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Metapost: Al Scaduto 1928-2007

Just a quick note: As several commentors have pointed out, the blog of cartoonist Mike Lynch reports that They’ll Do It Every Time artist Al Scaduto passed away yesterday. There are no further details and I can’t find any other source for the news, but it seems that Lynch knew him personally, so I don’t have reason to doubt it.

TDIET is one of the few comics that I have become more affectionate towards over the course of doing this blog. It’s always enjoyable to poke fun at the strip’s anachronisms and patois, but it created a world that many of us found fun to visit, like the house of our favorite and slightly crazy uncle. Perhaps the biggest sign of that is the sheer number of Comics Curmudgeon readers who submitted their ideas to the feature. I was very excited about the fact that there are no less than ten TDIETs from our readers coming up in the next six weeks; now the prospect is tinged with melancholy, but at least I hope they can serve as an extended tribute to the man, who probably won’t get the mentions on NPR and in the New York Times like Johnny Hart did.

It will be interesting to see if King Features gets anyone else to do the strip. Scaduto was the third artist for a strip that was actually only a year younger than he was, and had only been the lead artist on it for the last 18 years (though he had been an assistant for years before that). It might be interesting to see what someone with a more modern sensibility would do with it, but, based on numerous email exchanges with him I’ve had reported to me (including one with my wife, who’ll never get to see her idea worked up now), it will be hard to match his good nature and generosity of spirit. Best ever, Al.

267 responses to “Metapost: Al Scaduto 1928-2007”

  1. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    Josh, I’m not big on reposting, but: I don’t know if this helps, but I sent my condolences to the Scaduto family via:

  2. Jimmy
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:41 pm [Reply]

    very sad news indeed

  3. Johnny Cat
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    Good grief.

  4. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    I have some old well thumbed Jimmy Hatlo books. Was he the first?

    Perhaps Uncle Lumpy could audition?

  5. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:44 pm [Reply]

    I have some old well thumbed Jimmy Hatlo books. Was he the first?

    Perhaps Uncle Lumpy could audition?

  6. Herro!
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:45 pm [Reply]

    The urge…to be very sad. RIP, Al.

  7. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:48 pm [Reply]

    Wikipeda says it’s so…

  8. Minnie
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:49 pm [Reply]

    Oh no! We are bereft. My condolences to all who have been buoyed by Scaduto’s wry humor over the years, and particularly to the participants here who have had contributions accepted.
    Thank you Josh.

  9. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    Sometimes you should repost, double posting, not so much.

  10. BlinkAndItsOver
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    They aren’t making anachronisms like they used to. Al will be seriously missed, but remembered with a smile.

  11. Johan
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:52 pm [Reply]

    …I’m sorry to hear that.

  12. Jemmy
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    Sad news indeed.

    Though I was sort of amused to see that, in the picture on Mike Lynch’s blog, Mr. Scaduto looks rather like the male characters he drew.

  13. exelizabeth
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:57 pm [Reply]

    I have also grown fond of that strip over the course of reading this blog, and I’m sad to hear Al’s gone.

    Thanks for the memories, buddy.

  14. Milford V. Goshen
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:59 pm [Reply]

    #9 “Double posting” sounds dirty! Especially on this solemn occasion… .Ask fence post Frank. I love you Al!

  15. Uncle Lumpy
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Al’s bio at the National Cartoonists’ Society says that after a first marriage of 50 years, he was engaged to be remarried in 2003, at the age of 75.

    He drew a nice little TDIET for the bio, and mentions all his kids and grandkids. We should all live as well.

  16. Artist formerly known as Ben
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    Man, that’s really a shame. He was really an exemplary cartoonist when you think about it. Had a very distinct, somewhat anachronistic visual language, but he could adapt it to ideas from people young enough to be his grandkids. He will be missed.

  17. Cornwhacker
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    What a loss.

    The linked article states that he died on his birthday. I can’t help but think that would be a pretty good (albeit macabre) TDIET submission itself.

  18. Carter
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:08 pm [Reply]

    Oh Skin-Nay!

    I often wonder how much overlap there is between this site’s readership and the insular nerdy little community of old newspaper comics geeks?

    TDIET was created in the late 20s by Briggs, one of the lesser known major American cartoonists. He’s most famous for a couple of how-to-cartoon and how-to-break-into-the-cartooning-business books that were published around ’27, and for the really beautiful memoir strip The Days of Real Sport, which depicts childhood in the 1890s much like Twain depicted childhood in the 1840s.

    Someone recently put out a TDORS collection; it’s worth picking up.

    Anyway, TDIET’s style of audience interaction — the reader submitted anecdotes — was pretty common in pre-WWII daily pages. You run across a lot of local cartoonists doing this sort of thing.

    Anyway, Scaduto’s passing is real sad. He was achieving success with a comic strip format created for an original audience that would now be in their 110s. His take on the strip also had a 1950s magazine cartoon feel that I really liked.

    If they *do* decide to pass the torch again on this strip, I think it would be pretty classy to actually get one of the surviving old cocktail napkin cartoonists to pick it up.

  19. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:09 pm [Reply]

    Milford Vs Goshen
    Did Al Scaduto ever rail againts double posters? As a cartoonist, would he pick it as a subject? What kind of barbed comment would he make? Electrifying I am sure.

  20. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:12 pm [Reply]

    Please forgive me in advance….

    Artist FKA Ben

    Al Scaduto insisted that everyone ignore his birthday…..but when it comes time to die….

    I just can’t think of an urge other that “The Urge” to re-animate!

  21. Weaselboy
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    Based on what the folks here wrote about their e-mail exchanges with Mr. Scaduto, it seems he was a pretty decent guy.

  22. Gold-Digging Nanny
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:14 pm [Reply]

    What a sad way to start a Saturday.

  23. Krohmdohm
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    That is very sad news. Condolences to the family. I think Josh said it perfectly, we may have made fun of it but it was always a place that was fun to visit. Goodbye, Al .

  24. Islamorada Girl
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    To be able to make a lot of people, including some jaded old hipsters, laugh is the sign of a life well lived. . I remember TDIET from my childhood, when Hatlo was doing it, then discovered it was still running when Josh brought it to our attention here. This is one strip I’d like to see zombie’d, if only because it has had so many creators. already. He seemed like a genuinely nice man. So long, Al, and thanks for everything. My sympathies to your family.

  25. Minnie
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:17 pm [Reply]

    According to #15 Uncle Lumpy’s link to the bio, Scaduto’s birthday was July 12th.

  26. Milford V. Goshen
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    ltrftp(not not so first time) Amen! Anyone who would crack up and give props to a “Kamikaze skool” suggestion is alright in my Redbook. Peace Al.

  27. Joshua
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    Wow. This is just too bad. As silly as it was, TDIET was one of the few features that I found consistently amusing — often for the weird anachronisms and idiosyncrasies it contained more than the actual comics themselves (I don’t think there’s a person here who doesn’t enjoy urge-spotting)… but, hey, if the purpose of a comic is to entertain, it certainly succeeded.

  28. Calico
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:21 pm [Reply]

    (Reposted but modified a bit from yesterthread)

    Just thinking – maybe it would be cool to run a memorial post featuring all of the Mudges’ TDIET ideas that were put into print and comix infamy. (I know they’ve been featured one at a time here, but if legally possible, an “album” of sorts would be a nice tribute eventually, of course after all CC submissions have been published).

    Josh, your post made me cry a bit. I’m sorry your wife won’t get to see her idea in print, but maybe with another artist in time?
    That person, should there be a fourth TDIET artist, will have some mighty big but elegant and classy shoes to fill.

  29. alamo
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:24 pm [Reply]

    a tip from the old alamo dome topper to you mr. scaduto from someone who cut their teeth on jimmy hatlo. i learned to read by reading the newspaper before i learned to walk and the comics were the best part. we lived in rural areas many years when i grew up and the new york sunday picture news and the chicago sunday tribune which had all the comics from each day of the previous week; i read and read them all. despite some of the recent criticisms it has always been reassuring that there was this connection to the golden age of comic humor and art; where both laugh lines and the drawn lines were together an art form that may never reappear. you were loved and you will be missed.

  30. Cornwhacker
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    25: Thanks for pointing that out, Minnie. I’ll trust that date instead, seeing as it’s written in the man’s own handwriting.

  31. ratnerstar
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:27 pm [Reply]

    RIP, Al. You will be missed.

    That was a classy post, Josh.

  32. John C Fremont
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    I am very sad. At the same time, it seems as though Al Scaduto had a very good life and was loved by everyone who knew him.

    I also started out not caring for TDIET but later became hooked – and hearing from various mudges about his personalized thank-you letters for their TDIET ideas made it clear that Al Scaduto was a gentleman and an incredibly classy guy. I had been trying to come up with my own idea for TDIET, kind of hoping to have it selected, but mostly in order to get a letter from the man himself.

    As a kid (and as an adult sitting through lengthy staff meetings) most of my cartoons included spider webs in much the same way that Scaduto used them. His use of them kind of charmed me. Sure, his TDIETs seemed as though they belonged in the Eisenhower era – but, secretly, I liked that. It was part of the charm.

    I will miss you, Al.

  33. Deschanel
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    RIP, I’m always sad to hear of stuff like this.

    But can I make a confession?

    I often found TDIET’s premises dingbatty, cranky, un-relatable, and eminently mockable.

    And then you’d congratulate Curmudgeons for successfully submitting their batty, petty grievances!

    I tried to think they were being jokey, post-modern, but no.
    Apparently most you congratulated were sincere in their submissions.

    Is it a weird disconnect to be fun and snarky vs. being nice to people who submitted stuff seriously? I’d love to know…

  34. Jadis White
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:33 pm [Reply]

    Oh no! This is very sad, as I just discovered TDIET through your site. I was thinking of submitting my own idea…

    I am very saddened and send my best to his family.

  35. Godzooky
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:35 pm [Reply]

    RIP, Mr. Scaduto. As once noted, he was Master Soft Heart incarnate.

    Checked the NY Times web site to see if they had the news, ran across a 2001 item about a monthly cartoonist get-together in Long Island.

    Al Scaduto has a nice quote about his strip. Mort Drucker, Sy Barry, and Joe Giella also get mentions.

    By the way, the “John Romito” mentioned at the end is actually legendary comic-book artist John Romita. (Some reporters don’t do the homework they should)

  36. Steve™
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:38 pm [Reply]

    I always wanted to submit something to TDIET, if just to get one of those sweet emails everyone praised so highly.
    Just a little too late for a nice old cartoonist.

  37. loudfan
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    Like many others, I too had developed an odd fondness for the strip after Josh started featuring it. I remembered it from when I was a kid and had no idea it was still around until it turned up on the blog. It would be nice if it kept going, but I can’t imagine a new artist could duplicate Al’s special touch of 50s-era whimsy. It’s the end of an era!

  38. Wellsey
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    No! This sucks. TDIET was awesome crazy not sad crazy like Gil Thorp or Dick Tracy. Thanks, Al, for inviting us into your Eisenhower era world every day.

  39. The Divine O’F
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    What I-Girl said.

    Also, I realize with awe and sadness that my TDIET submission, to run in mid-January, may be one of his last.

  40. Cornwhacker
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:43 pm [Reply]

    33: I think most people reconcile that disconnect simply by not taking themselves too seriously.

  41. mumbles
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:44 pm [Reply]

    Count me in with many of you who started out thinking the strip was kind of corny and a throwback to an older era….but then grew fond of out mostly because you TDIET contributors would report back here on your kind and gracious interactions with Al.

    Rest in peace, Al.

  42. UncleJeff
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:47 pm [Reply]

    Y’ever notice that sometimes the guys we laugh at are also the guys we are laughing with…because we know they know we know they know more about “funny” than any of us.
    Here’s to Scaduto. A man who lived and loved and laughed and was nice to the people around him.
    Oh yeaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

  43. Razmytaz
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    It’s called “cognitive dissonance”… the ability (and an important one) to hold two conflicting concepts at the same time. And, yes, I could appreciate TDIET snark, and also appreciate high class Scaduto missives to submitters.

    I consider Scaduto’s contribution to my life, directly and enhanced when filtered through my enjoyment of this blog, to be a net plus. (Because of the snark, Snarky Cancerbean is a net plus, but with little affection for his perpetrator (note I don’t say creator).)

    Death is sad, but those deaths of fulfilled people surrounded by a community of love and appreciation bring some positive affirmation of life to me to counter the sadness.

  44. mnemonica
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:54 pm [Reply]

    Sad news indeed. I’m glad I got to rediscover (and eventually re-enjoy!) the strip through this blog.

  45. Cornwhacker
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    Closer to what I meant to say @ 40 (and expanding on the comments that popped up in between): A person can be sincere and still acknowledge how trite & silly his/her earnestness may appear to others.

  46. Hysterical Woman
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    Only the good die….um, eventually like everyone else. Goodbye, Al.

  47. Lindsey
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:57 pm [Reply]

    I never really liked the strip, but when I read messages talking about Al Scaduto he sounded like a really nice man and a good person to know, so I really respected him for that. However much you could make fun of the strip you couldn’t really make fun of the artist behind it.

  48. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    M Vs G
    You are right.

  49. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:02 pm [Reply]

    We are climbing the google list on Al Scaduto searches.
    Anyone who reads about him here will have no cognitive dissonance from what they read about him elsewhere: A Good Man is gone.

  50. Lord-z
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:04 pm [Reply]

    I know that I have expressed some dislike towards TDIET. I have called it petty bitching by petty people, I said that Al had not left the house since 1953, except for the time in 1984 where he looked out the window, and saw the fashion of the youth. I have always hated the annoying catchphrases, like “Howcum” and “Ooooh Yeeeeeah”.

    Nevertheless, there was a thing a week or two back, where he remembered a gag sent it months ago, and, despite it happening to himself, he still creditet her for the idea. I don’t care who you are, that is 100 percent class.

