Thursday, 17 September 2009

Fred Bassett

Have you ever met Fred Basset? "The hound that's almost human!" He is, needless to say, a basset hound. And he inspires both love and dislike according to your sense of humour. In fact, apart from Andy Capp, I cannot think of another British cartoon strip which causes so much diversity of appreciation. I’m one of those who love him!

Fred Basset arrived in the pages of the UK "Daily Mail" on 8th July 1963
And he's never looked back. It is often suggested that Fred was based upon Frieda, the basset hound of Fred’s creator Alex Graham.

Fred leads a dog's life. He mutters and mumbles through the days,
giving us an insight into his doggy mind and his canine thoughts. Our
Fred's a rather pompous fellow, as it happens. He doesn't understand
his owners, just as they don't understand him. Then again, he looks
down his nose at his own doggy pals like Fifi the poodle and Jock the
Scottish Terrier. Their behaviour seems so much more inferior to his own.

Fred has toddled on through the days and years, irrespective of the
changing world around him. The strip has never been particularly topical,
or political. And that's just how the readership likes it.

When Alex Graham died in 1991 he left behind a surplus of unpublished
artwork, and these, combined with 28 years of strips mean that there are
some 9000 toons in syndication. So it looks like Fred will be with us for
a wee while longer!

As well as the newspaper strips, there have been at least 58 anthologies
published over the years - and they're still coming out annually today...

I don’t know if he is syndicated (and appreciated) in North America but if not you are missing a great British tradition.



  1. You're right -- Fred B is great. Very insightful and doggy. Right now, we have a beagle who is a good living substitute. The beauty of pets, dogs or cats, is that they don't care if the ironing is done or the tabletops dusted. They're just glad to see you. Have a great day, The Canadian Chickadee

  2. I love him too CJ! he is my Daily Mail first read.
    So very English, our Fred.
    Love Granny

  3. I recognize him from Swedish newspapers too. Not lately, but at least a number of years ago.

  4. Good one, CJ. He is one cartoon character I never tire of. But then I don't get the Daily Mail. In fact I don't get a daily newspaper at all any more!

  5. I grew up reading Fred Bassett - both of my parents loved that strip. Unfortunately, it's not in the daily paper here anymore, but I remember him fondly.

    Thanks for the memory.

  6. I HATE Fred Bassett, with a passion I can hardly describe. I hated him when I first saw him decades ago, and this hatred- and it really is hatred- has intensified over the years in to a seething ball of anger every time I see the stupid thing. I swear, Fred Bassett must be the most unfunny, lamest, tedious strip cartoon in the history of strip cartoons. So I'm not keen.


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