Wednesday’s ad is for “Rainier Beer,” from the 1950s. This ad was made for the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co., who made Rainier Beer, and was later known as the Rainier Brewing Company of Seattle, Washington. This one features a cartoon character created by the UPA studio that created Gerald McBoing-Boing, referred to here as his cousin. And apparently he’s tired of martini’s and what to change to beer.
Today is the birthday of Homer J. Simpson (May 12, 1956- ). At least that’s the agreed upon date, which comes from episode 16 in Season 4, entitled “Duffless,” which originally aired February 18, 1993. In the episode, Homer loses his driver’s license when he gets a DUI and there’s a scene where his license is voided by a judge. Eagle-eyed fans were able to freeze the frame and see that his date of birth listed on the identification card was May 12, 1956.
Here’s one biography of Homer, this one from the IMDb:
Homer (b.May 12, 1956) was raised on a farm by his parents, Mona and Abraham Simpson. In the mid-1960s, while Homer was between nine and twelve years old, Mona went into hiding following a run-in with the law. Homer attended Springfield High School and fell in love with Marge Bouvier in 1974. Marge became pregnant with Bart in 1979, while Homer was working at a miniature golf course. The two were wed in a small wedding chapel across the state line, From there they spent their wedding reception alone at a truck stop, and the remainder of their wedding night at Marge’s parents’ house. After failing to get a job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer left Marge to find a job by which he could support his family. He briefly worked at a taco restaurant called the Gulp n’ Blow, until Marge found him and convinced him to return. As a result, Homer confronted Mr. Burns and secured a job at the Plant. Marge became pregnant with Lisa in 1981, shortly before the new couple bought their first house. In 1985 and 1986, Homer saw brief success as the lead singer and songwriter for the barbershop quartet the Be Sharps, even winning a Grammy. During his time with the group, Homer was frequently absent from home, which put stress on his marriage. After the group broke up due to creative differences, Homer went back to Springfield to continue his old life. Sometime in the late 1980s, Homer and Marge carefully budgeted so Homer could have his dream job as a pin monkey in a bowling alley. Unfortunately for Homer, Marge became pregnant with Maggie shortly after he started his new job, and not being able to support his family, he went back to the Nuclear Plant. He likes martini.
Homer’s age was initially 34, but as the writers aged, they found that he seemed a bit older too, so they changed his age to 38; this is contradicted by The Homer Book which states Homer is currently 36. Homer reunites with his mother.Homer’s personality is one of frequent stupidity, laziness, and explosive anger. He suffers from a short attention span which complements his short-lived passion for hobbies, enterprises and various causes. Homer is prone to emotional outbursts; he is very envious of his neighbors, the Flanders family, and is easily enraged by Bart and strangles him frequently. He shows no compunction about this, and does not attempt to hide his actions from people outside the family, even showing disregard for his son’s well being in other ways, such as leaving Bart alone at a port. While Homer’s thoughtless antics often upset his family, he has also performed acts that reveal him to be a surprisingly caring father and husband: in “Lisa the Beauty Queen”, selling his cherished ride on the Duff blimp and using the money to enter Lisa in a beauty pageant so she could feel better about herself; in “Rosebud”, giving up his chance at wealth to allow Maggie to keep a cherished teddy bear; in “Radio Bart”, spearheading an attempt to dig Bart out after he had fallen down a well, even though Homer generally hates doing physical labor; and in “A Milhouse Divided”, arranging a surprise second wedding with Marge to make up for their lousy first ceremony, even going so far as to hire one of The Doobie Brothers as part of the wedding band and getting a divorce from Marge, essentially making their second wedding a “real” one.
Homer frequently steals things from his neighbor, Ned Flanders, including TV trays, power tools, air conditioners, and at one point, part of his house. Flanders knows about this, but Homer constantly states that he has “borrowed” the stolen items. He has also stolen golf balls from the local driving range, cable television, office supplies (including computers) from work, and beer mugs from Moe’s Tavern. Also, while ‘working the night shift’ with the rest of the employees at a local discount store (which was just them being locked in at night and forced to stay via electrocution chip) he made off with a number of Plasma Screen TVs on a forklift, while at the same time breaking out of the store.