    I don’t know if they decide to continue the series, but if they do, the new guy will have some mighty shoes to fill.

  51. Canaduck
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:12 pm [Reply]

    Aw, that’s sad. He seemed like such a nice guy in all the emails he sent out. I appreciated the strip more for it.

  52. Nil Zed
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:17 pm [Reply]

    aaah! Bummer. count me as one of those who read it as a kid, and was happy to rediscover it here. Even as a kid I knew it was anachronistic, or would have, had I known the word. So I enjoyed the snark as much as the comics.

    Also count me as one of those whose idea came *this* close. my email bounced and I hadn’t gotten around to double checking his address. I tried to read it from the on-line comic and my eyes ain’t what they used to be. shoulda asked HERE.

  53. Citric
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:20 pm [Reply]

    I can see someone doing a pretty good job taking over the strip. A lot of it is user submissions after all, and even if they just copy the ‘urges’ and the various other Scaduto trademarks it’ll still be pretty easy to continue making a strip.

    But, of course, being someone who got an idea made up, I know they’ll never, ever, possibly be able to really replace Al. Every correspondence I’ve had, or seen anyone else have, showed a guy who was probably the friendliest, most considerate, and classiest person around. And I think pretty much everyone else who had even a little bit of interaction with him saw the same thing.

    Someone might be able to continue his work, but they’ll never be able to replace him.

  54. AhClem
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:23 pm [Reply]

    TDIET received a fair amount of snark on this site, but there was a certain gentleness and respect to it all, probably because Al Scaduto was such a class act himself. Rest in peace, sir.

  55. Loppie Scaduto
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:24 pm [Reply]

    How many times did Al say in TDIET, “It’s enough to make a grown man cry”?

    Well, this is enough….

  56. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    To be honest, CC’ers’ who submitted ideas probably increased the submissions to his site by a percentage point or two. He knew he was reaching new readers in markets where he was not dead tree published.

    I bet he liked that.

  57. dreadedcandiru2
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:27 pm [Reply]

    I grew up reading TDIET. My earliest memories were of chuckling at the quiet, everyday ironies. Then, the local paper dropped it so they could run FBoFW. It’s only since I started lurking here that I got to see the latest and it was just like I remembered it. I hope they CAN find someone like Scaduto who can keep it what it was.

  58. Milford V. Goshen
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts Al Scaduto and Robert Goulet are sharing stories we mere mortals can only ponder.

  59. Maughta
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:39 pm [Reply]

    This is the death of cool.

  60. jules
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    I said it yesterthread, but it bears repeating: I’ve become very fond of Mr. Scaduto and his ramblings. TDIET was always more than a little odd, but it was also fun, and I love Josh’s comparison to visiting the house of your favorite and slightly crazy uncle: it was just like that.

    Now I’ve got “the urge” to send my best to Al’s family. Rest in peace, Mr. Scaduto.

  61. The Wild Sow
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    Awwww….I was a faithful reader of TDIET growing up — although that was probably during the Bob Dunn era. My Grandma subscribed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch until her death (even though she’d lived with us in PA for many years.) I had no idea the strip still existed till I started hangin’ round here! RIP, Al!

    BTW — the St. Louis paper also carried “Krazy Kat.” I’m embarrassed to admit that I was 47 years old before I learned that Krazy is *not* a girl cat!

  62. KT
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    Awww, no! RIP, Al.

    If someone else takes over the strip, I wonder if he’s going to write it in the same style. I hope he doesn’t try to “update” the slang…

    “Readers make fun of ol’ Al’s lingo… (Al: ‘Oh-h-h yeah! 23 skiddoo!’ Readers: ‘Haw! Wotta rube!’)
    …but when new guy Hekkie takes over– need you ask? (Hekkie: ‘Dude! Radical! Bogus!’ Readers: ‘Awk-k-k!’)”

  63. Skullturf Q. Beavispants
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:49 pm [Reply]

    Add me to the long list of people who were very saddened to hear of Mr. Scaduto’s death when checking this blog this afternoon. I didn’t grow up with the strip myself (it never appeared in my local paper), so I was one of the latecomers who discovered it through Josh’s site and the Houston Chronicle online. As I’ve said here several times in the past, Scaduto’s strip had a unique charm for me and quite honestly, it was one of the four or five strips at the Chron site that I looked forward to the most each morning. There is a reason I took the first part of my screen name from TDIET, after all!

    In addition to the many accolades Al has been receiving due to being such a class act and consummate gentleman in his correspondence, I also want to say that his strip showed a devotion to craft that is sometimes lacking in the world of cartooning, where so many other strips are either hurried and sloppy or else carry minimalism to an unchallenging extreme. The level of background detail in TDIET never failed to impress me, and that’s not something you can say about very many strips. (Slylock Fox is a more recent one that tends to have very nice background details.) The language in the strip, too, fascinated me — I know it’s easy to poke fun at anachronisms, but the man truly did have a way with words. Even though the slang in the strip doesn’t sound like what my friends and I said growing up, it was always bouncy, colorful, lively language.

    Judging from all the recent email correspondence it seems like he was in good spirits during the months before he died, and I hope those close to him can take some comfort from that during this sad time. Rest in peace, Al.

  64. Joe Blevins
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:50 pm [Reply]

    TDIET is one of those comics I always took for granted, but this blog is what made me truly appreciate it for all its weird idiosynrasies: sweater vests, the Urge, etc.

    As a kid, I was a fan of Al Scaduto for his work in Cracked, which — despite its unfortunate status as a Mad wannabe — was home to a lot of good cartoonists, including Al Scaduto, Bill Wray, John Severin, a late-career Don Martin, and an early-career Dan Clowes. Mr. Scaduto, you shall be missed. Also, your name was fun to say.

  65. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:52 pm [Reply]

    I have the urge to write a song called: “An Ode to Al Scaduto”. but I have flop-tears in my eyes.

  66. HB Glord
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    Sad, sad news, indeed! I agree with Josh that we’ve lost a beloved uncle, one who constantly tries to amuse us with the same hoary gags yet you end up laughing sincerely at his efforts because you can see the heart behind the humor. A great big tip of the ol’ Hatlo to you, Mr. Alvaro Scaduto. I believe the word is mensch.

    #33 — Speaking for myself, my submission, while spurred on by CC, was 100% sincere (and based on an actual occurrence). He added plenty of wit and humor to my suggestion in his time-tested and true cornball retro style. I felt absolutely unabashedly honored to be selected.

  67. Hank
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    No snarking today. RIP Al.

  68. LTBF
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:57 pm [Reply]

    I’ve never taken a paper that ran it regularly..I think the paper I read as a kif had it on Sundays and have seen it here and there over the years. But reading it here I have come to enjoy TDIET. Yes, it was corny at times and repetitive but it had a real world feel to it we could all relate to.

    REading the experiences people here had with him makes me like the strip more because he seemed like a true gentleman and a nice guy.

    Rest in Peace, Al.

  69. Pendragon
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:05 pm [Reply]

    When I first discovered this site, I learned, among other things, that some of the comics that were in the newspaper when I was a kid were still around. I was surprised to learn that They’ll Do It Every Time was still running and when I revisited it, I was amazed to see how closely the artist and writer had captured the style I remembered. I was astounded to discover that Mr. Scaduto was the same cartoonist from the time. He had taken over the strip from Mr. Hatlo decades ago and continued to produce it every day.

    While the Curmudgeon Community had deconstructed the strip in its own inimitable fashion — and indeed, another blog had made TDIET its entire reason for being — it emerged that Mr. Scaduto was a Gentleman of the Old School. With every contact with him, we discovered the warm heart behind his gentle curmudgeonry and smiling exasperation with the human condition.

    Despite his studious lack of hipness, many of his offhand expressions were adopted and even embraced by this community. I will think of him whenever I use those corny but endearing phrases, and you know I will use them.

    Mr. Scaduto was a card-carrying member of what has been called the Greatest Generation and he exemplified what is great about it. The tropes and vocabulary he employed were like snapshots straight out of the best of his younger days. Being of a certain age myself, TDIET was the kind of strip I imagine my father would have produced if he was a cartoonist. I mean that as a compliment.

    Sorry I can’t bring myself to make a joke here, although I can’t help but think that Mr. S. could find some humor in it somehow. That’s the problem with life — eventually it ends. They’ll do it every time.

    Thank you, Mr. Scaduto. We should all be so lucky to touch so many lives in the way you had. We will never see the like of you again.

  70. Dean Booth
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    A final tip o’ the hat to Al. I really will miss his vision every day.

  71. SecretMargo
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:08 pm [Reply]

    I have nothing to add to Trilobite’s words in yesterthread.

    Scaduto always seemed like an adjunct member of the community, his words appearing in re-posted emails with fellow ‘mudgies, etc. I’ll miss knowing he’s there.

    (PS: 59 Maughta, I don’t want to alarm you, but your lovely blog seems to have been hacked by renegade Christians and turned into a “Mega site of Bible studies and information.” Did you lampoon a badly designed cover for the New Testament or something?)

  72. Octal
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:09 pm [Reply]

    Oh, no! I’m sorry to hear that. He seemed like a really nice guy, from all the stuff about him I read here.

  73. mako
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    My goodness this makes me so sad, as my comic will be published this coming monday! Mr. Scaduto was a real gem, and a fine gentleman. I hereby dedicate my comic to him.

  74. Jamus The Bartender
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:11 pm [Reply]

    Two things.
    I’ve gotten two emails from comics professionals in my life. One was from Jean Marc Lofficier, who hipped me to the fact that it was he who introduced Alan Moore to the character Nyctalope for use in the Les Hommes Mysterieux, and that the books weren’t easy to find in paperback. Anyway, he’s from France and took the time to help educate this dumb American, and I was always thankful for that.
    The other one was Al Scaduto. I sent him an idea for a strip back in May about getting a new cellphone with all the bells and whistles, and being afraid to take it out in public. I don’t think he had the chance to use it, but I was always happy Mr Scaduto took the time to reply to my idea.
    We’ll miss you Al.

  75. NJP
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:16 pm [Reply]

    Well, that’s just a shame. I remember reading TDIET in the paper as a youngster, and hadn’t thought about it in years until Josh first mentioned it here a few years ago. I mocked, but I grew to appreciate the weird qualities that made Scaduto’s TDIET unique, and the reports of his interactions with people who submitted ideas to him made it clear Al Scaduto was a prince of a guy. Godspeed, Al Scaduto, you will be missed.

  76. DaveyK
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:18 pm [Reply]

    RIP, my friend. You made the Eisenhower era cool again.

  77. Calico
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:22 pm [Reply]

  78. Loopina
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:30 pm [Reply]

    We’ll miss you, Al.

    It’s no wonder there are so many TDIET fans here. In some ways, that strip was very much like a blog itself – instead of being a story composed by one author, it was a collection of rather cynical observations on everyday life, contributed by loyal readers. Think of the accepted submissions as Al’s own COTW.

    Although I never read the strip before finding this blog, like many others I admired its kookiness and archaic language. He will be fondly remembered.

  79. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:35 pm [Reply]

    THOU still unravish’d scribe of fifties,
    Thou foster-child of Wombos and slow Time,
    Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
    A sqiddy tale more sweetly pan-fried:
    What scrod-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
    In Tempe or the dales of Catastra?
    What men or gods are these? What flop-sweat loth?
    What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild urges?
    Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
    Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
    Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
    Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
    Fair youth, with sweater vestments, ya gotta di-g-g-g
    Thy song, nor ever can those those terms be dragbutt;
    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
    Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
    thru betamax or vhs,
    For ever wilt thou love, and she be urged!
    That’s all I got.

  80. Dingo
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:42 pm [Reply]

    I’m fearful right now of what I may have done. Two days ago, I sent an email to Al Scaduto with another idea for a TDIET. And, now, he’s dead. I certainly hope my idea is not what caused his demise, although I have made some hearts on here lose beats before with my antics.

    On another note, I am about to leave the beautiful city of Chicago for eastern Pennsylvania. I know I have a gay brother in town in Bunne (with those fancy dots over the u but I can’t figure out how to make them). A few months ago, some of us gathered together in Madison, WI for a night of revelry, conversation, and car sodomy (Oh, wait. That was just in my imagination, Gadge.) Would anyone enjoy a night of ‘mudgeon mayhem in Chicago before the end of the year? You can contact me at

  81. Jemmy
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:48 pm [Reply]

    79 Red– I’ve never thought of “TDIET” and “Keats” in the same thought (or even neighboring ones)… but it works.

  82. F.
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:50 pm [Reply]

    They’ll do it every time: Just when you start to unironically appreciate a comic for it’s good intentions and well-meaning anachromism, the creator up and dies.

    Rest In Peace, duder. I had a few ideas I always meant to submit, and I regret I’ll never have the opportunity. Mr. Scaduto, thank you for making people laugh for so long.

  83. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:54 pm [Reply]

    Sheesh, Dingo! I hope you didn’t send Al a TDIET suggestion about automotive sodomy! That’s beyond the pale. Have some respect, dude!

  84. digamma
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:57 pm [Reply]

    Junior is hip and with it, mocking the old fogie cartoonist: “Har dee har, he’s stuck in the fifties!”

    But when cartoonist kicks the bucket, is Junior singing a different tune? Oh yehhhhhh! “Our mornings won’t be the same without his observations on life.”

  85. TB Tabby
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    The comics page is a poorer place. Al Scaduto may not have had the funniest comic, but he was a nice guy who kept it real, and a good sport about parodies.

  86. Kaitlyn
    December 8th, 2007 at 6:58 pm [Reply]

    I have tackled the Pluggers comic, which also runs on readers, but Pluggers seems so much more hate-filled than TDIET ever could.

  87. Vakar
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:00 pm [Reply]

    When I moved to Topeka, Kansas, TDIET was in the Sunday comics, and I didn’t think much of it. What angry pettiness, I thought. When the paper yanked it for Get Fuzzy, I was happy.

