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Joe Palooka (Pałuka) from 1920s: the comic-strip character


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
9 Jul 2011 #1
One of the earlier negative stereotypes of Poles was the comic-strip character Joe Palooka (Pałuka), a good-natured but stupid prizefighter, which predated Ameica's 'Pollack jokes' of the 1970s by half a century. Originally the prototype had been named Joe Dumbelletski, but the cartoonist didn't have much luck with that conception.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
9 Jul 2011 #2
Actually. Joe was a good guy, and was not portrayed as stupid...Let's lighten up here a little.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
9 Jul 2011 #3
Is this where " Palookaville" comes from then? ie," He comes from palookaville" not meaning a real place....
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
9 Jul 2011 #4
Is this where " Palookaville" comes from then?

Yes it is, but the term was popularized by this film scene ...
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
9 Jul 2011 #5
Thanks dessi.
Yay,of course it was ,D'oh :) have not seen that film in years now,deserves a re watch.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
9 Jul 2011 #6
One of the earlier negative stereotypes of Poles was the comic-strip character Joe Palooka (Pałuka), a good-natured but stupid prizefighter, which predated Ameica's 'Pollack jokes' of the 1970s

BS. His character was based on Pete Latzo whom he allegedly met outside of a poolroom. It's a hell of a stretch on your part, for the character to be Polish his surname would have to be (Pałka not Pałuka) as suggested by you. Besides as a slang term "palooka" has many meanings but in the boxing world at that time the term "palooka" was used to describe a third-rate prizefighter and that's how it would have been perceived by the readers at that time. It still does, take a good look at the end of this scene, though the modern slang meanings fit in quiet well too.


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