Garfield, role model for lazy cats everywhere, started out as a syndicated newspaper comic strip created by Jim Davis. And, as one might expect, the character proved popular enough to made the transition to TV commercials, which eventually led to his own Saturday morning show in 1988, Garfield and Friends. The kitty with an attitude endeared himself to many a young viewer, enough to stick around for a respectable 121 episodes.
Lazy was an understatement when describing Garfield. The listless, blasé and overweight cat took stereotypical feline behavior to extremes. Routinely displeased with the world, he only mustered any semblance of interest for his favorite food, lasagna. The usual recipients of Garfield’s sarcastic disdain were Jon, his hapless owner and Odie, the simpleminded dog. Freed from the constraints of print where he could only express his commentary in thought bubbles, Garfield got a voiceover in the cartoon. The man who provided his voice was Lorenzo Music, whose deadpan drawl was a perfect fit for the sassy tabby.
Garfield’s friends were characters from another Davis comic strip, U.S. Acres. They included various barnyard animals, like Orson the pig; Sheldon, a baby chicken who walked around with everything but his legs still in the shell; Booker, Sheldon’s brother who had hatched completely; and Wade, a fidgety duck who wore a floating device around his waist.
Garfield and Friends managed a seven-season run, an astounding feat in the world Saturday morning cartoons. It is still fondly remembered by many a young fan from the era. Are you one of them? We’d love to hear your recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to one of our favorite cartoon cats.