On Henny Youngman and his famous one-liner “Take my wife … please”, see the Youngman section of this 9/8/12 posting.
(Note: Youngman’s name is pronounced with an unaccented second syllable, as opposed to the youngman of the Village People’s song “YMCA”, which has secondary accent on this syllable.)
Then in sequence: Elmer Fudd, Disco Duck, Liberace, and Wayne Fontana (as is so often the case, a Zippy strip is a big grab-bag of popular culture). Plus a note on the various verbs die.
There’s a section on Elmer Fudd in my 6/2/16 posting “Cartoony days”.
And there’s a 1/16/12 posting on Disco Duck.
On Liberace in Wikipedia:
Władziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987), mononymously known as Liberace, was an American pianist, singer, and actor. A child prodigy and the son of working-class immigrants, Liberace enjoyed a career spanning four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, with established residencies in Las Vegas, and an international touring schedule. Liberace embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess [flamboyant hardly does credit to the man] both on and off stage, acquiring the sobriquet “Mr. Showmanship”.
… Liberace’s fame in the United States was matched for a time in the United Kingdom. In 1956, an article in the Daily Mirror by columnist Cassandra (William Connor) described Liberace as “…the summit of sex — the pinnacle of masculine, feminine, and neuter. Everything that he, she, and it can ever want… a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love”, a description which strongly implied that he was homosexual.
The ensuing libel suit, which Liberace won, turned in part on whether the writer knew that fruit was an American derogatory slang term for ‘homosexual’. (Liberace never admitted that he was homosexual.)
Liberace sort of haunted my childhood, since I was an un-flamboyant classical pianist.
Finally, Wayne Fontana. The brief description from Wikipedia:
Wayne Fontana (born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, 28 October 1945) is an English rock/pop singer, best known for the 1965 hit “Game of Love” with the Mindbenders.
Then dying. The last panel of the strip has a pun involving die ‘stop living’ and a slang sense of die that GDoS glosses as ‘to fail utterly, to have a difficult time’, with a first cite in 1828 and a fine show-biz quote from 1920:
George Ade, Hand-Made Fables 8: Small-town Comedy will not get across unless the audience is sufficiently Sprung to be in a Receptive Mood. Billy died.
Bonus, in connection with le petit mort ‘ejaculation, orgasm’, as noted in yesterday’s posting on Feliz d’Eon: NOAD2 provides the following sense of die, labeled “archaic”: ‘have an orgasm’.