Thursday, January 22, 2009

Irv Spector's Coogy Presents "Mary Mo", A Soap Opera So Sudsy You Can Slip On It

In 1953 my father employed his Sunday strip Coogy as a parody of Mary Worth, the long running soap opera strip (as if it needs an introduction of its own). I believe this was published not very long after *Harvey Kurtzman's own send-up of the strip and a few years before Al Capp's Mary Worm. For this run I actually have all five strips, which I plan to run daily, so you won't have to wait a month of Sundays. I'm posting the first here a couple of hours this side of Friday (NY time), so expect the second installment Saturday.

From October 18th, 1953:

*re Kurtzman and the rumor that my father turned him down as a contributor to early MAD magazine: This is mentioned in the Overstreet Guide and several places on the web. I do recall my father mentioning Kurtzman's name on occasion, but honestly, all these years later in regard to MAD, I'm not 100% certain if the MAD offer is something my father positively told me or if I'm substituting my own memory for the persistent rumors! Likely, I think it's true. Possibly they were acquainted as early as the WWII years, but certainly they knew each other soon afterward during the comic book years. If any reader of this blog is the contributor who offered this tidbit to Overstreet, I'd love to hear from you. Other Spectorphile readers who have now seen enough Coogy, select comic stories and other work are welcome to gladly chime in with their own opinion -- it's all in fun. You can even say "No Way is this or his other work MAD material!" with no offence taken. Check out these coming Mary Mo Coogys, apply it to his other work and what you think you've gleaned from his personality and style of humor, and if you're game (all 8 of you) let's hear what you think. And if you've read this far, more power to you.


Eric Noble said...

I love it. I've never read "Mary Worth", but I've seen soap operas and love soap opera parodies. Very funny. Your father's line work is flawless. Thank you for sharing this, Paul.

Dave Mackey said...

Your dad would have been a good fit with MAD. His drawing style can be Wally Wood-goofy at times.

p spector said...

Much obliged, Dave! I was wondering if anybody actually read the text on these things. ;)

Ger Apeldoorn said...

As you know, after seing Coogie (and especially the 'satorical' outings) I believe it is much more probable that Kurtzman mentioned joining Mad ito your father in 1953, when John Severin left the magazine and it went from a two-monthly to a monthly than earlier.