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This Day in Pop Culture for January 17

Popeye the Sailor

1929: Popeye the Sailor Man Makes His First Appearance

King Features’ comic strip, Thimble Theatre by E. C. Segar had been in existence for ten years before Popeye the Sailor Man was featured on this day in 1929. He quickly became one of the strip’s most popular characters. In 1933, Max Fleischer introduced Popeye and friends for Paramount Pictures within a Betty Boop cartoon which was followed by his starring role in I Yam What I Yam. In 1980 Robert Altman directed Robin Williams in the live action movie, Popeye. In 2010, Sony Pictures Animation announced that they were developing a new animated cartoon of the sailor man. Ten years later and still no sign of him, but the studio still says that they have plans for this movie.


  • 1504: Pope Pius V
  • 1706: Benjamin Franklin (inventor)
  • 1922: Betty White (actress)
  • 1927: Eartha Kitt (actress)
  • 1931: James Earl Jones (actor)
  • 1933: Shari Lewis (puppeteer)
  • 1939: Maury Povich (talk show host)
  • 1942: Muhammad Ali (boxer)
  • 1949: Andy Kaufman (comedian)
  • 1957: Steve Harvey (game show host)
  • 1962: Jim Carrey (actor)
  • 1964: Michelle Obama (former first lady)
  • 1971: Kid Rock (singer)
  • 1980: Zooey Deschanel (actress)

Other Events

  • 1950: 11 people stole more than $2 million from Brink’s armored car company office known as the Great Brink’s Robbery.
  • 1998: Matt Druge broke the story about President Bill Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky on this Druge Report website.

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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