Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Dread Plague of Beatniks

Human Beans appearing in the Pogo strip was a plenty rare event.

At the time of this strip in 1965, Hippies had barely been heard of, outside of a vague use of the term for people who were 'hip'. 'Beatniks' was the appellation and social stereotype applied to young people with guitars and lots of hair. It was the beginning of the end of an era, and the social revolution to come was just as bewildering to Kelly, I think, as it was to most people of his generation.

Marty Allen, the comedian whose tagline was a big 'HELLO DERE' was REALLY popular at that time, having the distinction of performing with his comedy partner Steve Rossi on the Ed Sullivan show on the same night as the Beatles, not just once but twice.


  1. Not sure how to take this strip. Was Kelly deriding the beatniks, or was he doing the opposite--commenting on how those who don't understand social mores different from the norm (and their own) will make negative connotations about those people? Knowing Kelly's work I would hope it be the latter and not the former.

  2. I know what you're saying. That's why I say that I think Kelly was just as bewildered as many intelligent people were. It was a social change taking place that hadn't had enough history to it for people to yet make valid judgements.