    Well, it wasn’t just CC that made me change my mind about this strip: I’ve matured and come to appreciate the wit Mr. Scaduto could bring to bear, depicting the dozens of daily frustrations and ‘urges’ we all get.

    Turns out, he wasn’t angry at all. Once, I wouldn’t have believed that I’d miss him. But will I? Oh yeah-h-h-h-h-h!

  88. Mr. O'Malley
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:03 pm [Reply]

    From reading the bio it appears that the joke I made about Al Scaduto a few days ago–that he was going highbrow–was actually true. Apparently he liked to sing opera.

    I’m going to miss those oddly sized convertibles with windshields that only come up to the driver’s shoulders, and the rest of his bizarre anachronistic universe.

  89. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:13 pm [Reply]

    Dingo- Best of luck in yer endeavors in Pennsylvania.. As the great Richard Pyior said: “I got something fo’ yo ass, penna’

  90. Lou Shumaker
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:14 pm [Reply]

    I suspect, also, that while we rail and rail about the foibles in the comics, very few of us would actually wish any harm on the cartoonists.

    Despite our oftime infantile humor, there are a lot of mature people on this site (no matter what their age) who can understand this difference. That’s one reason why, amid the seething swill I find in the comment threads of many popular sites, the curmudgeons stand out and above all that.

    Sweet dreams, prince Al

  91. Galactic Emperor Chennux®™©
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:17 pm [Reply]




    Al Scaduto. Damn. Josh is right. He was that crazy but lovable uncle who would tell you stories about WWII but still remember your birthday.

    End transmission.

  92. John C Fremont
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:21 pm [Reply]

    # 64 – Just a couple of nights ago, I was reading an old Cracked magazine from ’88, and was rereading Al Scadutos contribution, “The Short-Lived Reformation of Ebenezer Scrooge.” I laughed. Weird.

  93. AppleGirl
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:25 pm [Reply]

    Crazy yet lovable Uncle Al. I have a tear in my eye. Rest in peace. You will be missed.

  94. ChristianPinko
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:46 pm [Reply]

    I think Josh once said that even though TDIET is behind the times, Al never phoned it in. Too many of the comic strips that get published give the impression that their creators can’t wait to finish writing & drawing so they can hit the golf course. Al Scaduto always put his own personality and his energy into TDIET, and it made TDIET special.

    RIP, Mr. Scaduto.

  95. Little Guy
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:56 pm [Reply]

    HOWCUM…. just as you’ve ridiculed the strip for years with its out-of-touch anachronisms, the strip grows on you, just as the artist shakes off his mortal coil…..?

    “The urge” to {MARGO} at Death.

  96. Mack
    December 8th, 2007 at 7:57 pm [Reply]

    I have “the urge” to cry now. Al will be missed.

  97. fishmorgjp
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:15 pm [Reply]

    Re 63: Skullturf Q. Beavispants: yes, right… curmudgeons might’ve made fun, but Scaduto could really draw, right up to the end… compare his work to strips or panels that look like study-hall scribbles.

  98. fizzy logic
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:21 pm [Reply]

    What Apple Girl said is true for me too. I also have a tear in my eye and will miss – by all accounts – a man who was a kindly gentleman. Rest in peace, Al.

  99. Phil
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:22 pm [Reply]

    Al Scaduto really impressed me in his correspondence with and graciousness towards “Comics Curmudgeon” readers. I feel really lousy to hear this news.

    I think we can all be grateful for our cool and unlikely relationship with this man.

  100. Yahtzee
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:23 pm [Reply]

    He sounds like a class act as a person, and the comic has given me a lot of enjoyment, both ironic and un-. Rest in peace, Mr. Scaduto.

  101. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:26 pm [Reply]

    I loved Al, and I thank Josh and even Chennux for paying tribute. We have lost one classy gentleman. Aloha, Mr. Scaduto.

  102. Justin
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:31 pm [Reply]

    Ha. TDIET used to actually make me mad. I’d think…how does this get published? I mean, I can appreciate things on real and ironic levels, but this ain’t speaking to me on either one!

    But, to be the nth person to say it, I grew to love it. On the days I didn’t have time to read my whole comics page, I always scrolled down to TDIET.

  103. Spotted HØrse
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:35 pm [Reply]

    #55 Loppie Scaduto:

    How many times did Al say in TDIET, “It’s enough to make a grown man cry”?
    Well, this is enough….

    #62 KT:

    “Readers make fun of ol’ Al’s lingo… (Al: ‘Oh-h-h yeah! 23 skiddoo!’ Readers: ‘Haw! Wotta rube!’)
    …but when new guy Hekkie takes over– need you ask? (Hekkie: ‘Dude! Radical! Bogus!’ Readers: ‘Awk-k-k!’)”

    Beautifully put, friends!
    Tomorrow I’ll be rocking the sweater vest in honor of Mr. Scaduto. Thanks for everything, Al.

  104. Stig
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:46 pm [Reply]

    I never knew Mr. Scaduto but I’m sure he died the way he lived: resisting the urge to do bodily harm to a loved one over a petty annoyance.

    You did good Al. Where you’re going there’s nothing but black sweater vests and enormous spider webs as far as the eye can see!

  105. Mooselet
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:53 pm [Reply]

    I’m quite sad about this. Like lots of others, I found TDIET incredibly out-of-date and often cringe worthy yet charming. One of my favourites was from many years ago, when Al had the husband giving the dog a fonder greeting than his wife upon his return home from work. I had “the urge” to cut it out and put it on the fridge where my husband would see it.

    :::sniff::: We’ll miss you Al.

  106. Anonymous
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    Rest in Peace, Al.

    I found TDIET reading CC and always thought that Al seemed like a great guy.

  107. Sally
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:04 pm [Reply]

    “He did it every time.” That’s right, and that’s how he eventually won me over, like so many others here.

    Thanks Josh, for declining cynicism in your treatment of this oddball strip and so allowing Scaduto’s professionalism and talent to be revealed.

    Happy trails Al.

  108. Pamela
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:18 pm [Reply]

    I grew up knowing and loving Al Scaduto and his wife, Joyce, as the dearest friends of our family. All words expressed here, barely touch it. Al was a kind, fine, gentle gentleman. He was generous, loving, funny, sang beautifully and we all adored him. Today, in his memory, I’m wearing a 30 yr old t-shirt with his artwork on him. Al, you’ll always be in my heart. My thoughts are with the girls and grandkids.

  109. Virginia
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:24 pm [Reply]

    I also had a soft spot for Mr. Scaduto’s out-dated characters with their hi-fis and squiggly mouths, as it seemed like a comic I could imagine my grandparents reading when young. Loved all the references to “the urge,” and always looked forward to all the variations he could think of.

    It’s been said better by earlier posters, but we’ll miss you Mr. Scaduto.

  110. dimestore lipstick
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:26 pm [Reply]

    I’m going to miss him upping the squid count…
    Sad news indeed.
    I hope someone lets his family know how much we all appreciated him.

  111. Galactic Emperor Chennux®™©
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:35 pm [Reply]




    End transmission respectfully.

  112. Harry Paratestes
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:50 pm [Reply]

    Too bad about Al. God just had the urge to email him to the Great Beyond.

  113. Pat Violette
    December 8th, 2007 at 9:51 pm [Reply]

    I have just been reading all your comments about Al Scaduto, my father. For the record, Dad died on Dec. 8th which was not his birthday. He would have celebrated his birthday in July. For those of you who did not personally know my Dad, I feel sorry for you. He was an amazing man who was loved by everyone who met him. He could related to older people as well as a teenager. My Dad loved doing TDIET. He worked for King Features for 60 years!!! What an amazing tribute to an amazing man and the best father anyone could ever have. This is a tremendous loss for my family and I hope no one every forgets him. Those who know him certainly won’t.

  114. willethompson
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:00 pm [Reply]

    #113 Pat: I hope that you have received the many, many condolences this community has sent you regarding your dad. We all acknowledge his talents and the simple and humble ability to respond with warmth to even the lamest of suggestions. We send you our best and say novenas for you, your siblings and your children. This is a sad day, but we remember Al with fondness.

  115. Niall
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:05 pm [Reply]

    108. Pamela: if you can, please let his family and friends know how much we truly appreciated him.

    I can but wonder if he knew of the shirt made recently in his honour on this blog, and if it gave him a warm smile. I hope he knew and appreciated it as the compliment it was.

    I bow my head.

    Tomorrow, as I wander Bloor street in my Toronto visit, I shall find a good pub and raise a toast to Al.

  116. Niall
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:07 pm [Reply]

    …and I see it has been. Thank you, Pat, for letting us know. He was a gentleman and remained true to the end. A consummate artist and human being. May we all aspire to this level of greatness.

  117. LTBF
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    Pat-Thank you for taking time in your moment of grief to acknowlege us, even though many often made fun of his strip.

  118. Harriet
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:14 pm [Reply]

    Debbie and Pat

    I have spent hours reading these wonderful tributes to an amazing and talented man, who you were lucky enough to call “Dad”. Many of us have one, but nothing like Al, with his whit, talent and gift that he shared with the world.

    I didn’t know him personally, put through reading his strips and going through Google and all of these posts, he had a blessed life.

    He and Joyce made the two of you, who they were so proud of, and he would have been even prouder about how you have handled his death and granting him his wishes.

    I wish I had known him. He sounds like a true one of a kind.

  119. Big Sims
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:15 pm [Reply]

    Dear Pat Violette,
    Please accept my sincere condolences. My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you very much for taking the time to write us here.

  120. Muffaroo
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    I am so sorry. I had a couple of nice responses from him on ideas I sent, but never got “the” response I was hoping for. Last time, I didn’t hear back at all.

    Al was a gentleman. We came to snark, and many of us ended up sending him ideas and cheering when they were accepted. I raise a glass to his memory.

  121. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:24 pm [Reply]

    Pat, please accept my sincere condolences. We rib your dad on this website, but he has been nothing but the finest gentleman in all respects. I shed tears for your pop as when my father passed . I hope your dad and my dad are hanging out in Heaven right now, because I think they have a lot in common. Peace….Red

  122. LTBF
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:26 pm [Reply]

    Pat-Did your father ever read this site and if so, what did he think of the comments?

  123. Bunnë
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:30 pm [Reply]

    I think what I’m going to say has been said many times above, and probably better. But, I’m sad. I didn’t expect to be sad, just as I didn’t expect to grow to like this goofy, anachronistic strip. From the personal stories people related about submitting their ideas, Scaduto seemed like a real mensch.

    Thank you to Josh and everyone who brought me to appreciate this comic, which I had not heard of before joining the legions of ‘mudges.

  124. Dingo
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:31 pm [Reply]

    Pat Violette, my heartfelt best wishes go out to your family. Like many others on this site, I sent a submission to your father back in June. Even though I knew it might not fit with the usual scope of the strip (it involved discovering during dinner with my boyfriend at a restaurant that gave you a discount equal to your years on your birthday that my boyfriend was not 45 but actually 52) your father sent me a very cordial email thanking me for the submission, stating that he might not be able to use it. Even so, he asked for all of the particulars so that he could send me a copy if he did. It wasn’t from a secretary or a lowly assistant within the organization but from your father himself. And for that, I began to appreciate him more. TDIET was old school but so is the art of the gentleman. Be proud in the knowledge that your father always treated people, even strangers, with kindness and respect.

  125. commodorejohn
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:41 pm [Reply]

    I only ever sent Mr. Scaduto one idea, and he wound up not using it, but I was just so pleasantly surprised that he took the time to thank me for it personally nonetheless. Other ‘Mudges have called him a “gentleman” and a “class act,” and I really can’t find better words than those. I’m never, never going to delete that email. RIP, Al.

  126. Chromium
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    I would guess that every reader of this blog, myself included, had the same reaction to this strip–confusion and mockery at first, to respect and genuine admiration. I remember in mid-2006 or something when CC readers first began submitting ideas and were shocked when they started getting nice replies and framed strips from the man (as opposed to “Pluggers,” which barely acknowledges its contributers). I’m going to miss this goofy guy.

  127. Pogoer
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:45 pm [Reply]

    Very sorry to hear this news. Back in June I had e-mailed Mr. Scaduto with an idea for a TDIET, which he politely replied was, although decent enough, one he had already used. Then, in October, I sent him a second e-mail with another idea. I didn’t hear anything back from him until November 25, when he e-mailed me saying he liked it and had just worked it up for release in late January. The copy of the cartoon he sent me a few days later, with a personal inscription at the bottom, is now hanging framed on my office wall. It will be a bittersweet occasion to see it in print (or, more accurately, read it online) next month, but I feel honored to have had the chance to be a small link in a long chain. Rest in peace, Al. As others have noted, you were a true gentleman. My condolences to your family and friends.

  128. Bunnë
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:48 pm [Reply]

    I didn’t expect to discover a family member reading the blog, either…

    Pat Violette, my sincerest condolences. The fact that your father is so well loved by this group of cynics is a real credit to his work.

  129. Dingo
    December 8th, 2007 at 10:51 pm [Reply]

    You Can Call Me Al
    for Al Scaduto

    A snark on this site feels like
    Almos’ a duty to me
    You’ve got Lynn and Scaduto ‘scuze me
    Writing my riffs
    We play fast and loose with a casual mention
    It’s like high school detention
    How we play with our condescencion
    Comic strip tifs
    Man in a plaid suit
    Film of Lula P’toot
    Son with a Dutch
    Now it’s a moon zoom
    Cobwebs for a broom loom
    Nurses are butch!

    If you’ll print my TDIET
    Place you on a pedestal
    You can call me Barflo,
    Migraina, Wombo, Hekkie
    Can I call you Al?

    A man walks down the street
    He says why am I short of attention
    Got a short little span of attention
    And why my nights are so long
    You hear his family?
    Wife thinks she’ll die here
    Listenin’ to his creed
    Always at slow speed
    Ask him “How your day?”
    It make the guest stay
    Seventy hour!

