Monday, December 8, 2008

A quick survey on race and humor

My friend Gene Weingarten, a renowned expert on humor (and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the Washington Post), is taking a poll.

Gene is the guy who emailed me that old “Dennis the Menace” cartoon I blogged about last week.

Now Gene wants to get a sense of how offensive and/or clever you think that cartoon is. (Or isn’t.)

Please follow this link and do the survey. He’ll discuss the results tomorrow in his weekly online forum – “Chatological Humor.” Start time: 12 noon (Eastern).


maria said...

wow. quite a sophisticated instant poll analysis!

btw, kenya is winning as the caption.

and you should mention you're part of the survey!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I guess the pimp joke was a bit much. (It cracked Gene up, though.)

bklyn6 said...

In the original post Richard posted this Ketcham quote: "Dennis' world is white."

Was Dennis' world so white that the only black face he could identify with was a coonish caricature? It's almost as if Ketcham was thinking: If I have to concede to changing times, I'm going to do it on my own terms.

I can't know if he was actually thinking this, but if this new character was supposed to become a regular he had to have known that he would incur the ire of many black people by portraying such a negative stereotype.

Did he ever create/introduce a less offensive African-American character for this strip?

Kellybelle said...

took the survey.I chose "kenya." I think if they'd drawn the Black kid normally, itwd have been a nice commentary on how children don't get caught up on race. Even bad ass children like Dennis the Menace.

Daisy Kingston said...

I grew up with a different version of Dennis The Menace than the cartoon shown here. There was an animated Dennis The Menace series on in the 80's.

This was the intro: