Popeye the Sailor Man - I Yam What I Yam...

Popeye the Sailor Man has more statues erected in his honor than any other Sunday Funnies celebrity. Sculptures of Popeye are in Texas, Illinois, and at least three different towns in Arkansas. Most commemorate in some way his prodigious consumption of spinach, and the one in Illinois marks the birthplace of his creator, Elzie Segar. None of Popeye's statues celebrate his prowess as a sailor man (the towns are all landlocked).

Popeye, Springdale, AR.
Popeye, Springdale, AR.

Why Popeye? His popularity as a statue probably reflects the same reason that his fame grew from print to television to a forgettable Robin Williams film: Popeye is fun to portray. With his balloon forearms, pendulous jowls, and perpetual, painful squint, Popeye's freak physique is also a forgiving canvas, which possibly explains why all of his statues look different from the others, yet are all recognizable as Popeye.

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May 26, 2020

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