    If you question sonny boy
    All his answers end with “Meh.”
    You look at TDIET boy
    Every day you gonna get
    A sweet “Oh, yeah!”
    Oh, yeah

  130. Niall
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:01 pm [Reply]

    128. Dingo – dammit, you just about made me cry.

  131. Jimmy
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:03 pm [Reply]

    I always loved TDIET because, as I’ve mentioned here before, the cast members resemble my 1960s Massachusetts relatives (Italians). And practically every strip featured a back hallway with a dark window cross-hatched with diagonal lines, and that was predictable and comfortable. Al Scaduto really did capture our everyday foibles and blandishments, always in generous, non-judgmental ways. He locked into the best way to point up the human condition– via gentle riposte. I’ll miss him.

  132. Big Sims
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:13 pm [Reply]

    Ditto #129 Niall,
    Good work Dingo (and Red G-back too)

  133. Angry Beaver
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:15 pm [Reply]

    Quite a sad day indeed.

    I feel like ordering an “Urge” shirt and wearing it in his honor.

  134. Red Greenback
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    Tough guy Red beats up drunks and no accounts with impunity. But Man, why is he crying so much? Al Scaduto’s passing has got him blubbering like a prize whale. What’s up with that?

  135. Electro
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:30 pm [Reply]

    Sad, sad, sad. The world needs more gentlemen with a sense of humour.

  136. Sarah
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:35 pm [Reply]

    I’m very, very sad to hear this news. I was lucky enough to have an idea published in TDIET (the one about the phone ringing off the hook until there’s an important call you’re actually waiting for). The odd thing was, after sending it in in November, I got the e-mail from Al in February, telling me that the panel would be published in March, IIRC. But when the day came, it wasn’t on the website, and after I e-mailed Al again to ask about it, he sent me another message saying that he had investigated the matter with his editor and due to a scheduling mix-up, they had been planning to hold my panel indefinitely. But he got them to agree to publish it in May instead. I thought it was really nice of him to look into it for me–I think he appreciated that for a lot of people, it was a really cool, special thing to see their name and idea in the strip. I do hope TDIET continues with a new artist even though it could never be the same. My best wishes for Mr. Scaduto’s family.

  137. some guy from Alabama
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:36 pm [Reply]

    Pat, #113:

    I grew up reading TDIET in the Montgomery Advertiser (if I recall correctly) and your father’s gently humorous spirit was coming across in that strip even then, in the 60′s. May God give him plenty of ink and ideas where he is now.

  138. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:42 pm [Reply]

    113 Pat Violette
    I am so sorry for your loss. Those of us who knew of him, or the part of him that was his craft, or his kind emails, have only a very small sense of your loss.

    Yet that stops us from neither accepting some of that loss as our own, nor recognising how much greater the depth and breadth of your loss that you, your family, and extended family know right now.

    Reading of your father has reminded of Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”. Your father’s ‘….fight against the dying of the light’ was not like the rage of Gerald Greene’s “Last Angry Man” who could neither cotton to the new ways nor succeed with the old ways, but rather like Edwin O’Connor’s Frank Skeffington from “The Last Hurrah” who
    knew well the past, lived in the present, and respected the future.

    I would be happy if such words could be said about me upon my death.

    Your dad will be remembered by people who never met him or even knew his name.

    Lastly, Let me say I was so happy to rediscover “They’ll Do It Every Time” and I am sorry I never wrote your father to tell him how much I liked it. I will make amends for that tonight in my prayers. My sincerest condolences for you and your family.

    Nicholas Strauss

  139. odinthor
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:47 pm [Reply]

    Fate’ll Do It Every Time!

    [pic of Al Scaduto at his drawing board, working]

    Just when a talented, clever, and admirable guy’s pen has won over the most cynical and sarcastic snarkers on earth . . .

    [pic of angels drawing him up out of his chair, heaven-wards]

    Whazzat??? He’s sent on a new mission “above” where all you got is a harp and a coupla wings! (THE URGE . . . to “pass away” Fate to the Moon!)

  140. Joshua
    December 8th, 2007 at 11:54 pm [Reply]

    My condolences to Pat Violette and the rest of the Scaduto family.

    I was a fan of TDIET when I was a kid, probably in the era when Mr. Scaduto was the artist but Bob Dunn was still the writer. Then my local paper dropped TDIET, and I largely forgot about it until it started showing up here at the Comics Curmudgeon. It’s heartwarming to know that Mr. Scaduto kept up his friendly attitude toward his readers up till the very end.

    Re #59 and #71: I believe Maughta’s blog is at — two of the letters in her URL were transposed.

  141. benro
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:02 am [Reply]

    I never subscribed to a paper that ran TDIET, but numerous times I would read it in my sister’s newspaper when visiting and found it amusing. It wasn’t until I became a regular curmudgeon reader that I renewed my interest in this strip. He was a true gentleman, and he will be missed.

  142. Mr. Wuxtry
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:03 am [Reply]

    HB Glord, #66. Thanks for remembering “Thanx and a tip of the Hatlo hat.” Back when Hatlo died it seemed like nobody could carry on TDIET, but Dunn and Scaduto pulled it off, even to the great names for the characters — Henry Tremblechin, J.P. (for Jupiter Pluvius) Bigdome, and my recurring female favorite, Flotilla. Thanx and a triple hat tip to Jimmy H., Bob D., and now, sadly, Al S.

  143. Jordan
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Our pal Al may be up in Heaven right now, but what, oh what’s goin’ on down below? Heh heh. You just give a lissen…

    The Devil (wearing a pea jacket): That Scaduto made so many people happy… bringin’ laughter and joy… even now that he’s dead folks still support him… I just can’t win… I’ll be a dirty #$%@#%@!

    God: Oooooooh, what YOU said!

  144. True Fable
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:04 am [Reply]

    Free Verse for Al

    My heart is sore and my eyes are misty
    For the loss of a man I shall never now meet
    Whom I never personally knew
    I planned to talk to him, one of these days

    All I have is an email
    a short kindly note from a bighearted man
    Whose enthusiastic encouragement to a stranger
    Deeply touched my heart

    Respect for others was his hallmark
    And respect was what he got in return
    He was admired by many
    Long before any tributes were made

    My heart is sore and my eyes are misty
    For the loss of a man I shall never now meet
    But from what I now know of him
    I want to be like him, one of these days.

    – Truman Fable

  145. Chance
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:07 am [Reply]

    It’s a sad day for cartooning. Even sadder is that this class act who actually worked at his craft and had a real flair for language will not, as Josh mentioned, get the accolades that Johnny Hart did (perhaps undeservedly so).

  146. Eric
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:13 am [Reply]

    I’ve read this piece on Al, and see many of you that have written in. My name is Eric, I am a personal friend of the Scaduto family. My mother is best friends with his daughter Patricia. To clear any questions, Al went into the hospital earlier this week because of heart problems he had for many years. A corrective procedure was done, and was unfortunately not successful. He was fully conscious until yesterday and was never put on life support. His heart muscle became constricted and oxygen was not flowing. I have many find memories of Al, just a few years ago I can remember standing on the staircase of his home in Jericho, Long Island as he belted out opera, and only six weeks ago being in his Connecticut home, as he looked at me just as every time I saw him and said “Well Eric…What d’ya know? What d’ya say?” He is part of my fondest memories and truly a gentleman in my mind forever. Miss you already Alvarro Scaduto

  147. Spunky N. Tadpole
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:16 am [Reply]

    Very sad: condolences to Pat Violette and the rest of her family for their loss: from the accolades from all and sundry it is obvious that Al Scaduto will be sorely missed.

    And add me to the number of those who rediscovered TDIET through Comics Curmudgeon: I remember reading the old Jimmy Hatlo panels when I was a kid; and was quite surprised to find the comic still going on: and looking nearly the same as I recalled from my youth! Great job, Al; Rest in Peace.

  148. Red Greenback
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:22 am [Reply]

    Eric- Thank you! I don’t know what else to say. It sounds like he went peacefully. I’ll never forget Al. Red

  149. jsg
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:24 am [Reply]

    The urge to cry.

  150. BeachF
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:25 am [Reply]

    I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t been said already and better by others. I’ve been struck by what an amazingly kindhearted and classy guy he was and hope he took the many playful jests and jokes out of CC in the spirit they were meant and never felt offense.

    I pop myself out of my usual lurk to offer my own quick tribute, something which deserved more effort and preplanning then I gave it, and one which I hope is proven wrong.

    Hope that works.

  151. Toronto
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:35 am [Reply]

    A long, long time ago
    I can still remember
    How “They’ll do it…” used to make me smile
    And I knew if Al used my gag
    That I’d be proud enough to brag
    And surely I’d be happy for a while.

    But December 7th made me shiver
    When usenet and blogsites delivered
    Bad news on the laptop;
    Enought to make my sweat flop.

    I can’t remember if I cried
    I surely wasn’t feeling snide.
    And something touched me deep inside
    When Al Scaduto died.

    So bye, bye, TDIET.
    It’s not the “smartest” but the artist
    Really entertained me.
    And them curmugeon folks were drinking coffee and tea
    Saying “This ain’t a day for snarkiness from me”
    This ain’t a day for snarkiness from me”

  152. Bob Weber Jr.
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    I first met Al Scaduto in 1981 when I joined the bullpen staff at King Features Syndicate in New York. At that time Al lived in Long Island and would often take the train in to deliver his strips. I will always remember his kindness and larger-than-life personality. He always made a point of stopping by my drawing board to chat, and give me encouraging words. He was a great man, and a great cartoonist.

  153. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    Bob Weber
    Are you planning an homage?

  154. Skulking on the Outskirts
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:18 am [Reply]

    Pat Violette and family, I am very sorry for your loss.

    I hope that Al perused this blog from time to time, at least, and knew how much we ‘Mudges grew to respect and appreciate him. He was a true gentleman, as many here have already said, and we will miss him.

    My best wishes to all who knew and loved him, and I know that’s a lot of people, because to know the man was to love him.

  155. Skulking on the Outskirts
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:29 am [Reply]

    Odinthor, Red Greenback, Dingo, CHENNUX, and especially Toronto (‘cuz I love ‘American Pie’) you guys are one talented bunch of versifiers. Al would have loved it, ohhh, yeahhhh!

  156. Lynny M
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    My thoughts have already been expressed countless times by others here. Rest in Peace, Al.

  157. Pamela
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:54 am [Reply]

    Debbie and Pat,

    I’m sending you all my love. You and your dad have been in my thoughts all day (as well as Sydelle’s and Joan’s). I’m sorry I won’t be able to be with you.

    Love, Pam

  158. Edward
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:05 am [Reply]

    I live in the UK, where his comics have barely ever been published, but through this website, I’ve come to appreciate him. I wasn’t a huge fan of his work, but my god he sounds like a good man. His artwork was brilliant, but he seemed to be most blessed in his skills with people, as everyone who had any contact with him seems to love him. I would also (echoing over 100 people on this site) like to extend my condolences to his friends and family, and hope they know he has left an amazing legacy, as an artist, but mostly as a man.

  159. Godzooky
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:06 am [Reply]

    Sunday’s TDIET. Especially like the one about Wombo’s study habits, that’s how I’ve been handling work I take home.

  160. Cafangdra
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:12 am [Reply]

    Oh no! I really grew to enjoy his artwork thanks to this blog, and it was a treat to hear from people who’d corresponded with Mr. Scaduto that he was in fact kind of a sweetheart of a guy. This is a rare instance in which I do hope the syndicate continues the strip with a new artist since it would be interesting to see what a younger person would do with it BUT Mr. Scaduto will be sincerely missed. He had a great old-school style that reminds me of my dad’s artwork. Aw. Sad.

  161. ChattyGenes
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:58 am [Reply]

    A few thoughts…

    …I’m so sad…

    …Reading about Al makes me think of my own 80-year-old dad, whom I’ll see at Christmas…and now I have the urge to print out this entire thread for him and take it home with me to show him (my dad’s not too good with computers). When I was a little kid, he sweetly and enthusiastically mailed some of my childish drawings and ideas to the then-TDIET-artist, Jimmy Hatlo…

    …it was fun to find out, from joining the CC community a year or so ago, that this comic was still around, and still just as fun and familiar as I remembered it…

    …I never knew Al, yet I know I’ll miss him. A great man has passed.

    My condolences to his family. Rest in Peace, Al.

  162. Sakurai
    December 9th, 2007 at 3:37 am [Reply]

    I’d never heard of TDIET until I started reading CC, but I quickly grew to have warm feelings for it. Of all the long-running, multi-generational comics, it was the only one to retain so much vitality. Now I regret my procrastination in not working up an idea to submit. Goodbye, Mr. Scaduto, and I salute you!

  163. Crooked Soricidae
    December 9th, 2007 at 3:57 am [Reply]

    I never read TDIET until I started hanging round this den of iniquity, but it grew on me mainly due to the retro feel. I did read Al’s stuff in Cracked a lifetime ago and loved it. An amazing body of work by any standards and the pride produced by a Mudge getting a suggestion accepted was always palpable. My prayers to the Scaduto family. We all lost one in a trillion.

    Adam C.

  164. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:04 am [Reply]

    I’ve been listening to too many songs in the hope of stirring the final creativity (note – not happening with sad, slow songs like this – I did the first half to this and the second to this.)

    So I was putting up my Sunday Pluggers snark (all 3 of my dogs could die and I could still snark on Pluggers) and had to add a bit about Al.

    With George.

  165. Dub Not Dubya
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:13 am [Reply]

    My deepest sympathies to Al Scaduto’s family and friends. He was a true gentleman and brought delight to countless people through his work. I had never seen the strip before I started reading this blog, but I’m glad I got to know it and got to read about how genuinely kind he was to people who wrote to him. We will all miss him. May all who loved him be comforted in your grief. Love, Dub

  166. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:16 am [Reply]

    Perhaps I need sleep, but today’s is too damn sad.

