bluto1 bluto1
Cartoon Culture

Bluto gets a statue

This just in from Popeye fan and historian Leonard Kohl:

“A few weeks ago, I was asked to help “unveil” a statue of “Bluto the Terrible” in E.C. Segar’s hometown of Chester, Illinois during the annual POPEYE picnic, parade and POPEYE FANCLUB convention, which is always the weekend after Labor Day. I was asked to do this as I’ve played “Bluto” for 11 years annually for a POPEYE radio play presented live on a Chester, Illinois radio station. Knowing the old rivalry between Disney and Fleischer, I find it kind of ironic that the “Bluto” statue seems to be guarding the front entrance of the “Buena Vista” Bank!”

Click on thumbnail photos below, taken by Chuck Anders from The Official Popeye Fanclub, to see (left) Steve Stanchfield, Lenny Kohl and his wife, Dana Kohl in front of the statue from another angle and (below right) a close-up of the side of the statue – the tribute to Jackson Beck.

  • Saturnome

    Hmm… Makes me wonder, what are other statues of classic cartoon characters? Is there at least one of Popeye?

  • Yes, there is. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

    Look at this link:

  • Joe

    Road Trip!

  • thank Christ they had enuff sense to not use the OTHER “b” word!!

  • Keith Paynter

    Well, blow me down!

    The resemblance is truly striking…

  • Bluto gets a statue & Brutus doesn’t?

  • Gerard de Souza

    I have decided that Chester Illinois is one place I must see before I die.

    In Bud Sagendorf’s 50th anninversary book on the sailor there is indeed a statue of Popeye in Chester….but this Bluto is cooler.

  • gaastra
  • In THIS world, the villain always gets a statue ;-)

  • Pez

    I have been to Chester many times and I must say even if you can’t make it to the Popeye picnic, it is well worth the trip. They have just about every Popeye book/ comic and many of the episodes of Cartoon Network’s “The Popeye Show” available for study in the library. The cemetery has beautiful tombstones of the real people who inspired Popeye, Olive, and Whimpy. The Popeye Can of Spinach Collectibles Store and Museum ( where I usually end up spending most of my time) has almost everything you thought you would never find, even on ebay. It is also managed by the president of the Popeye fan club. The local police have Popeye on there shoulder patches. This Bluto statue makes me want make the drive down the next time I’m in St. Louis. Thanks for posting the new Chester news!

  • OM

    …About time Bluto got stoned! But it does beg the question: will the Olive Oyl statue also double as a street lamp post?

  • Jason

    Frankly, I hate the Paramount “Popeye” animated cartoons. I kind of like some of the Fleischer’s, though. But neither interpretation does the original Thimble Theater Popeye justice. I wish someone would do a true version of the true Elzie Segar Popeye. Segar’s comic strip was witty and ironic, also heartfelt at times. It’s a pity that many people think that all Popeye was about was beating up Bluto (who played a very minor role in the original comic, interestingly enough).

  • Sean Dulaney

    I’m sorry I missed this year’s picnic. The Popeye statue is as you enter Chester. Since the Popeye Picnic really started drawing bigger crowds they’ve been adding statues. Along with Bluto, there is in fact an Olive Oyl (w/Swee Pea & Eugene the Jeep) statue that was unveiled last year and a Wimpy statue in the park next to the Spinach Can store and museum.

  • You need to contact the folks at Spinach Can Collectibles to pick up your copy of the first new 32 page Popeye comic (all new material and the original artistic representations) to be produced in over 30 years. It was created by Chris Yambar & Co. (of Simpson fame) and it tells the story of Chester and its connection with Popeye. Popeye visits Chester in the early 1900’s and meets up with the real life citizens that inspired Elzie Segar, and then the cartoon cast arrives in Chester in time to see the Popeye Picnic and visit the Popeye & Friends Character Trail, including the newest one to be unveiled on Sept. 12, 2009 …… Castor Oyl and Bernice the Whiffle Hen! Visit for the latest news on all of the fun waiting our guests at this year’s festival.