Why does Beetle Bailey never go to war?

Dik Browne’s Beetle Bailey strip has been running since at least the '50s, I think – through several periods of American armed conflict. So why is it that Beetle and Zero and Sergeant Snorkel and Lieutenant Fuzz never seem to get out of Camp Swampy? Why didn’t they get sent to fight in Vietnam? Kuwait? Or Somalia? Kosovo? Afghanistan? Iraq? Why do they do nothing but train and complain?

Kind of, sort of, related discussion

Who’s next, Beetle Bailey?

No humor in war. Of course you could argue there’s no humor in BB I guess.

Champaign unit?

For the same reason that Gomer Pyle never went to Vietnam. :dubious:

Don’t ask, don’t tell?

All of that plus the CBS censor machine. Would not want reality to creep in on it. Remember that was the era of “The Beverly Hillbillies” too.

Beetle and company are always on guard, ready to put their lives on the line in case they are threatened by an invasion of COMIC STRIPS THAT ARE ACTUALLY FUNNY!!! Dear God, not THAT!!!

All the comic combat was done by Sad Sack and Willie & Joe

Speaking of BB, was I dreaming last week or did Miss Buxley offer to take Beetle to bed with her?

(Personally, I’d always figured that Killer would give her a better ride.)

No, she was being sarcastic.

And I think her and Killer often get it on. He’s always picking her up from work, isn’t he?

(hey, I have nothing to read at lunch but the comics. Gimme a break.)

That strip is here. It is a lot more risque than your normal hyper bland BB strip where she says she says “If I asked you to spend the night…”.

I have to say that’s probably the best Beetle Bailey strip I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been reading them intermittently since the 60’s.

Out of some strange sense of masochism, I suppose. That’s why.

Interesting…there was one about a month ago where she said she’d like to spend more time with him. Too bad he was asleep as usual.

It was also the era of Combat! and Rat Patrol.

Bill Mauldin made a funny success of Up Front, didn’t he? Remember Dogface Willie and Dogface Joe? Where’s the Bill Mauldin for our age? We need one!

Mauldin’s humor was irony and sarcasm. He constantly pointed to the absurdities of war. As in the cartoon that showed Willie and Joe crossing a temporary river bridge. One of them looks down at some engineers, up to their chests in muddy water working on the bridge, and says, “You’re lucky. You’re learnin’ a trade.” Or another that shows Willie and Joe taking some prisoners to the rear. Everyone in the picture is dirty, unshaven, tired and downtrodden. The caption is a radio report that, “Fresh, high-spirited, well equiped GI’s are bringing in thousands of hungry, bedraggled and dispirited prisoners.”

Sometimes Mauldin got so funny that he got into the bad graces of General George S. Patton. As in this from Wikipedia demonstrates.

An excerpt: "Army officers who were raised in the peacetime army of spit and polish and obedience to orders without question were offended. General George Patton once summoned Mauldin to his office and threatened to “throw his ass in jail” for “spreading dissent”. This after one of Mauldin’s cartoons made fun of Patton’s demand that all sodiers must be clean-shaven and wear ties at all times, even in combat. But Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander, told Patton to leave Mauldin alone, because he felt that Mauldin’s cartoons gave the soldiers an outlet for their frustrations. He [Mauldin] told an interviewer later, “Patton was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn’t like that attitude.”

Patton was also really pissed at this one by Mauldin which appeared in Stars and Stripes after the shooting war was over.

That’s my point! Surely there are at least as many absurdities in the present war as in WWII! Why is no cartoonist gutsy enough and witty enough to step up to the plate?

All wars are filled with absurdities but I wonder if the present regime would stand for an ironic view of this war very long.

You don’t make fun of holy missions.

Mort Walker. Dik Browne created Hagar the Horrible, who actually goes into battle.

Perhaps they are part of the Texas National Guard.

It isn’t the cartoonists who aren’t gutsy enough, it’s the newspaper editors who buy these strips and publish them who aren’t gutsy enough. But Doonesbury is doing a fine job picking up some of the slack.

Whenever Beetle Bailey comes up, I always mention my favorite Beetle Bailey strip, a parody which appeared in Mad Magazine in the 60s. Sarge decided to finally find out what’s under Beetle’s hat and rips it off to discover the words GET OUT OF VIETNAM written on his forehead.