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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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Walt Kelly’s Biography and a General History of Pogo

Walt Kelly’s Biography and a General History of Pogo

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

Kerry D. Soper

University Press of Mississippi

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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