe for a visit or to conduct business). See The Royal Four-Flusher and Symphony In Spinach for example.

19. How did you retain so much info on the cartoons?

When I was growing up, in the days before Cable and Satellite TV were common, we lived between Rochester and Syracuse, NY and received TV broadcasts from both cities.  If the conditions were right, we could also get one from Canada and, once in a great while, a station from Buffalo.  This was during the time period when Popeye was the most popular cartoon character on TV and almost every city had at least one station that ran Fleischer, Famous Studios, and/or KFS toons.  So when I was young, I often could, and did, see Popeye cartoons every day of the week, sometimes several times during a day.  Even up through my college years, Popeye was shown in the region and I would occasionally catch one of his shows. While I was in seminary, and then pastoring my first church, in the New England area, there were stations out of Boston that broadcast the cartoons.  I would sometimes tune in when as I was trying to wake up in the morning or when I was relaxing after work before supper.  As a result, over my lifetime, I must have seen a cartoon like Snow Place Like Home hundreds of times.  And when Cable TV, Cartoon Network, Superstations, and VCRs came along, I began recording and collecting the cartoons. 

Friends I've met through the Internet have also helped. 

The Official Popeye Fanclub  has proved to be a great source of information for me as well as a way to meet many nice, knowledgeable people. 

Fred Grandinetti's books on Popeye (see the review on his latest on my Popeye Book Review page!) have also been a help to me, as well as books on animation history in general by various authors.

20. What are Olive Oyl's vital statistics?

Please see my Olive Oyl FAQ page.

21. What day of the week did Wimpy always claim he would pay for his hamburgers on?

Tuesday.
 
 

 "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

22. How old are Popeye and Olive Oyl supposed to be?

Popeye is in his early 40's.  He's around 42.  In the Thimble Theater comic strip, Segar let readers know that Popeye was 42 years old.  In the 1953 cartoon, Ace Of Space, when Popeye is made younger by that Martian "de-aging" machine, you'll notice that the machine sets his present age at around "40."  Segar also established that Olive Oyl was in her twenties.  Maybe this is partly why the Famous Studios creators adopted the "sweet young thing/Betty Boopish" personality for Ms. Oyl as time went on.  One KFS cartoon took advantage of the characters' age differences when, in Kiddie Capers, Olive tells Popeye that he's too old for her.  Popeye sure has more Vim, Vigor, And Vitaliky in his 40s than I do in mine!  Must be the spinach.  However, to further muddy the waters, Bud Sagendorf, who did the comic strip and Popeye comic books for years, said that Popeye is perpetually 34!   Thanks to Shade Ford and Mike Brooks for help with this question.

23. Who were Olive Oyl's boyfriends prior to Popeye?

In the original comic strip, Olive's former boyfriend was Ham Gravy.  Then she was wooed by Julius J. Herringbone and accidentally kissed Popeye thinking he was her lover.  In one KFS made-for-TV cartoon, we find out that Brutus was Olive's college beau!!!  In the Famous Studios cartoons Silly Hillbilly and Wigwam Whoopee Olive's pre-Popeye boyfriends were Bluto and the Indian Chief, respectively.

24. Who is the large, muscular, mannish woman in the Popeye cartoons?

The character's name you are looking for is Possum Pearl.  Famous Studios even put her in her own non-Popeye related cartoon once.  And some fans believe that Olive's police sergeant in Cops Is Tops was her, too.

25. Did Popeye originate in the country of Malta?

The Popeye movie was filmed in Malta, but the character was created in the United States, and, in the fictional universe he inhabits, he was born in a typhoon off the coast of Santa Monica, California.

26. What is Popeye's last name?

He was never given one in Segar's comics, nor in the animated cartoons.  His Pappy said he couldn't remember it.

27. Does Popeye have only ONE eye?

The answer isn't simple, I'm afraid.  The traditional Popeye that appeared in the comic strips and in the Fleischer cartoons only had one eye.  Popeye's creator said that Popeye lost his eye during the most terrible fight of his life.  But later, in the cartoons made by Famous Studios and KFS, Popeye would occasionally be drawn with two eyes wide open when he was expressing surprise or frustration, giving viewers the impression that he usually is just keeping the one closed or squinting all the time.

28. What is the name of Popeye's fictional home town?

Some sources call it Sweetwater, some call it Sweethaven.

29. What is Wimpy's full name?

J. Wellington Wimpy

30. How long did Popeye's spinach "fix" last?

The Popeye cartoons were never consistent in depicting exactly when Popeye needed spinach and how long the effects would last.  In many, many cartoons, he is able to do superhuman stunts, withstand lots of punishment, and escape dangerous situations BEFORE he eats any spinach!  And in other cartoons, like Rodeo Romeo, Popeye The Ace Of Space, and Toreadorable, he is taking "booster shots" of spinach throughout the film in order to do anything extraordinary, so obviously, spinach must wear off!!!  Segar's original comic strips made more sense in this regard.  In them, Popeye was just always super strong and invulnerable because he had eaten spinach all his life.  (At the time, spinach was being touted in the papers as a healthy food and a good source of iron.  Segar picked up on that, so when he was asked, "Why is Popeye so strong?" he answered, "Because he eats spinach.")  Only rarely, in EXTREME situations, did Segar's Popeye ever need to eat spinach "on camera."

31. Didn't Popeye start out as a character in the Thimble Theater comic strip by E.C. Segar?

Yes!  The strip was originally about the Oyl family.  Popeye was introduced as a throwaway character necessary for a sailing story line.  Then Segar dropped him.  But Popeye was so popular, he was brought back and eventually took over the strip.


 
 
 

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My home page with links to my  Buffy, Popeye,  TV/Movies, Beliefs, and other pages.

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The Bluto Booster Page

All the aspects of Bluto I could think of are discussed on various Bluto pages.  Go here for a complete listing.

Oodles Of Olive Oyl

As the title says, lots about Olive Oyl.  You can choose from a number of titles to link to many other of my pages about this lovely  lady.

POPEYE PAGE

My Popeye Page.  Lots of links to my pages about the King Of Spinach.

My Olive Yahoo Group

Discuss the Famous Studios and KFS cartoons featuring Olive Oyl with other fans .


 
 
 

This page was created using Corel Word Perfect Suite 8 and Netscape Navigator Composer. All characters and images are legal properties of their respective companies and are used here without permission for entertainment, review, and informational purposes only. All other material is copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 by Steve R. Bierly.