Comic Strip / Alley Oop

"There's a man in the funny papers we all know
He lives way back a long time ago
He don't eat nothin' but a bearcat stew
Well, this cat's name is-a Alley-Oop."
Alley-Oop, The Hollywood Argyles, 1960s song

Alley Oop is a long-running Newspaper Comic featuring the adventures of the eponymous caveman and a supporting cast that includes his girlfriend Ooola, his pet dinosaurnote  Dinny, and his best friend Foozy (who speaks entirely in rhyming couplets).

The series was created by V.T. Hamlin, and debuted in 1932. A major development came in 1937, with a storyline in which Alley Oop and Ooola were accidentally zapped into the 20th century by an experimental time machine invented by one Dr. Elbert Wonmug. Subsequent storylines have involved Alley Oop visting many intervening periods of history.

The comic strip also inspired a song by the same name, which was a #1 hit for the Hollywood Argyles in 1960 and was covered by The Beach Boys for their Party! album in 1965.

Alley Oop provides examples of:

  • An Axe to Grind: Alley's trademark weapon, to be sure.
  • Art Evolution: Alley once receives a visit from his "no-good" lookalike cousin Early Oop, who looks like Alley from the early days of the comic. Alley can't understand why his friends keep saying they look alike.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Alley Oop enjoys a good brawl every now and then.
  • The Bus Came Back: Original creator V.T. Hamlin had Brother Chucked Foozy years earlier, but the current creative team chose to bring him back as Alley's best friend.
  • Contemporary Caveman: Alley has been shuttling back and forth from our time to his own for so many years that he's perfectly comfortable in our world, but he's still always happy to return home. Ditto for Ooola. Recent years have seen Guz, Umpa, and th' Wizer visit the present as well.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Alley Oop and the rest of the prehistoric folk tend to go barefoot.
  • Dumb Dinos: There was a series of educational strips called "Dinny's Family Album" that went into detail about the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in the comic. Many of them played this trope straight. In the strips proper, Dinny was friendly but not very smart.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Oscar Boom went straight so many decades ago that many current readers weren't aware that he started out as a crook, and that he had never gone to trial or served jail time for his crimes. Recent storylines have finally addressed this.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Oscar Boom
  • Long Runners
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The kingdoms of Moo and Lem are named for Mu and Lemuria.
  • No-Neck Chump: Alley and a few of his caveman buddies. Acknowledged in-universe; it actually prevents a vampire from biting him in one story.
  • Not the Nessie: Dinny tagged along on Alley's adventure in medeival Scotland. Suffice it that the Scots still remember his visit.
  • One Million B.C.
  • Punny Name: Doc Wonmug = "One Mug," that is, "Ein Stein"
    • "Alley Oop" is itself a play on the French acrobatic term "Allez, hop!"
    • Ooola's full name is Ooola La, as in "Ooh la la!"
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Foozy
  • Shout-Out: Dallas Frazier's above-mentioned song "Alley Oop", which became a chart-topping hit for the Hollywood Argyles in 1960.
  • The Smart Guy: Foozy again.
    • And th' Grand Wizer and Doc Wonmug
  • Theme Park Version: Over the decades, Alley has visited just about every place and time period you can think of, but they are usually the theme park version. Especially the prehistoric world he comes from.
  • Time Travel