Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hello, Darling!

In 1952-53, Renzo Cesana, aka The Continental, would ease through the fourth wall of the television set of supposedly bored American nuclear-family housewives and offer them fifteen minutes worth of romance. Twice a week from his studio-set living room, he might suggest a cocktail, some poetry, and...

It's common for strip cartoonists to receive fan mail. Here's two that Mr. Cesana sent. Re the second letter: probably the only time in his life my dad was referred to as "Esq." That Renzo, The Continental to the end!


Will Finn said...

Funny strip! The "Continental" was just before my time (though not by much) and my only awareness of it was a skit that Christopher Walken used to do on SNL. Looks like your dad was way ahead of them!

The inking here (especially on the very evocative hands and tailored outfit) brings to mind Will Eisner a bit.

eeTeeD said...

this parody strip is great!
in 1956 famous studios made a popeye cartoon that was a parody of the continental. it was called Parlez Vous Woo, and bluto pretended to be "The International".
was your father involved in making that cartoon?

p spector said...

eeT - I'm pretty sure that by 1956 my father had drawn his last can of spinach. I've never seen that cartoon. Does Bluto do a good "Continental"?

Hey Will -- Thanks. I usually hear his inking compared to the same-old. Refreshing to have another take on it. Such company!

The orignal "Continental" was before mine as well. Apparently Red Skelton did a take on him around the same time of the strip.

eeTeeD said...

oh yes, bluto looked quite dapper disquised as the international!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

And of course there is the parody Harvey Kurtzman did in Mad #14 from august 1954.