Apr 29, 2017

Baby Huey and Dimwit: Bottom of the Barrel Buddy-Bonding

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, I loved Harvey Comics, in this order:

1. The Ghosts (Casper, Spooky, Ghostland, Spooktown), whose weird paranormal and science fiction adventures were full of gay subtexts.

2. Hot Stuff the Little Devil (Hot Stuff, Sizzlers, Devil Kids).  Sometimes he had paranormal and science fiction adventures, too, but more often he was stuck in crazy pun-ridden lands that made no sense.

4. Richie Rich.  Usually he was insufferable, with joke stories about how rich he was.  Who cares?  But sometimes there were fun adventure and spy stories.

5. The Girls with Halfway Interesting Adventures (Little Lotta, Little Dot).

6. The Girl with Incredibly Boring Adventures (Little Audrey).

7. Baby Huey.  Only if I was desperate.

Baby Huey was a gigantic duck toddler in a diaper and bonnet who got involved in slapstick shenanigans.  He had super-strength, like Little Lotta, but combined with basic lack of understanding of how anything worked.  The result was mayhem. He rarely if ever saved the day, although sometimes he succeeded through pure dumb luck.

He sparred with three normal-sized ducks who disapproved of him, and a fox who kept trying to eat him.  (Although the ducks were civilized and lived in cities, they were still likely to be victimized by predators.)

And he had an annoying lisping girlfriend, Matilda.  What did she see in the baby giant?  "You're so big and shtrong, Huey!"  I get it -- he was three times the size of a normal duck, so if he was proportional beneath the belt...

Who'd believe that there were 92 issues of Baby Huey (1956-1972), plus compendium titles Baby Huey Duckland (1962-66) and Baby Huey and Papa (1962-68).

As in all of the Harvey comics, there was a big change in theme and emphasis after 1966.  Baby Huey was still wearing a stupid bonnet and diaper, but he was older, able to go out on adventures by himself.

He was often accompanied by his Cousin Dimwit: an adult duck, rather cute as anthropomorphic ducks go, with a shirt that extended beyond his hands (a sign of stupidity, I suppose).

A sort of inventor, Dimwit popped in out of nowhere and announced "I want to take Cousin Huey on a trip to the Moon!"  Huey's parents would, strangely enough, permit this.

My favorite Huey/Dimwit stories:

1, They build a mechanical Frankenstein that terrorizes the town.
2. Trying to fly to Florida, they end up at the North Pole
3, They're hired by the governmnt to take top-secret pictures.
4. They use dehydrating pills to foil a criminal gang.
5. They take a wrong turn and end up kidnapped by spies.

Still humorous/slapstick, but with enough buddy bonding and nick-of-time rescues to create at least minimal gay subtexts.

Boy, I could really find it everywhere, couldn't I?

By the way, here are some people and businesses who have taken the nom de plum Baby Huey:

1. James Ramos (left), the front man for Baby Huey and the Babysitters, 1970s precursors to the hip hop style.  He weighed 350 pounds.

2. MMA fighter Tito Ortiz (top photo).  He's not fat at all.

3. Hell's Angels motorcycle club member George Wethern.








4. "Baby Huey," the host of the Saturday night show on The Bone (KSAN, 107.7 FM).  He also does the podcast "The Second Shift" with cohost Chasta.





Baby Huey is also:

1. A popular dance club and hipster hangout in Toronto

2. A moving company in Katy, Texas, and

3. A barbecue restaurant in Fremont, Nebraska.








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