"Eugene the Jeep" is our little buddy, and our mascot.
Here's a little Popeye tune while you browse, enjoy mate...
    "The small yellow animal Olive received from her Uncle Ben on March 3, 1936, has proven through the years to be universally the most popular of THIMBLE THEATRE'S menagerie, was introduced to an already beloved Popeye comic strip by E.C. Segar. .  We may have him to thank for help in bringing the "jeep" phrase to every home in America on Sunday morning.  Eugene the Jeep was a departure from Segar's usual creatures. Most of the side beasts were anything but pleasant in physical appearance.  Added as heavies, their purpose was to challenge Popeye and put fear in the hearts of readers.

    With the Jeep, Segar took the opposite direction. He wanted, and created, an animal that was charming in looks and pleasant in personality.  Only villains have anything to fear from Eugene. The creation of this appealing animal was the most exciting and pleasing experience of my years with Segar.  The Jeep was magic. From the first rough sketches through to the naming, the small creature insisted on being born.


    After settling on the physical design of the new character, he had to decide what to call him.  At breakfast one morning, as he were mulling over possible names, one entry on Segar's list stood out like a neon sign: "Jeep."  There was no doubt; that was it, instantly as natural as calling a dog a dog.  He checked English and foreign dictionaries to be sure it wasn't in use, then chose the name once and for all, and added a new word to the language.  Later, when asked about a first name, he suggested Eugene.  

    Professor Brainstine, in Eugene's first appearance in the Sunday comics on August 9, 1936, gives a full and comprehensive answer to these questions.  Eugene the Jeep doesn't live with Popeye; he's usually busy ruling Jeep Island.  But because of his ability to foretell the future, the little animal always appears when Popeye or Swee'pea needs his special talents.

    For some of you too young to remember, Eugene is about the size of a dog, he walks on his hind legs, subsides strictly on orchids, and is a native of Africa.  Eugene represents the origins of the word Jeep, and is a favorite character in many old Popeye cartoons. 

    Eugene can only say the word "Jeep", and has the power to disappear and reappear in a different location. He is even a mascot to Northeast Dubois High School as the "Fighting Jeeps", and the Home of the Jeeps: Bloom-Vernon School.


Here are some cartoon clips from the Popeye cartoons with Eugene the Jeep:

Parts of the preceding was adapted from "Popeye the first fifty years" by Bud Sagendorf
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