Homer has a vacuous mind, but he is still able to retain a great amount of knowledge about specific subjects. He shows short bursts of astonishing insight, memory, creativity and fluency with many languages. Homer is also extremely confident; no matter how little skill or knowledge he has about anything he tries to do, he has no doubt that he will be successful. However, his brief periods of intelligence are overshadowed by much longer and more consistent periods of ignorance, forgetfulness and stupidity. Homer has a low IQ due to his hereditary “Simpson Gene,” his alcohol problem, exposure to radioactive waste, repetitive cranial trauma, and a crayon lodged in the frontal lobe of his brain. Homer’s intelligence was said to jump fifty points when he had the crayon removed, bringing him to an IQ of 105, slightly above that of an average person, however he had the crayon reinserted, presumably lowering his IQ back to its original 55. The amount of Homer’s brain which still functions is also questionable. At one point in the series, Homer apparently lost 5% of his brain after a coma.
Homer’s attitudes toward women, romance, and sex are occasionally explored. While Homer’s marriage with Marge is occasionally strained, it seems generally happy and faithful. Despite this, Homer usually shows no qualms with gawking at (and drooling over) attractive women. Homer successfully avoided an affair with Mindy Simmons, but has made the occasional remark denoting his attraction to other women (including the gag about coveting his neighbor’s wife), even in front of Marge.
His relationship with his children is not the best, although he loves his children deeply. His relationship with Bart is often shown as a love-hate relationship or friendship. They sometimes appear to get on very well, however, such as on the numerous occasions they jointly commit various petty crimes or “get-rich-quick”-schemes. Homer’s relationship with Lisa is usually quite good although Lisa often tires of her father’s ignorance. His relationship with Maggie is perhaps the best, due to her infant state. However, even though Maggie has saved his life a number of times, he sometimes forgets she even exists (once telling Marge the dog does not count when she told him they had three kids).
So while Homer doesn’t brew beer, he does certainly drink a lot of it. And without him, the world may not have ever heard of Duff Beer. And even though there are a few real world examples of Duff being brewed, I don’t recommend them, at least not the ones I’ve tried. But do drink a toast to Springfield’s favorite beer drinker, Homer Simpsons. Below are a few of the times Homer’s mentioned beer throughout the show’s twenty-plus year run.
“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Homer’s Odyssey,” Season 1, Episode 3, 1990
“Ah, good ol’ trustworthy beer. My love for you will never die.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Bart Gets Hit by a Car,” Season 2, Episode 10, 1991
— Homer Simpson, “Lisa’s Pony, Season 3, Episode 8, 1991; “So It’s Come to
This: A Simpsons Clip Show,” Season 4, Episode 18, 1993; and “Whacking
Day, Season 4, Episode 20, 1993”
“I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Duffless,” Season 4, Episode 16, 1993
“Ah beer, my one weakness. My Achilles heel if you will.”
— Homer Simpson, in “So It’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show,” Season 4, Episode 18, 1993
“Alright Brain, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you. But lets just get me through this, and I can get back to killing you with beer.”
— Homer Simpson, in “The Front,” Season 4, Episode 19, 1993
“To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment,” Season 8,
Episode 18, 1997
Homer: “Will there be beer?”
Movementarian: “Beer is not allowed.”
Homer: “Homer no function beer well without.”
Movementarian: “Would you rather have beer or complete and utter contentment?”
Homer: “What kind of beer?”
— Homer Simpson, in “The Joy of Sect,” Season 9, Episode 13, 1998
“I’m glad I’m back. Because the moment that sweet, sweet beer hit my tongue, I was born again!”
— Homer Simpson, in “The Joy of Sect,” Season 9, Episode 13, 1998
“Well, this time I’m drunk on love… and beer.”
