on this U.S. postage stamp, Jiggs, a short man in top hat, tails, and cigar sticking out the side of his mouth, takes the arms of two much taller women, his wife, Maggie, and their daughter, Nora

Bringing Up FatherGeorge McManus

Situational slapstick

Jiggs wins the Irish Sweepstakes and is instantly a wealthly man after which his wife, Maggie, tries and fails to force him to imitate the upper class but Jiggs prefers beer, corned beef and cabbage at the tavern in the company of his lowbrow pals.


The harridan hammers her henpecked husband with a frying pan, a rolling pin, or whatever comes to hand. She beats him because he accidentally defies her upper class intentions, while her behavior shows she hasn’t transcended her lower class reflexes.

The jig’s up

Maggie used to treat Jiggs before they were wealthy to heaps of corned beef and cabbage. Now she acts as though Jigg’s too couth for such coarse fare. * We sympathize with Jiggs who won’t be trained, and not his snooty wife. No use pretending you’re better than you are or try to dance a waltz instead of a lively jig. Does it matter that Jigg’s sneaky, dishonest, cowardly, and a scoundrel?

The art of McManus

Note the fine lines all the same width. No hash mark shading but selected bold blacks. Note the designs on Maggie’s gowns, each gown modeled on the latest style, the detailed art deco and architectural backdrops, and the portraits of people on the walls which escape their frames and beckon to us as if they have fallen from the newsprint and found themselves in the real world.

Unquenchable resourcefulness

Jiggs continues to escape Maggie’s pretentions into the warm company of his fellows in Dinty’s tavern. He manages to be himself against the pressure of love for Maggie and everything good and noble.