Garry Trudeau

  • Aired:  12/06/10
  •  | Views: 22,346

"Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau scooped himself on the first openly gay character in a comic strip. (7:25)

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAS DRAWN THE

DUNES DUR COMIC FOR 40 YEARS.

I'LL ASK HIM WHY ZONKER NEVER

HOOKED UP WITH BRENDA STARR.

PLEASE WELCOME GARRY TRUDEAU.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

HEY, GARRY.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANKS FOR COMING ON.

>> MY GREAT PLEASURE.

>> Stephen: SIR, LET'S TALK

ABOUT THE ITEM AT HAND, THIS

RIGHT HERE, THIS IS 40: A

DOONESBURY RETROSPECTIVE.

FOR 40 YEARS YOU HAVE BEEN DOING

SEVEN STRIPS A WEEK.

>> THE SAME JOB.

>> Stephen: ISN'T THAT A LONG

TIME TO BE ATTACKING PRESIDENT

NIXON?

BECAUSE THAT'S ALL THIS IS,

RIGHT, LIKE SHAKING YOUR FIST AT

WATERGATE.

>> THERE HAVE BEEN SOME OTHER

PRESIDENTS, AS WELL.

>> Stephen: IS THAT... THAT'S

ONE OF THE GREAT GIFTS FOR DOING

IT FOR 40 YEARS, WHEN YOU SEE

SOME SORT OF CRISIS GOING ON IN

THE COUNTRY, YOU SEE OBAMA

BEHAVING X, Y, Z, DID YOU SAY, I

GOT ONE OF THESE.

I CAN GO BACK TO CARTER AND

SWITCH OUT.

NANCY PELOSI IS CYRUS VEINS AND

WE'RE DONE.

>> I HAVEN'T RECYCLED ANY

STRIPS, BUT IT'S NOT A BAD IDEA.

I THINK ABOUT NOW I COULD GET

AWAY WITH IT.

>> Stephen: I GOT TO SAY THIS

RIGHT HERE, THIS IS A REALLY

IMPRESSIVE VOLUME, DOONESBURY

READERS...

>> TEN POUNDS OF BOOK.

>> Stephen: TEN POUNDS.

IS THIS A DANGER ANYONE COULD

GET TRAPPED UNDERNEATH IT?

>> I THINK IT'S PROBABLY... IF

YOU'RE GOING TO READ IT, YOU

SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE SOMEONE

SPOT YOU.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

WHAT ARE WE TARGETING HERE?

>> LIFT FROM THE KNEES, SO A LOT

OF TREES DODGED THAT, ALTHOUGH

NOT AMERICAN TREES.

>> Stephen: CONGRATULATIONS.

THESE ARE CHINESE TREES?

>> NO, CHILEAN TREES.

>> CHILEAN TREES IS WHERE THE

PULP CAME FROM.

>> Stephen: DID YOU FIND THAT

OUT?

>> YES.

WELL, IT WAS A GLOBAL EFFORT.

WE HAD TO FIND THE PULP, JUST

THE RIGHT PAPER IN CHILE.

>> Stephen: DO YOU EVER EXPORT

ANY OF YOUR WORK?

ARE YOUR STRIPS EVER IN INDIA

AND TRANSLATED BACK INTO

ENGLISH.

>> I EXPLAINED ALL THAT TO A

SERIES OF STRINS.

WE OUTSOURCE THE WRITING.

THERE ARE CHEAP GAG WRITERS DOWN

IN HONDURAS.

I WAS WAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE.

I'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR YEARS.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE TO DO

THAT BECAUSE SEVEN STRIPS A WEEK

FOR 40 YEARS.

>> NO ONE MAN COULD DO THAT.

>> Stephen: THAT WOULD BE LIKE

DOING 161 OF THESE SHOWS A YEAR.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: LET'S LOOK AT SOME

OF THE CHARACTERS.

JIM, CAN WE HAVE FIRST SLIDE UP

THERE.

THIS IS... THIS IS ALL THE

CHARACTERS.

>> YEAH, IT'S PRETTY

SELF-EXPLANATORY.

>> Stephen: IN THE DOONESBURY

UNIVERSE AND HOW THEY'RE

RELATED.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU

DON'T KILL OFF ENOUGH PEOPLE.

>> SOME OF THEM ARE DEAD.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

>> THERE'S SOME CORNSES.

LET'S GO TO THE FIRST ONE OF

THESE PANELS.

>> THIS IS THE ALPHA CHARACTER,

DEEPLY CONSERVATIVE.

THAT'S WHERE I STARTED.

>> Stephen: YOU STARTED WITH

B.D.

WHY ISN'T IT CALLED B.D.?

WHY IT IS DOONESBURY?

>> IT WAS NOT AN INTERESTING

TITLE.

DOONESBURY HAD A MEMORABLE SOUND

IT TO.

>> Stephen: DID YOU WANT TO BE

A POLITICAL CARTOONIST?

