Throughout history, there’s an astounding number of influencial people who were completely crazy from syphilis at the time that they changed the world. We couldn’t help but notice that there are also some comparably astounding and influential cartoon characters that may be facing similar circumstances. Here are 8 Cartoon Characters That Probably Have Syphilis:
(from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Master Splinter is the well-known mutant rat sensei of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Radioactive Ooze-related ailments aside, it’s pretty apparent that Master Splinter has a few screws loose upstairs, suggesting that he may suffer from a form of tertiary syphilis (the kind that makes you a little crazy, and would also account for his poor physical condition). As we’ve learned from history, though, syphilis doesn’t always impair leadership abilities. In fact, some of the greatest leaders in history are known to have carried the disease: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were both infected with syphilis. Washington was the father of our country, so you know what that means: America probably has syphilis, too. And let’s not forget about Napoleon Bonaparte, who nearly conquered the world for France, and invented a three-flavored ice cream in the midst of a syphilis-induced insanity. It makes sense that Master Splinter is syphilitic, though: you’ve got to be pretty crazy to live in a sewer with four adolescent ninjitsu turtle-men.
The Queen of Hearts
(from Alice in Wonderland)
Being the craziest person in Wonderland is like being the smelliest guy in the sulfer mine next door to a shit-smelting factory that’s powered by old milk. If an invisible cat and a giant, smoking caterpillar think you’re crazy, then the only explanation for your insanity is a viral one. The Queen of Hearts is not the first dictatorial authority figure to suffer from syphilitic insanity, either; Hitler and Mussolini were both believed to have contracted syphilis earlier in their lives, which may have accounted for their irrational hatred of human life, and their seemingly bizarre strategies and tactical decisions later in their careers. Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that, if the Nazis had trained giant playing cards as soldiers, we might have taken a little bit longer to decide that they were completely evil.
(from Duck Tales)
Here’s a duck tale for you: Scrooge McDuck, in his younger years, decides to start a gold coin collecting business. It turns out to be hugely successful, and he becomes a kagillionaire. Like most rich people of the time, Young Scrooge is soon surrounded by the hottest duck tail in the world, and he starts bagging hotties left and right, because that’s what rich young mallards do. Fast forward to fifty years later: Scrooge’s sex drive has settled down, but he’s still (literally) swimming in money. Unfortunately, one (or many) of the super-fine duck hunnies that he boned in his earlier years was carrying a serious case of "the Pox", and now Scrooge is completely out of his gourde. Like many Tertiary Syphilis cases, Scrooge has become obsessed with one thing: treasure hunting. In fact, he’s so detached from reality that he frequently risks the lives of his niece and nephews in order to obtain gold, riches, and other valuables to fill to his already overflowing mansion-sized vault with. He’s clearly a lunatic. Then again, so was famed syphilitic mogul and hollywood playboy Howard Hughes.
(from The Smurfs)
Much like Michelangelo and Vincent Van Gogh, renowned French smurf painter, Painter Smurf, can attribute many of his paintings, which he refers to as "masterpizzas", to the syphilis that was fueling his creativity, and also slowly driving him mad. In his continued effort to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Van Gogh, Painter Smurf visited a prostitute near the docks of Antwerp, where he contracted the disease. Excerpts from his diary indicate his awareness of contracting syphilis. On December 12, 1982, he writes in his journal:
"I smurfed the smurf out of that hooker last night. I should have smurfing known better. Her smurf was covered with kanker-smurfs, and now my smurf is too! This is just f*cking smurftastic."
Snoopy is a dog, and if there’s one thing that dogs are known for, it’s that they’ll fuck anything that walks (and even things that don’t). Therefore, the fact that Snoopy contracted and lived with syphilis throughout much of his life should come as no surprise. Much like fellow writers William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde (who were both known to have the disease), Snoopy’s most popular works were thought to have come from the period in his life when he was ravaged by the disease. Indeed, it is possible that Snoopy’s famous eternal opening line, "It was a dark and stormy night…" is actually meant to describe the ravaging effects of syphilis on his dog brain. In addition to his literary proficiency (after all, he is a dog that can type), a severe case of syphilis could explain his detachment from reality and subsequent bizarre behavior, such as a decided lack of speech, his propinquity for wearing a snorkel in the rain, and his penchant for sitting atop his dog house for hours on end, imagining he’s a World War 1 fighter pilot.
Popeye the Sailor Man
Sailors are notorious for contracting and spreading STD’s throughout the world. Long stints at sea combined with frequent visits to port prostitutes all across the globe make for a bad combination. It’s a common belief that Christopher Columbus and his sailors were responsible for bringing syphilis from Europe to the New World, and it’s well-known that Columbus himself carried the disease. That’s why it’s very likely that Popeye the Sailor Man shares Columbus’s plight, and also suffers from the debilitating disease. Popeye has some tell-tale signs of advanced tertiary syphilis: the loss of vision in his right eye, coupled with the partial paralysis of his face, which causes a severe speech impediment. Fortunately for the infected Popeye, he’s in good company; there are scores of other notable sailors who were known syphilis carriers, including Vasco de Gama, Captain Hook, and the entire crew of his ship, The Jolly Roger.
(from Jem and the Holograms)
Jem, of Jem and the Holograms fame, was a popular singer and television personality from 1985-1988, and likely suffered from a severe case of syphilis. A common symptom of the latter stages of syphilis is schizophrenia, which would explain the multiple personalities that Jem often took on. Advanced stages of syphilis can also yield visual hallucinations, which may explain much of the bizarre visual elements of Jem’s performances, as well as her decision to name her band "The Holograms". Along with visual hallucinations, many sufferers of advanced syphilitic strains also report auditory hallucinations, and it is believed that many composers and musicians, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, Schubert, and Schumann suffered from auditory hallucinations brought on by severe syphilis, and that these hallucinations may well have been responsible for many of their most famous and well-known works. Like the composers and musicians that came before here, Jem likely experienced similar auditory hallucinations, which were quite possibly responsible for her hits Depends on the Mood I’m In and Glitter ‘N Gold.
(from G.I. Joe)
The only difference between the COBRA organization and a full-fledged mafia family is that COBRA has flying vehicles, and they’re costumes are a little more ornate. The goal of each organization is esentially the same: power. that’s why it’s no surprise that Cobra Commander would share some similarities with a mafia boss like Al Capone, the most notorious organized crime lord in U.S. history: both have voices that are much more effeminate than one would expect from a powerful bad guy. Both leaders have henchmen, and it’s also likely that both of them suffered from severe neurosyphilis, which basically makes you go crazy. Capone’s infection is well-documented. In fact, it was the syphilis that finally did the crime boss in, but evidence of his affliction was apparent in his rapidly deteriorating mental and physical health toward the end of his life. Cobra Commander consistently displays signs of severe neurosyphilis: poor judgment, rapid mood swings, and apparent memory loss (he’s tried to tunnel under G.I. Joe’s base about thirty times so far, and has never been successful). In addition to his mental condition, Cobra Commander may also exhibit physical evidence of Tertiary Syphilis. The disease at this stage can manifest as soft, tumor-like inflammations that can appear anywhere on the body, including on the face, which may explain Cobra Commander’s trademark mask and helmet.