Cartoons: Pink-Slip Quips

Mid-century businessmen get the heave-ho.

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“Well, you can take my boss off the Christmas card list.”
Brad Anderson
October 22, 1960


“I’ve been thinking big like you said, Mr. Hamilton, and I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go.”
Stan Hunt
October 15, 1960


“But we want you to know, Gifford, that we’ll never have the personal regard for the computer that we’ve had for you.”
Chon Day
September 2, 1961


“Looks like the chief is letting Herndon go.”
Harry Lyons
June 20, 1960


“You’re fired, Gardner, you lazy, stupid, incompetent, utterly useless nitwit! No hard feelings, of course.”
Chon Day
January 16, 1960


“He’s certainly having a tough time firing Higgins.”
Joseph Zeis
April 16, 1960


“I guess when he’d worked himself up to this big pitch about us all rolling up our sleeves and putting the campaign over with a great big bang, I really shouldn’t have yawned.”
Stan Hunt
March 25, 1961

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  1. Well, I identify with the cartoon just before the last one….True Story: About 1/3 way in my career, I worked for someone who neither liked me or appreciated the complexity of programming I did and he intended on firing me. I responded I was not leaving. Knowing he kept a loaded handgun in his desk drawer, I did not ever go into his office unarmed. My 38 revolver was discreetly kept in my boot and I would have used it had I been pressed to do so. Now that I’m retired, I don;t worry about that $h*t anymore nor the office or corporate politics that went with it.

  2. If you look at the cartoons collectively here, they’re really about how unfair and ridiculous the bosses are; not meant to put down the men having just been fired. The humor comes from that relatability, that many people have either experienced or know someone that has experienced it, be it at mid-century or today.

    It’s not unlike seeing stand up comedy where the comedian is describing something bad, terrible, or just plain awkward most people can relate to, and will laugh for that very reason. Of course the firing of these men (and women) by such bosses can/would have bad consequences, but again the humor is derived from the BOSSES misguided, foolish actions only.

    Number 2 down by Stan Hunt is funny because it looks like the employee knows he’s going to be fired, and gives the ‘speech’ to the boss first. Number 3 was definitely prescient for 1961 on the computer! I always thought the 1971 episode of ‘Here’s Lucy’ where she thought Uncle Harry was going to replace her with a computer was ahead of its time, but apparently not.

    The bottom cartoon from ’61 shows how a boss can fire someone on a whim which most of us can relate to. So let’s give the Post editors of then and now a break. For those to whom this has happened, it lets them know they’re not alone by any means in life’s unfairness!

  3. If you’ve ever lived thru a firing, be it deserved or not, these cartoons raise a lot of pain. Sorry, but it’s like a death you never quite ‘get over’.

  4. @Gord Young. It’s called HUMOR. The Post owes no apologies to anyone then or now. In fact, the whole point of the Post’s cartoons is to provide a window into the ways of the past.
    Just as funny now as it was then.

  5. There is A B S O L U T L E Y nothing that is funny about being fired.
    The Post is mocking an event that is at once, soul destroying, gut wrenching and an upheaval in a family.
    Especially if the firing is more of a personal grudge, rather, than some misdemeanor that was obvious.
    The Post editors need to apologize for printing these back when, and, again now.
    Plainly they have no idea, or, ever had a family member fired and seen the devestation that it brings.
    The need to find another job to keep the family together is N O T funny.
    Some are fortunate to have enough money to hold over, own their home, and, car with few bills, but, they are in the minority, but, its still crushing nevertheless.
    One hopes the Post doesn’t publish something like this again, E V E R.
    G. Yooung
    Peterborough Canada


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