Friday, September 20, 2013

OKMNX: Barney Google and The Two Ronnies

Barney Google is a comic strip character (Duh. I know most of you know that.) and a member (and one-time president) of The Brotherhood of Billy Goats. I didn't know that until I looked into the official  history of Barney Google. That's all in Brian Walker's terrific book "Barney Google & Snuffy Smith: 75 Years of an American Legend."

If you are a member of The Brotherhood of Billy Boats, how do you identify a fellow member? Well, all you need to know is the password.

"OKMNX" is the secret password of the Brotherhood.

What does OKMNX mean?

In the October 9, 1927 Sunday strip, we found out what ONMNX means.

Say it out loud:" OKMNX."

Phonetically, it sounds out,"Okay, ham and eggs."

The whole Sunday strip was devoted to speaking like this.

"Hef you any eggs?" becomes "FUNX?"

"'S ve hef eggs." is "SVFX."

And so on.

Brian writes that this is an old joke, and I agree. But when I saw the British comedy team The Two Ronnies doing it, I immediately thought, "they're ripping off Barney Google!"

Here's a screen shot:

THE TWO RONNIES was a long-running British TV series with comedians Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett.

So, here they are, in the 1970s, wittingly or unwittingly, pulling this material from Billy DeBeck's BARNEY GOOGLE some fifty years later:

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