    And I should turn off this song.

  167. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:17 am [Reply]

    166 – Today’s Get Fuzzy is too sad!

    How the hell did I delete the whole phrase?

  168. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:22 am [Reply]

    Okay, today’s Lio is totally awesome.

  169. Brown-eyed Girl
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:28 am [Reply]

    I am saddened by the loss of Al Scaduto. He had a fine career, and from all I have read about him a fine life as well. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

  170. Donald The Anarchist
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:40 am [Reply]

    I wish I had time to read through all the comments before making my own, but I don’t. So (apologies if I’m repeating someone else’s thought, here) all I can say is that Al Scaduto is like that crazy uncle who played jazz and you never realized when you were a kid how hip and cool he was, not in spite of, but because of the fact that he had no shame in using whatever crazy, funny, anachronistic terms it took to get his point across in his own unique way, never minding that you might be laughing at what a cornball he was, because he knew that if he had you laughing, he’d done what he set out to do….(Urge to bring him back from the dead, but good…)

  171. Mr. O'Malley
    December 9th, 2007 at 5:46 am [Reply]

    I wonder if there were ever any TDIET collections published. Either in the Jimmy Hatlo days or the Scaduto days.

    I’ll answer my own question.

    ebay doesn’t show anything. But has quite a few Jimmy Hatlo collections, mostly from the 1940s. What with Christmas coming up, I might suggest this to my wife.

    No Scaduto, though. I’m sure several of us would buy it if they put a collection out. It would be a nice celebration of his contribution to the world of comics.

  172. Krohmdohm
    December 9th, 2007 at 6:07 am [Reply]

    Ohhh yeahhhh, a lifetime of doing good and ya wind up at the Pearly Gates, everybody gettin halos and wings, But when YOU step up to the plate..St Pete hands you a driving cap and a sweater vest …WHAAAAA???

  173. The Avocado Avenger
    December 9th, 2007 at 6:31 am [Reply]

    #108 and #113, you have my condolences. I’m very sad to hear this news, and I hope you know that, despite the snark, we all got a lot of enjoyment and fun out of the strip. Al seemed like a great guy, and the running gags – The Urge, the squid, Purple Love – were the best.

    #120 Muffaroo, I had the same experience you did, and was wondering why I got no response to my last email. It’s terrible that this was the reason.

    Red G, True, Dingo and the rest, those were terrific. Toronto, your “It’s not the smartest but the artist” about made me cry.

  174. The Avocado Avenger
    December 9th, 2007 at 6:33 am [Reply]

    #87 Vakar, when the Capital-Journal yanked TDIET, I was actually a bit peeved. It was in the C-J that I’d read TDIET as a kid, and I always thought there were plenty of other strips that could have been eliminated instead.

  175. Lolsworth
    December 9th, 2007 at 7:03 am [Reply]

    According to just about anyone who ever communicated with him, he was a lovely man.

  176. TB Tabby
    December 9th, 2007 at 8:11 am [Reply]

    I’ve seen a few snark-worthy things in the Sunday comics, including the lovely Cassandra, but it seems tacky to do it in the same thread where people are mourning the passing of such a nice guy.

  177. Dickie
    December 9th, 2007 at 8:12 am [Reply]

    The confusion about Al’s birthday comes, I think, from

    This is a Netherlands site that shows Al’s July 12th birthday — in European style — as “12/7/28″.

    Al, we miss you already.

  178. Red Greenback
    December 9th, 2007 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    Pat Violette- I know it’s a bit early for you to process all this stuff, but I just wanna say I’m a poor person, but I will gladly flip a sawbuck to your dad’s favorite charitable organization.

  179. Moss_Moses
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:33 am [Reply]

    A male and female cat can produce 6,500 offspring in 4 years? You must be kitten, Elrod! That is a whole lot of bumping and grinding for one pair of cats. I blame the shelters for that, not society!

    Speaking of shelters, now that Chester has chewed Mary’s beloved scarf, he may be shelter bound himself and that is certainly society’s fault!

  180. Anonymous
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    RIP- as corny as TDIET was, it did have its endearing charm that kept CC’rs reading it regularly. It gave me a whole new language that I now use as almost a hipster code, understood by only the most savy.
    I’ve got “the urge” to be happy that he drew this sappy box for as long as he did, whadayathink?

  181. Krazy Kat
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:37 am [Reply]

    #180 was from Krazy–sorry, I been deleting my cookies, etc.

  182. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    179 – While Mark is discussing how many offspring an un-neutered pet can produce, Andy is chasing a rabbit.

    (We waited a while to snip-snip our boys, but as long as we’ve had them, they’ve never been unsupervised long enough to find the reproducing area, sex, or breed. They liked to hump each other, god bless ‘em.)

    Foxtrot – almost saved it until Peter mentioned some show I’ve never heard of “Jon Stewart”. Would’ve been great without the quotation marks.

    BC and Garfield killed me today – I’m Odie when it comes to presents – once, I stuck my sister’s gift in big brown box, taped that shut, and had her wrap her own present.

    BeetleBailey – Whoa! A mention of Iraq! And roadside bombs and… please don’t be the setup for a new character – “PTSD” Harry.

    MW – Her scarf? You live in California, you don’t need a damn scarf! It’s a newspaper – don’t some people still use these to train puppies? Couldn’t they have done something more realistic? Toppling the trashcan in search of chicken bones (cocker spaniel)? Toppling the trash can in search of used tissues (Mikey the poodle mix)? Getting on the table to eat easter candy still in its wrapper (Cocker spaniel and Ozzie shepherd mix)? Peeing? Pooping on her bed?

    Her SCARF? She just paid a year’s tuition on stuff for a dog that’s not hers, and one destroyed scarf is just too much for her delicate sensibilities.

    I hate her in the last panel – ever the martyr. Now she won’t feel Mary-pain when Chester’s real family picks him up. Damn! That and wanton canine destruction were the only good things in this story.

  183. Godzooky
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:49 am [Reply]

    So his family can see them in one place and so some particularly nice comments don’t get lost in the shuffle (and to satisfy my ex-librarian organizing compulsion), here are all the Scaduto-related comments from yesterthread:

    #157 Chyron HR says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    TDIET SPecial – From the Howcum Department–Young Wombo grouses daily on the computer line about the old time comix littering his newspaper…

    “It’s a %*$@ outrage! Give new cartoonists a chance!!”

    But-t-t-t when veteran scribbler Octogenario kicks the bucket, who’s the first to eulogize him? Heh, heh, need I say more?

    “BAWL! He was a G-GULP class act! The world’s worse off without him! Etc etc”

    #161 Deena in OR says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    If this is true (I have no way to verify…..)

    RIP, Scaduto.

    #166 jules says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Oh no! Is it true about Scaduto? I’ve become rather fond of the man and his ramblings. And the occasional urge to pan-fry Barfo’s hide to the moon.

    #167 Deena in OR says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Here’s where I got it.

    #169 Milford V. Goshen says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Deena in OR- say it ain’t so! I so hope that is just a sick rumor. Al is such a gent he even e-mailed me back to tell me my “kamikaze school” suggestion was very funny, and that he’d try to work it in to a TDIET. I so hope that the man still walks among us. (Red Greenback)

    #171 True Fable says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    It’s true. Al Scaduto is gone. This makes me so sad.

    Gang, this man was a wonderful gentlemen in a world that needs more, not less, of his kind. I for one will light a candle for him. RIP Al, you were a truly nice guy and a dedicated cartoonist to the last.

    #174 Trilobite says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    If Al Scaduto really did pass on yesterday, I’ll miss him.

    I hardly ever laugh at TDIET (or even empathize much with the plight of Migraina, Barfo, Castrata Catastra and the rest), but I always had a sneaking, steadily-growing admiration for the strip’s style. The Scaduto-isms, the complicated backgrounds, the lumpy physiques, the fashion sense from an alternate universe where Eisenhower never died…there was a goony kind of charm to it all, a gentle derangement that meant it would never be a chore to read.

    And, of course, there’s Al Scaduto himself. Sending cheerful letters back to his contributors, actually drawing his comic every time (even when he could take the easy way out and just retrace that housewife ninja-kicking the doorbell, he’d draw her again), and so on. I always got the impression he was a nice, hard-working guy, and that’s how I’m going to remember him.

    Well, except I’m going to ignore any photographs I see of him and just assume he looks like Barfo. And when his family and friends gather at the funeral, I’m just going to assume that it’ll be Migraina and little Wombat (in his best funereal black sweater-vest) giving the eulogy. I don’t know if that’s how he would have wanted it, but it’s really the only way I want to picture it.

    #175 Red Greenback says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    So sad. I’ve a black v-neck sweater that I am ripping the sleeves off to wear today as a sign of respect. I will miss you very much Mr. Scaduto.

    #177 Big Sims says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Rest in Peace Mr. Al Scaduto. Thank you for all the urges.

    #178 commodorejohn says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Al Scaduto died?

    Oh man. I…I don’t even know what to say.

    Bob Weber Jr., don’t you go anywhere, okay?

    #180 Red Greenback says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I am also buying a squid to pan-fry. Thanx for being a unique human being and bringing the laffs! When I reach the other side, maybe we could hang out.

    #184 Kaitlyn says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Damn, that sucks. I like TDIET – and I hope they don’t run frankenstein strips.

    Trilobite at 174 said it all.

    #185 ltrftp(not so first time) says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    184 Kaitlyn


    I agree

    #186 LTBF says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I’ve never taken a paper that ran it regularly..I think the paper I read as a kif had it on Sundays and have seen it here and there over the years. But reading it here I have come to enjoy TDIET. Yes, it was corny at times and repetitive but it had a real world feel to it we could all relate to.

    REading the experiences people here had with him makes me like the strip more because he seemed like a true gentleman and a nice guy.

    Rest in Peace, Al.

    #187 Red Greenback says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    ltrftp(not so first time) Miami, Florida methinks (MV.G) Crap, I’m still busted up over Scaduto. Kaitlyn, I concur about the disaster that would be keeping TDIET alive written by accountants, but what can you do? RIP, Al. you got me at dig-g-g-g.

    #189 Girl Reporter says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Brown of a job, Hekkie.

    #198 Calico says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    That really stinks about Al S. passing. How sad. My gosh, the universe has lost how many famous cartoonists this year alone – 3? (BC, Kudzu, and now TDIET).

    #199 Red Greenback says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I just posted a eulogy for Al Scaduto on the foobsite “coffee talk” Doubt it’s going to see the light of day, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

    #202 Red Greenback says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    ltrftp(not so first time) excuse me, I thought you were referring to the Sondra Prill link. BTW, did you happen to catch that game between Oxblood and Cordovan? Sporting of speaks, Anglophile that I am, I dare say Mayweather’s gonna win it in the seventh. RIP, Al Scaduto

    #203 ltrftp(not so first time) says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    MVG I thought was Milford Vs Goshen
    Prill was Miami
    Scaduto I hope has ‘the urge” to RIP

    #204 alamo says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    a tip from the old alamo dome topper to you mr. scaduto from someone who cut their teeth on jimmy hatlo. i learned to read by reading the newspaper before i learned to walk and the comics were the best part. we lived in rural areas many years when i grew up and the new york sunday picture news and the chicago sunday tribune which had all the comics from each day of the previous week; i read and read them all. despite some of the recent criticisms it has always been reassuring that there was this connection to the golden age of comic humor and art; where both laugh lines and the drawn lines were together an art form that may never reappear. you were loved and you will be missed.

    #214 Calico says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    #212 – Did you hapeen to see the 1999 film “American Beauty?”

    Back to the subject Al Scaduto for a moment – Just thinking maybe it would be cool to run a memorial post featuring all of the Mudges’ ideas that were put into print and comix infamy. (I know they’ve been featured one at a time here, but an “album” of sorts would be a nice tribute).

    #222 Little Guy says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    #157 — I thought the exact same eulogy for Scaduto. Tip of the hat to you.

    #231 Skulking on the Outskirts says:
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    And R.I.P., Al Scaduto. We shared a hometown, though I never met the man. And to who(m?)ever suggested an album of ‘Mudge ideas for TDIET, I think it’s a good idea.

  184. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    177 – Dickie – Ah, that makes sense. I did not see that site earlier, nor did any of our European ‘mudges.

    For all my snark, I’m still saddened. And I should add that the only time I got mad at one of his cartoons, it was because of the submitted idea, which was f!d up no matter how you sliced it. (Fifi Meisner wanted to take night classes to broaden her horizons (not improve her job skills!), asked hubby, and hubby said no, you need to be with me 24/7.)

  185. Allie Cat
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:53 am [Reply]

    My thoughts are with the whole Scaduto family. Getting my signed TDIET was one of the nicest things that has happened to me this year. I went out that night and bought a frame.

    It hangs in my office at work.

    It feels like we Mudges have lost one of our own.

  186. Stellanova
    December 9th, 2007 at 9:58 am [Reply]

    Being Irish, I’d never encountered TDIET until I discovered CC, and like (it seems) pretty much everyone else, I started thinking it was preposterous and gradually, genuinely, grew to love it. This thread has made me cry, and I send my sympathies to Al Scaduto’s family and friends. He won over a lot of people, and it sounds like he was a lovely bloke.

  187. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    Trilobite’s (184 yesterthread) was the best. It summed up everything.

    Our initial dislike, our increased affection for the oddities in the comic, and our affection for the man through direct contact or stories of such.

    My statement about frankenstein strips was premature – I forgot he ran on reader’s submissions and was himself a replacement. I’m just lucky I got to witness at least part of his career.

    I have a few Crackeds from the ’80s, and I’m going to look through them to see if I can find his work. I’ll also reconsider buying them (as long as his or DM’s work is in there).

