There's a good reason why ping pong has been featured in Beetle Bailey so many times over the years.
In the mid-1960s, Jerry Dumas came to our house every week from Monday to Thursday and worked in the third floor studio. Mort and Jerry’s drawing boards faced each other. A few years ago, I interviewed Jerry for a book and he told me they would always go down at the same time every day and have the same lunch – a bologna sandwich with mayonnaise and a cup of tea or instant coffee, two Oreo cookies and an apple. Then they would go down in the basement and play four, five, or even six games of ping-pong. They were both good players and had some torrid games. Jerry would sweat so much his shirt would become soaking wet. Eventually he began bringing an extra shirt to work.
Their competitiveness was reflected in this classic Sunday page from 1964 showing Sarge and Beetle in a vigorous match.
Beetle and Sarge have continued to compete furiously over the years, as the Sunday page from 2007 above demonstrates.
Check back next week for more cool stuff from our archives.
– Brian Walker