Cartoons: Mid-Century Television Troubles

These cartoons from the mid-century show Americans’ brand-new love/hate relationship with television.

Man watching a television

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Wife yelling at her lazy husband, who is watching baseball on the television.
“That was a short winter!”
Les Colin
February 16, 1952



A grouchy older man complains about the cost of his new television to his wife.
“Eight hundred and sixty dollars, plus installation!”
February 12, 1949



A woman tells her friend how to enjoy the new television, comparing it to a radio.
“It’s much more enjoyable if you sit back and close your eyes.”
February 7, 1948



A newscaster interrupts a television program in an unusual way.
“We interrupt this program to bring you a special bulletin!”
November 16, 1946


Man watching a television, where a broadcaster is holding a candle in a darkened room.
“There will be a slight delay due to mechanical difficulties…”
Les Colin
August 28, 1948



A screen separates two woman watching television, and a grumpy man reading his newspaper
FB Modell
March 13, 1948


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  1. I can’t find the one where the fellow is changing a flat tire, his two kids are looking out the car window….. and the caption is: “I can’t change the channel, this is real life.”…………

  2. I love them all, especially # 4. The TV appears to be a flat screen (!) and I love that futuristic ‘Googie’ architecture “boomerang” table, Post Editors. The Jestson’s era was arriving, and would be at its peak exactly 60 years ago!


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