Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've known the origins of this cliche for years, thanks to my mother presenting me with a framed image to hang in my home. Thought the rest of you might like to know where this saying originated.
Don Markstien's Toonpedia had one of the best overviews.
The Joneses are perhaps the only characters in the annals of newspaper comics whose name is part of the title of a strip, but who have never actually appeared in a newspaper. The stars of the Jones strip were the McGinises (husband Aloysius, wife Clarice, daughter Julie, housemaid Belladonna). They were the ones trying to keep up.
The McGinis family's struggle was chronicled by cartoonist Arthur R. "Pop" Momand in Joseph Pulitzer's paper, The New York World. Most sources give 1916 as the year it began, but there are strips in collections dated as early as April 1, 1913 (a Tuesday, so that isn't the day it actually began). Its focus wasn't as narrow as the title implied.It's just that their neighbors, the Joneses, were referred to from time to time, usually as objects of envy, and even this became less prevalent in the strip's later days.

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