— Homer Simpson, in “Natural Born Kissers,” Season 9, Episode 25, 1998
“Expand my brain, learning juice!”
— Homer Simpson, about to drink a Duff Beer, in “See Homer Run,” Season
17, Episode 6, 2005
Therapist: “And has there been any improvement in Homer’s drinking?”
Marge: “Well, he’s down to two beers in the shower.”
Homer: “They’re pale ales … please.”
— From “Specs and the City,” Season 25, Episode 11, 2014
Tex Avery (February 26, 1908–August 26, 1980) is simply one of the best animators of all time, and that’s not hyperbole. He’s also a personal favorite. He was “known for producing and directing animated cartoons during the golden age of American animation. His most significant work was for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, where he was crucial in the creation and evolution of famous animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, George and Junior, and Chilly Willy.”
Here’s how one critic described Avery’s innovative approach:
Above all, [Avery] steered the Warner Bros. house style away from Disney-esque sentimentality and made cartoons that appealed equally to adults, who appreciated Avery’s speed, sarcasm, and irony, and to kids, who liked the nonstop action. Disney’s “cute and cuddly” creatures, under Avery’s guidance, were transformed into unflappable wits like Bugs Bunny, endearing buffoons like Porky Pig, or dazzling crazies like Daffy Duck. Even the classic fairy tale, a market that Disney had cornered, was appropriated by Avery, who made innocent heroines like Red Riding Hood into sexy jazz babes, more than a match for any Wolf. Avery also endeared himself to intellectuals by constantly breaking through the artifice of the cartoon, having characters leap out of the end credits, loudly object to the plot of the cartoon they were starring in, or speak directly to the audience.
The plot, such as it is, spoofs Robert W. Service‘s poem, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, “complete with a literal depiction of a man with one foot in the grave. But when Dan McGoo turns out to be Droopy, it turns into a Droopy-versus-the Wolf/Wolf-goes-ape-for-the-girl gagfest.” But the story takes place in a small Alaska bar, and there are a lot of great beer and booze references throughout the animated film.
But go ahead and watch it all unfold:
Today is the 38th birthday of the extraordinary Emily Sauter, who used to work at Two Roads Brewing as their Social Media and Communications Manager, where on Two Roads’ website she reveals an intense love of soup but an equally powerful dislike of broccoli. I wonder how broccoli soup fits in with that? She now spends most of her time studying for the Master Cicerone test, and working part-time at the Fox Farm Brewery, but at night dons the cape and cowl to draw Pints and Panels, her blog of beer reviews, done in a comic strip style, putting to good use her education from Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies. And her book, Beer is For Everyone!: Of Drinking Age, was published three years ago, and second is coming soon from Brewers Publications, titled “Hooray for Craft Beer!” Emily’s become one of my favorite people to hang out with at beer events, a kindred spirit. Join me in wishing Emily a very happy birthday.
And finally, couch trippin’ through the Lagunitas bottling line at the Beer Bloggers Conference in San Diego several years ago. Here’s me, Emily, and Fred Abercrombie, riding the sofa roller coaster.
Today is the birthday of Ludwig Thoma (January 21, 1867-August 26, 1921). If his name is not familiar to you, that’s not a surprise. He was a German author, publisher and editor, who gained popularity through his partially exaggerated description of everyday Bavarian life,” but he’s largely unknown outside of his native Germany.
One of his best-known works is Der Münchner im Himmel (or The Municher in Heaven), which in 1962 was made into a short animated cartoon directed by Walter Reiner for BR, the German equivalent of PBS. And it was based on Ludwig Thoma’s story of the same name.
