Walt Kelly

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St. Macarius of Egypt
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Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. (25 August 1913 - 18 October 1973) American cartoonist, usually known simply as Walt Kelly.


  • Looking back on things, the view always improves.
    • Impollutable Pogo (1970)

Pogo comic strip (1948 - 1975)


  • We have met the enemy and he is us.
    • This is derived from the famous statement of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry on the "War of 1812": "We have met the enemy and they are ours". It later appeared in a "modern day" poster for the first Earth Day in April 1970, and next in the comic strip itself in August 1970 in Porky Pine's mouth, and was re-used by Kelly in a subsequent Earth Day poster (1971), and further strips and in the title of the 1972 Pogo: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us book. A similar statement was actually used by Kelly many years earlier in his introduction to The Pogo Papers (1953) which he closes with these comments:
Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.
There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.

Porky Pine

  • Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.
  • Eventually every man gotta face the problem of tryin' to figger if it’s worthwhile to prove that he is himself.
  • The best break anybody ever gets is in bein' alive in the first place. An' you don't unnerstan' what a perfect deal it is until you realizes that you ain't gone be stuck with it forever, either.
  • Thar’s only two possibilities: Thar is life out there in the universe which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent life in the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought.
  • (Albert:) "I'd give them a piece of my mind if I could find it! I mean, them!" (Porky Pine, to Pogo:) "Y'know, ol' Albert leads a life of noisy desperation."


  • Ever since I heard you is got a million dollars I notice you is fraught with perspicacity.
    • Uncle Baldwin (speaking to Churchy)
  • Foo, a beautiful gal wastes her time gracin' up this swamp.
    • Miz Beaver
  • I'll tell you, son, the minority got us out-numbered!
    • Congersman Frog
  • So we got fifty percent. Babe Ruth didn't do no better. — Did you mean hittin' it... or throwin' it?
    • The three bats (Bewitched, Bothered and Bemildered)
  • Some is more equal than others, as is well known. It ain't that your majority is outnumbered, you're just out-surrounded.
    • Tammananny Tiger (to Pogo)
  • The natural born reason we didn't git no yew-ranium when we crosses the li'l yew tree and the gee-ranium is on account of cause we didn't have no geiger counter.
    • Dr. Howland Owl
  • Halp! My powerful brain is blowed itself up!
    • Albert Alligator in a thinking contest (after Howland Hoo Owl fires the starting gun)
  • Y'see, when you start to lick a national problem you have to go after the fundamentables. You want to cut down air pollution? Cut down the original source... Breathin!
    • Churchy (to Howland)
  • Deck us all with Boston Charlie
    Walla Walla, Wash, and Kalamazoo!
    Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
    Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!
    Don't we know archaic barrel,
    Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.
    Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
    Boola Boola Pensacoola Hullabaloo!


  • Reciprovocation is the spites of life.
  • Romeo wasn't bilked in a day.
  • I carry the hose.
  • Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.
  • Given three strikes, the truth will out.
  • God is not dead - he is merely unemployed...
  • Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts.
  • I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
  • If you wants to get elected president, you've got to think up some memorable homily so's school kids can be pestered into memorizin' it, even if they don't know what it means.
  • In like a dimwit, out like a light.
  • Knowledge and meaning can be too earnestly sought after. for the boy who, blind or helpless, can lie around and find moonlight and dancing girls going about their business in the secrecy of his mind alone.
  • Learn to laugh at your troubles and you'll never run out of things to laugh at.
  • Look alive. Here comes a buzzard. ~ Miz Beaver
  • My bug brain is ever whirrin.
  • Pogo is "the reasonably patient, soft-hearted, naive, friendly little person we all think we are"
  • The Now is alive with a curious life which defies the descriptive powers of such divers as swim ahead of the swine in search of pearls.
  • We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
  • Variant: We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity.
  • We gotta make democracy safe for the world.
  • What's good about March? Well, for one thing, it keeps February and April apart.
  • Women aren't as mere as they used to be.
  • If I could only write, I'd write a nasty letter to the mayor, if he could only read.
  • A parade is the worst form of transportation known to man.

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