'Family Circus' Creator Dead

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Vol 47 Issue 46

Prescription: Bedtime

CBS 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST This week's episode of the hit medical drama once again lulls the nation's fiftysomething moms to fall asleep on the couch, while the "code blue" commotion at the end is just loud enough to rouse them, make them l...

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'Family Circus' Creator Dead

Bil Keane, whose comic strip The Family Circus has appeared in newspapers since 1960, passed away last week at the age of 89. Here is a brief history of the strip and its creator:

  • 1962 PJ, the youngest child, is introduced in a particularly graphic birth panel
  • 1967 Keane hears "Purple Haze" for the first time, but the experience exerts absolutely no influence on his work
  • 1970 The kids get a new pet when they're allowed to keep Sam, a stray dog, instead of being forced to drown him in a burlap sack as Keane had originally planned
  • 1974 The now legendary "Daddy, do you want me to eat your pudding so you won't have to?" panel debuts to universal acclaim
  • 1975 Mere days before the Fall of Saigon, Billy is shot on the Cambodian border, one of the last U.S. casualties of the Vietnam conflict
  • 1977 Keane bumps into Love Is… creator Kim Casali at a cartoonist's convention and beats the shit out of her
  • 1982 While exploring each other's differences, 3-year-old Jeffy and a neighbor girl discover he has a shoehorn and she has a bucket
  • 1991 When new character "Cousin Greg" proves to be unpopular, the family abandons him at the ice cream parlor
  • 1994 Keane overhears someone say, "I feel lonely," and thinks to himself, hey, that's a comic right there
  • 1995 The strip is revealed to take place in an alternate universe where Dwight Eisenhower has been elected president 11 times
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