Written and drawn by Al Capp, the strip ran for 43 years, from August 13,1934 through November 13,1977. It was distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Comic strips typically dealt with northern urban experiences before Capp introduced Lil Abner, the first strip based in the South. Although Capp was from Connecticut, he spent 43 years writing about a southern town. The comic strip had 60 million readers in over 900 American newspapers and 100 foreign papers in 28 countries, Author M. Thomas Inge says Capp had a profound influence on the way the world viewed the American South. Lil Abner Yokum, Abner was 63 and perpetually 19 yars old, a naïve, simpleminded, gullible and sweet-natured hillbilly, he lived in a ramshackle log cabin with his pint-sized parents. Capp derived the family name Yokum as a combination of yokel, in Capps satirical and often complex plots, Abner was a country bumpkin Candide — a paragon of innocence in a sardonically dark and cynical world. During World War II, Abner was drafted into becoming the mascot emblem of the Patrol Boat Squadron 29, for 18 years, Abner slipped out of Daisy Maes marital crosshairs time and time again. When Capp finally gave in to pressure and allowed the couple to tie the knot. It even made the cover of Life magazine on March 31,1952 — illustrating an article by Capp entitled Its Hideously True, the Creator of Lil Abner Tells Why His Hero Is Wed. Daisy Mae Yokum, Beautiful Daisy Mae was hopelessly in love with Dogpatchs most prominent resident throughout the entire 43-year run of Al Capps comic strip, during most of the epic, the impossibly dense Abner exhibited little romantic interest in her voluptuous charms. In 1952, Abner reluctantly proposed to Daisy to emulate the engagement of his comic strip ideel, Fosdicks own wedding to longtime fiancée Prudence Pimpleton turned out to be a dream — but Abner and Daisys ceremony, performed by Marryin Sam, was permanent. Abner and Daisy Maes nuptials were a source of media attention, landing them on the aforementioned cover of Life magazines March 31,1952. Once married, Abner became relatively domesticated, like Mammy Yokum and the other wimmenfolk in Dogpatch, Daisy Mae did all the work, domestic and otherwise — while the useless menfolk generally did nothing whatsoever. Mammy Yokum, Born Pansy Hunks, Mammy was the scrawny, highly principled sassiety leader and she married the inconsequential Pappy Yokum in 1902, they produced two strapping sons twice their own size. Mammy dominated the Yokum clan through the force of her personality, and dominated everyone else with her fearsome right uppercut and she is consistently the toughest character throughout Lil Abner. A superhuman dynamo, Mammy did all the household chores — and her authority was unquestioned, and her characteristic phrase, Ah has spoken. Signaled the end of all further discussion and her most familiar phrase, however, is Good is better than evil becuz its nicer. Pappy Yokum, Born Lucifer Ornamental Yokum, pint-sized Pappy had the misfortune of being the patriarch in a family that didnt have one, Pappy was so lazy and ineffectual, he didnt even bathe himself
Al Capp's Li'l Abner (October 12, 1947)
A 1971 musical special on ABC: the modern world comes to Dogpatch.
"But, cuss it, Ah is still alive!!" Li'l Abner, Daisy Mae, Mammy, Salomey and Pappy survive another narrow scrape in this strip excerpt from March 29, 1947.