One of the longest-running (from September 8, 1930) and most popular Newspaper Comics of all time, and still fairly funny even after all this time, Blondie stars Dagwood Bumstead, a bog-standard salaryman with a strange haircut, one button on his shirt, and a love of monstrous sandwiches. He is happily married to Blondie, who runs a popular delicatessen and catering establishment. Their children are Alexander, who mimics his father in terms of hairstyle, and Cookie, who resembles her mother. The household is rounded out by the family dog, Daisy. Other recurring characters are Mean Boss J.C. Dithers, Mouthy Kid Elmo, neighbors Herb and Tootsie Woodley, the mailman, Dagwood's car pool, and the chef at the local diner. Pretty much a Slice of Life comic at this point, the characters have stuck at the same age since the early 1950s.Dagwood was originally heir to the Bumstead Locomotive fortune, but was disowned when he married a flapper (originally known as Blondie Boopadoop) whom his family saw as below his class. He has since worked hard at J.C. Dithers & Company (currently as the construction company's office manager) to support his family.80 years have severely eroded the original Fish out of Water aspect of his character.Derivative works include a series of comedy films (and long-running radio series) starring Arthur Lake and Penny Singleton, two single-season sitcoms (produced in 1957 and 1968), and an animated TV special.Not to be confused with the band.
Comic Book Time: While the Bumsteads and other characters have remained the same since the early 1950s, their house and office have moved forward (albeit slowly and incrementally) with the passage of time.
Even Blondie's job title changed, from housewife to caterer in the early 1990s.
Identical Stranger: While not really noted as such in-universe, Dagwood's neighbor Herb Woodley and the mailman Mr. Beasley look almost exactly alike.
Inter-Class Romance: The original strip was about the well-to-do Dagwood marrying the distinctly lower class Blondie against his parent's wishes. He was cut off and had get a real job and the strip gradually morphed into the Dom Com it has been for most of its run.
Orphaned Punchline: In one of the Sunday Strips, Elmo tells Dagwood a joke that ends with "And so he says "Well, where's the stork?", with Dagwood expressing shock that Elmo actually recited that joke, claiming that, had he told that joke to his dad, he would spank Dagwood so hard that he'd have to sit on a quarter to tell whether it was heads or tails. In the ending strip, Dagwood decides to tell his wife the joke, which begins with "This stork goes over to a dance club..."
Apparently it didn't cut off all communication; Dagwood is often shown reminiscing to Alexander and Cookie over many his other Bumstead relatives.
Re Tool: You know, at the start of the strip back in the 1930s, Dagwood was the heir to an industrial fortune, and Blondie a common gutterslut. When they got married a few years in, Dagwood was disowned, and forced to get a job for the first time in his life. That's why he's always late to work, takes naps until noon — pretty much every running gag derives from Dagwood being used to a life of leisure and excess. Also, his haircut was apparently a pop culture reference at the time. Blondie's flapper origins and Dagwood's lost fortune don't really come up anymore, as the strip turned into the print equivalent of a family sitcom.
Dagwood's shirt with the one big button started off as a conventional one, with one of the buttons mildly emphasized, it just morphed over time.
He's also very fond of spare ribs, which comes up in several comics.
Two Decades Behind: Mr. Dithers still wears a vest at work, something that went out of fashion by the mid-1980s.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Dagwood and Blondie, of course, but also neighbors/best friends Herb and Tootsie. Tootsie is basically Blondie with dark hair. The Bumstead kids are an unmarried example of Ugly Brother, Hot Sister.
Although in the world of the comic itself, Dagwood is actually considered rather good-looking, if a little dated in his style of dress.