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|First appearance||Garfield comic strip
(June 19, 1978)
|Created by||Jim Davis|
|Voiced by||Scott Beach (early commercials)
Lorenzo Music (1982-1994)
Frank Welker (2007-present)
Bill Murray (live-action/CGI films)
Garfield is a fictional character and the title protagonist from the comic strip Garfield created by Jim Davis. The comic strip centers on Garfield and portrays him to be a lazy, fat and cynical orange cat. He loves lasagna and coffee, and hates Mondays, Nermal and raisins. Garfield relates to many because of his passion for food, his ability to just eat a lot, and his lack of motivation to work out. Sleep is his favorite hobby and to him, "Diet is 'die' with a 't'".
Garfield was born June 19, 1978, in the kitchen of Mamma Leoni's Italian Restaurant weighing 5 lbs and 6 ounces at birth and loved Lasagna the day he was born. Ever since then, it has always been his favorite food. However, the restaurant owner of Mamma Leoni's Italian restaurant had to choose between keeping Garfield or closing down his restaurant due to a lack of pasta; so Garfield was sold to a pet shop. Later in his life, Garfield accidentally runs across his mother again one Christmas Eve, and meets his grandfather (from his mother's side) for the first time. On August 19, 1978, when Jon came to the store, he had to choose between Garfield, an iguana, and a pet rock. In his cartoon appearances, Garfield usually causes mischief in every episode. In June 1983, comic strips introduced Amoeba Man, one of Garfield's alter-egos, yet he was only shown in six strips (June 20–25). In February 2010, another alter ego was introduced called Super Garfield, and his sidekick Odieboy (Odie). Amoeba Man and Super Garfield are only two of his few imaginary alter egos though, his most common one being the Caped Avenger. And for a very short period of time, Garfield would fall prey to various dogs e.g. Bungee Dog, Warm up dog etc. which would squish him in any direction. It is also given that Garfield uses the "sandbox" on occasion, such as in one 1978 strip; he says he hates commercials because they're "too long to sit through and too short for a trip to the sandbox." It was revealed on October 27, 1979, that he doesn’t like raisins. His birthday is June 19, 1978, the day the first Garfield strip was published. Interestingly, on Garfield's 25th anniversary in 2003, several strips were featured with him interacting with the version of him from 1978. Garfield frequently gets into many adventures, such as getting stuck in roll-up shades, sparring with mice, and getting locked up in animal shelters. In 2005, Garfield and Jon appeared in several comic strips of Blondie in honor of their 75th anniversary. Garfield got excited because he didn't have to think. There was an earlier Blondie crossover on the Garfield strip published April 1, 1997.
Garfield is an overweight anthropomorphic orange tabby cat noted for his sheer laziness, sarcasm, and intense passion for food, particularly lasagna. Often throughout the course of the strip Garfield's weight has been poked fun at as an object of ridicule, particularly by the electronic scale which he frequently uses to weigh himself. Garfield usually does not handle insults or commands from the scale (or anybody else) very well, and normally will respond to such remarks with violence or a saucy comeback of some sort, in spite of the fact that the character solely communicates through thought bubbles. Garfield lives with his slightly eccentric, socially awkward owner Jon Arbuckle, who currently works at Lexus of Tulsa as a self proclaimed service drive manager, and Jon's dimwitted pet dog Odie, and derives pleasure from satirically mocking the stupid actions performed by the two of them. Garfield is not particularly fond of Odie (as obviously expected from the common hatred shared by cats and dogs) and enjoys causing him physical harm or insulting him, seldom showing empathy for the beagle. Albeit Odie shows Garfield no belligerence of any kind and would never deliberately cause him harm, Garfield dislikes him nonetheless and is apt to make rude comments based on the utter lack of intelligence displayed by Odie. However, Odie isn't the only target of Garfield's taunts; he frequently pokes fun at Jon as well for his nerdy behaviors and unpopularity with women, along with his tacky, ridiculous fashion sense. However, Garfield cares for Odie and Jon nonetheless, but he especially shows affection for his beloved teddy bear Pooky, which is frequently seen in his arms or close to its owner.
Jim Davis named Garfield after his grandfather, James Garfield Davis, who was named after President James A. Garfield. According to an interview with Jim Davis in the second Garfield compilation book, Garfield Gains Weight, the name "Garfield" makes him think of "...a fat cat...or a St. Bernard...or a neat line of thermal underwear."
- Scott Beach - A brief television commercial.
- Lorenzo Music - 1982-2000; In the TV specials and the Garfield and Friends TV series.
- Bill Murray - 2004-2006; In the live-action/animated movies.
- Frank Welker - 2007-present; In The Garfield Show TV series and Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest, Garfield's Pet Force.
- In the first two live-action/animated movies and Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest and Garfield's Pet Force, Garfield was created using computer animation, though the Garfield Gets Real version is closer to his original form than his theatrical movie form, when he looked and moved more like a real cat, but still exaggerated enough to suit the character.
- In the animated series and prime-time specials, he was voiced by Lorenzo Music. In the live-action/animated movies, he is voiced by Bill Murray. An interesting side note is that the two actors also shared the role of Dr. Peter Venkman, which Murray played in Ghostbusters and Music played in the animated television series The Real Ghostbusters. At the start of the second season of the show, Music was replaced by Dave Coulier after Murray complained that Music's voice as Venkman and as Garfield were largely indistinguishable. In Garfield Gets Real and the CGI series The Garfield Show, he is voiced by Frank Welker who played Bo, Booker, and Sheldon in Garfield and Friends and U.S. Acres episodes, and also worked with Lorenzo Music as Dr. Ray Stanz in The Real Ghostbusters. In Garfield and Friends, when Lorenzo was ill, Frank would occasionally voice Garfield.
- Garfield is a plush animal licenced to the Dakin Company for manufacture circa 1988.
- Garfield has been a mascot of Kennywood, a traditional amusement park in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh since the 1990s. Furthermore, a popular ride at Kennywood; "Garfield's Nightmare" was created with the exclusive input of Garfield creator, Jim Davis.
- Garfield appears as a guest in a 1996 video called "Kids for Character".
- Garfield has made many cameo appearances in episodes of MAD. The first being on "Groan Wars" (a parody of Star Wars: The Clone Wars), in which he parodied the character of Ahsoka Tano. He appeared again in a fake commercial that can make any show a musical. He played a bigger part in the sketch, "Garfield of Dreams", with Welker reprising the role. He appeared in his own fake commercial, "The Garfield No-Monday Calendar". He also made another parody later called, "The Monday Project", a spoof of The Mindy Project.
- Garfield: His 9 Lives
- Garfield on the Town
- "8-4-1978 strip". Garfield.com. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- "10-27-79 strip". Garfield.com. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- "The Garfield Vault Strip". Garfield.com. 2006-06-19. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- "The Garfield Vault Strip". Garfield.com. 2005-06-19. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
- "The Garfield Vault Strip". Garfield.com. 1978-06-19. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
- "Blondie". Newsfromme.com. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
- "8-20-05 strip". Garfield.com. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
- "The Garfield Vault Strip". Garfield.com. 1997-04-01. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- "Jim Davis: The Man Behind the Cat". Pressroom.garfield.com. 1978-06-19. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
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