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We Go PogoWalt Kelly, Politics, and American Satire$
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Kerry D. Soper

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032844.001.0001

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date: 18 December 2017

Walt Kelly’s Biography and a General History of Pogo

Walt Kelly’s Biography and a General History of Pogo

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 1 Walt Kelly’s Biography and a General History of Pogo
Source:
We Go Pogo
Author(s):

Kerry D. Soper

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617032844.003.0002

This chapter discusses the life of Walt Kelly and follows the trail of his whirlwind professional career as he appeared on talk shows, rubbed shoulders with politicians and movie stars, traveled the world as a pundit, toured college campuses, and performed chalk-talks or roasts that resembled vaudevillian stand-up routines. It also presents two reasons why documenting his childhood and young adult years was difficult. First, Kelly was self-effacing about his significance as a cultural figure worthy of a biography or academic study. He saw himself as a working-class newspaperman who had succeeded in a generally underappreciated field through sheer hard work and luck. Second, Kelly was elusive and unreliable when describing his upbringing. He chose to write autobiographical sketches featuring silly exaggeration and self-mocking comedy.

Keywords:   whirlwind professional career, cultural figure, working-class newspaperman, autobiographical sketches, silly exaggeration, self-mocking comedy

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