Have you ever found yourself reading an old Popeye comic strip, or maybe watching one of those old cartoons, or maybe even watching the 1980 live-action Popeye movie with Robin Williams, and you think to yourself, "I wonder who came up with the idea for a wacky sailor man?" If so, you have come to the right place for the answer.

Popeye Fun Fact #1 - Who Created Him?

You have to travel way back in time to learn about Popeye's origin, but you don't have to travel that far geographically. Our favorite spinach-eating seaman came from the mind of Elzie Crisler Segar who was born and raised in the small town of Chester, Illinois. The young cartoonist first introduced Popeye to the world on January 17, 1929.

Popeye And Creator
E. C. Segar being carried by his most famous creation, Popeye, circa 1935. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

READ MORE: A Dad from Illinois Created This Beloved Christmas Story, Too

Popeye Fun Fact #2 - Olive Oyl was Famous First

I was under the impression (and I bet I'm not the only one) that the gangly, uncoordinated gal was created to be Popeye's ongoing love interesting - but the opposite is the truth. Olive Oyl was the main character of her own comic strip in 1919 - a full decade before Popeye came along.

READ MORE: Live Like Midwest Royalty in This $2 Million Illinois Castle

Popeye Fun Fact #3 - He's Not 'Popeye' Everywhere

One of Popeye's favorite sayings was "I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam," but he's not what he is in certain parts of the world. Let me explain. In America, we know him as Popeye, but in Italy, he is known as Iron Arm. For some reason, he is known as Karl Alfred in Sweden and Skipper Skraek or "Terror of the Sea" in Denmark.

Popeye Fun Fact #4 - He Was One of the Original Influencers


When Popeye found himself in a precarious situation, he would turn to his trusty can of spinach to get a sudden surge of strength. The leafy greens were a part of every story, and he even sang about it "I'm strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach." According to popeye.com, the spinach industry credits Popeye with increasing the consumption of spinach in the United States by 33%. Popeye even has his own brand of canned spinach which is available at grocery stores all around the country.

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From the imagination of a 25-year-old cartoonist to the page, small screen, big screen, and beyond, Popeye's legacy has endured for more than nine decades. So, the next time you enjoy a classic Popeye moment, remember, "I yam what I yam," and that's a timeless testament to the enduring power of creativity and storytelling...and spinach.

Illinois Town Will Make You Feel Like You are in the Movie HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS

Remember the 80s classic "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"? What's it like to feel like a tiny ant looking up at the giant world around you? There's a small town only two hours from the tri-state that is home to over 20 giant items. Being surrounded by them definitely gives you the perspective of an itty bitty bug.

Lacey Marsh and her family visited the small town during spring break this year and shared her photos with us. She said, "It's a really neat place! And people were very friendly."

For more on the attractions at Casey, IL, visit the website bigthingssmalltown.com.

Gallery Credit: BOBBY G

Rare (and Creepy) Toys Found In Abandoned Illinois Mansion

A wealthy Barrington Hills, Illinois toy collector, a death, and a multi-million dollar mansion filled with vintage toys, all of it left behind.

Gallery Credit: Steve Shannon

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