One of those classic toys from the Fifties that is now entrenched in American culture.

A brief history (I can't believe I researched this):

1952: Mr. Potato Head is created. Initially, it consisting a bunch of plastic parts in a bag. Kids were then supposed to find perfectly good potatoes in which to stick these parts.

1953: Mrs. Potato Head is added

1964: After many a family goes hungry because all of the potatoes were ruined by bratty little kids, a plastic Mr. Potato Head is introduced with pre-drilled holes. As a result, from that moment forward, kids knew that for the rest of their lives, big corporations were going to tell them where to stick it

...: it gets pretty lame from here on in - except for a resurgence in popularity with the Pixar Toy Story movies.

Check it out, ascii potato-head! You might need to view just this writeup if Mr. Potato Head didn't wrap properly. I sure hope this one works...

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Mr. Potato Head is a new comic strip launched in July 2001, by Jim Davis and Brett Koth. Koth is a long-time collaborator with Davis, having worked on U.S. Acres and many of the Garfield television efforts.

The strip focuses on the family life of Mr. Potato Head. He's a Vice President in charge of testing at a toy manufaturer. Mrs. Potato Head is a gardening advice columnist. Their children are teenaged Julienne and young Chip.

Gags based on the whole interchangable-body-part thing are plentiful but not overdone. Also amusing is the frequent potato-based humor, such as when the Mr. got caught out in the rain and had sprouted by the time he got home.

The strip is definitely reminiscent of Garfield, but the characters and situations are new and intriguing. That, along with having Koth along to provide a fresh perspective, help make Mr. Potato Head a good strip. Unfortunately, it also, by way of comparison, makes it that much clearer how far Garfield has fallen from its heyday.

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