Who was Al Capp and What is a Shmoo

Sun and shadow slice across the kitchen wall. The pillar above the sink is decorated with a figure called a Shmoo. Below it is a set of moose measuring spoons.

The Shmoo was a fictional animal created by Al Capp (not Andy Capp!) in 1948 for his classic comic strip, Li’l Abner. The Shmoo required no food itself, but was a perfect source of food for humans. It was a prolific breeder, so there were always enough of them to go around.  Shmoos didn’t need any care. They dropped dead with just a glance from anyone who was hungry. In addition to being food, they could become just about any other product a person wanted.

Can you imagine the fate of mankind in a world where everything is free and readily available? Can you imagine the fate of the Shmoo?

24 thoughts on “Who was Al Capp and What is a Shmoo

  1. Hi,
    I don’t recall reading about the shmoo, but I used to read Andy Capp so I may have and just don’t remember. 🙂
    He is a cute little guy, but what a fate to just drop dead like that.
    You must be looking forward to going back up to the cabin, it looks to be such a lovely place to get away for awhile.

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    • The Shmoo stories were short lived (as were the Shmoos). They were before my time, but my parents had a cartoon book with them in it.

      We’re off to the cabin again this week-end. Spring clean-up time, which involves pruning the black knot off the trees that are infected with the fungus.

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  2. Hey Margie: I believe Al Capp was the creator of Li’l Abner – and Andy Capp was a lazy good for nothing comic strip character. Li’l Abner is regarded by many as the greatest character of all time. My personal favorite character was Lena the Hyena – the ugliest woman in the world. The strip ran for 43 years! Thanks for the memories.

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  3. Nice association between the Schmoo and sunny days. The Schmoo was the invention of Al Capp of Li’l Abner. Al Capp, among his other creations, invented the country of Lower Slobbovia whose currency was the raspbucknik. A billion raspbuckniks were worth nothing. Raspbuckniks make up my most of my investments. I’ll have to settle for sunny days instead.

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  4. These are lovely! I love the vintage measuring spoons. Li’l Abner is before my time but I do know all about shmoos. We have a cat who is extremely shmoo-shaped, so I keep telling her how lucky she is that she’s not an actual shmoo.

    Glad I found your site!

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    • I had a cat that was a bit shmoo shaped too, and white. Good thing he wasn’t a shmoo, because if he was he would have dropped over dead if a coyote looked at him hungrily!
      Welcome to my blog, Madame Weebles. I love the photo header on your blog.

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  5. As I recall from a long time ago (when I was a kid, just getting interested in the world), a Shmoo could live and thrive on simply being liked. If you were hungry, your Shmoo would lay you a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs, cooked to perfection, and a coffee on the side, dishes included. More rarely they would hop into the oven or onto the frying-pan in a final act of self-immolation.

    As to Lower Slobbovia, it was a COLD country — much like Siberia or Western Canada but worse — the people spoke with a Russian accent and the greatest danger in the country was being pursued by a Polar Bear which was attempting to eat your backside. The national currency, the immortal Raspbucknik, was (is?) the only currency known which had a NEGATIVE cumulative value. ONE Raspbucknik might be worth a US nickel, but the more Raspbuckniks you had, the less the value; if you had ENOUGH Raspbuckniks they could be worth LESS than nothing. I always wanted to have one for my collection!

    Thanks for the memories. I gotta go now: this Polar Bear is trying to bite my butt!

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    • George, you are a wealth of information!
      I have two Shmoo books. ‘The Life and Times of The Shmoo’ printed in 1948 (which was my dad’s book), and ‘The Short Life and Happy Times of the Shmoo’ printed in 2002. The Shmoo in the photo was crafted by my husband’s uncle many, many years ago. It hung on a wall of the homestead house. We rescued it just before the farm was sold.

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