Al Posen

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Al Posen's Sweeney & Son (May 8, 1955)

Alvah Posen (1895 - June 10, 1960) was an American cartoonist on several comic strips, but he is best known for his strip Sweeney & Son and as co-producer of the now-lost Marx Brothers film, Humor Risk (1921).

Born in New York, Posen served in the Army during World War I and worked for a film advertising agency when the war ended. He then travelled in the Orient as a member of a geological and mining expedition, spending a year in Siam and Yunan.

Comic strips[edit]

In 1925, with no formal training in art, Posen created the rhyming comic strip, Them Days Are Gone Forever (aka Them Days Is Gone Forever). Distributed by United Features Syndicate, it was published in 100 newspapers within a year, and continued until 1927. Posen followed it with another rhyming strip, the short-lived Ella and Her Fella.[1]

Sweeney & Son was a Sunday page which began in 1933, distributed by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate, and continued for the next 25 years. It featured the topper, Jinglet (1926–35), which used several rhymed words in a four-panel gag at the bottom of the page. On January 17, 1949, Posen revived his earlier format for a daily strip, Rhymin' Time, which had lyrics set to "Turkey in the Straw'", such as:

Al Posen's Sweeney & Son (March 18, 1951)
My business is conducting polls
And, gosh, is my face red!
Since last election, everyone
Hurls insults at my head!
They used to think me wonderful.
"Infallible," they said.
Them Days Are Gone Forever.[2]

He also adapted this rhyming format into comic strip advertisements for Bristol-Myers and companies.

As a National Cartoonists Society member, he originated the idea of cartoonist shows for American servicemen and became the NCS Director of Overseas Shows. Posen, Gus Edson, Bob Montana and other cartoonists participated in a USO cartoonists tour in October 1952. Posen was friends with Smokey Stover cartoonist Bill Holman, and the famed nonsense phrase "1506 nix nix" seen in Smokey Stover was an inside joke between the two cartoonists. The number 1506 was a reference to a hotel room where Posen stayed.

Posen was a bachelor who liked to ski at Lake Placid, New York and vacation at a ranch in Wyoming.[2]



Posen received the National Cartoonists Society's Silver T-Square Award in 1956.


External links[edit]