Cartooning at the diner

Today’s Zippy, with Zippy and Griffy on cartoon styles and men’s fashions:


And, in the third panel, a diner — which turns out to be identifiable, and leads us to some surprising places (Mercury Comets and English pubs):

The diner is the Pig ‘N Whistle in Brighton MA:


This Mountain View Diner, from 1952 was origionally called the circle diner before it moved to Brighton, from Watertown, to become the Pig ‘N Whistle.

Mountain View diners. From Wikipedia:

Mountain View Diners Company was established by Les Daniel and Henry Strys near Mountain View, New Jersey in Singac, New Jersey in 1938 to manufacture prefabricated diners. “A Mountain View Diner will last a lifetime” was the company motto as befitted their quality craftsmanship. Their pre-World War II diner models usually incorporated late Art Deco styling, few were produced during the war years. Post-war, streamline styling then in vogue was used. The company ceased operation in 1957 after producing over 400 diners.

The 1961 Mercury Comet in #2 is an essential element; the photo and the text come from the Magic World of Comet website, in a section entitled “Where Is The Comet? Diners, Zippy & Dives 10” — a section, believe it or not, devoted to showing this Comet at various diners in Zippy strips. The larger site is about all things Comet:

The Mercury Comet is an automobile produced by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company from 1960–1969 and 1971-1977 — variously as either a compact or an intermediate car. (Wikipedia link)

An earlier Zippy (from 6/5/01) from the Comet / diners / Zippy material, also showing the Pig ‘N’ Whistle:


(Note the John Wilkes Booth pun, and the allusion in the strip’s title to the play at Ford’s Theatre the night Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln.)

[Digression on pig diners: In addition to the Pig ‘N’ Whistle, pigs figure in other diner names, in many locations: for instance, the Porky Pig, the Lazy Pig, the Flying Pig, the Blue Pig. A certain amount of whimsy here.]

Pub names. The name is variously rendered aa Pig and Whistle, Pig & Whistle, Pig ’n Whistle, and Pig ’n’ Whistle. All are versioons of an English pub name. From the Phrase Finder site:

The ‘Pig and Whistle’ is an archetypal pub name and is as likely to crop up in Olde England costume dramas as are men in tights and buxom serving wenches. There are several authentic old ‘Pig and Whistle’ pubs in the UK, but the name was in reality never commonplace. Dunkling and Wright’s Wordsworth Dictionary of Pub Names, 1994, estimated that there were just 10 pubs of that name in the UK in the 1980s. That was before the opening of the many theme pubs and restaurants throughout the world that have appropriated the name.

Like many old pubs names, for example ‘The Dog and Duck’, ‘The Goat and Compasses’, the derivation of ‘The Pig and Whistle’ is uncertain.

The site surveys a number of ingenious ideas about the derivation of the name, none of them with any real evidence in its favor.

In any case, the pub name is now widespread throughout the English-speaking world. There’s one in San Francisco, for example, at 2801 Geary Blvd. (at Wood St.). From its website (in adspeak):

The Pig and Whistle Bar and Restaurant is a quintessential English pub specializing in quality Ales from around the world. 
From the dark wood tables, long bar to the pub sponsored soccer and cricket teams, to the regulars watching soccer or 
other local sports matches on the telly – The Pig exudes the English style pub atmosphere.

The kitchen fixes up great pub grub – fish-and-chips, bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and cornish pasties – The bartenders pour a great pint, be it a perfect Guinness, Boddington’s or Newcastle. The jukebox brims with great English acts, from the Rolling Stones to the Smiths to Tricky.

Aggressively faux-English places aren’t my style, so I haven’t been to the place on Geary.



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