Popeye is a sailor character and protagonist appearing in comics and animated cartoons, known for his squinting (or entirely missing) right eye, huge forearms, skinny upper arms, andcorncob pipe. He can occasionally be seen smoking his pipe but usually he toots it like a tugboat and sometimes uses it as a weapon by blowing the smoke in his enemies faces. His strength varies among his portrayals: as per the original comics, he is superhumanly strong and can lift huge objects, while in later adaptations he is not quite as mighty until he gains a boost in strength by eating spinach. He is known to mutter when he speaks and mangle the English language (e.g, he calls elephants and infants "elephinks" and "infinks", respectively). Popeye's creator, E. C. Segar, characterized him as violent and uncivilized yet introspective and with a high moral fiber.
In World War II-era animated shorts, Popeye was a member of the U. S. Navy and could occasionally be seen fighting the Germans and Japanese. The ones in which he did have sometimes been banned from television for being politically incorrect. Popeye's portrayal in the animated adaptation has been either criticized for giving him a 'substance dependency' as a means to solve all of life's problems, or praised for bringing children to eat healthy food.
Rumor has it that in September 1938 head of Fleischer Studios Max Fleischer, as a thank-you to all artists who moved to his new animation studio in Florida, animated a graphic sexual encounter between his two stars, Betty Boop and Popeye. Reports on this supposed film, known as “Welcome to Miami,” range from it being 30 seconds of pencil drawings to a full-color short film.
- William Costello (a.k.a. Red Pepper Sam) from 1933 to 1935
- Jack Mercer from 1935 until his death in 1984
- Mae Questel from 1945 to 1946
- Harry Welch from 1945 to 1947
- Maurice LaMarche from 1985 to 1990
- Billy West in from 2004 to 2006
- Jackson Beck during the brief time Jack Mercer served in World War II
- David Coulier (Robot Chicken)
- Jim Cummings (Commercials)
- Robin Williams (Live Action Film)
- Tom Kenny (2014 animation test)
In "You May Now Kiss the...Uh...Guy Who Receives" he pays a visit to Dr. Hartman. Hartman informs him that the lumps in his arms are actually tumors. When Popeye tried to reply to this, it was all stuttered gibber. Hartman explained that Popeye's weird speaking pattern is caused by a stroke he had a few years ago. Popeye still being alive is deemed a miracle.
In "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire", Cleveland Brown, angered by his wife's betrayal, he ate a can of spinach which caused his forearms to gain muscles, just as Popeye often would.
Wimpy appears as a stroke victim in "McStroke"
Bluto was nominated for an Academy Award in "April in Quahog".
Popeye's laugh is used as part of Weenie and the Butt's sound effects at the gay pride parade in "Roads to Vegas".
Peter tries to emulate Popeye by eating spinach during the fight with three tough guys that take the booth at The Drunken Clam in "Herpe, the Love Sore", but finds the can difficult to open and the spinach watery.