>> IT BEGAN AS A SPORTS TRIP.

I WAS ABOUT B.D., INSPIRED BY

THE LOCAL HERO, THE QUARTERBACK

OF MY FOOTBALL TEAM.

AND I THOUGHT IT WAS ONE SEASON.

I STARTED IN SEPTEMBER AND I

THOUGHT I'D BE DONE BY DECEMBER.

ABOUT SIX WEEKS INTO IT, I WAS

SCOUTED BY A SYNDICATE, AND I

WAS OFFERED THE JOB I CURRENTLY

HAVE.

>> Stephen: SO WHEN DID IT

BECOME... ONE OF THE THINGS THAT

AMAZES ME ABOUT DOONESBURY IS,

FIRST OF ALL, THAT SOMETHING

THIS LIBERAL COULD SURVIVE THIS

LONG.

( LAUGHTER )

>> WELL, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER,

WHEN I STARTED LIBERAL WAS...

YOU'RE PROBABLY TOO YOUNG TO

REMEMBER, THIS BUT LIBERAL...

>> Stephen: I'M 31.

>> LIBERAL WAS COOL.

>> Stephen: WHEN WAS LIBERAL

COOL?

>> LIBERAL WAS COOL.

A LIBERAL COULD WALK DOWN THE

STREET OPENLY, HIS HEAD HELD

HIGH, AND PEOPLE WOULD GO, THERE

GOES A LIBERAL.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

THEY WERE IDENTIFIABLE?

>> YEAH.

( APPLAUSE )

WE WERE RESPECTABLE.

WE WERE RESPECTABLE.

WE WERE LIKE BANKERS BEFORE THEY

WERE HATED.

>> Stephen: BUT YOU GUYS

DIDN'T GET BAILOUT.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: NOW, DO YOU THINK

YOU OPENED DOORS FOR OTHER

CARTOONISTS?

OBVIOUSLY NO DOONESBURY, NO

MALLARD FILLMORE.

>> MALLARD FILLMORE WAS

INTRODUCED AND SOLD I THINK AS

AN ALTERNATIVE FOR NEWSPAPER,

PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO RAN

NEWSPAPERS ON THE EDITORIAL

PAGES.

THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOME SORT

OF BALANCE.

BUT I THINK I MOSTLY MADE THE

COMICS WORLD SAFE FROM BAD

DRAWING.

THE ORIGINAL STRIPS WERE CONCERN

>> Stephen: TERRIBLE.

>> I WAS NOT READY FOR PRIME

TIME.

DID NOT HAVE THE SKILL SET.

>> Stephen: THEY LOOKED LIKE

THEY WERE DRAWN BY A PALSY

TODDLER.

VERY CLEVER ONE, THOUGH.

>> BUT I THINK THAT'S HOW WE

FRAMED IT.

WE MARKET IT AND TRY TURN THAT

ENTER A VIRTUE AND SAY THESE ARE

THE URGENT SCRIBBLINGS FROM

SOMEONE ON THE FRONT LINES OF

THE COUNTER-CULTURE.

>> Stephen: LET'S LOOK AT SOME

OTHER IMAGES.

THIS IS DUKE.

THIS IS BASED ON WHO?

>> HUNTER THOMPSON.

>> Stephen: THIS IS MARK.

MARK TURNED OUT TO BE GAY.

>> CORRECT.

>> Stephen: IS THIS THE FIRST

OPENLY GAY CASHER IN A COMPIC

INDUSTRY?

>> NO, HE WAS PROCEEDED BY

ALMOST 18 YEARS BY JOANNIE'S

BOYFRIEND.

>> Stephen: BUT YOU INTRODUCED

THE FIRST OPENLY GAY CHARACTER.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: SO YOU SCOOPED

YOURSELF.

>> RIGHT.

A LITTLE BIT.

>> Stephen: NOT GAY CODE, BY

THE WAY.

>> AND WAS UNAWARE HE WAS GAY

FOR A LONG TIME REALLY.

>> Stephen: YOU WERE.

HOW DID HE COME OUT TO YOU?

THESE HAVE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN,

CORRECT?

>> I KNEW SOMEBODY WHO STUMBLED

UPON THIS ASPECT OF HIS NATURE

VERY LATE IN LIFE, AND THAT

INSPIRED ME TO DO THE SAME WITH

MARK.

>> IS THERE ANOTHER EDITORIAL

VOICE IN THE NEWSPAPER WHO HAS

BEEN GOING FULL STEAM LIKE YOU

HAVE FOR 40 YEARS?

>> NO, I'M IT.

( LAUGHTER )

>> Stephen: THAT'S WHAT I

THINK.

>> CHARLES SCHULZ HAD A PRETTY

GOOD RUN.

>> Stephen: YES, BUT HE'S

TAPERED OFF RECENTLY.

YOU ARE STILL GOING STRONG.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT.

THANK YOU, GARRY TRUDEAU.

THE BOOK IS "40: A DOONESBURY

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