    Comparisons to family – closest would be my dad’s dad. Both were military men, though one was a marine and the other was navy. However, the marine had a sense of humor and knew how to love. My parents have been divorced since ’98 (she kicked him out 12/26/98 – screw the legal shit, that’s the divorce to a 10 year old), and since then, we remained close with Dad’s dad – closer than he did. Mom went to his funeral, Dad was not wanted.

    To more pleasant times – he lost his foot to diabetes, and he let Becky and I paint his fake toenails.

    More than once.

    And we HAD to have HUGE root beer sundaes and sandwiches that I have yet to surpass.

    My family is scattered all around this country, and he and his wife (not dad’s mom) were the closest for years and years.

    He died in January 2003, and I still miss him.

    Did Al ever do a military-type strip? Like about the rivalries between the branches?

  188. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    I like the confluence/mashup/bifurcation/deconstruction on how so many of us came to enjoy Scaduto’s TDIET: We enjoyed it as kids and rediscovered it here; or never knew of it and discovered it here.

    Thanks Josh

  189. commodorejohn
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    A3G – I’m never going to forgive Apartment 3-G for getting Sonny and Cher stuck in my head in panel four. Oh wait, Margo scheming to take advantage of Ruby. All is forgiven.

    BB – Beetle Bailey is attempting to be relevant, but the concept of anybody at Camp Swampy actually serving in a real war is more “frightening” than “relevant.”

    Crankshaft – Crankshaft made me chuckle today.

    Curtis – Curtis, on the other hand, made me laugh aloud.

    DT – Okay, Dick Tracy has officially reached WTF level.


    FOOB – Bitter? Lynn? How could you even suggest such a thing?

    HOTC – Gah, fake trees. Blech.

    H&L – Chip’s got a Jimi Hendrix poster on his wall, which isn’t implausible for someone so clearly into the guitar, but Howl? Either this is a rerun from the actual 60s or we’re meant to see Chip as a retro would-be-hippie, which would make this strip way more interesting.

    JP – Abbey, it should be pretty obvious that the fat you consume doesn’t go to your waistline.

    Lio – Do I even need to say that Lio is awesome?

    MW – No, Mary, he has the kind of face that could give anybody nightmares.

    MC – Hehehe.

    Pibgorn – Then there’s Pibgorn. What the hell?

    RMMD – Turning to his one unfailing, reliable skill, Rex decides to sulk and annoy his way out of trouble.

    SFx – I don’t know who first put forth the theory that Slylock continues to pick Cassandra as the culprit to get her alone in jail, but the evidence keeps piling up. Witness today’s strip, wherein our vulpine hero accuses Cassandra because she happens to be wearing mismatched shoes.

    SM – What the…Spider-Man was kind of funny today. What’s up with that?

    TDIET – And then there’s They’ll Do It Every Time. I just wish the Chron put up a larger image so I could read the Sunday editions.

  190. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    Two more bits on today’s comics before throwing myself into the Monk marathon.

    Family Circus – Jeez, Billy, are you sure it’s safe to ski with those robes on?

    Mutts – I want snow. Like yesterday. I went for a walk yesterday in flipflops with no jacket and I was overheated. Snow is evil unless I have some.

  191. Niall
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    It shows our respect to Mr. Scaduto and our dedication that we are (almost all) waiting for a new thread for any remarks on other comics (and keep talking of Saturday comics in the previous thread).

    Bless you all. And I’m just about to cry again.

  192. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:14 am [Reply]

    Almost all, I’m sorry, some of them had to be mentioned!

    And I only said GF was sad and Lio was awesome. I waited to not be first to mention MW.

    Besides, Al would not want us repeating ourselves (so sad, found TDIET through this site, it was cool) until Josh makes a new post!

  193. Niall
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:27 am [Reply]

    It’s a coincidence, but we could call it a tribute… there’s a squid in today’s Slylock Fox…

  194. Pat Violette
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    My sister Patricia and I (Debbie) have been reading your beautiful words about my father Al Scaduto this morning. When my father was in the hospital this week, I spent some time–the first time really–looking him up on the Internet. I found a site (not this one) that seemed to love him. And when he got out of the hospital, I had planned to show it to him. But then I ran across this site and saw what was being said about him and thought I better not ever let my father know what was going on on the Internet (I am sure it will come as no suprise to anyone here that my father was NOT comfortable in the computer age and wouldn’t have known how to cruise the Internet on his own). But I have changed my mind today. I would give anything for my father to see what you have written about him today. My father was the kindest, most generous, fun-loving person I knew and you all here have honored his memory with your generosity and kindness. So many of you got it right: more than being a great cartoonist, my father was a kind man. My family thanks you. Reading your words gives us great comfort. YOU all are a class act.

  195. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:31 am [Reply]

    193 – Niall – There will be more squid, oh yes.

    People have mentioned that Sacduto was cultured – he liked opera. Did he ever go to Japan or an authentic restaurant and have squid, or was he just playing on its icky name and nature?

  196. lesles
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    so sad.

    everything i would’ve said has been said, and said well, but that’s what you get, living ’round this side of the world. usually by the time i get here, all the thunder’s been appropriated.

    only thing i would add is that, in the times we’re living through, we need decent people more than ever, and the loss of someone like al seems to have been is a diminishment of humanity we can ill afford.

  197. WonderCat
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    I am another Comics Curmudgeon reader (mostly just a lurker, not a poster) who has had a TDIET published, almost exactly a year ago. And I had just submitted another few ideas that I had a couple weeks ago. I guess now I know why I never heard back from him. There was something about it that reminded me of my late grandfather and his sense of humor. Which was kind of refreshing, actually, with so many other comics all about sarcasm and politics. He’ll be missed!

  198. Scrog
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:52 am [Reply]

    189 commodore john: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a readable Sunday TDIET. (And Lockhorns and Better Half.)

  199. Damian P.
    December 9th, 2007 at 11:06 am [Reply]

    I had a couple of e-mail exchanges with Scaduto, and he was always very friendly. When he used one of my ideas for a strip (back in July) he sent me a copy of the comic and a handwritten note thanking me for my submission. R.I.P. Mr. Scaduto.

  200. John C Fremont
    December 9th, 2007 at 11:07 am [Reply]

    When Get Fuzzy makes you want to cry, you know it’s going to be a rough day. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like laughing…

    Before the sad news hit yesterday, I read the Saturday TDIET about the dishwasher and thought, “That’s our house!”

    My thoughts are with Al’s family and his many, many friends.

  201. Mibbitmaker
    December 9th, 2007 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    FOOB: El Cheato the tooth guy is all smiles, no matter what hoo-hah his patients put ‘im thru’… BUT – - Li’l the rugrat just says a chirpy “hi”, and El Cheato takes his darnfool head off!!! (Urge to write bad dribble, future-style, to shame Pops!)

    Classic Peanuts: Snoopo the wonder pooch is SOOOOO ferocious when wanting to pilfer the ol’ Van Pelt rag – - – HOWEVER… One word from Linus-guy and it’s wimper-willy time for our hero! O-o-o-oh, yyyyyyyyeah!!!

    FW: ISN’T IT ALWAYS THE WAY dept. ~~~ Blobberbutt is a real sucker for his funnybook fave, so he goes to the author’s sign-up thingamabob and yammers up a storm, puffing up our scribe pal. BUT THEN – - – Does cheapskate deign to actually, o – you know, BUY a copy?? Support his heeeeeroooooo???? Nope! Notta red cent. Unhep, man! Unhep!!

    MT: Trailmix the woody type o’ guy – he knows lots about pets. He’s all about th’ care and th’ keepin’ them outta permaneedlesville and th’ controllin’ th’ natural pooch factory so Man’s Best Friend don’t multiply outta existance. So what do some dragarms apes do? U-guessed it!!! Look the other way when the animal gets goin’ ~ An’ sits like a lump onna log while the poor creature gets the doggy dirtnap! (Urge, urge, urge to make those mugs ‘go on the paper’, if ya know whaddImean?? — !!!)

    BBlues: Mr. and Missus Bigshnozz just want a li’l alone time together. They’ve earned it, don’tchaknow! BUT ~~~ their li’l tykes each want Moooooomy an’ Daaaaaaaaady all to their teeny lonesomes! One atta time, yet!!! Thusly, our loving couple is stymied! Izzit fair?? No way, Jose!

    Adam: All the cheery family’s out for ali’l Xmas firry fawna. Full o’ holiday spirits. Gosharooty!, but that’s nice. So – - – You’da thunk we’d see authentic bric-a-brak? But nope!! All fake, phony an’ slick!! OH, Y—

    Oh, y————-

    Oh* ………………


  202. Mike Lynch
    December 9th, 2007 at 11:36 am [Reply]

    I’ve updated my blog, posted some photos and remembrances of the one and only Al Scaduto.

    What Debbie (his daughter) wrote above is very, very true: Al was a generous, kind gentleman. I was honored to call him a friend. I will miss him very much.

  203. Scud
    December 9th, 2007 at 11:53 am [Reply]

    You keep telling yourself that you’ll send an idea to your favorite comic strip. When you finally get around to it … Heh… heh… heh.

  204. Rainbird
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:04 pm [Reply]

    I think it is so cool that because we are probably the only people who are actively talking about Al Scaduto, that his daughter was able to find us, and realize that we will miss him.

    Thank you Josh, for giving us a place to not only snark, but give our best wishes to his family

  205. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

    200 – Get Fuzzy was sad and Slylock Fox had a squid.


    Yes, of course.

    Monk marathon on right now – Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike – his insistence that Alice Cooper beat up the union leader to steal his antique chair is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.

    Another bit about Al and TDIET – It never made me laugh, I never – except that one Sunday bit about searching for glasses – really commiserated with the people, but I liked it. Comics don’t have to make you laugh out loud to be funny or good. It’s hard to do, and Al did it.

    The opposite? Pluggers. I get no joy from looking at Pluggers – TDIET, on the other hand… perfection in a panel.

    And he always had 3 or 4 or even 5 panels on Sunday. He knew how to use the space. You have to appreciate that.

  206. Razmytaz
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:34 pm [Reply]

    Mike Lynch: Thanks for the info on your blog. And the photos of Al having a good time.

  207. Kaitlyn
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    202 – Mike, in those pictures, he looks so happy. That makes me happy for some reason.

  208. The Divine O’F
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:41 pm [Reply]


    79 Red: EXCELLENT and touching Ode to Al.

    Dingo, TF, and Toronto: You too.

    And to Al Scaduto’s friends and family: I’m so glad you found us. Please accept my condolences along with all the others.

  209. Islamorada Girl
    December 9th, 2007 at 12:53 pm [Reply]

    Well, I’d hardly call us a class act, but we know class when we see it. All my sympathy to Al’s family. We’ll miss him, too.

  210. Brent
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    To Debbie and Patricia:
    My sincerest condolences on your loss. It is our loss too.

    The thing I think you need to understand about this site and your father is that while the initial impulse was to view the strip as an anachronism, people very quickly came to appreciate it in ways that other strips aren’t. A huge part of what made that happen was the way that Al Scaduto dealt with people and their foibles. And part of it was the way that he treated people who submitted ideas to him even if he didn’t use them. King Features may find someone else to do the strip – I don’t know if Al Scaduto used an assistant – but I think thy’re going to have a hard time replacing the gentleman that Al Scaduto was.

  211. commodorejohn
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    I’ll be doing a colored version later, but I want to make sure this gets in this thread.

  212. Niall
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:45 pm [Reply]

    207. Kaitlyn: that struck me as well – it is the face of someone who smiles all the time. And the eyes of a gentle soul. Until the very end.

  213. rhymes with puck
    December 9th, 2007 at 1:59 pm [Reply]


    MW: Mary better not bring in that dog whisperer schmuck.

    Phantom: Who’d have thought that wearing a bright purple unitard would make it difficult to be inconspicuous?

    MT: Man, cat’s are horny!

    Spider-Man: So do the police in New York not even bother to investigate exploding delivery trucks? Man, things have gone to hell since Bloomberg took over!

    Garfield: HA! This is so true…my cat is so much better at wrapping gifts than my dog.

  214. Eleusis
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:09 pm [Reply]

    Man. This is a bummer and a half.

  215. Flealick
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    #150 BeachF, #151 Toronto, and everyone else, thank you for sharing your reactions to this sad news, and let me say that I too will miss my daily dose of Scaduto. I too discovered it through this site, and grew to enjoy it’s unique world view and skillful art.

    I guess because of its unstuck-in-time quality, I figured I had forever to come up with an idea to submit, but now I see how wrong I was. RIP Scaduto, and thanks for everything.

  216. Karen
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:56 pm [Reply]

    Mr. Scaduto will be missed tremendously at our Wednesday night dinner club. It will never be the same without you.

  217. Karen
    December 9th, 2007 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    Al was one the true gentleman left in the world, to know him was to love him. Al could keep you mesmerized for hours, he was a kind gentle soul. I remember seeing Al one day in a sweatshirt that his grandsons made for him, it had their hand prints in paint on the shirt, along with paint splatters, he wore that shirt so proudly, I remember thinking that he could have been in a tux and he would have been the same person. I will always love you, rest in peace.

  218. ltrftp(not so first time)
    December 9th, 2007 at 3:28 pm [Reply]

    Thank you for taking time out for us.

  219. bats :[
    December 9th, 2007 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    211. commodorejohn: very nice, particularly that cutting-edge hi-fi set-up with its state-of-the-art vinyl! I’m sure Al’s denizens would be quite envious.

  220. Dub Not Dubya
    December 9th, 2007 at 3:56 pm [Reply]

    I’ve never tried to do a TDIET mashup until now, but in honor of Al Scaduto, here is Mary Worth’ll Do It Every Time:

    Please forgive my totally amateur Photoshopping. When it comes to trying to figure it out, I really should be called Catastra.

  221. Calico
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:26 pm [Reply]

    To Pat Violette and the rest of Mr. Scaduto’s family,

    My condolences to you all on the passing of your Dad.

    As I recall, my Dad, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 76, enjoyed both TDIET and Mark Trail.

