Introduction to Hi & Lois
Today’s comic is Hi & Lois. Hi & Lois was created by Mort Walker and illustrated by Dik Browne. The comic strip was first published in 1954 and was originally a spin off from the comic Beetle Bailey. Walker and Browne’s sons now produce the comic.
Hi & Lois feature the Flagston family; a typical suburban American family. The family consists of the parents Hi (short for Hiram) and Lois and their four children. The Flagston children are Chip (eldest child), the twins Dot (daughter) and Ditto (son), and the baby of the family Trixie (daughter). Other characters featured in the comic are Dawg (pronounced “dog”), the Flagston family pet dog, their next door neighbours, Thirsty and Irma Thurston, and Abercrombie and Fitch, the neighbourhood garbage men.
Today’s Hi & Lois features the Flagston children, Ditto and Trixie, having breakfast.
Comic Breakdown – Snap, Crackle, and Pop!
“Snap! Crackle, pop!” – Noise from the cereal when milk or a liquid is added.
“My cereal is making noises.” – Ditto
“So is mine.” – Baby Trixie’s thoughts.
“Splat, splash, splurt.” The sound the cereal makes when it hits the floor.
Why is this funny?
Without considering the cultural references in this comic, this comic is simply funny because it highlights the actions of a young child and how they do not understand that they should not play with their food. Instead, Trixie, like most young children, observes that her food can do what her brother’s food does too; it can make a noise.
Why is the bowl of cereal making noises? What does snap, crackle, pop mean?
The children are not just eating any cereal for breakfast, they are eating Rice Krispies, also known as Rice Bubbles in Australia. Rice Krispies cereal has been produced by the American food company, Kellogg’s, since the late 1920s and is now sold around the world. Millions, especially Americans, have eaten this cereal for nearly a century now.
It is popular in many Western countries for children and individuals of all ages to eat dry cereals for breakfast and as a snack throughout the day. Many like to pour milk or other liquids into their cereal before eating it.
Rice Krispies cereal literally makes the sounds of snapping and crackling and popping when milk or a liquid is added. This is a chemical reaction from how Rice Krispies is made and cooked.
The slogan (memorable phrase or motto) “snap, crackle, and pop” has been used to advertise Rice Krispies for decades. Starting in 1933, Kellogg’s introduced the trio Snap, Crackle, and Pop to market the cereal.
Today, Rice Krispies cereal is popularly sold around the world. Their slogan and mascot, “Snap, Crackle, and Pop”, are used internationally but with different words/names based on the local language. For example,
Germany: Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!
Mexico: Pim! Pum! Pam!
France: Cric! Crac! Croc!
Therefore many in the non-English world are already very familiar with Rice Krispies cereal and its mascots Snap, Crackle, and Pop but are unaware of what “snap, crackle, and pop” may mean in English culture.
In conclusion, when people hear or read the phrase “snap, crackle, and pop”, they will think of Rice Krispies.