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Author Topic: ARRL's cartoonist Gil's character "Jeeves"  (Read 1576 times)
KC9KEP
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« on: August 27, 2009, 07:20:47 PM »

Anyone who has ever read the 40's & 50's ARRL
handbooks has likely enjoyed Philip "Gil"
Gildersleeve's cartoons.

Can someone explain to me the recurring cartoon about
Gil's charater "Jeeves"?

So, what is Jeeves?  Some rich Ham's butler?

Does Gil ever show who is talking to Jeeves off-panel?

Is Jeeves always the butt-end of the jokes?

Thanks for any insights :-)
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G3RZP
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 01:35:51 AM »

Jeeves is the valet in P. G. Wodehouse's stories about a rather inane rich young Englishman of the 1920's, Bertie Wooster.  Bertie keeps getting into all sorts of scrapes and Jeeves is the very bright servant who sort him out. Rather dated fiction, but still very popular in radio and TV scripts. So Gil's Jeeves is the guy sorting out the problems, but somewhat less suave that Wodehouse's Jeeves.

A good start on the books is 'The Illimitable Jeeves'.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 04:54:31 AM »

Bravo to G3RZP for knowing Jeeves was a valet, not a butler!  :-)  I'm occasionally amazed at how popular Plum's books are even now.  I'm always running into other Wodehouse fans.  And in a lame effort to keep this on-topic, I am not aware of a reference to amateur radio in any of PGW's works, are you?  ;-)
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KC9KEP
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 08:04:48 AM »

Thank you all for the infomation!

It makes much more sense to me now.

I'll need to research the series more :-)

Regardless, I've always enjoyed Gil's style.

Kind of a cross between Krazy Kat, Tin Tin,
and a much cleaned up Robert Crumb :-)

73
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G3RZP
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 07:57:54 AM »

Jeeves was known to act as a butler on the odd occasion in emergency, but not as a regular thing. There's no mention of amateur radio in any of the Wodehouse books that I have read, and there are at least 15 in our collection of 3800 fiction books....that excludes the other ones that I have had from the library over the years. I've only been reading Wodehouse since about 1957.

His other famous set of characters who appear in several books are Psmith and Ukridge.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 07:58:23 AM »

Jeeves was known to act as a butler on the odd occasion in emergency, but not as a regular thing. There's no mention of amateur radio in any of the Wodehouse books that I have read, and there are at least 15 in our collection of 3800 fiction books....that excludes the other ones that I have had from the library over the years. I've only been reading Wodehouse since about 1957.

His other famous set of characters who appear in several books are Psmith and Ukridge.
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WX7G
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2009, 10:52:56 AM »

Gutenberg.org has a couple dozen of the P.G. Wodehouse books for a free download.

http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/w#a783
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WX7G
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2009, 11:01:02 AM »

Gutenberg.org has a couple dozen of the P.G. Wodehouse books for a free download.

http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/w#a783
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G3RZP
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 02:58:36 PM »

Do not know if the glitch affecting eham.net has been cured - it said that one couldn't post earlier.

Wodehouse is  still extremely funny if one likes that sort of thing: as an a reader, I do! We do not even have a TV set in the house...
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N2EY
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2009, 05:32:35 AM »

"So, what is Jeeves? Some rich Ham\'s butler?"

As others have stated, Jeeves was inspired by the P. G. Wodehouse books. But only in name; the characters are very different.

AFAIK, "Gil" cartoons featuring Jeeves only appeared in the "How\'s DX?" column, which was also the home of the DXHPDS, Grommethead Schultz, limerick poetry and characters with wonderful names such as Noah Q. Essels, Lotta Chassis and Harry Uppensine.  

btw, there was a TV series based on the books that aired on PBS (this side of the pond, anyway). Starred Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as Jeeves.  Hugh Laurie is best known to Americans as "House", and Fry is less well known, but they\'ve both done a lot more, such as the "Blackadder" series.

"Does Gil ever show who is talking to Jeeves off-panel?"

The off-panel \'boss\' is never shown. Not even once. I always assumed that it was the DX editor, W9BRD. Some of the How\'s DX stories refer to Jeeves.  

(Look up "Christmas 1944" by W9BRD for a really good story.)

"Is Jeeves always the butt-end of the jokes?"

Usually but not always. Since he\'s the only one pictured, there isn\'t much choice. Very few of the cartoons with Jeeves show other people.  

It should be remembered that, once upon a time, it was common for those above a certain socio-economic level to have live-in "help" - cooks, maids, cleaning people, valets, etc. "Jeeves" required no explanation to the folks of those days.

IMHO, a mag like QST is also a bit of a window to a very different time in America. A lot of things in the older issues are not immediately clear to a modern reader because they were so common in their day that no explanation was necessary. Such as the use of a growler as the housing for a monitor.

One of the unique things about amateur radio in those bygone days is that it brought together people from very different backgrounds, regions and social classes - and it brought them together as equals. On the air, particularly on CW, one cannot tell the rich ham from the poor one, the young from the old, race, religion, ethnicity, education, etc. But it is immediately apparent who has good operating skills and who doesn\'t.

If you like the Jeeves cartoons and the How\'s DX stories, you\'ll probably enjoy the W4VT stories too. There are only three of them, all in the 1930s:

"To A Lady With Red Hair"
"Freshman Marlowe"
"Jim"

The last one has been reprinted a couple times in QST, the others only once. They are the best of the best.


73 de Jim, N2EY
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