    This is all sad but a nice comforting link to my family as well.

    I believe something said during the memorial service for my father rings quite true for your Dad, Al, as well – “He was a gentle man, and a Gentleman.”

    Peace and comfort be with you all during this sad and difficult time.

    Lisa aka Calico

  222. Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:39 pm [Reply]

    Respected Cartoonist Alvaro (Al) Scaduto died December 8, 2007. He was associated with King Features Syndicate for over 60years and was best known for “They’ll Do It Everytime”.

    . His wife Joyce (nee Lawrence) died in 2000. He is survived by two daughters, Patricia Violette and Deborah (Donovan) White, three grandchildren Allison Volta, Atticus and Lazarus White, a sister Barbara Caggiano, brother Paul Scaduto and his partner and companion Claire Adelman

    Funeral services will be held 12 Noon Tuesday, Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Visiting Monday 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the funeral home.

    To view an online obituary or to send his family a message of condolence, you can visit the following websight,

  223. off-model
    December 9th, 2007 at 5:10 pm [Reply]

    I hope it’s never too late to pay one’s respects, though a lot of kind and some very cool words have already been said.
    It was easy to joke about the constant complaints, the antiquated domestic dynamics, the oddball names and the ever-present black sweater vest of the Al Scaduto era of “They’ll Do It Everytime.”
    I admit though that I got a sense of nostalgia whenever it was featured because it reminded me of visiting my grandparents as a kid and perusing their stacks of newspapers filled with comics so different from the ones in my hometown paper.
    I did gain a new appreciation of TDIET when I heard about the many positive experiences that various folks had in their correspondence with Mr. Scaduto.
    Despite all of the griping of Barfo and Migraina, it seems that people in general aren’t such a bad lot.
    I’m only sorry I didn’t get the chance to be Scaduto-ized, perhaps with a bow in my hair or wearing a sweater vest while serving up squid.
    It’s been said before, but life is too damn short.

    ^—The Urge to get on a plane to go see her grandparents and give them a hug.

  224. Loppie Scaduto
    December 9th, 2007 at 6:10 pm [Reply]

    I’m willing to bet that Josh would never think to do this, but I feel this is The place to repost something Josh wrote only a few days ago, Nov. 26, in fact:

    “…I’ve gotten advance notice from enough readers to know that our dominance of TDIET is going to be particularly strong over the next couple of months. I consider the introduction and endearment of this feature to my readers to frankly be one of my greatest achievements.” [emphasis added]

    I think that the sincere eulogies here are proof that Al and TDIET truly are endeared to many of us, in our own eccentric way… and yes, for many of us CC played a significant role in that. The affection outpoured here now has been in us for quite some time before.

  225. Pat Violette
    December 9th, 2007 at 6:45 pm [Reply]

    I would like to thank you all for your kind words about my grandfather aka my poppy.. I am his one and only granddaughter, Allison. After reading through all of your response it makes me feel better to know that so many of you saw my grandfather in the same eyes that I have always.. And that is as being the most kind hearted, gently, friendly, giving and the most unique man out there.. Until the day that he passed, I hope you all know that he was still that same man..and who could expect anything less!!! Cracking jokes with the nurses, myself, my mom and aunt and trying ot make as much light of the situation that he could.. My aunt made an amazing statement at the hospital after he passed which I think best describes my grandfather, and that is ” they just don’t make men like him anymore” and she’s absolutely right.. He’s the best of the best..

    Thank you all again for your support… If you’d like to send messages directly to my family, you can do so via email at


  226. camelama
    December 9th, 2007 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    I was so sad to read of Al’s passing – we lost a great cartoonist and an eye for human foibles. And I confess that on a personal note, I’m sad to hear now that he won’t be around to work my suggestion into a comic! He’d let me know he was thinking about it but hadn’t found the right way yet. Awwww.

    Raising a glass to you tonight, Al!


  227. Anne
    December 9th, 2007 at 8:47 pm [Reply]

    Patricia and Debbie, my deepest condolences.

    Mike Lynch, thanks for posting the photos. What a great guy.

    My appreciation of Mr. Scaduto has been deepening for the few years I’ve been privileged to read his cartoon. I’m so sad to learn that he’s passed on.

  228. Harold
    December 9th, 2007 at 10:35 pm [Reply]

    Oh my God. And I never got to thank him. Never got to send him a “The Urge” T-shirt, or a picture of me in a black sweatervest proudly displaying his response.

    Wow. This is a huge shock. Everybody dies too young.

  229. frank
    December 10th, 2007 at 12:38 am [Reply]

    Good night, funnyman and gentleman.

    Respects and condolences,
    Frank Habets

  230. Eleusis
    December 10th, 2007 at 1:03 am [Reply]

    Debbie, Patricia, Allison et al: Thank you so much for sharing with us. I was startled to see that Al had been in Sleepy Hollow when he passed, as I live right nearby. I guess I never thought about cartoonists inhabiting my world outside of appearing in the newspaper, and it’s just wonderful to hear his family talk about a clearly wonderful man.

    Best wishes and sincerest condolences. This blog does a fair bit of teasing, but it’s always with affection. He’ll be missed.

  231. El Santo
    December 10th, 2007 at 1:13 am [Reply]

    I’m really late at this, but count me as one of those incredibly saddened by the passing off Al Scaduto. Not just as a cartoonist, but because a very good man has gone.

  232. Pat Violette
    December 10th, 2007 at 6:49 am [Reply]

    My family is just amazed at all the kind words you have been saying about my Dad. When Mom died seven years ago my father came to live with me in Connecticut. He never liked being alone. He came with me everywhere. I get together with a group of women for dinner once a month and one of our dinners happened to fall on my birthday. I asked the girls if they mind having Dad come. He came that one time and was forever considered one of the group. It was eight women and my father. The reason he was in New York when he died was that his girlfriend lived there. He was staying with her while she recouperating from a stroke. Dad was a very special person. I am glad that you will continue to get joy from his comics. Although he won’t be drawing anymore, his previous comic strips will keep us laughing.

  233. Pat Violette
    December 10th, 2007 at 7:02 am [Reply]

    This is Al Scaduto’s youngest daughter and I thought I would just let you know that my father died from complications due to a medical procedure. He had heart problems, but his death had nothing to do with his heart. He was in the full swing of life just 36 hours before he died. He was sideswiped. We all were. And just hours before he died, when a nurse came into the room and nudged him to wake him to say, “Alvaro, I am here to draw blood,” he said, talking through an oxygen mask and heavy pain meds and a very very difficult situation, “Do you need a pencil and paper?” It is unimaginable how, in his condition, he got that out. But his mission always was to entertain and connect with people. And he never lost that.

  234. Mardou Fox
    December 10th, 2007 at 8:17 am [Reply]

    To Al Scaduto’s family:
    My sincerest condolences to you. I just lost my own father who was the same age as Al. Your feelings of loss must be so great, especially as his death was sudden. I hope you find comfort in knowing how widely he was loved and appreciated.

    Count me among those who read this strip as a kid, then rediscovered it here on CC, and grew to sincerely love it. And, like so many others, I was just about to mail him an idea for TDIET!

    Thank you, Al, for all the laughs. oh, ye-e-ah!!

  235. gh
    December 10th, 2007 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    I haven’t read through the tributes above – I’ve been offline since Friday but got word of Al Scaduto’s passing Saturday from The Divine O’F. So. The most common accolade, I imagine, has been “gentleman.” If not, it should be. Josh has recently noted that one of the most pleasant unintended consequences of his site was bringing Al and the collective Curminions together. What hath Al wrought? Well, a year ago, I probably would have responded to the news of his passing with bit of snark, making sure it was well-honed and witty. Because that’s all that matters, right? COTW? But Al taught me that above all, be kind. What is/was TDIET but a curmudgeonly rant? But . . . tempered with true humor – let’s have a laugh at it. Be kind. And forgiving. Even the urge has its whimsy. I’m blessed because I got my idea accepted and am blessed to have a personal note from him hanging on the wall.

    I can see someone’s being indifferent to Al’s passing, but not unkind. To do so would betray the spirit of CC. This place has been very dear to me for what seems like forever now. Very. And, ironically, I can’t fight for it, because its finest attribute is “no fighting.” Yes, I complain about the traffic (the 300 comment threads) and the noise (eight identical observations) that have been building the past few months. But in the last week or two I’ve noticed less . . . kindness. Why is that? What happened to “play nice?” People talk about and apologize for crossing the line – used to was, no one got near it out of a sense of deference to others. Common decency, people. And lovingkindness carried the day. Big Al personified this. Yeah, he was cheesy, but he was our cheesy. I will miss him and what he represented and what he demonstrated.

    I did two parody homages to Scaduto many months ago. One made it to the Forums, but the other I never bothered to drop in. So, Al, one more time, here it is:

    [to the tune of Depsperado]

    Al Scaduto, why don’t you come to our decade?
    You been out makin’ tirades for so long now
    Oh, you’re an old one
    I know that you’ve had your seasons
    But things that are pleasin’ you
    Ain’t funny somehow

    Don’t you draw Loopina’s urges, boy
    She’ll bore us with her fable
    You know Catastra is always your best stuff

    Now it seems to me, some fine names
    Have been stored up in your stable
    But you know that names alone are not enough

    Al Scaduto, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
    It’s Bucky we hunger for, when we get home
    And iPods, oh iPods it’s not just some people talkin’
    Your gramophone’s squawkin’ through this world all alone

    Don’t you know they’ll do it ev’ry time?
    Or just that once when you’re past your prime
    It’s hard to tell if you don’t leave the room
    You’re losin’ all your audience
    Ain’t it funny how the innocence went boom?

    Al Scaduto, Curmudgeons think of you kindly
    We follow you blindly, though you frustrate
    You may be fadin’, but if your snark senses fail you
    You better let someone e-mail you,
    (let someone e-mail you)
    You better let someone e-mail you, before it’s too late.

    * * *
    Now I gotta go read what everyone else said.

  236. Dub Not Dubya
    December 10th, 2007 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    It occurred to me yesterday that perhaps the Scaduto family would like to know this story, and it’s not easily understandable without some context. On this site, the comments often go into funny tangents that end up becoming ongoing folklore for the site. An offhand remark someone makes may end up being referred to and laughed about months later.

    Several months ago, someone here pointed to a web link for a site called Masters of the Art ( Someone pointed out in response that the website address can also be read as Master Soft Heart. Thus began several comments extolling the virtues of Master Soft Heart and all of the sweet and kind things that he does. A few days later, someone else posted and said that they had submitted an idea to Al Scaduto which he had decided to use, and as always, Al sent them a wonderful note of thanks. Someone responded to this by saying that they were pretty sure that Al Scaduto is the real Master Soft Heart.

    I hope that your family can take some comfort in that illustration of the affection that this community has for Al. Love to you all.

  237. gnome de blog
    December 10th, 2007 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    I too practically learned to read on TDIET back in the early 50s, lost it, and rediscovered it in recent years.

    A big tip of the Hatlo hat, Al. Thanks.

  238. Original Lee
    December 10th, 2007 at 2:16 pm [Reply]

    Like many other Curmudgeons, I grew up reading TDIET and thought it interesting and (frequently) puzzling and (sometimes) amusing. Then I moved away from home to an area where the local paper did not publish TDIET, and I forgot all about it. I didn’t start reading it again until I began coming to this site. Now that I’m older, I found it interesting and (frequently) amusing and (sometimes) puzzling, but I also appreciated the artwork and the obvious enjoyment Al Scaduto took in exercising his craft. TDIET is based on a simple concept that is hard to execute properly, but Mr. Scaduto was a master at illustrating The Urge. I will miss his daily dose of nudges not to take myself too seriously. My sincere condolences go to his family at his loss.

  239. The Original Steve-Dave
    December 10th, 2007 at 3:33 pm [Reply]

    So many times I saw either myself or someone I know in TDIET.

    Al’s work was old-school, and sometimes way dated (like the neckties he drew), but his art was solid. He never *really* needed to tell us what the urge was, but he did anyway, and it was funny.

    The Curmudgeon acceptance of Al and TDIET is evident in the recent appearance of “The Urge” merchandise.

    RIP, Al Scaduto. You never knew me, but it seems as if you did. Every time.

  240. Marthas Rolling Pin
    December 10th, 2007 at 5:18 pm [Reply]

    Y’all have all been so eloquent, there’s little left to say, so I’ll just say, “I’ll miss you, Mr. Scaduto.”

  241. Mountain Mama
    December 10th, 2007 at 5:47 pm [Reply]

    This. Is why I have come to read and love this site and all of you over the past 2+ years.

    I was just thinking about Mr. Scaduto the other day….not even sure why now he’d come to my mind. I was honestly wondering about him and hoping he would be able to continue his strip for awhile since we had come to cherish it so much. Even though he didn’t post like Mr. Weber and Mr. Power, I always had the impression that he was one of us, a member of our community here.

    Perhaps I have some latent ESP, who knows?

    I feel so very fortunate that I got to correspond with him briefly and see firsthand how kind and charming he was. I haven’t framed my TDIET yet, but I must hang it up before something happens to it.

    For the friends and family members who posted here, you have my deepest condolences. I lost my grandma last year and I still have some very tough moments. Your pain is deep and wrenching, but time will slowly heal. Please know Mr. Scaduto will always be with you.

    God bless,
    Donna aka Mountain Mama

  242. Euryale
    December 10th, 2007 at 6:17 pm [Reply]

    I’ve been a lurker here–never a commenter, as far as I can recall–for ages and ages now. I just wanted to add my condolences to the choir.

    All the comments here in various threads over the time I’ve been lurking about what a fine gentleman Al Scaduto was make me wish I’d submitted the various ideas I’d considered. Maybe he would’ve sent me one of his gracious little notes, and my life would’ve been touched by his kindness. Just never thought time would run out, I suppose. Still, his comic–charming in its anachronisms, in a way so many comics are not–reflected my own petty rages so many times that I think I may be able to laugh at myself a little more than I could before I started reading.

