OF THE BABY NAME ANDY
Raggedy Ann is the delightful rag doll created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella, and introduced to the public in a series of books he wrote and illustrated, beginning in 1918, and later featuring her brother doll, Raggedy Andy. Raggedy Ann is the undisputed leader of the dolls in Marcella’s nursery, and she takes her obligations seriously. She is always trying to do the right thing, cheerfully, albeit not always successfully. With her bright red yarn hair, cotton pinafore and big candy heart (proclaiming “I LOVE YOU”), Ann is a delightful addition to the playfields of imagination of children for generations.
Andy is the much put-upon heroine of The Devil Wears Prada, the popular 2004 novel by Lauren Weisberger, made into an equally popular 2006 movie starring Anne Hathaway as Andy and Myrl Streep as her boss from you-know-where, Miranda Priestly. Andrea is a recent starry eyed college graduate with dreams of becoming a serious journalist in New York. Her first job, however, is as an assistant to Editor in Chief Priestly at the fictional style magazine, Runway. Thrust into the fast paced world of high fashion, rubbing elbows with the glitterati rather than the literati, and feeling she is losing her soul, Andrea struggles to keep up with the demands of her boss and maintain her own dreams intact. Hilarious and poignant by turns, both book and movie align us squarely with Andy in that determination, with a final, triumphant resolution.
Andy Capp is the cartoon character created by the British cartoonist, Reg Smythe, first appearing in 1957. He is a shiftless, unemployed, hard-drinking, fight-picking, pigeon-racing, dart-playing, womanizing, lazy ne’er-do-well – he is as un-politically correct as they come, and he’s a riot! His long-suffering wife, Flo, brings in what little money they have by working as a cleaning woman, and Andy promptly loses it at the horse races or spends it at the pub. The rent is always overdue and the furniture is constantly being repossessed. Andy’s been toned down a good bit in the last twenty-five years or so – he no longer smokes, and he and Flo no longer engage in domestic fisticuffs (they now see marriage-counselors). He still has a huge fan club, and that includes Flo, who really does love her “Pet”, after all – well, they seek out counseling, don’t they? (Even if all the file drawers in the counselor’s office are labeled “Capp”…)
Raggedy Andy is the companion boy doll to Raggedy Ann, the rag doll created by Johnny Gruelle for his daughter, Marcella, and introduced to the public in a series of delightful books he wrote and illustrated, beginning in 1918. Andy was presented in 1920, with Raggedy Andy Stories. He wears a sailor suit and hat and has shoe button eyes, red yarn for hair and a big cheery smile. Andy and all the dolls in the nursery have great adventures after Marcella has gone to bed at night, because of course, that is when they can talk and run around and play and laugh, when no one is looking. Perhaps the stories may seem a little saccharine to today’s savvy generation of children, but Andy and his sister doll are enormously popular. Raggedy Andy joined The National Toy Hall of Fame in 2007, having been preceded by his big sister in 2002.
Andy Brown is one half of the comedy team called “Amos ‘n Andy”, an African American based situation comedy on radio and television from the 1920s through the 1960s. Andy (voiced by the white Charles Correll) was the egotistical big dreamer, who does a little more dreaming than working, in contrast to the modest and industrious Amos Smith. Andy and Amos, and later their sidekick, “The Kingfish”, have hilarious adventures among their friends and families and their colleagues at “The Mystic Knights of the Sea”. Of course, the program was inappropriate in some of its depictions of blacks, but by and large, the blustering Andy is about the only one who doesn’t hold a steady job, ply a profession or own his own business. Nonetheless, as funny as it was, as endearing and enduring (so said almost 40 million listeners, making it one of the most popular shows of all time), it eventually fell victim to the many outraged voices raised in opposition to its existence. Probably rightly so, but undoubtedly among those 40 million were not just a few African Americans who saw Andy as just another lovable bumbler, no matter his color.