Here’s a description of the story, translated by Google, so you can make sense of the cartoon since it’s in German:
Alois Hingerl, clerk no. 172 from Munich Central Station, goes to heaven. Peter reveals to him the heavenly house rules: “Rejoice and sing Hallelujah”. The “Angel Aloisius” is not particularly impressed by this, especially since he is supposed to get “heavenly manna” instead of the Munich beer. Angry, he sits down on a cloud to rejoice and sing hallelujah. It sounds like the hair of the heavenly ones stand on end. The good Lord has an understanding and instructs Aloisius to convey the divine inspirations to the Bavarian government. He also sends it to Munich with a corresponding letter. When the “Angel Aloisius” steps back on Munich soil, and when he finally – following an old custom – ends up in the Hofbräuhaus again, he forgets the divine mandate and the Bavarian State Government with a “Maß” and another Maß …
The short story is about Alois Hingerl, clerk number 172 at Munich Central Station . This one does a job with such a hurry that he from the blow falls taken to the ground and dies. Two angels drag him laboriously to heaven , where he is given his otherworldly name “Angel Aloisius” by Peter , a harp and a cloud on which, according to the “heavenly house rules”, he is to rejoice and sing Hosanna according to a fixed schedule . When he asked when he would finally get something to drink, Peter replied to Aloisius with the words: “You will get your manna.”
In view of the prospect of manna instead of the beer he loves, Aloisius suspects something bad, at the same time there will be fights with a heavenly red shandy angel, his hated competition on earth. Frustrated, he begins to rejoice on his cloud. When a “spiritualized angel” flying past answers his request for “am Schmaizla” (a pinch of snuff ) with an incomprehensible, lisped “Hosanna!”, His anger rises, whereupon Aloisius begins to rant and curse, which also changes in his way rejoicing is reflected. Through his scolding, cursing and loud rejoicing (“ Ha-ha-lä-lä-lu-u-uh – – Himmi Lord God – Erdäpfi – Saggerament – – lu – uuu – iah!“) God becomes aware of him. After a brief appraisal of the delinquent and consultation with Peter, he comes after the words “Aha! A Munich resident! ”To the conclusion that Aloisius is of no use for heaven. That is why he has a different task: He is supposed to convey divine advice to the Bavarian government (in the original from Thoma the Bavarian State Minister of the Interior for Church and School Affairs Anton von Wehner ); as a result, the Munich resident comes to Munich a few times a week and the dear soul has its peace.
Alois is very happy about this assignment, takes divine advice and flies away. As usual, he first goes to the Hofbräuhaus with his message , where he orders one beer after the other, then forgets his order and sits there to this day. Meanwhile, the Bavarian government (or the Bavarian Minister of Education) is still waiting for divine advice (or divine inspiration).
Below are some images of Aloisius from various sources. As far as I can tell, he remains a well-known literary figure throughout Germany.
Tuesday’s ad is for Léopold, from 1933. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for Brasserie Léopold, which had been located in Brussels, before closing in 1981. The poster was created by famed Belgian artist Georges Prosper Remi, better known as Hergé. Hergé’s best known for his series The Adventures of Tintin.
Thursday’s ad is for Tuborg, from the 1950s or 1970s. From the late 1800s until the 1970s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all year, and for the remainder of December will feature holiday-themed posters of all ages. “Tuborg is a Danish brewing company founded in 1873 on a harbour in Hellerup, an area North of Copenhagen, Denmark. Since 1970 it has been part of the Carlsberg Group.” This poster is by Danish cartoonist, writer, animator, illustrator, painter, and humorist Robert Storm Petersen, who signed his work “Storm P.” The ad used an earlier cartoon by Storm P. since he died in 1949. The text reads. “Du Perikles — Ka’ Du Sige mig — hvornaar smager en Tuborg bedst?” and the reply is “Hvergang!” That translates as “You Pericles — Can You Tell Me — When Does a Tuborg Taste Best?” And his answer? “Everytime!”
Below is a version of the original illustration without the Tuborg logo added. I don’t know if the text was added to suit the ad or if it was part of the original, too.
On the eve of the repeal of prohibition, anticipation must have been running pretty high. On November 18, 1933, Warner Brothers cartoon studios released their newest Looney Tunes animated short film, “Buddy’s Beer Garden.”
“It is a Looney Tunes cartoon, featuring Buddy, the second star of the series. It was supervised by Earl Duvall, here credited as ‘Duval,’ was one of only five Warner Bros. cartoons directed by him, and one of only three Buddy shorts. Musical direction was by Norman Spencer.”
