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Western Animation / The Man Who Hated Laughter

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The Man Who Hated Laughter was a 1972 animated television special featuring characters from all the Newspaper Comics then owned by King Features Syndicate. The lead characters of all the funny comics are kidnapped by the eponymous villain, and the heroes of the adventure comics set out to rescue them, but fail, and it is up to the funny characters to save the day by showing the villain that everybody needs laughter.

Comics featured in the special include Blondie (1930), Beetle Bailey, Bringing Up Father, Flash Gordon, Henry, Hi and Lois, The Katzenjammer Kids, Little Iodine, The Little King, Mandrake the Magician, The Phantom, Popeye, Prince Valiant, Quincy, Snuffy Smith, Steve Canyon, Tiger, and Tim Tyler's Luck.

This animated special provides examples of:

  • The Bus Came Back: This special marked the animated return of Popeye in his regular clothes after spending three decades in his white Navy uniform.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Professor Morbid Grimsby, six-time winner of the prestigious Meanie award.
  • The Grinch: The villain is essentially this, with "laughter" taking the place of "Christmas".
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover:This film features characters from 18 different comics.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Professor Morbid Grimsby
  • Nasty Party: Grimsby kidnaps the funny characters by sending them all invitations to an ocean cruise, and then stealing the boat.