    My deepest sympathies go out to all of Mr. Scaduto’s family and friends. May you find comfort and peace.

  243. Ed Rhoades
    December 10th, 2007 at 9:33 pm [Reply]

    I loved Al. He was a gifted tenor and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. It was a joy to know him.

    We always shared laughs at the Berndt Toast Gang dinners. I live a distance away and my job keeps from attending very often…but I have some fond memories of Al, and some drawings he gave me that I treasure.

    He used to always strike someone’s funnybone when they weren’t expecting it. Once, he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said “Ed, it’s so nice that you travel 5 hours to come ot our dinner, I enjoy your company….now GO HOME!!”

    He could have forgone cartooning and done stand up. He was Tony Bennett’s classmate. He also went to school with Emilio Squeglio, Sy Barry, and the late Frank Giaccoia. What a talented bunch of guys. He leaves a space that cannot be filled.

  244. ralph
    December 10th, 2007 at 9:45 pm [Reply]

    What sad news. My best to Mr. Scaduto’s family. On Tuesday I will be wearing my black sweater vest, in tribute to the person who so joyfully made us all laugh.

  245. JonO
    December 10th, 2007 at 10:18 pm [Reply]

    Wouldn’cha know it…ya snark at old fashioned low-wattage off kilter comix fer years and years…

    ….But soon as ya let one old fashioned off kilter fella into yer heart…

    He dies.

    That wasn’t supposed to be how this panel ended! RIP Mr. Scaduto, it was awesome watching your work grow on us the last couple years.

    (what can ya say but Ohhhh n-ooo)!

  246. Forthillrox
    December 10th, 2007 at 11:24 pm [Reply]

    My condolences to the Scaduto Family, by all accounts here he was a real gentleman, and I’m not surprised to learn he seemed to be quite the character as well. I absolutely loved his artwork and really got to appreciate it quite a bit over the past few years (to the point that I would randomly think of something he drew and chuckle to myself about it). I’ll raise a pint to him next time I’m out.

  247. Larry E Hassard
    December 11th, 2007 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    My daughter Allison called me yesterday and in our conversation mentioned this blog and suggested I give a read. Al was my father in law, but more than that a friend and mentor. I only wish I was wise enough to have learned better from him. I’ve fond memories of sitting with him in his office- talking, listening to his music (opera) and watching him turn blank paper into a source of pleasure for others. He was one of the few I’ve known who truly loved doing what he did for his lifes work. He used to say he was glad the people he worked for never knew he would have paid them to do his job. If there were more men with the qualities of Al Scaduto in this world what a magnificent place it would be. I feel privileged to have known him and I’ll always carry his memory in my heart. I don’t recall ever seeing him express anger (except maybe once while wrestling with the garden hose). He found humor in almost everything and never took himself too seriously in spite of his talents. He would crack us up doing Ralph Cramden bits. We never tired of his stories. I often wondered if he ever learned how to get to the airport without winding up in Brooklyn. He loved his family and friends, particularly his fellow Pythians. He was the definition of a mensch. If anything good can be found in his untimely passing it is that he’ll be reunited with his beloved Joyce.

    I thought I’d share with you one TDIET-type story regarding Al himself-

    One of his favorite things was sharing breakfast or lunches with friends at the Jericho Diner. He never had a weight problem but ocasionally got to feel his belt becoming a bit tight and would try and shed a pound or two. One morning we were headed out to the diner for breakfast with the family- Al had mentioned (probably 6 or 7 times) that he would forego his favorite pancakes that day in favor of some eggs. On the drive to the diner he again reiterated his desire to have eggs as his morning meal. After we were seated the waitress brought coffee and left menus. We looked at the menus for a bit and made our choices; Al didn’t open a menu and again announced his desire for eggs. The waitress came back to take our orders. After each of us had placed ours, Al looked up at her and nonchalantly stated
    “I’ll have the pancakes.”

    Godspeed, Dad, and thanks for everything.

  248. walter horn
    December 11th, 2007 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    Al was a total sweetheart. I blogged about him today myself at

    I’ll miss him.

    Walter Horn

  249. Lazarus
    December 11th, 2007 at 8:13 pm [Reply]

    Al Scaduto was one of the kindest, funniest, classiest, full-hearted man I’ve ever met. He was my grandfather and I know that everyone will miss him greatly. His friends and family all showed their respects today at his funeral service where his daughters, friends, brother, and grand daughter made very moving speeches. He will be missed beyond belief. Poppy, I hope your having a great time with grandma. I wish I could have been there for the last few days, but it was great to see you last month. I will miss you and love you eternally. I hope I can grow up to be such as great person as you were.-Lazarus

  250. Pat Violette
    December 11th, 2007 at 9:05 pm [Reply]

    Today was my father’s funeral. My sister Deby, my daughter Allison, my Uncle Paul and Sy Barry all spoke at the service. I think we all truly captured the essence of what my Dad was all about. I will tell you that we were so appreciative and turly amazed that you all from this site sent my Dad flowers. He would have loved this. I’m not sure if you realize but my Dad was computer iliterate. His girlfriend, Claire, used to type all the letters as he would dictate them to her. I don’t think he truly understood about you all being out there. We could barely get him to use a cell phone let alone the computer. But we feel so blessed to have found you all and I hope my Dad knows what has been written about him. Thank you all once again. Patricia Violette

  251. Red Greenback
    December 11th, 2007 at 11:58 pm [Reply]

    Patricia and family, I want you to know that I’m still crying over your loss. I’m big manly man but I felt like a little lost child for the last coupla days. I give my deepest condolences to you and yours. —-Jonathan “Red Greenback” Day

  252. TaxiGirl
    December 12th, 2007 at 11:28 am [Reply]

    Thank you for your work, Mr. Scaduto.

    I’m one of the masses who hadn’t heard of TDIET before the Curmudgeon… but in the past year, it’s been added to my daily comics reading. I always read it right at the end, with Sally Forth — the two comics that reliably make me smile. Having a submission make the comic was one of my most memorable moments of 2007.

    I’d just like to echo what many other commenters have said here: the world has lost a true class act.

    “The Good Daughter”, 8/27/07

  253. Pat Violette
    December 12th, 2007 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    When we buried my Dad, Al Scaduto, along with pictures of his family we buried him with an original TDIET. The tip of the hat was to S. Gilmore in Los Angeles, CA. If S. Gilmore reads or contributes to this blog, we would like him to know that his idea went with my Dad. Again, thanks to all his loyal fans. He loved making people laugh and we hope that you will continue laughing when you see one of his comics. Pat

  254. Phil
    December 12th, 2007 at 10:50 pm [Reply]

    I keep reading this tread. Even though, eventually, the comments will cease, I’ll keep thinking about Mr. Scaduto.



  255. odinthor
    December 13th, 2007 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    It was a proud moment last July when I received an e-mail from Mr. Scaduto accepting an idea I had sent in; and the fact that it remained in his hopper awaiting his working it up makes me no less proud. The thing about They’ll Do It Every Time is that, not only does the reader get a laugh reading it, but also, on a deeper level, we’re made more aware of life’s little hypocrisies. Is it too much to say, or at least hope, that awareness paves the way for change? Either way, Al Scaduto not only entertained us but also enriched our understanding of the human condition; and that’s an undying legacy.

  256. Buck Remus
    December 13th, 2007 at 12:48 pm [Reply]

    One thing that has not really been articulated that I believe most of us would agree with is that he was so incredibly archaic already that it seemed he would live forever. This was backed up by the prompt and gentlemanly responses reported here, and his daughter’s account of the complications following somewhat routine heart surgery backs up the ‘healthy to the end’ image. I myself submitted three ideas to him, and he responded to each, but (alas!) declined them all. I alaways felt I had plenty of time to redeem myself. What a shock. This series of posts would make the Grinch cry. I do want to point out that I , like many others on this blog, never had TDIET in my newspaper, but learned to love it through this site. I remember there was alot of joking about him using the internet (which we have now learned he really didn’t, it was transcribed to him by his (girlfriend!, go Al!) . We also always questioned the 2 in the email address, so I want to hear from AlScaduto1 or AlScaduto Where are you sir? I need that mystery resolved for closure. Petty I know, but can anyone help with that? Just a signup glitch or what?

  257. Richard
    December 13th, 2007 at 1:23 pm [Reply]

    To Buck (256):

    Al’s girlfriend-partner-companion is my mother (GO MOM!)

    She was Al’s gateway to the internet. The “2″ in was a simple fix to a simple problem: When they used AlScaduto1, the number “1″ in Al’s handwriting was quickly and easily confused for a lower case letter “L.”

    For those who did not know him personally, and I had the privilege of knowing him personally for my entire life (Deby’s birthday and mine are a few weeks apart), the impression on this blog is totally true:

    Al was not only a consummate gentleman, he was a truly gentle man.

    And today is Mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mom.

  258. captainswift
    December 13th, 2007 at 2:47 pm [Reply]

    To all of Al’s loved ones who are still reading this:

    Even though I read this blog faithfully every day, I don’t always read all the comments, and was only now directed to the fact that so many of you have come here to comment.

    Your words really touched me, and the love you have for this great man is beautiful. I’m so glad you were able to find us, and share with us.

    He recently used a suggestion I sent in, which I believe will be one of the last (it’s scheduled to run on Jan. 10). The original copy he sent me was treasured before I learned of his passing, but is now so much more so.

  259. Claudia
    December 14th, 2007 at 1:11 pm [Reply]

    Al’s daughter Debbie didn’t mention this in her previous message, but in a post to another mailing list I’m on, she wrote that Al had been the caregiver to her mother, who died in 2000 of Multiple System Atrophy. MSA is a degenerative neurological disease, and anyone who provides care to a loved one with it truly deserves great regard and appreciation.

    According to Debbie, the family has asked that any donations in Al’s memory be made to:

    MSA Research Fund
    c/o Dr. Peter Novak
    UMass Memorial Foundation
    1 Biotech
    365 Plantation Street Suite 100
    Worcester, MA 01605

  260. Allison Volta
    December 14th, 2007 at 9:00 pm [Reply]

    Hello. Al, is my poppy/ grandfather and I just wanted to clear up a few things.. For starters he did not pass away on December 7th. He passed on the 8th at 7:25am. In addition, his passing did not have anytthing to do with a heart condition.. My grandfather passed away due to severe pancreantitis(sorry about the spelling). I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus here, but i’m a stickler for details and wanted to get the facts straight. I love him dearly and would hate for anybody to be misled as to how he passed.

    Once again, I appreciate all of the support and kind words that all of the people on this site have offered in the past week and hope my grandfather will always have a special place in your heart, as he does in mine.

  261. Buck Remus
    December 15th, 2007 at 11:30 am [Reply]

    Thank you Richard, for the info, and Allison, for the clear-up ; I believe the heart reference was probably my memory mistake only. Claudia, Pat and the rest of what is clearly a large and loving family; thank you for your input, I am sure some donations will be on their way to the MSA. Have you considered a large compilation book with a portion of proceeds going to the MSA? Not to be too crass and capatalistic so shortly after your loss , but I know that many on this blog (and we are LEGION!…ok that didn’t come out right) would buy it no matter the price tag, just for the memories.

  262. Claudia
    December 15th, 2007 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    Just to clarify: I am not a Scaduto family member, nor do I know Debbie or her family personally. My connection is only that I am on a mailing list that Debbie posts to. I e-mailed her and she gave me permission to re-post the information about donating to MSA research here.

  263. Mardou Fox
    December 18th, 2007 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    A compilation of Al’s best would be such a treasure!!!! To his friends and family who have posted here, thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into this quirky cartoonist/beautiful man.

  264. Harold
    December 18th, 2007 at 1:52 pm [Reply]

    I posted this on what is at this moment the current post, but this is really where it belongs, so I’ll repost it here:

    I’m still rather pissed about the mainstream media generally ignoring Al Scaduto’s passing. So much so that I decided that if my local paper (which carries They’ll Do It Every Time) was not going to mention it on their own, I would make them mention it.

    My plan worked, and my letter made it into their Letters to the Editor page – .

    Unfortunately, some good stuff was trimmed at then end. Here is the letter in its original format, with the edit shown in bold. Please feel free to copy and revise for your own local papers.

    Al Scaduto died on Saturday, December 8 at the age of 79.

    If you don’t know who Al Scaduto is, turn to the comics section of the weekday version of the Citizens’ Voice and look at the lower left-hand corner. Al Scaduto has single-handedly written and illustrated the one-panel comic They’ll Do It Every Time for the past eighteen years, and prior to that co-wrote it as part of the team of Dunn and Scaduto.

    Al Scaduto was a gem of a man, gentle, kind, and polite, as noted on the blog The Comics Curmudgeon ( in comments by his many fans, correspondents, and even several family members. Sadly, his passing has gone almost completely unnoticed by the mainstream media. He was loved, and will be missed.

  265. Nancy
    December 30th, 2007 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    Debbie Scaduto was my best friend growing up on LI. I remember being at her house so many times and hearing her father’s joyful voice singing “Makin Whoopie” as well as opera. He was a special and loving man. My thoughts and sadness go out to his family.

  266. Allison Volta
    January 21st, 2008 at 5:16 pm [Reply]

    i thought people would like to know that the last date that my grandfather’s strip will run is February 2, 2008. This will be the last of TDIET, as it has been decided to retire the strip.. Once again, thanks to everybody for your support of the strip over the years.. I know that my grandfather, Al appreciated every one of you and all comments that were submitted.

  267. Tweeks_Coffee
    December 14th, 2012 at 3:20 am [Reply]

    Probably no one will ever read this, but I’m gonna post anyways…

    This thread remains one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever gotten to witness in all my years. The outpouring of emotions and the testimonials from Al’s kin never fails to get me horribly choked up. I always try to stop back by here every once in a while to renew my faith in humans.

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