Here’s the description of the film from Wikipedia:
We enter Buddy’s beer garden, where are gathered many merry patrons, singing “Oh du lieber Augustin”, mugs in hand. The happy opening scene fades to one of an equally merry Buddy, who balances a tray and sings of the good cheer his beer brings (to the tune of “Auf Wiederseh’n (We’ll Meet Again)”), as he fixes a tablecloth and sets down two glasses of his ware, while a black dog, pretzels on its tail, behind him barks in tune. A German oom-pah band creates an ambience (and, as the band reappears four times throughout the cartoon, each time they are seen, as a gag, a small member of the group will come out of the largest member’s brass instrument, playing, in succession, a trumpet, maracas, a piano, and a bass drum.) Beer flows on tap, and Buddy ensures that each mug has plenty of foam. Cookie neatly prepares several pretzels, which then are salted by the same little dachshund, and carried thence away. The tongue sandwiches offered as part of the bar’s free lunch sing & lap up mustard; an impatient patron (presumably the same brute who serves as the villain in later shorts, such as Buddy’s Show Boat and Buddy’s Garage) demands his beer, which he instantly gulps down upon its arrival.
All present take part in “It’s Time to Sing ‘Sweet Adeline’ Again”: some sing, one patron plays his spaghetti as though the noodles were strings on a harp, Buddy makes an instrument out of his steins, &c. Cookie comes around, offering cigars and cigarettes to the patrons, one of whom, the same impatient brute as before, accepts, but not before freshly stroking the girl’s chin. Cookie performs an exotic dance for the entire beer garden, and is joined by the selfsame patron, & a formerly stationery piano. The film goes on: Buddy whistles “Hi Lee Hi Lo”, tossing beer from one mug to another, preparing sandwiches, clearing tables.
As a final treat for his customers, Our Hero introduces a lady singer (who bears a striking resemblance to Mae West), who reveals herself only after Buddy’s departure and a brief musical interlude. The grand dame attracts the attention of the very same recurring patron, who drunkenly stumbles over to her with the intention of receiving a kiss: as the song (“I Love my Big Time, Slow Time Baseball Man”) ends, he makes his request, but a horned goat, part of a poster advertising “Bock Beer”, but nonetheless quite alive, with its horns stabs the patron’s backside, sending him flying. The patron, on his airborne journey, causes the lady singer to catch her dress on an overhanging tree; the dress tears, & the throaty performer, now grounded, is revealed to be a cross-dressed Buddy. Pleasantly embarrassed, Buddy stalks away, waving blithely to all present; in the final shot, we see that the bird cage strapped to Buddy’s posterior (there to replicate the voluptuousness of his singing persona), in fact houses an exotic bird, which shows itself to have a voice & nose like those of Jimmy Durante, as well as a saying: “Am I mortified!”
Although it’s fairly small, here’s the entire cartoon to watch. Enjoy.
Here’s more about Scrappy, from Wikipedia:
Scrappy is a cartoon character created by Dick Huemer for Charles Mintz’s Krazy Kat Studio (distributed by Columbia Pictures). A little round-headed boy, Scrappy often found himself involved in off-beat neighborhood adventures. Usually paired with his little brother Oopy (originally Vontzy), Scrappy also had an on-again, off-again girlfriend named Margy and a Scotty dog named Yippy. In later shorts the annoying little girl Brat and pesky pet Petey Parrot also appeared. Huemer created the character in 1931, and he remained aboard Mintz’s studio until 1933. With Huemer’s departure, his colleagues Sid Marcus and Art Davis assumed control of the series. The final Scrappy cartoon, The Little Theatre was released in 1941.
Posters for the “Beer Parade”
Here’s the synopsis of the cartoon from its IMDb page:
Scrappy and Oopie, though little boys, happily celebrate the return of beer after fourteen years, with the help of brew-guzzling gnomes, apparently from the “Rip Van Winkle” story. They leave an allegorical “Prohibition” figure (ugly old man in stovepipe hat) stripped and chased off.
Here’s another description from a user review at IMDb:
Scrappy and Oopie are partying with some gnomes who are enjoying beer from barrels. A mean Prohibition Agent appears and attacks the barrels with an axe, but Oopie will defend the right of people to enjoy their lager in this cartoon released a month before beer sales were legalized.
It had been a long fight and this typically bizarre Scrappy cartoon has the two children strongly in support of drinking. Although they do not partake themselves, they certainly use startlingly strange methods typical of Dick Huemer’s series. It is a pretty good one because it does not ease up in the second half. Dick and his staff certainly made it clear where their sympathies lay!
This is from Scrappyland, a website dedicated to Scrappy:
Plot summary: Scrappy and Oopy joyfully serve beer by the barrelful to dozens of drunken elves until Old Man Prohibition shows up. The boys and the little men assault him from the ground and the air–even using explosives–until he chooses to bury himself. Whereupon the good times roll once more.
(I particularly like the moment when Oopy, having rigged up a rope to trip Old Man Prohibition, tugs at it to verify that it’s tight enough to do the job.)
The cartoon is an obvious allegory concerning prohibition and its repeal. But it was released on March 4, 1933, when the federal ban on alcoholic beverages was still in force, so its celebration of unrestrained imbibing was anticipatory.
FDR, who famously made repeal part of his campaign, had taken office in January; a couple of weeks after the cartoon debuted, he signed the Cullen-Harrison act, which permitted the sale of wine and 3.2 percent beer starting the following month. In December, prohibition on the federal level was fully repealed.
Prohibition was never enforced all that rigorously in cartoon land. The 1929 Silly Symphony The Merry Dwarfs presaged The Beer Parade by showing its title characters quaffing beer; 1931’s Lady Play Your Mandolin, the first Merrie Melody, takes place in a saloon and is full of tippling animals, although it’s possible that it’s set in Mexico. But the sheer quantity of beer in The Beer Parade–served by two small boys without any adult supervision–remains startling. It’s unimaginable that anyone would have made a cartoon with this theme a few years later. Or today.
(Scrappy and Oopy aren’t shown drinking in the cartoon, but they are depicted brandishing foamy mugs themselves, and do seem to be in an awfully exuberant good mood.)
He’s reviewing it from a YouTube video where someone at a public screening simply videotaped the cartoon and then uploaded it. But it’s subsequently been removed from YouTube. And as far as I can tell, Scrappy cartoons have not been released on either videotape or DVD. Which is a crying shame, because it looks like it was an amazing cartoon.
This is from Scrappyland, a website dedicated to Scrappy:
Dr. Richard Huemer–the son of Scrappy’s creator–shared this New Years’ card which was sent to his father by Joe De Nat, the Mintz studio’s musical director. The card depicts Scrappy and his Mintz stablemate Krazy Kat pumping beer into a mug inhabited by a piano player and a mermaid (presumably representing Mr. and Mrs. De Nat). Assuming that the references to 1933 and the new year mean that the De Nats distributed this card around January 1, 1933, prohibition was still in effect, but the recent election of FDR meant that its days were clearly numbered.
Wednesday’s ad is for Heineken, from the 1970s. In the later 1970s, Heineken embarked on a series of ads with the tagline “Heineken Refreshes the Parts Other Beers Cannot Reach.” Many of the ads were in a sequential panel, or comic strip, format and they were intended to be humorous.
In this ad, a three-panel format, drawn by cartoonist Don Martin, who was best known for his work in MAD Magazine, a chef looks tired, as evidenced by his hat falling limp behind his head, so he’s drinking a mug of beer. Which — FWOT! — makes his hat stand up stiffly at attention. But in the last panel, once he’s removed his hat, his hair is standing up too, with a part down the center. So that’s where the changed text comes in: it’s not “parts,” but “partings” in this ad. Unfortunately, this was the best resolution of the ad I could find.